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The best SD cards (SD stands for Secure Digital) are media through which you can store digital information such as photos and documents in a small space.
If you are a photographer, or simply take lots of pictures for passion, surely you already use SD cards to store your photos and videos. Of course, even though most of the time SD cards are used to store photos and videos, you need to know that any type of file can be saved to an SD card.
In this guide, we try to understand together which are the best SD cards on the market and their most technical aspects which are not always of immediate understanding. Ok, we all know what the capacity of an SD card is, but maybe we don’t all know exactly which and how many SD memory formats exist on the market. Furthermore it is not always easy to understand the abbreviations that summarize the technical features of the best SD card.
SD memories are mainly used to store data on a wide range of devices. For example they can be used on notebooks, smartphones, tablets and digital cameras. Almost all cameras and many of the best laptops and smartphones have slots to accommodate an SD card. Inserting for example your SD memory card in the appropriate slot of your laptop, you can easily transfer the photos stored on the SD card to the hard disk drive of the laptop.
Best SD Cards: Data Transfer Speed
Although at first sight they all look very similar to each other, in fact it is not so and the various SD Card models do not differ only in capacity.
In addition to the SD card format, which we will see later on, it is important to consider, for example, the data transfer speed, or the speed class of the SD card. A specific chapter of this guide is dedicated to both these aspects (format and speed class).
But I want to immediately point out that the speed factor is critical if you have to work with large amounts of data. For example if you are looking for the best SD card for SLR cameras because you want to use it to take many high resolution photos.
SD Cards and Data Security
Furthermore, if you are a professional photographer, but also if you make videos and photos as a hobby, surely you understand the importance of a good memorization support that is able to keep your data safe.
The subject of data security offered by the best SD card for reflex is not only theoretical. Think for example of uses in environments with very high or very low temperatures. Like think of professional photographers taking photos in the desert or in Antarctica!
You therefore understand that the best SD cards must not only be resistant to shocks, but also be able to guarantee the safety of your data at high temperatures and even when they are subjected to X-rays.
In general, if you want to be sure to purchase an high-quality SD card we recommend that you rely on the best SD Card manufacturers such as Samsung, SanDisk, Lexar and Kingston.
We must keep in mind not only the type of use we will make of our new SD card, but also the budget we have available. In this sense we will try, for each of the SD Cards that we will propose to you, to evaluate the quality / price ratio.
Ok, I’d say we figured out what an SD memory card is and what it is for. Now let’s find the best SD card for your needs, evaluating the most important technical features.
What Are the Best SD Cards?
How to Choose the Best SD Card?
When you are thinking of buying an SD Card, you need to keep these factors in mind:
- Value for money
What is the Capacity of SD Cards?
The main aspect if we want to buy one of the best SD cards is the capacity or how many GB of data they can store. Often reference is made to the capacity with 3 acronyms: SD, SDHC and SDXC.
There is no need to go into too much detail: you just need to know that these are formats that depend on both the capacity and the speed of access.
In fact, an SD memory can store up to 2 GB, an SDHC up to 32 GB while an SDXC could theoretically reach up to 2000 GB.
For you it will be sufficient to read the number of GB in the product sheet, you will see that it is always well visible.
We advise you not to take memories of less than 4 GB and avoid those that are too large because they could have incompatibilities with some devices.
What is the Speed of SD Cards?
The capacity is very important but, if you intend to buy one of the best SD cards, you must also evaluate the speed with which to write and read the stored data.
Even if you don’t make professional use, when you happen to move a large file you will still lose some time if the SD memory you purchased is slow. Therefore, pay attention to speed even if you don’t have to do intensive use often.
To measure speed pay attention to the speed class. There are 4 classes: 2, 4, 6 and 10.
Each number represents the maximum amount of MB that can be written in a second. So class 10 is 5 times faster than class 2.
For more advanced memories we can also refer to the UHS speed class which includes:
- UHS-I U1 for a minimum of 10 MB / s
- UHS-I U3 for a minimum of 30 MB / s
- UHS-II U3 for even higher speeds.
If you are a photographer or you need to record movies in high quality then speed is crucial because the camera will surely need to store a large data stream in no time.
At the same time, if you don’t like waiting times and long loading times, you should avoid inserting a memory that is too slow in your phone. By inserting a slow SD memory, the use of some apps may be affected. By choosing one of the best SD cards for smartphones, you won’t have any performance problems.
So our advice is to orient yourself on fast SD Cards, because if the speed of data transfer is crucial for a professional, it is important in general because nobody likes to waste time waiting for the transfer of a large amount of data to arrive at term.
What are the SD Card Formats?
Memories are available in 3 formats:
- SD cards
- miniSD cards
- microSD cards
These formats are characterized by gradually smaller physical dimensions.
When you are about to buy an SD card, you still need to be clear about what format your device supports.
For example, you will not be able to insert an SD memory card in a microSD slot for the simple fact that the card is too large.
However, consider that to make things easier there are adapters that allow you to insert miniSD and microSD cards in SD slots, but remember that vice versa is never possible.