What do I need to know about SD cards?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by P.H, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    132
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    I'm using a Scandisk 2gb card in my LX5, which for daily use is fine, I had this card knocking around from something else, so didn't look for anything else.
    I'm soon going on holiday, somewhere scenic, hopefully loads of photo opportunities so am looking for more capacity. Just had a google and didn't realise there were so many options and such a range of prices. So what do I need to look for? What should I avoid? Am I better off with one big card or several smaller ones? I'm not interested in the video capabilities.
    Thanks
    Flickr: P.H.bike's Photostream
     
  2. policeman0077

    policeman0077 New to SC

    5
    Aug 24, 2010
    find a Sandisk 8gb or 16gb class4 or class6 SDHC card is enough for situation.
     
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  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I use Class 10 cards by Sandisk.
    I have 4 & 8 gb cards. Make sure your reader will support the card you decide to use.
    Always format every time you upload images to the computer and insert the card back in the camera.
    This is a must do.
     
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  4. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    132
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    I don't have a card reader, I've just been connecting the camera to the PC. This seems OK, is there an advantage to a reader?
    I'm not sure I understand this class of SD cards, is it just write speed or is there more to it than that?
     
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    A card reader is faster than USB.
    No sweat tho'. The higher the class the faster the card.
    It's hard to see a difference with stills but with video, there is a difference.
    I don't do video but still like the fastest card available.
    I'm nutty for things like that.
     
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  6. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Herman
    Wikipedia is your friend: I suggest like Streetshooter (Don) class 10, not from Sandisk but from Transcend.
    (got to admit I haven't got Transcend so far, I got Scandisk which is too expensive)
     
  7. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Wow Class 10! I'm the owner of the world's slowest compact - well the Sigma DPs are always branded with this iron - and I find my Class 6 does a plenty fast job. Having said that I'd not go lower and find a perceptible difference with the Ultra IIs. Been very happy with the Extreme III range from Sandisk - been my staple for the last two years or so. Not had to look elsewhere. But I'll look at a Class 10 next time...though I heard that still write times are negligible in the upper classes and these were more for HD video work? The OP didn't mention a HD movie requirement....
     
  8. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    If you are not taking video then a class 4 will be fine but i always try and use class 6. I'd buy 2x 4gigs rather than 1 8Gig as if one card ever fails you still hopefully will have other images on the other card. Any well known brand will be fine. I use all sorts and have never had one fail on me(goes off to find some wood to touch!!)
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I have a class 10, and then I have an ancient something or other in my Canon Elph that is still going strong after all these years.

    I did think that the class 10 was supposed to be faster to write - as in it would cycle through faster so one could get on to the next moment of picture taking.:popcorm2:

    P.H. I always used to use whatever wire attached to whatever camera to load the pictures in, but it was pointed out to me once that there was less to go awry with a card reader. I bought one from Amazon by Sandisk that was quite reasonable. Heck, if we can all buy cameras and lenses and software to develop the images to their full glory, then we might as well make sure they get into our computers the most direct way.

    By the way, P.H. I'm really glad you asked this question and please don't hold back. We all can learn something new everyday, if we're lucky.:thumbup:
     
  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I use class 4 SanDisk Ultra 8Gig cards, mostly because you can buy them cheap at Costco. I've never felt they were not fast enough.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
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  11. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Just goes to show what a sucker I am, eh? Oh well. I only have one.:wink:
     
  12. Generally go for a Class 6 card if you want to use video. Class 4 is fast enough if you will never be using video.

    I use Sandisk and Lexar cards and haven't had a problem with them.
     
  13. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    132
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    Thank you all for the response:2thumbs:
    I've ordered a 8gb Class 6 Transcend, I liked the idea of a spare card so I'll take the 2gb one along as well (Which I now notice is only class 2 but has seemed fine) I've also ordered a USB card reader... so how long before I go out with the camera while the card is still in the reader?
    A follow up question: Streetshooter mentioned formatting, I've never done this, just cut and pasted all images from the camera to the PC. Do you format in camera or on the PC, or does it amount to the same thing?
    Thanks
     
  14. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I think you better hear this directly from Don. But I'd be formatting to the camera's requirements, so doing it in camera. I format mine after each transfer.
     
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  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    After you get your images on the computer and BACKED UP..... then, always format the card in the camera when you put it back in.
    This should become a habit.
     
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  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Paul, the card reader is used for transferring the image files/photos on to your computer... Once you know for sure that all have transferred, you then need to "eject" the card reader from your computer. Depending upon your computer and what software you're using, etc., this may be done automatically. When I say "eject", I don't mean that it will come flying off the side of your computer, but that it will be safe for you to removed the card and the card reader.

    You might want to set up a folder on your desktop for your photos as their initial holding spot. Then use that folder's contents to upload to your software...and then go back and delete the photo files once you're sure that all are safe within your software.

    I'm sorry if you've already mentioned which photo software you're using?

    But back to formatting...you put the card back in the camera and go to the LX5's menu. If memory serves me, it's in the wrench menu. Then you follow the directions...pushing the appropriate arrows, etc., to Format.
     
  17. kevenv

    kevenv SC Regular

    96
    Apr 28, 2011
    Why is that?
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I should let Don explain it but the short layperson's explanation is that it gets all that digital recording stuff in there set for new pictures.:biggrin:
     
  19. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Keven,
    If you delete the images on the card, the info is still there but the camera has permission to write over them.
    If you format, it deletes and cleans the card.

    Think of it like a chalkboard. If you use your hand to wipe the board, there is still residual chalk on the board.
    If you wash the board, it's clean.

    If you don't format, some old info could make it's way to new images and corrupt them.
    Don
     
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