Memory Card Buying Guide: Know what do you look for BEFORE buying!

9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #274113 by PhotographyTalk
There are many excellent brands of memory cards for DSLR cameras. The one you choose depends on a number of factors.

• The level of your DSLR.
• What kind of photography you like to shoot.
• The conditions under which you shoot.
• How many images you capture during a session.
• Whether they are RAW or JPEG.
• The speed of your camera’s continuous burst mode and whether you use it at its fastest speed.
• How quickly you want images to be read for transfer to your computer and write speed for continuous burst mode, HD video and 3D video.

1. SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards

Since I shoot with the Nikon D800, I rely on SanDisk memory cards , especially the Extreme Pro cards because they read as fast as 95MB per second and write at 90MB per second. They are also rated at UHS Speed Class 1 and Class 10 for Full HD and 3D video. Of course, factors, such as your camera model, file size, resolution, compression, bit rate, content, etc., will affect how well the SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards support video.

Landscapes are probably my favorite photographic genre, so the Extreme Pro cards are also my choice because they’re engineered and built for extreme weather and other unknown conditions that you and I might face. For example, the SanDisk Extreme Pro cards are waterproof. They can be immersed in salt or fresh water for as much as 72 hours and to a depth of a bit more than 3 feet (1 meter). They can also withstand as much as 500Gs of shock and are vibration proof. Of extreme importance to photographers that travel often is that these cards are magnet proof and X-ray proof, protecting them from the scans of security machines at airports.

Another important reason I shoot with the SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards is that one weekend I may be shooting in the hotter temperatures of the Pacific coast or inland desert, and then the next weekend shooting landscapes in the cold mountains. These cards are rated for -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, so I know temperature will never be an obstacle.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards come in 8GB, 16GB , 32GB and 64GB capacities .

2. SanDisk Extreme Memory Cards

The only real difference between the SanDisk Extreme Pro and Extreme is the read/write rates. The Extremes have a 45MB rate. In addition, they are also available in more sizes: 4GB, 8GB, 16 GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. Either card or size will work fine for any professional or serious amateur shooting with a pro-level DSLR.

3. SanDisk Ultra Memory Cards

SanDisk’s Ultra brand of memory cards is generally suited for mid-level DSLRs. If you are shooting with an entry-level camera, you may prefer the Ultra’s read/write rates to the company’s Standard line of cards that also work in entry-level DSLRs.

4. Lexar Memory Cards

Lexar is a brand that seems to receive good reviews and positive customer feedback. The Lexar Professional Class 10 UHS-1 card is available as an SDHC or SDXC type. The 600x is the equivalent of 90MB/second read transfer speed while the 400x is 60MB/second. Both are available at 64GB, 128GB and a whopping 256GB. The mid-level line of Lexar memory cards is known as Platinum II, with a slower, but still effective 200x speed, or 30MB/second. These are better for low-end DSLRs. The SDHC version is comes in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. The SDXC Platinum II is only available with 64GB capacity.

5. Transcend Memory Cards

These are definitely budget-priced cards with slower transfer rates (20GB/18GB/second) than SanDisks or Lexars, but there is a wide range of capacities, from 8GB to 128GB. Enthusiasts and hobbyists shooting with equally budget-friendly DSLRs will find these cards do a good job. Professionals and serious amateurs with higher-grade DSLRs would probably find them too slow, especially if they shoot plenty of RAW files.

When choosing a memory card for your DSLR, remember to check your camera manual or with the manufacturer as to what card it recommends. Ultimately, the best card is the one that matches your camera. Many photographers have discovered they bought an incompatible card simply because they didn’t spend a few minutes doing some research. You’ll spend much more time fuming and cussing, calling the company’s tech support, repackaging the wrong card and returning it.

Recommended Reading: Nikon D600  |  Nikon D4  |  Nikon D800  |  Canon 5D Mark III  |  Canon EOS-1D X

The following user(s) said Thank You: Pilotshark

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9 years 2 months ago #274362 by Julie Staas
:thumbsup: Sandisk

Country Girl out for a stroll
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9 years 1 month ago #280322 by ubix22
I always take images in RAW format (18MB+ size per shot) in my Nikon DSLR and use Sandisk Extreme Pro for more than one year. The fantastic write speed of the memory card is visible particularly in rapid fire mode. This is a must for every DSLR user ..

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1 year 4 months ago #708171 by Pilotshark
Thanks for that clear breakdown.

Sandisk is the way to go No Muss or Fuss just put it in and shoot.

So after so many years of doing this or that and life itself getting in my way, I am now at the point where just slowing down and doing things I have put off I have concluded that its time to become creative and do what I want.
Thanks for giving me a place to get started. :-)

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1 year 4 months ago #708174 by Piechura
That's strange, I've got a Sandisk Extreme and a Sandisk Ultra, and the Ultra is the faster one. 80MB/sec compared to 40. I usually shoot on a Sony one though, because it's over 200MB/sec and came free with my camera.

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1 year 4 months ago #708181 by Screamin Scott
I use both the Sandisk and Lexar. My Sandisk are Extreme pro and my Lexar are Pro 633x. All cards are either 32 or 64 GB in size and I shoot Raw almost exclusively...

Scott Ditzel Photography

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