You’ll probably need to get some Secure Digital (SD) cards because they are utilised in so many different gadgets, including laptops, camcorders, and cell phones. However, how can you tell if you’re making the appropriate purchase? There are many options available, making it difficult to distinguish between them, but the price difference between them suggests that there is something that sets them unique. How can you know if the one you’re buying is the proper one for your gadget? Here are four things you should look into before buying something.
SD cards come in three main sizes: regular, micro, and tiny. You’re undoubtedly familiar with the common SD card. Although it is only 32 by 24mm in dimension, it is the largest SD card size that is currently available. This size is typically used by computers, cameras, and camcorders. This size is also utilised by numerous microcontrollers and single-board computers (such as the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino with an adaptor).
The miniSD measures 21.5 x 20mm and is the mid-size choice. Even while some cellphones use it, this size is far less prevalent. Numerous miniSD cards come with an adapter that enables their usage in slots designed for standard-sized SD cards, such as this one from SANOXY:
MicroSD, however, is a lot more prevalent than miniSD. These cards are perfect for smartphones and tablets because of their small size (11 x 15mm). Similar to miniSD cards, microSD cards can be used in standard-sized slots with adapters, such as the one that is included with this Transcend 64GB microSD card:
Your device determines the size of card you should use. You must use a regular SD card or a smaller one with an adapter if it has a standard SD card slot. You will need a mini or micro with adapter if it has a miniSD slot. You can only use microSD cards with it if it has a microSD slot.
SD, SDHC, and SDXC are the three SD card formats. Their labels are typically connected with capacity. Up to 2GB of data can be stored on SD cards, 32GB on SDHC cards, and more than 32GB on SDXC cards. Nearly all devices and card readers can read SD and SDHC cards, but if you wish to use a card that has a storage capacity more than 32GB, you need check your device’s owner’s handbook to be sure that it is compatible with SDXC-format cards (this is becoming increasingly common).
Each card’s label features one of the following logos to signify the format of the card:
There are several SD cards available, and if you’ve looked at them, you’ve probably seen that they come in a large variety of capacities. The smallest SD card that most people will consider nowadays is a capacity of 2GB, while early SD cards were available with capacities of 32 and 64MB. Although there may be bigger ones available, only a small percentage of consumers will be interested in an SD card with a capacity greater than 512GB (these monsters areavailable from PNY).
Of fact, paying $350 is not absolutely necessary to have 512GB of storage. As an alternative, you should consider how you plan to use your SD card. For instance, 16GB will be sufficient if you wish to utilise a microSD card to store more music on your phone. You should be able to add between 2,000 and 3,000 songs to the card, depending on the audio quality.
For phones, tablets, and cameras that you intend to use for capturing images, an 8GB card will contain more than 2,000 compressed shots, making it a reliable option. The file size will be bigger if you’re using a DSLR, which means there will be less room for images. This is especially true if you store your photos in RAW format, which can increase the file size of one image to at least 25MB. You could require a card with even more memory, such as 16 or 32GB, if you shoot a lot of RAW images.
Even more room is needed on an SD card for video storage. A 16GB card can hold almost four hours of regular HD video, according to SanDisk. On the same card, less than three hours of HD footage in high definition would fit.
These estimations are based on some assumptions, but you can use them as a general reference to determine whether you’re purchasing an SD card with the appropriate capacity. Thankfully, the majority of SD card producers will provide you with an indication of how much data you can place on a card, either on the SD card packaging or on the producer’s website.
The SD card’s speed class, which indicates how quickly data can be written to the card, is one of the least known aspects of the terminology. Fortunately, the SD Association’s table below makes it crystal clear:
You don’t need to worry about the speed class if you’re not using your SD card to record video; writing data from a computer or a camera doesn’t need to be done at incredibly quick speeds (though it certainly doesn t hurt to have a faster card). To make sure your card is fast enough for the type of recording you wish to do, you should check this table if you’re using it to record video.
For instance, if you plan to record in HD, you should have a Class 6 or faster card, and Class 10 would be preferable—especially if you plan to record HD stills concurrently with the video. A UHS 3 card will be necessary if you plan to record in 4K. Each card’s speed class is seen right there on the card. Simply glance at the chart above and the graphic on the card for references.
You might be shocked to learn that SD cards can incorporate wifi connectivity, which is one of its most valuable capabilities. The Eye-Fi SD card made this concept famous, but a number of other companies, such as Toshiba and Transcend, now provide connected solutions as well. You can wirelessly transfer your pictures from your camera to either your computer or a smartphone when you use a wifi-connected SD card.
Although not necessary, this feature can be very useful, especially if you frequently forget to put your SD card in your computer or card reader. Of course, the price will be higher than it would be for a card without wifi. Eye-Fi charges $76 for a 32GB card, or $100 for one with professional-level features like automatic image classification.
SEE ALSO: Which Is Better, SSD or HDD, and Why?
Choosing the Right Card for You
If you are aware of the four characteristics of SD cards, you should have no trouble selecting the one that best suits your requirements, whether you need it to store additional computer documents or record 4K video. You may narrow down the seemingly limitless options for an SD card to a lot more manageable variety by considering the size required by your device, how much space you require, the distinction between speed classes, and wifi connectivity.