Not all SD cards are created equal - SunStar

Not all SD cards are created equal

Albert PedrosaAlbert Pedrosa
Photo Mania

YES, they all have the same physical size and it’s quite obvious that they differ in storage capacity. Maybe you can even get a cheaper version from CDR-King. It would probably work for all you know and you go out shooting thinking you scored one this time.

I hate to admit it, but, yes, I have one SD card bought from CDR-King. From what I know, I need a Class 10 SD card to get the most of my camera, so it was the only specs I was looking for when buying one. It worked perfectly fine every time.

Of course, it should – I was shooting studio most of the time. You can’t shoot bursts when using strobes. In cases when we go outdoors, I still have my strobes with me. A few years ago, I had a project that required me to shoot a lot of natural light. It was then that I realized my camera was holding me back.

SD CARDS. Transcend is reliable, while Sandisk performs better in terms of speed.
SD CARDS. Transcend is reliable, while Sandisk performs better in terms of speed.

It’s frustrating missing frames because your camera is holding still and you can’t do anything but stare at the red blinking light to finish. I don’t own a flagship model camera, so I assumed that it was an equipment limitation. One time, somebody gave me a card, it was Class 10, but it performed really slow when I tried shooting continuously.

It was only then that I realized that even if they are classified as Class 10, they have different write speed. With a bit of research, I tried different SD Cards and was surprised to experience my camera cleaning up the buffer quite fast.

SD Cards are classified into different classes or standards normally based on video writing capabilities, since video capture is more demanding in write speeds. Class 10 means that the storage device has a minimum of 10mb/s and can write full HD. If your camera writes about 60mb/s, then you need a Class 10 SD Card with capabilities more than your camera writing speed.

Different cameras have different writing speeds. Unfortunately, camera manufacturers are not keen on publishing the camera’s writing speed. I know that the 6D has around 60mb/s based on actual testing. A 90mb/s SD Card would best pair with my 6D camera.

After figuring out the camera’s writing speed, you are faced with different brands. Transcend is the cheapest, while Sandisk is on the expensive side, and all the other brands are in between. So far, given the same writing speed, Transcend is quite reliable, while Sandisk performs better in terms of speed.

There is no point in buying a really fast SD Card if your camera writing speed is slow. Find the right SD card for your camera. Try to also look at UHS classifications. Keep on shooting, everyone!

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