Demystifying SD Cards

SanDisk 64GB SDXC

This article was sparked by a recent conversation I had with some folks at SanDisk.  We were talking about the numerous types and ratings of SD cards and how there are lots of questions from users about the acronyms, labels and speed ratings associated with SD cards.

In this article, we’re going to look at the different types of SD cards, along their speed class designation, and why these are important for you and your camera.  By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of what works in your camera and why.  Moreover, you should be able to choose the right SD card for your camera and the way you want to use it.

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Sony Announces Faster SD Cards, Continues Using Canon DSLRs for Product Shots

Sony has announced a broader range of SD cards with capacities up to 32GB and top transfer speeds of 20MB/s.

“There’s now a choice of three SDHC card ranges by Sony. The perfect partner for your Cyber-shot™, Handycam®, α NEX or DSLR camera, they’re also a great match for SD/SDHC-compatible cameras, camcorders and devices from all manufacturers. The affordable ESSENTIAL Series and value-added EXPERIENCE Series are joined by the flagship EXPERT Series for photo users who demand class-leading capacity and transfer speeds.”  -Sony Press Release

Sony also continues the trend of hiring out Canon shooters for its official product shots, with the top photo captured by the Canon 1Ds Mark III.

I realize that Sony is hiring a photographer, but it’s also trying to be a serious player amongst serious photographers.  I never see Canon and Nikon using product shots captured by the other companies’ DSLRs.  Occasionally, a Phase One MF camera will be used by Canon, Nikon or Sony for product shots, which is understandable for high-res product shots since the cap is at 21-25MP for DSLRs right now.  However, Canon’s product shots are otherwise captured with a 1Ds Mark III or a 5D Mark II, while Nikon product shots are generally captured with the D3x.

Sony’s got two 25MP DSLRs on the market.  And, I know I’ve ranted about this before, but isn’t it time for Sony to eat its own dog food?

[Sony]

SD Association Bumps SD Card Specs to 300MB/s Max

SD Logo

The SD Association has announced a new design that will allow an increase in bus interface speeds for SD-format memory cards up to 300MB/s.  The new design is also backwards compatible with existing devices that accept SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.  To give you an idea of what this transfer speed means in real products, SanDisk’s powerful Extreme Pro line of CF cards is rated at 90MB/s.

More details in the press release below. [Read more...]

Pretec Releases P240 USB 3.0 Card Reader, 64GB SDXC Card and More

The Pretec P240 USB 3.0 card reader, which is compatible with SDXC, CF and other memory card formats, is looking to be available around August 2010. USB 3.0 (or SuperSpeed USB) is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices, but offers 10x improvement in speed with a 5Gbps signaling rate when tied to USB 3.0 connections on both ends.

Pretec’s new 64GB SDXC card is a Class 16 card is also set to start trickling out soon.  These products and more from Pretec will be featured at Computex Taipei, which starts today.

More details in the press release below. [Read more...]