Maybe people may ask, why do you have so much to say about the memory card? Isn't it just a sd card? If you can’t decide, just buy the bigger one!
I thought the same when I first started to learn to take photos! However, after I really learned about this industry, I found that I was absolutely wrong! Although ignorance is terrible, pretend to know well when you know nothing is the most terrible thing in the world! Until now, the two memory cards I bought wrong are still in the corner of my drawer like garbage, all because of my ridiculous self-righteousness at the beginning! So, the purpose of writing this article today is to help more people understand what is a memory card, and how to buy the most suitable memory card for your camera!
A memory card, as the name implies, is a storage instrument for storing data. For our camera memory, it is all stored in the form of a card. Unlike mobile phones, most SLRs and micro-single cameras on the market do not have internal storage space, so memory cards are additional devices that must be purchased in most cases.
The most common memory cards on the market can be categorized as follow: SD (Secure Digital) card, CF (Compact Flash) card, Micro SD card and CFast card. It seems so complicated, what are the differences? Let us make a little classification to make it clearer!
1. The first thing I want to say is the SDHC or SDXC logo on the right side of the SD card. Have you thought about what does these symbols mean?
Apart from SDHC and SDXC, there actually also exist SDSC! Although they all look the same, but after you really understand it, you will find the difference is huge. In fact, the three different names represent the difference between different memory capacities. Speaking of internal memory, if you are a digital enthusiast, you will not be unfamiliar, but for some friends here who have no idea about memory capacity, I will give you a simple explanaion on the difference in memory size. GB is the abbreviation of Gigabyte. Everyone knows that the larger the GB number, the more photos you can store in your camera! As for how large a memory card you need to prepare, please read the following content, I will explain in detail later!
The circled part in the figure above represents the difference between UHS-I and UHS-II, and the pin designs on the back of UHS-I and II are also different. Because II needs to support higher-speed transmission, that is why there comes out an extra row of pins! However, II can be inserted into devices with card slot only support UHS-I, but the transmission speed will drop to the speed of I.
You may notice that in addition to the numbers circled with a symbol similar with capital C, sometimes there are numbers circled with a capital U. This logo usually appears on UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards, and is also used to indicate the minimum sustainable transmission speed. U1 represents it support a minimum sustainable transmission speeds of above 10MB/S, and U3 represents speed above 30MB/S. Normally, the writing speed of U1 is equivalent to that of C10; but the U-shaped name will only appear on the surface package of the memory card above UHS level. I have to mention here that the maximum sustainable transfer speed of non-UHS series memory cards will not exceed 25MB/S!
The last thing here is that the V-shaped numbers on the surface package, such as V6, V10, V30, etc. is defined for the requirements of video shooting. V6 represents the minimum sustainable transmission speed of 6MB/S, which is also the lowest threshold for shooting 4K video. Of course, if you need to shoot 8K video, the lowest standard is a V30-level memory card!
For those who love to take pictures, the slower the speed will cause serious consequences. A more obvious feeling is that when you take a photo, you can feel a serious lag every time. If you like continuous shooting, you will need a storage card with faster transmission speed even more! Especially when you need to take photos in RAW format, the faster the memory card transfer speed, the faster the storage time, and naturally, you can take the next photo faster!
For those of you who love to shoot Vlog or Douyin, the effect of speed is even more obvious! If the memory card speed is too slow, the effect of frame dropping may occur when shooting video. So, don't let the poor quality memory card ruin everything!
Here, my advice to everyone is:
If you are an ordinary camera enthusiast with the purpose of taking pictures, what you need to prepare is at least a Class 10 level or higher level memory card.
If you are an experienced camera enthusiast who values post-processing of photos, you need to prepare a UHS-I or UHS-II memory card.
If you are a Vlog enthusiast, the transmission speed of the memory card you prepared should be at least above UHS-I level. Of course, it varies in specific situations. In theory, as long as the continuous transmission speed of the memory card is higher than the bit rate of the video you are shooting, it will be fine! However, wouldn't it be better if you buy a fast memory card?
Before we answer this question, you must first understand how you use the camera.
If you only need to take pictures in JPEG format when traveling occasionally, then normally you do not need a very large memory. A 64GB size memory card can use for a long, long time! A simple calculation shows that a 64GB memory card can hold nearly 8,000 22-megapixel JPEG format photos! It is way more than enough!
If you go for high quality photos and needs post-processing, I believe you need one or more than one memory card with relatively large memory, because you need to use raw format photos. In this case, I would recommend you to prepare a 128GB memory card! The 64GB memory card I mentioned above can hold more than 8,000 JPEG photos, but it can only hold less than 1,000 Raw format photos! Of course, some cameras on the market can choose the option of lossless compression raw format, but even so, it still cannot store many photos.
Next are the Vlog photography enthusiasts. If you need to go out to shoot material for a long term, you will naturally need a memory card with a lot of storage space! Under normal circumstances, if you shoot a video with a bit rate of 100Mb/s, a 64GB memory card can only last a little more than an hour. Therefore, I believe you will need a memory card above 128GB!
When you have a limited budget, you should consider to buy multiple small memory cards rather than one relatively larger memory card. The reason is very simple, never put all your eggs in one basket! Because once the memory card is broken, you will lose everything! I believe this is not what you want to see. I would recommend everyone to buy at least 2 memory cards, one is larger and the other is one is relatively smaller. The larger one is mainly used for shooting, and the smaller one is used for emergency backup. Of course, if you are rich, please feel free to choose whatever cards you like~
I have said everything I can think of in the above article! I believe that after reading this article, you should have a new understanding of the memory card you need! I do not make specific recommendations here, because everyone uses their camera in different ways, so the memory cards that you purchase are also completely different! I hope that after reading this article, everyone can confidently distinguish the minimum standard memory card category you need! Alright! If you have any questions, please leave a message in the comment area! Let's discuss together!