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How to Choose the Right (SD) Memory Card

SD cards are the most common form of removable data storage for portable devices that we have to date. However, many people have had situations where they put the card in their device, and it does not read. Other times, it fails to record. Often, it always ends with the person saying, “Well, I thought I had enough storage!”

But that’s just it – SD cards aren’t all about storage! In fact, there are several other factors to consider, and when purchasing your cards, you should make yourself aware of them. That said, SD cards aren’t all created equal, and it’s important to be educated as to what separates each one from the rest.

Most digital devices we have today have a special slot for memory cards, which can be useful when you want to add storage capacity to the device. Your smartphones, music players, digital cameras, laptops, and tablets are mostly equipped with memory card slots so you can buy whatever memory cards for your needs. However, you need to remember that memory cards come in different sizes, speed, and also storage capacities. After all, different devices will require different types of memory cards, so before you march to the nearest store to buy the memory cards that you want – and waste money for the stuffs you don’t actually need – know your facts straight about different kinds of memory cards.

As a given, all types of data are different, and although I can’t tell you exactly what to buy since I don’t know your device, I can supply you with the proper information to make that decision on your own.

The Capacity

Just like other devices, memory cards have different storage capacity. The standard SDSC has 1 to 2 GB of capacity, with the biggest one is 4 GB, but 4 GB isn’t the standard capacity. the later SDHC has 2 to 32 GB of capacity while the recent SDXC has 32 GB to 2 TB in capacity. you also need to choose the right devices that support SDXC or SDHC cards. Most general devices support SDHC while devices that support SDXC is less common because it is basically pretty new. At this point, the vast majority of devices should support SDHC. In fact, the SD cards you have are probably SDHC cards. SDXC is newer and less common.

The Size

Memory cards also come in different sizes, with microSD card as the smallest, miniSD as the medium one, and the standard one which is pretty big and the biggest from the three. Yes, the standard memory card is quite small actually, but it is still the biggest when compared to the other two. With cut-corner design, these standard cards are often used for most digital cameras.

MiniSD cards have the dimension of 20 x 21.5 x 1.4 mm with total weight 0.8 grams so it is pretty small. Originally, this kind of card was designed for mobile phones, but today mobile phones are using even smaller memory cards, which is the microSD card. As the smallest cards among the three, it weighs 0.25 grams with a total dimension of 11 x 15 x 1 mm. aside being used in modern smartphones, these cards are also used in other gadgets, such as tablets.

Each SD cards has their own matching slots. Naturally, you can’t plug in a microSD into a medium or a standard one into a microSD. However, it is possible now to use the smaller card for bigger slots. For instance, you can use microSD for the medium or standard slot, as long as you have the adapter.

The Speed

On the contrary to what people think, different memory cards have a different speed. The reason why this is designed is because there are different work and task that require a quick response, while some are quite standard. If you are a professional photographer often dealing with snapping pictures in fast successions or you have to make fast high-resolution video recording, you will need a memory card with high speed. Using DLSR camera with high-res RAW format require a memory card that can match the high speed, so your camera can save all the results safely immediately. However, if you are casual camera user – with standard smartphone camera and you don’t need snapping fast images with high-quality result, then you only need the standard memory card – no need to bother buying the high speed one.

The speed classes are basically a recent standard defined by SD Association. There is a certain guideline provided so users like you can make use of it. Speed classes are divided into four classifications: 2, 4, 8, and 10 with class 2 being the slowest and class 10 being the fastest (and also perfect for HD quality photo images and video recording). Class 4 and 6 are the standards, and they are pretty good to deal with standard high-quality results.

Aside from the general four classes, there are also two additional UHS (Ultra High Speed) classes. They are costlier and definitely designed for advanced and professional usage. Naturally, these UHS cards can only be accessed by devices that are compatible. General smartphones, digital cameras, or tablets generally use class 4 or 6, while the cheapest smartphones or digital cameras may use the class 2. High-end digital cameras are generally able to support the class10. Finding the logo on the card isn’t difficult at all, as the class speed is generally embedded in it. if you buy the cards from online stores, there is also information about the speed class. If you can’t find any symbol for the speed class, you probably have the so called 0 card, which was produced before the rating system for the speed class was introduced. As you can guess, 0 class is even slower than the class2.

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