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Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

Talking about SD cards and speed logos

When the Van Wert Area Photography Club set December 2 as the date for its Christmas Dinner, it was still two weeks until Thanksgiving, plus another nine days after that until the dinner. Now that the date is here, some are still eating leftovers. Still, 6 p.m. at the Black Angus is the time and place to meet.

I discovered on Sunday, November 26, that my SD card had not only failed, it was in the locked position and prevented me from taking pictures. That sparked a frantic search for a replacement, and the reason for this article. What do I buy?

Secure Digital (SD) cards used in digital cameras vary in different speed classes, physical sizes, and capacities. Be sure to check what your device supports and consider what speed class, size and capacity you’ll actually need.

An illustration of the speed logos to look for when selecting a SD card.

Here are the differences you’ll need to keep in mind when picking out the right SD card for your device. If you’re taking photos in rapid succession on a DSLR camera and saving them in high-resolution RAW format, you’ll want the fastest SD card you can get so your camera can save them as quickly as possible. A fast SD card is also important if you want to record high-resolution video and save it directly to the SD card. If you’re just taking a few photos on a typical consumer camera, the speed isn’t as important

There are four different speed classes — 10, 6, 4, and 2. Class 10 is the fastest, suitable for “full HD video recording” and “HD still consecutive recording.” Class 2 is the slowest, suitable for standard definition video recording. Classes 4 and 6 are both deemed suitable for high-definition video recording.

There are also two Ultra High Speed (UHS) speed classes — 1 and 3 — but they’re more expensive and are designed for professional use. You’ll probably be okay with a class 4 or 6 card for typical use in a digital camera, Class 10 cards are ideal if you’re shooting high-resolution videos or RAW photos. Class 2 cards are a bit on the slow side these days, so you may want to avoid them.

SD sizes include standard SD cards, miniSD cards, and microSD cards. Choosing a size is really just about what fits into the device you have. SD cards will only fit into matching slots.  However, you can purchase adapters that allow you to plug a smaller SD card into a larger SD card’s form and fit it into the appropriate slot.

SD Standard Capacity (SDSC) cards range in size from 1 MB to 2 GB (and sometimes even 4 GB—although that’s not standard). The SD High Capacity (SDHC) standard was created later, and allows cards 2 GB to 32 GB in size. An even more recent standard, SD Extended Capacity (SDXC) that allows cards 32 GB to 2 TB in fit into a standard SD card slot.

Remember: Be sure to check what your device supports and consider what speed class, size and capacity you’ll actually need. I hope this is helpful.

POSTED: 11/30/17 at 9:02 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News