Choosing the right SD or (Secure Digital High Capacity) SDHC card for your camera can be almost as mindboggling as choosing a camera. The card you choose depends on the camera and what type of pictures you normally take.
The megapixels of your camera and the size of your photo setting will determine the GB and speed of the card. A multi purpose SD card such as Scandisk 4GB would be sufficient for everyday picture taking indoors and outdoors with a simple point & shoot camera. Cost is very affordable at this level, allowing you to actually save the card if your are just a little uneasy deleting and formatting the card after saving your images to alternate storage. The number of images the card will store will also depend on the image size you have set on your camera. Each manufacturer has a chart that gives you an approximate number of images that the SDHC card will hold on different camera settings. The larger your image, the fewer pictures you can store on the card. If your camera allows you to set the image size from small to large, and you use the large setting most or all of the time, you may wish to use a larger GB SDHC card. Also depends on how often you want to download or transfer your images to alternate storage.
My husband recently purchased several very inexpensive NIKON point & shoot cameras for his employer, to be used to take five photos at a time, immediately download them into a facial recognition program, and delete them from the SD card after download. A simple 2GB card is all he needed for this as the card needs only minimal storage capacity.
For your travel photography, you may wish to purchase a larger capacity card, SDHC card 8 GB or more. Nothing worse than seeing the “disk full” readout on the screen and not having another card or trying to store the full card where it won’t get lost or damaged.
Most point & shoot cameras actually come with an SD card, so you can get right to it. You can always upgrade when you become more familiar with your camera. Higher end cameras – Bridge or DSLR – will take a standard SD card, but to ensure your photos are top of the line, a high speed and capacity card is always recommended. If you will be shooting a lot of HD video, definitely go as high as your budget allows.
I use a LEXAR Platinum II 16 GB SDHC card, 100x speed, in my DSLR because that is what was recommended when I purchased the camera two years ago. I had not paid much attention the card speed in the past, but noticed an amazing improvement in my photos and a greater percentage of great, not just good shoots – improved clarity, color and sharpness. I shoot mostly on Large setting (5284 x 3456) and can store approximately 1900 photos on the card. Two years ago I paid just under $100 for this card. Today you can purchase it for around $20 on AMAZON. Most manufacturers have a full line of cards, from 2GB all the way up to a professional series. Scandisk and LEXAR being the most common. LEXAR has 4GB up to 138GB Professional (UDMA7) that stores not only high quality images, 1080p full HD, but 3D video as well, and contains downloadable Image Rescue software to recover lost or deleted photo and video files. At a whooping price tag of around $1,000, not a great choice for us beginners! Other manufacturers include Transcend, Kingston and Patriot. All seem to have comparable reviews, so it is a user preference.
Great link to info on SDHC cards at LEXAR . Card capacity calculator on the site.
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Now that your kids are back in class, make sure you capture all the special moments and activities that this school year may bring. Read more at LEXAR MEMORY MATTERS.