Memory cards buying guide

 

When choosing a memory card for your camera, it's not only important to consider the number of pictures or length of video it will hold, but also the class of memory card that's most suitable for your camera. The higher the class, the faster the memory card will save the image and therefore you can take your next shot quicker– reducing buffering time. View our range of memory cards.

Card Types

Secure Digital: SD, SDHC & SDXC
Secure Digital (SD) cards are the most commonly found card standard, particularly in cameras, camcorders and computers. They’re split into three types, depending on the maximum capacity and speed:

  • SD: Up to 2GB capacity, maximum 2MB/s read speed
  • SDHC (High Capacity): Up to 64GB capacity, maximum 24MB/s read speed
  • SDXC (eXtended Capacity): Up to 2TB capacity, maximum 104MB/s read speed

Older devices will not necessarily be compatible with the newer SDHC and SDXC cards, so please check before purchasing.


MicroSDHC & MicroSDXC
Micro Secure Digital (MicroSD) cards are a smaller sized version of SD cards. They’re typically found in mobile phones and tablets as well as some cameras and camcorders. Just like their full size compatriots, they’re divided into type depending on capacity and speed, with newer cards incompatible with older devices.


CompactFlash (CF)
CompactFlash slots are normally only found in large enthusiast and professional level DSLRs and are used to capture high resolution photos and videos at fast frame rates. They’re more robust than their smaller counterparts, as well as traditionally being higher capacity and faster.

Capacities

Below, you’ll find a rough guide to the amount of photos, music and videos that you’ll be able to store on a single memory card. Due to the varying nature of detail captured in different digital formats, this should be considered an approximate guide only.

Photos

Capacity 8 megapixel JPEG photos 20 megapixel JPEG photos 20 megapixel RAW photos
8GB 2,000 800 240
16GB 4,000 1,600 480
32GB 8,000 3,200 960
64GB 16,000 6,400 1,920
128GB 32,000 12,800 3,840
 

Audio and Video

Capacity Hours of MP3 music Minutes of HD video (5 Mbps) Minutes of HD video (15 Mbps) Minutes of full HD video (6 Mbps) Minutes of full HD video (13 Mbps)
8GB 135 180 60 180 80
16GB 270 360 120 360 160
32GB 545 720 240 720 320
64GB 1,090 1,440 480 1,440 640
128GB 2,145 2,880 960 2,880 1,280

Speeds

SD Cards
The speed of an SD card dictates how quickly you can access data. Lower class cards are okay for the occasional photo or low resolution video, but if you want to capture more photos or greater detail, you’ll need to look at faster cards.

Class Minimum transfer speed Suitable for
Class 2 2 MB/s (Read) Still photos, SD video recording
Class 4 4 MB/s (Read) Still photos, HD video recording
Class 6 6 MB/s (Read) Still photos, Full HD video recording
Class 10 10 MB/s (Read) HD continuous (burst) still photos, Full HD video recording
UHS Speed Class 1 10 MB/s (Write) High frame rate Full HD video recording
UHS Speed Class 3 30 MB/s (Write) Recording 2K & 4K videos
 

CompactFlash Cards
With the latest CompactFlash cards, the speed is rated according to a UDMA rating. Each rating brings a speed boost, although the effectiveness of this increased speed depends on the ability of your camera.

Rating Maximum transfer speed
UDMA-5 100 MB/s (Read)
UDMA-6 133 MB/s (Read)
UDMA-7 166 MB/s (Read)