Memory cards are pieces of photography equipment that are always surrounded in debate, yet they have to be some of the items people brush aside in terms of importance. It’s always fascinating to see someone purchase a mid-range to high end camera, then go for some cheap, slow card to save a few dollars. There is the assumption by too many that a memory card is a memory card, is a memory card. This is not the case, and from interaction and comments with photographers far and wide, it appears that it’s just a matter of lack of understanding that breeds this mentality.

[REWIND: How To Really Format SD Cards For Optimal Performance]

It’s certainly worth anyone’s time to learn about the different types of cards, what all the numbers on them mean, how speed really affects a card and how that relates to your type of shooting – it’s also worth while to learn how to care for your cards. This, however, is not that post, though you can find much of this information here on SLRL. Photoshelter has done some leg work in testing various cards, and complied their findings in The CF/SD/XQD Database, which will guide you in purchasing the fastest cards for your particular camera.


Speed isn’t all there is to a good memory card, but it’s a large part of why people buy certain cards. You may think that speed is only really important to those who are looking to capture very fleeting moments with little hope of that moment happening again – sports shooters, and wedding photographers come to mind – but there are benefits to having cards that write and read fast even for those outside the sports and wedding worlds. For one, you still don’t have to worry about buffering, and then transfer speeds to the computer will be faster.

In this particular video, Photoshelter executes a test with numerous types of cards, with different read/write speeds, and different capacities, with the focus on the sound the camera makes as it shoots with each. The differences are telling as you can see how the camera struggles far more with the slower rated cards. The range of camera used in the full guide also covered a gamut between the Nikon D4s, Canon 6D, Sony A7, Canon 5D MKIII, Nikon D800, Fuji X-T1 and more. Even if you’re not a serious shooter, it’s knowledge you’ll want in your back pocket.

Find the rest of the results and guide at Photoshelter.

Source(s): FStoppers, Photoshelter