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How to Choose The Right Memory Cards for your Camera

Memory Cards

Choosing a memory card will depend on your camera. You have the choice over the brand, the size, and the speed of the memory card.

The bigger the size, the more photographs you can take. This is a great way to store more images, but a great way to lose or damage them all too.

The speed relates to how fast the memory card can deal with the data. A faster memory card is more expensive, but it will allow you to use continuous or burst modes. However, your camera may not even be able to utilise the cards full writing speed.

If you want to know more about picking the best memory card for you, check out our article on how to choose your memory card.

A SanDisk CF 64gb memory card

CF (CompactFlash) cards are one of the two most common memory cards found in digital cameras. They are the largest in physical size.
They are used in many mid to larger sized digital cameras and digital SLRs.

SD (Secure Digital) cards are being used more and more due to their small size.

Most laptops even have a small opening specifically for these memory cards. They are a safe bet for manufacturer support in case something goes wrong.

They even have a tab on the side of the memory card that protects your images when depressed.

A SanDisk Secure Digital SD 32gb memory card

MicroSD cards are smaller than their bigger brother. They were designed for smaller cameras and devices such as Go Pros, drones, and cell phones.

Smaller memory cards have a higher chance to be lost. They will work as an SD card when accompanied by an adapter.

A SanDisk Micro Secure Digital SD 128gb memory card.

Size Matters

At the time of this article (March 2018), these are the highest capacities for these memory card systems:

  • CF = 512 GB
  • SD = 1 TB
  • MicroSD = 1TB

Speed Does Too!

At the time of this article, these are the fastest memory card systems:

  • CF = 155 MB/s (read/write)
  • SD = 300 MB/s (read/write)
  • MicroSD = 100 MB/s (read/write)

As you can see, the SD card is already outstripping the CF. There are other, even faster card types too, but you won’t find them in consumer-oriented cameras.

Image of a camera and memory card on a white background.


Before you go, check out this video.

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