SD card class

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Jun85, Oct 4, 2010.

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  1. Jun85

    Jun85 Member

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    Hi there

    In what way does the class of an SD card affect the quality of the shots taken for a point and shoot camera?

    Obviously higher class is better than the lowest class, but in terms of picture quality, what does it really mean?

    I know theres regular SD cards and then theres SDHC and SDHC Extreme or something and what not, so I wanted to know, how much of an impact it has.

    Thanks
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The class designation of an SDHC card has no effect on image quality. The only effect is on speed of operation.

    An SD card is a 1 or 2GB card. Once a card gets to 4GB and higher it's an SDHC card.

    There is no card called the SDHC Extreme, but I think you mean the SDXC cards. These are super fast and have very high capacities, up to 2 terabytes. But there are very few devices that can run them at this point. Also they are very expensive - above $200. The only cameras that would really benefit from such a card are those with huge megapixel counts - 20 megapixels or more. Most cameras run very well with a class 10 SDHC card.
     
  3. Jun85

    Jun85 Member

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    What do you mean by "speed of operation"?
    Do you mean higher classes can take faster pictures and lower classes take more time, obviously assuming that the camera is capable of it.

    Thanks
     
  4. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Yes, the higher classes take less time for the image to be written to the memory card. But the speed improvement between a class 2 and a class 10 SDHC card is almost imperceptible unless you have a very large image file, such as a video file, a RAW file, or a series of pictures taken via your camera's burst mode. Considering the low prices of class 10 SDHC cards though, it doesn't make sense to buy a slower card.
     
  5. Paul79UF

    Paul79UF Member

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    Unless your camera shoots HD video, don't worry too much about the card speed.

    I've been using the cheapest Kingston 2GB and 4GB cards in most of my cameras for years with no problems. They all only shoot 640x480 standard def video though.

    If your camera shoots 720/1080 HD, you'll want at least a class 4 or class 6 card.
     
  6. camera3d

    camera3d Member

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    The difference can be noticed in HD cameras and high resolution shots, and especially HD video clips, where large data needs to be written to the card with every shot..
    3D cameras (and some HD cameras with high megapixel) have now added a recommendation for Class 6 or higher SDHC cards for that reason. Other wise the camera can not transfer the data fast enough.
    The size of the card 2GB 4GB does not matter.. though smaller cards will get filled more quickly or could capture less frames..
    Their price today is rather similar so for 2D camera buy large storage with Class 4 or 6, while for HD or 3D camera buy Class 6 or 10 and 8GB at least.
     
  7. ewitte

    ewitte New Member

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    If you have a large amount of data also keep in mind editing/copy time. Connected to a good reader you can definately take advantage of the full speed. It really comes down to the price difference. I didn't see an issue or big difference paying $54 for a 32GB class 10 card. Now if you want the 64GB version or a much faster card the price difference will be much more. Keep in mind that was not for a camera though but a 1920x1280 camcorder.
     
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