Pick the Right Memory Card!

It’s tiny, but it’s no small thing! Pick the right memory card for your needs—don’t underestimate this critical part of your kit. Because we believe in quality, in today’s article we’ve focused on high-quality brands that stand among the top memory products in the world. We’ll help you find the card that fits your camera best.

Just like with film in the old days, a professional’s card full of pictures is more valuable than the rest of their equipment combined. This may seem like an exaggeration, but that’s really how it is. For a pro, a single photo can have extreme value. If you ever watch the movie “Salvador,” you’ll share the same opinion.

Reliability and Speed

A good memory card is first and foremost reliable and well-made. Any card that loses or corrupts data is a bad card. If your card loses data, just throw it out! Speed is another important spec. There’s nothing worse than trying to take advantage of a camera’s burst mode and getting slowed down by the wait for the camera to save to the card. Another reason why speed is important is ever-growing photo file sizes. The larger they are, the more you need a fast card to get photos saved in reasonable time.

Two brands, SanDisk and Kingston, have helped forge a memory-card market where it is not hard to find cards that are both fast and reliable. It is no secret that the main camera manufacturers themselves promote these brands. You may have heard about a good card surviving a trip through the wash, but that’s nothing. There have also been cases of cameras having been fished from the ocean, with the camera now useless but the photos on its card still intact. That’s kind of the last word when it comes to reliability!

Size Matters

When choosing a card size, pick one that will be enough to hold least a day’s worth of your photography, without having to dip down below full quality. You never know at what moment you’ll capture a truly unique shot. It’s unthinkable to have that unique shot be stored at low quality. Always take pictures at maximum quality so you can get the maximum out of your gear.

The basic SanDisk card classes

There’s no doubt that SanDisk and Kingston are the front runners among memory cards. We’ll look at SanDisk’s card lines here in detail.

Standard
Reliable cards that are a good fit for compact cameras.

Ultra
The Ultra-class cards are suitable for advanced compact cameras.

Extreme
The Extreme cards are a reliable friend to any user of an APS-C DSLR or a mirrorless camera.

Extreme Pro
These, the highest-class SanDisk cards, are best appreciated by users of full-frame DSLRs. You’ll appreciate them with other cameras too, of course, but just keep in mind that they’re expensive!

Kingston’s product lines are very similar to the above.

Some Advice in Closing

One is never enough! Make sure to always have enough cards to meet your needs. Even if you end up with one card unused for most of the year, it’s better than needing a backup card and not having it. So always have one at hand. But it doesn’t need to be as large or as fast as your main card. It just needs to exist!

Last updated 4. August 2014

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Author: Majo Elias

I’ve been taking pictures since 2004. When I was starting out, I photographed almost everything. Later my style solidified and I began photographing people almost exclusively. At the moment my main genres are fashion and advertising.

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