How Fast is Your Memory Card?

All memory cards are the same, right? All you need to do is buy whatever is cheap to capture your precious images, wrong! Just as choosing the correct film for the assignment was important in traditional photography, choosing the right memory card is critical for digital capture. Here’s why:

Pro_2000x_SDXC_64GB_wRdrThey’re not all the same speed. Lexar was the first company to rate the speed of its flash memory cards and provides ratings for many of its products Most other memory card manufacturers also rate their products’ speed, but what does it really mean? The rating refers to the speed (who woulda thunk it?) that can be written to or read from a memory card.

“X” represents a transfer rate of 150kb/second and increases are in multiples signifying the card’s overall speed. (Historical Note: When people started storing data on CD-ROM discs, the same system was used.) An embedded high-speed controller allows a flash memory card to perform at its best, but the bottom line is that the higher the number, the faster the card. A “sustained speed-rating” is important because it allows the photographer to capitalize on the camera’s built-in functions, such as burst mode and video capture. When used with a card with inconsistent, high-speed performance, either function can be interrupted.

Photographers often think their memory card’s speed and performance only make an impact on digital capture when the card is in their camera but cards impact workflow when reading data with a card reader. Lately I’ve been using Lexar’s Professional 2000x UHS-II SDHC /SDXC cards because I’m often shooting RAW+JPEG and transferring lots of data especially when shooting in the studio under continuous lighting, as I was doing recently,

The new Lexar Professional 2000x cards leverage the new Ultra High Speed II, UHS Speed Class 3 specification, to quickly capture and transfer high-quality photos and 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video. They’re available in 32GB and 64GB capacities and offer transfer speeds up to 300MB per second and write speeds up to 260MB per second. Every 2000x card includes a SD UHS-II reader for high-speed file transfer of photos and videos from the card to a Mac OS or Windows computer.

Author: Joe Farace

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