So you just bought a new digital camera and now you’re wondering what kind of SD or CF card to use in that slick little device. Should you stick with one of the major brand names, SanDisk, Lexar, or perhaps take a chance on a cheaper card without the name recognition?
My criterion for choosing a memory card is speed: how fast the image data can be written from the camera to the card. You’d think that we could just read and trust the data transfer speeds listed by the manufacturers—you can to a point.
But that point stops when you realize that a single top-rated card will vary in performance depending on the camera brand or model in which it’s paired. Fortunately, if you are looking for the fastest card and camera combinations, you need only look as far as Rob Galbraith’s recently updated CF/SD Card Database. He has posted speed tests on a number of major digital SLR camera and card combinations.
If you are looking to free yourself from one less digital doodad, try leaving your SD card reader at home on your next outing. I know 2-in-1 SD cards have been out for a while but I’ve recently discovered just how well they work. The convenience of being able to remove the SD card from the camera, fold the card back to reveal the USB tab, and directly insert it into the computer is brilliant, simple, and fast.