Camera Enthusiasts: Does SD Card Type Matter?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by waynechriss, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. waynechriss macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2009
    Hi guys i'm an amateur photographer; i love taking pictures of stuff not for professional use but for fun and for good memories and was looking to get a better camera than the one i own like the new Nikon Coolpix s8100. I was looking for storage options for the camera and it takes SD cards and on amazon, it said i could get the camera with this brand of SD card

    I was wondering why it was so expensive for the amount of storage in it (i'm used to paying dirt cheap for SD and microSD cards) and i read it holds pictures and videos better? The price of that SD card i linked to was originally over a 100 dollars which sounds crazy to me. I'm not much of a camera expert and i'm not shooting professionally, but more semi-non casual (party events, landscape, people).

    So my question is, does the TYPE and brand of SD card matter? And is that one i linked to even worth it for a guy like me? Thanks for opinions.
  2. Pballer110 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2010
    Usually the faster the write speed on the memory card the more expensive it will be. If you are going to be using an DSLR then i would sugest getting a good fast memory card otherwise for point and shoots u can get the cheap stuff and wont see much difference.
  3. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
  4. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Not necessarily. It really depends on your usage relative to the camera's internal buffer.

    If you're shooting still life's and landscapes then card speed is unlikely to make any real difference. Shooting sports and frequently filling the camera's buffer? Then yes, the card speed is a factor. Shooting HD video? Card speed may be a factor.

    Even then, a DSLR owner might choose to buy one very fast card and have other cards be the cheaper/slower variety. Again, depends on usage/needs.
  5. Gaelic2 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    Mountains of N. California
  6. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Agree. I have the Extreme IIIs. If you are doing a lot of video, you will need a bigger GB card-like 8GB. If you are shooting both LJPEG + RAW, a 4GB card will fill up fast, so you may need more than just one or two cards.
  7. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    It is not just the speed when you are taking pictures or video, as long as it is fast enough for your camera. Also consider download time onto your computer. With the bigger cards you really notice the difference in time to dump everything off the card onto the hard disk. This assumes you are using a good fast card reader.

    All the best
    Andrew W.
  8. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    My wife bough a new camera that does videos. (The camera is nothing great) She handed me the SD card out of it for a project using her imags and video. The card works fine but being slow took "foreever" to loadload into my iMac. How slw? Took five times loonger to download than to burn the raw data to DVD after downloading (my work flow is always to burn a DVD before I do anything else)

    So, one advantage of buying a fast card is download speed, even if you don't need the speed in your camera
  10. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Personally I only use Sandisk Extreme (CF) cards these days. I got burned by Lexar about 6 years ago, then again 4 years ago, and haven't looked back. I'm also not willing to take a chance on anything else at this point.

    Whether I'm buying the cards or work is, we don't spend my money on anything else. Speed is a big factor, but reliability is king.

  11. arnop macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    Paris, France
    I guess you're right for asking if it's for an HD camcorder. The write speed is important if you're shooting in full HD and your SD card is a cheap one, you might lose a few frames here and there. If it's only for photos, I suggest you not to buy a 100$ SD card but to go for a cheaper one.
  12. Kyffin, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

    Kyffin macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    I'd imagine with a camcorder you'd want to be thinking about both size and speed.

    When it comes to uploading pics and shooting photos in RAW I definitely value the quickness- although I've got a pretty meaty buffer in my camera, being able to take prolonged rapid burst can come in handy. With the "Class" rating (up to 10, I think?) higher is faster but you might want to look at what the actual read/write speeds are as I think it a range not an absolute specification. 10 is crazy fast/expensive btw. and probably very few people out there who it'd be worthwhile for right now.

    (I'd also second the Sandisk Extreme III recommended [Class 6]- I found the 30Mb/s version on Amazon for £26 and there do seem people to be selling them for ~$40 although can't vouch for them personally)- also shouldn't matter whether it says for photo/video.

    But with a camcorder particularly the size of the card will matter more as it (obv.) dictates how long you can shoot. Personally I prefer a few smaller sizes as its cheaper than one equivalent large and you've not got all in one basket. Then again, if you're wanting to remake Hitchcock's "Rope" in just the one take you may need bigger (Even the big man was restricted to 10mins with the available tech.) Your manual should give a rough guide as to length/ size/ quality.

    Hope you find what you're after by the way, getting a decent card was definitely worth doing (revelation from the 128mb, class unspecified job from the past:eek:)


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