A camera card, or rightly termed as memory card, is a tiny device used to hold more electronic data from your phone or camera. It’s a great way to expand your device’s capacity to store data, especially if you’re involved in the videography and photography business, as most gadgets have minimal storage. Memory cards allow for extensive event coverage as data storage is no longer a problem. It’s also allowed people to store more media files such as photos, music, documents, and others. In this article, let’s get to know more about what is a camera card, and how you can maximize its use.
Understanding Memory Cards
After learning what is a camera card, let’s figure out deeply its specs. What do the numbers and symbols in the card stand for?
Mb Vs. MB
When you buy a memory card, you often have to choose a number followed by the letters MB or GB, indicating the card’s storage capacity. GB is easy to figure out because it stands for Gigabyte, which equals a thousand megabytes. But the MBs are a bit tricky. Mb and MB are not the same. MB stands for Megabyte, while Mb means megabit, and there are 8 bits in one byte. The Mb is often indicated in the camera settings to suggest the writing speed while memory cards are labeled with an MB to refer to its reading speed.
The memory space is determined by the number of “bytes,” – which is the unit of memory size. There are different memory spaces available from MBs, GBs to TBs, or Terabytes. The following is a memory space guide for your cameras.
- 16-32 GB: If you’re doing JPEG photography alone, it’s best to start with a 16 GB memory card. But if the price difference between 16 and 32 GB is negligible, go for the higher memory space.
- 32-64 GB: Full HD videography can be space-consuming, so you might want to prepare this much of a space.
- 64 GB up: A 4k-videography makes heavy use of data, and so it’s best to get at least 64 GB memory card for this.
A memory card’s “read” speed or the rate of transferring files from the card to the device is expressed in two ways. First, it is marked with a digit following an MB/s, which stands for megabytes per second.
The second label is a digit with the symbol “x” where 1x equals 150 kb/s. This means that 100x has the same speed rating as 15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, the write speed, or the rate of recording videos into the card, is identified as the digit within the letter C. This is significant when capturing videos or huge images in series, such as when you put the camera on burst mode. You can choose between the numbers 2,4,6 and 10 where the numbers signify the minimum sustained speed in MB/s, where the higher the figure, the quicker the rate.
The Different Types of Memory Cards
Just like how cameras and lenses vary, so does the memory card. There are different types of memory cards, and before you get one for your data storage needs, make sure you get the right product for the right device. Hence, on top of knowing what is a camera card, you also need to know the different types.
- Secure Digital cards abbreviated as SD, are often used in consumer-level devices. SDs are available in SDSC or standard-capacity cards, SDHC or High-Capacity cards, SDXC or Extended-Capacity, and SDIO. SDIO is now an obsolete device substituted with USB interfaces.
SDs are also available in different sizes: the original size, the ‘mini’, and the ‘micro’ SDs. But, you can barely see mini cards these days since smaller Micro SD cards came into the market as the latter fits smaller devices such as GoPro, cellphones, and drones better
- Compact Flash cards are a bit bigger than SD cards and are best used with digital photography in more expensive cameras as they’re notably faster than the SD cards back then.
- Cfast Cards are the fastest memory card among the four and has a larger capacity. Hence, it is mainly used in professional-level audio and video coverage using high-end DSLR and cinema cameras. It is also larger in size and is on the pricey side of the memory card types.
Which Memory Card Should You Buy?
Now that you know what is a camera card, it’s time to figure out which on to buy. The camera card that you should get must fit your need for memory space, which will largely depend on the activities you perform with your camera or device. First, ask yourself how much memory do you need? It may be difficult to answer this if you are not familiar with your camera’s specs. Hence, determine the following: the type of your camera and its resolution, and what you use it for. Do you use it to shoot JPEG images or raw files? To give you an idea, this is how much JPEG and raw images can be stored with specific memory space.
A JPEG image in a 12MP camera takes about 2000 photos to fill an 8 GB memory card, 4300 pictures for a 16 GB card, and 8600 images in a 32 GB card.
A JPEG image in a 21 MP camera can fill an 8 GB card with only 1100 photos, 16 GB with 2300 images, and double for 32 GB camera cards.
A raw file in a 12 MP camera can fill an 8 GB card with 630 images, a 16 GB card with 1200 images, and a 32 GB memory with 2500 images. The number of raw images that can be stored is lower by half for 21 MP cameras.
You may also want to factor in the price of the memory cards in making the decision. Know more about camera cards.
Now that you’re already aware of what is a camera card, its types, and specs, you can now easily choose which one you get for your need and the kind of device you have. Knowing what is a camera card is the first step for you to understand which one would best serve your interests.