The first step when choosing a memory card is to determine the type. The following basic form factors exist:
- SD (Secure Digital) - the most common basic memory standard (1999),
- miniSD - a smaller version of the SD card for the first mobile phones, already forgotten,
- microSD - a tiny record, also SD-compatible, fits into all new smartphones and handsets,
- CompactFlash - storage based on the PCMCIA interface was invented in 1994 by SanDisk, used in cameras - fast and capacious,
- CFast - the development of SATA-based CompactFlash technology, ultra-fast, CF-incompatible, put in professional cameras,
- SmartMedia - Toshiba's own invention (1995), not applicable in 2019,
- MMC (MultiMediaCard) - the ancestor of the SD standard, remained in the old equipment,
- Memory Stick - a proprietary card from Sony with a closed specification (1998), were common but lost to the SD standard,
- XD-Picture - the original development of Olympus and Fuji for cameras, is still sold, but losing ground SD,
- XQD - high-speed cards on the PCI Express bus were invented by Sony, Nikon and Sandisk (2011) for their respective cameras - very fast and very expensive.
Generations and Volumes and Memory Cards
Additional letters in the name of the medium indicate the rank in terms of memory size. Four historical generations are distinguished:
- SD 1.0 - up to 2 GB of data, now not relevant,
- SD 1.1 - up to 4 GB of files, occasionally used, but there is too little space,
- SDHC (High Capacity) - up to 32 GB of music, the most popular class,
- SDXC (eXtended Capacity) - up to 2 TB, a margin for growth and recording 4K-video.
Classes and data writing speed
The performance of memory cards grew gradually, in order to separate old and new media, a classification was made according to the minimum recording speed:
- Class 2 - the card writes at least 2 Mb / s,
- Class 4 - data is stored no worse than 4 Mb / s,
- Class 6 - files are copied no slower than 6 Mb / s,
- Class 10 - the best modern microsd memory cards - class 10, speed not lower than 10 Mb / s,
- Class 16 - a reserve class for high-speed flash drives, no worse than 16 Mb / s,
- UHS I-III (Ultra High Speed) - a new data transfer protocol for high-speed devices, backward compatible with SD. It is used in video and action cameras for recording 4K streams.
Top memory card manufacturers
The main part of any memory card is storage cells. Therefore, choosing a medium, it is recommended to pay attention to the brand with its own factories - the reliability of flash drives will be higher, for example:
- Samsung - The South Korean company is one of the best manufacturers of microsd memory cards, the chips produced at the factories are integrated not only into the cases with the Samsung logo, but are also sold to other companies.
- Transcend - A Taiwanese company that designs, develops and manufactures storage media, as well as memory cells.
- Kingston - The world's second-largest manufacturer (headquarters in America) has been developing memory chips since its founding in 1987.
- Sandisk - American developers specialize in memory modules, occupy a third of the international market.
MicroSD Card Rating for Smartphones and Phones
Immediately after buying a new smartphone, the question arises of choosing a memory card for the phone - usually flash drives are not put in a box, the manufacturer prefers to save. At the same time, the built-in memory is not enough for music, games, series or navigation maps of Russia - expansion is necessary. The following rating will tell you how to choose the right storage, so as not to be disappointed and not lose data.
4 SanDisk Ultra SDXC Class 10 UHS-I 80MB / s 128GB
High-speed memory card, which is crazy for Nikon lovers. In the reviews, the user D810 writes that the flash drive perfectly assimilates the videos in 4K. Nikon D850 owner points out that high-resolution RAWs are written without hanging, and frame transfer to a PC is instant.
With a reading speed of 80 MB / s, the memory card covers the basic needs of the photographer, and only the reportage may not be enough, and then if he is an adherent of ultra-high resolution images. This is one of the best options from the manufacturer, which is known for the quality of its products. Sandisk practices a 10-year warranty and changes the flash drive if it was used as intended and broke before the warranty expires. Bonus - amazing data exchange speed (533 x).
3 Samsung MB-MC128GA
MicroSDXC memory card with SD adapter included. For a volume of 128 GB, the manufacturer asks for a very decent amount. But the model boasts speed capabilities: in a second, it writes up to 90 MB and reads up to 100 MB. Class 10 allows you to use this model in amateur and professional cameras, including pro-versions from Nikon and Canon, without any fear. In the reviews they write that the real recording speeds are higher than declared - the owners tested with special programs.
In the Sony a6300, the card quickly assimilates 4K video at a speed of 1000 MB per second. All thanks to U3 - a high-speed data interface. With a bonus, South Koreans offer a 12-month warranty. This is one of the best memory cards for cameras and cameras with an optimal ratio of price and quality.
2 Transcend TS64GCF800
Representative of the best memory cards for Compact Flash cameras. This is a fast flash drive, which is ideal for those who shoot in high resolution, use serial shooting, create videos at least in Full HD quality.
A flash drive writes 40 MB per second - enough speed to not wait long until a long video is recorded. Reading speed is also decent - 120 MB / s. In the reviews, the owner of the Nikon D700 camera indicates that it took 10 seconds for the flash drive to create and record 26 photos. The inscription UDMA 7 hints at high speed capabilities, which you can enjoy, however, only in conjunction with a camera that supports direct recording to a memory card. This is the best and inexpensive option for a high-speed flash drive for photo tasks.
1 SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash 160MB / s 64GB
Representative of the fastest format of memory cards for cameras. The model is ideal for those who shoot sports events, creating a series of frames. Also, a compact flash drive is good for cameras that shoot 4K video or 3D surround videos.
The model is expensive, and it is needed only for narrow professional tasks. In addition, it is not suitable for all cameras. Make sure your device has UDMA - direct connection to the memory card. Professional gadgets with the Canon or Nikon logo support this feature. The reading speed of the leader of our rating is as much as 160 MB per second, and the writing speed is 150 MB / s. The volume is 64 GB, the manufacturer offers a similar flash drive with a resource from 16 to 256 GB.
Which company memory card to buy
The American company Kingston Technology was born relatively recently - in 1987. In the early years of her existence, she was developing new SIMMs. In the future, the company became one of the most famous manufacturers of random access memory. In particular, now on store shelves without any difficulty you can find SSD-drives, USB-sticks and memory cards Kingston. All of them are pleased with almost full compliance with the specified speed standard, as well as a long service life.
It's hard to believe, but right now Samsung is most actively working in the field of developing high-speed memory cards. In the next few years, South Korean cards will be the fastest. This is confirmed by at least the fact that Samsung’s flagship smartphones with built-in memory are all right - in terms of speed, it leaves behind similar components created by other manufacturers. And the latest memory cards will use a similar technology, so that their speed characteristics will be at the same level. However, it should be noted that Samsung products are far from affordable for everyone.
Another solid state memory company in the United States. Her cards and flash drives are considered the most durable. At the same time, this company is trying not to forget about the most common formats of memory cards. In particular, he still produces cards designed for the PlayStation Portable and some other Sony electronics. It should be noted that SanDisk is not an independent company - now it belongs to Western Digital, a well-known manufacturer of hard drives.
The Japanese company Sony is trying to be at the forefront of electronic technology. She immediately began producing cameras when they became digital. Her game consoles were the first to give up cartridges. Well, Sony memory cards are distinguished by high reliability and compatibility with the vast majority of electronic equipment. One can only regret that the Japanese make a decent mark-up for their brand, and therefore Sony cards are sold much more expensive than the products of specialized companies.
Like many of the manufacturers mentioned today, Transcend Information was founded in the late 1980s. Its headquarters are located in the Republic of China, Taipei. For some time this company specialized in the creation of digital players and other multimedia devices. But now it has concentrated on the production of memory cards and devices designed for reading them - the so-called card readers. The products of this company are distinguished by a reasonable price tag, good speed characteristics and decent durability.
Rating of the best memory cards
In today's rating, based on Russian and foreign reviews, the following are taken into account:
- Memory card form factor,
- Existing volumes
- Presence in the adapter kit,
- Speed of reading information,
- Write speed information,
- The speed class to which the series of cards formally belongs,
- Complaints of owners
- The average cost in Russian retail.
Silicon Power 400X Professional Compact Flash Card
Memory cards in this form factor are most often used in professional SLR cameras. And such a technique is capable of miracles, processing huge amounts of data in a short time. That is why the creators of the aforementioned card tried to endow their creation with magnificent speed characteristics. That is what is the main distinguishing feature of this series of cards.
- High reliability
- Volumes - from 4 to 128 GB,
- The speed of data transmission and reception should suit any person.
- The product is specific, not available in every electronics store,
- High price.
Reviews on Silicon Power 400X Professional show that people are only confused by the cost of this product. For a version of 64 GB, the manufacturer asks about 4000 rubles! But there is nothing to be done about it, so many CompactFlash format memory cards have such a high price tag. Otherwise, this line of cards has no significant drawbacks. Any of the cards included in it is able to serve the photographer for many years, pleasing with its reliability.
Sandisk Memory Stick PRO Duo
Cards of this format were originally invented by Japanese Sony. This world famous company and now produces a fairly decent number of them. However, Japanese products are not happy with their price tag, and therefore, all else being equal, it is better to purchase Sandisk Memory Stick PRO Duo. Products from this line are slightly cheaper, pleasing with similar speed indicators.
- Memory sizes range from 2 to 32 GB,
- There is enough speed for any Sony device,
- Everything is in order with reliability.
- The cost is still at the lowest,
- The 32 gigabyte version may not be detected by some PSPs.
Reviews on the Sandisk Memory Stick PRO Duo show that you need to be careful when purchasing a memory card from this series. It is possible that your PlayStation Portable will not want to recognize it. But there are no such problems when using a card paired with a camera or camcorder. As for the speed parameters, they all strictly comply with all the standards introduced by Sony.
And this is ideal for owners of the latest action cameras capable of video in 4K resolution. The speed characteristics here are such that there will be no problems after one minute, or after ten minutes, or after half an hour of video recording. If you shoot very often and often, then we recommend that you get a 128 GB card, even if its cost will slightly scare you.
- The write speed is up to 80 Mb / s,
- Read speed - at the level of 90 Mb / s,
- The assortment contains cards from 16 to 128 GB,
- Additionally, the buyer will receive an SD adapter.
Reviews on Kingston SDCA3 indicate that this product exactly corresponds to the specifications declared by the company. An adapter is supplied with the card, which allows you to use it even in a SLR camera or an amateur camcorder. If it were not for the high cost of the product, it would be possible to recommend to get such a card for absolutely all owners of portable electronics.
Which memory card to choose
1. Some time ago, the number of form factors of memory cards was unusually high. But now the situation has changed. Many electronics manufacturers realized that it is better to use slots for the more common microSD and SD cards than forcing the customer to look for rare Memory Stick Pro Duo or CompactFlash media. However, if you still come across a technique that supports just such memory cards, we recommend that you buy a SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Duo or Silicon Power 400X Professional Compact Flash Card, respectively.
2. All modern smartphones and tablets are able to interact only with a microSD memory card, which is characterized by a minimum size. However, the card requirements for these devices may vary. If you have a cheap device, then it will not be able to shoot video in very high resolution, and therefore its requirements for the drive will be lower. In this case, you may well consider buying the appropriate cards from Transcend or SanDisk. Well, owners of top-end devices and action cameras GoPro Hero4 are required to buy something faster - for example, the acquisition of Kingston SDCA3 is an excellent option.
3. As for cameras and camcorders, they most often require the installation of an SD memory card. It all depends on what kind of memory you need. Do you often take videos? Then it would be nice to consider buying a Transcend TS * SDXC10U1 with a capacity of 64 or even 128 GB. Well, less capacious products from SanDisk are suitable for those who are engaged only in photographing.