SD, SDHC & SDXC Memory



FAQ About SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards

Choosing the right memory card can be daunting. Class 2 vs Class 10? UHS-1 vs UHS-3? SDHC vs SDXC? For the uninitiated, decoding the symbols and markings on SD cards is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. Best Buy is your Rosetta stone for deciphering SD memory cards so you get the information you need to get the best card for you.

What’s the difference between SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards?

An SD or secure digital card is a tiny data storage device. SD cards come in capacities up to 2GB. SDHC or SD high-capacity cards range in capacity from 4GB to 32GB. SDXC or SD extended capacity cards have capacities that range from 64GB up to 2TB.

What type of SD memory card can I use in my device?

Unfortunately, not all memory cards work in all devices. Check the compatibility of your device to know what type of card it will support. There will be a symbol on your device to let you know what cards it will accept. SDXC-compatible devices support all types of cards. SDHC-compatible devices support SDHC and SD cards. And SD compatible devices, you guessed it, only support SD cards. Beyond that, if you have the right card type, the brand you choose is up to you.

Is one type of SD memory card better than another?

Yes. But, it's not all about capacity. The performance of your card is based on 2 things: speed rating and class rating. The speed rating indicates the maximum speeds (read and write) that the card can transfer data. The faster the transfer rating, the faster data can write to the card. This is particularly important if you're shooting with high-MP DSLR or mirrorless cameras in high-speed continuous or burst mode. Be aware that read and write speeds can be different.

Class rating is the guaranteed minimum speed data can be written to a card and mainly relates to video recording. There are many different class ratings: Class 2, 4, 6, 10, UHS-1, and UHS-3. Class 2 is ideal for recording standard-definition video. Class 4 and Class 6 cards are great for capturing HD and Full HD video. Class 10 is made for Full HD video and taking continuous HD stills. UHS-1 or Ultra High Speed Class 1 is perfect for real-time video streaming and recording large HD videos. UHS-3 is what you'll need for recording 4K video. Not all devices support all class ratings so check what works with your device.

What SD memory card is right for me?

Most people looking for an SD memory card need one for their camera. A 16GB or 32GB SDHC Class 10 card is often more than enough. But, if your camera is capable of higher-performance tasks, like 4K video or high-speed continuous HD stills, consider investing in a higher performance card. Also, it never hurts to have a spare memory card or two for extended photo shoots or recording sessions.

Want more info about SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory card? Check out this resource:

Why Photographers Need Fast Memory Cards