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Once you purchase a digital camera, you will come across the need to get a right memory card for it. This can be an overwhelming decision to make as you can find numerous memory cards available in the market under various brands. On the other hand, you will also notice that there are multiple specifications associated with memory cards as well. To help you stay away from confusion and buy the right memory card, i thought of sharing this guide with you.
Most digital cameras come with single SD card slot. Hence, you will have to purchase an SD card (Secure Digital card) for it. This is a small memory card that has dimensions of 32x24mm. A standard SD card comes along with a thickness of 2mm. Some cameras might have 2 SD slots, and one of them might also be a UHS-II slot.
Instead of using an SD card, it is also possible for you to use a microSD card on the digital camera. However, you will need to purchase a microSD to SD adaptor before you can use it. In case if you are trying to get a memory card to be used on multiple devices you have, this would be the right option to go ahead. For example, you can use the microSD card on your smartphone when you need some extra memory. Once you get the need to use your digital camera, you just need to take the microSD card out from the smartphone, place that in the SD adaptor and insert it into your digital camera. You will not usually have to buy this adaptor as it comes along with the package when you get a new microSD card, but it is better to double check. You always can purchase the microSD to SD adapter, and even UHS-II microSD to SD Adapter from our shop.
Some people assume that microSD cards are not designed to last longer than SD cards. This is not true at all. The technology used by manufacturers for manufacturing memory cards is the same. If you can buy a genuine microSD card from a reputed manufacturer, you can expect to use it for a longer period of time.
In case if you are going to use a digital camera for professional photography, we recommend you get a full-sized SD card. Then you will be able to use that dedicatedly for photography and save the Hi-Resolution RAW photos. Most cameras used by professional photographers require UHS-II memory cards. Unfortunately, you don’t find UHS-II microSD cards in the market. Even if you can find it, you will not be able to find any appropriate adaptor. Hence, you should be purchasing a full-sized UHS-II SD card.
At the time of purchasing a memory card, you will need to pay attention to two important parameters. They include capacity and speed.
Capacity refers to the amount of data that you can store within the memory card you buy. You should purchase a memory card based on your preferred capacity. In case if you are planning to go for a higher capacity, you should double-check and make sure that your device is supporting the memory cards of the capacity you intend to buy.
Speed is another important consideration that you should do when you buy a memory card.
The memory cards were divided into multiple classes such as Class 2, Class 4, Class 6, and Class 10 based on their speed. This refers to the writing speed of the memory card. For example, a Class 2 memory card can write data at a speed of 2Mb/s.
Along with the development of technology, the writing speeds of memory cards increased significantly. This is where a new convention was introduced to label them, as UHS speed class. It is marked as a capital U with the number inside. As per this, a Class 10 memory card is equivalent to U1. Some manufacturers use both markings on the memory cards. As of now, you can find U1 and U3 memory cards on the market. If you want to get the fastest writing speeds, you should buy a U3 memory card, which offers a data writing speed of 30Mb/s.
Another speed-related parameter that you can find in memory cards is Video Speed Class. The memory cards available in the market will come with numerous video speed classes, which include V10, V30, V60, and V90. At the time of recording videos, the memory card should continue to capture all frames continuously. If that fails, you will end up missing the frames in the videos you capture. This is why you should focus more on the video speed class. In your camera manual you will see a recommended video speed class for getting memory cards if applicable.
UHS Bus Speed
You should first understand the UHS bus speed and UHS speed class in memory cards are two different things. UHS speed class refers to the performance of the card when you are writing data to it. However, the UHS bus speed refers to the bus controller and its speed. The UHS bus speed is usually marked as UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III. The next version of memory cards according to UHS Bus Speed is SD Express, which is based upon completely new technology. The SD Express memory cards can usually offer an ultra-speed data transferring experience to you, which is over 1000Mb/s. However this i would cover in my other post.
It is important to note that UHS Bus Type can create a major impact on the writing speed of a memory card. Before the UHS Bus era arrived in technology, the SD Bus could offer a data writing speed of around 12-25Mb/s. It is unlikely you will find such a memory cards as they are outdated. On the other hand, it is not quite possible to see UHS-III type memory cards very often in a mass market as they are expensive. Most memory cards available in the market are either UHS-I or UHS-II. The UHS-I memory cards have 1 row of pins, and they offer a writing speeds of up to 104Mb/s. On the other hand, the UHS-II memory cards have 2 lanes for data transfer. One lane is used for writing data, while the other one is reading data. This is called Full Duplex mode, which is default mode for UHS-II cards. The speed in Full Duplex can be 150Mb/s , but when the max sped required it can switch to Half Duplex and achieve a bit over 300Mb/s speed one way read speed. Usually this is when you transferring your content to PC and it is really fast. Writing data not only limited by Bus speed but also the actual host device, so write speed might vary from device to device. The maximum i personally seen so far with the normal usage was just over 130Mb/s writing achieved by the consumer grade UHS-II SD card in a mass market host device.
You can keep these facts in mind and buy the best memory card that is available in the market for your digital camera.