File Storage Solutions Made Simple

We are no strangers to photographers wanting to capture the highest quality photos and video possible, and to do so, you need equally high quality equipment. When researching and investing in the plethora of cameras and lenses on the market, the storage devices you need to record your images are often overlooked.

And who could blame us? Picking the right storage device can be confusing. How many types of memory cards could there really be? Is there really that big of a difference between them all? Don’t all memory cards do the same thing? 

The reality is not only are your memory cards one of the most important pieces of equipment to invest in, but your choice of memory card can heavily affect the abilities of your camera and photography.

What types of memory cards are available?

There are several types of memory cards. SD (Secure Digital), MicroSD, and CF Express (Compact Flash) are among the most commonly used. The type of camera you are using will dictate your memory card choices.

Storage Capacity

When choosing the right memory card for you, it all starts with how much storage you need. If you are a portrait or landscape photographer it is unlikely that you will be taking thousands of photos per day and you should generally be safe with a lower capacity SD card. For those who shoot Wedding, Sports, Wildlife, and other fast-moving subjects that require higher burst speeds and more photos taken, you will need a larger memory card. You will definitely need a large capacity memory card when recording video, especially when shooting higher resolutions.

Here’s a rough estimate on common memory card capacities when shooting high-resolution photos (20+ megapixels):

32GB (800 - 1,000 photos)

64GB (1,600 - 2,000 photos)

128GB (3,200 - 4,000 photos)

256GB (6,400 - 8,000 photos)

Keep in mind these are rough estimates that can vary significantly based on compression settings, file formats (JPEG vs. RAW), and other factors. It’s always a good idea to check the specifications of your camera and the capacity of your memory card for more accurate estimates. 


Speed Class

Memory cards are classified by their speed abilities, which are very important for tasks like recording high-definition video or capturing bursts of photos. Common speed classes include: Class 10, UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) or Speed Class 3 (U3) (Ultra High Speed), and UHS-II; UHS-II being the fastest.

If you are shooting video, it is crucial to observe the video speed class rating on your memory card choices aswell. Those most commonly used are V30, V60, and V90 (V90 being the fastest)

When talking about memory card speed, we are mostly looking at transfer speeds, more commonly referred to as their Read and Write speeds. 

Read Speed indicates how quickly data can be accessed from the SD card. It’s crucial for tasks like viewing photos or videos stored on the card and transferring files to a computer or other devices. Faster read speeds result in quicker access to data, reduced loading times, and improved overall performance.

Write Speed refers to how fast data can be written onto the SD card. It is essential for capturing all formats of photo, video, and audio. A higher write speed will allow faster saving of data and decreased buffer times most commonly seen when shooting burst photos or long form videos. Insufficient write speeds can lead to dropped frames in video recording, slower burst rates, and long file save times. 


Durability and Reliability

Memory cards are designed to be durable, but they can still be vulnerable to physical damage such as bending, water exposure, or extreme temperatures. Some memory cards are marked as being durable or resistant to such hazards.

While generally memory cards are reliable, they can fail or become corrupted, leading to data loss. It is important to back up important data regularly and handle your memory cards with care. If you were to have a memory card corrupt, we do offer a service here at Pixel Connection to attempt to recover your lost files. 

What about MicroSDs and CF Express cards?

Micro SD cards are commonly used in small portable devices such as action cameras, drones, and other digital cameras. They are small in size but have become a popular choice due to their versatility, high storage space, and compatibility with a wide range of devices. MicroSD cards allow for similar storage space and speed classifications as their larger counterparts, including Class 10, UHS Speed Class 1 U1 or Speed Class 3 U3 (Ultra High Speed).

CF Express cards have quickly become the new high-performance standard in memory card technology for professional photography and videography equipment. CF cards offer exceptionally high data transfer speeds, making them suitable for demanding tasks such as capturing high-resolution photos, 4K or even 8K video at high frame rates, and much more. These cards leverage the PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) interface, allowing for much faster data transfer speeds than the older standards of SD cards. CF Express cards can achieve speeds of up to several gigabytes per second. While CF cards offer unparalleled speed and performance, they are not suitable for all cameras. Make sure you have the ability to use them in your camera before purchasing.



Check out the Memory Cards We Recommend! 

Master your memory card knowledge to get the highest performance out of your camera and eliminate the headache of running out of memory, losing valuable images due to slow write speeds, or worst of all losing all your work entirely. Invest in the right gear and you’ll be ready to capture every shot that comes your way! Happy Shooting!! 

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