Written by Sanne

Memory cards: what should I keep in mind?

In order to store your photos and recordings, you'll need a memory card. These cards come in different shapes and sizes. In this article, you can read what's important to know before you buy a memory card and which card will work best for you. Check out Coolblue's Choice if you want to know which memory cards we recommend.

What type of memory cards are there?

There are 3 sizes of memory cards: SD cards, microSD cards, and CF cards. These cards have different dimensions. Your camera will only fit 1 kind of memory card. Usually, it's an SD card. Do you have an action camera? In that case, you'll need a microSD card. It's smaller than the others and is used in compact devices. In the past, CF cards were used a lot in professional cameras because of their sturdier design. Nowadays, SD cards are just as solid.

What can I do with the different storage capacities?

Storage capacity

During shooting or filming, you do not want to be seated with a full memory card. Below you can see how many photos and minutes of film you can save. This average is based on photos in JPEG format and a camera with 10 megapixels. For film this average is based on a recording speed of 13 MB / s in the Full HD format.

  • 1GB - 286 photos or 10 minutes of film
  • 2GB - 572 photos or 20 minutes of film
  • 4GB - 1.144 photos or 40 minutes of film
  • 8GB - 2,288 photos or 80 minutes of film
  • 16GB - 4,577 pictures or 160 minutes of film
  • 32GB - 9,155 pictures or 320 minutes of film
  • 64GB - 18,310 pictures or 640 minutes of film
  • 128GB - 36,620 photos or 1,280 minutes of film
  • 256GB - 73,240 pictures or 2,560 minutes of film

What do the abbreviations on my memory card mean?

What the abbreviations mean

SD stands for Secure Digital. There's also SDHC and SDXC; Secure Digital High Capacity and Secure Digital eXtended Capacity. Standard SD cards have a capacity of up to 4GB. The SDHC and SDXC cards have a maximum capacity of 32GB and 2,048GB respectively. A microSD card has a capacity of up to 2GB. The microSDHC and microSDXC card have capacity of up to 32GB and 256GB respectively. CF stands for CompactFlash and comes in capacities of up to 512GB.

What do the numbers mean?

Meaning of the numbers

In addition to the number of GBs, a memory card also has other numbers on it. This is important information if you work with large files or take lots of photos one after the other. The most common cards have the notation Class 10 on them. This means that the card can process at least 10MB/s, or megabyte per second. There's also the UHS certification, which stands for Ultra High Speed. For instance, UHS3 stands for 30MB/s.

Which memory card should you choose?

Product SD card MicroSD card
SLR, mirrorless, and compact camera Yes No
Drone No Yes
Action camera No Yes
Dash cam No Yes
Smartphone No Yes
Tablet No Yes
Sanne
Article by:
Sanne
Camera Expert.

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