Monday, December 30, 2013

SD cards – Speed versus cost …

First off, what does the “X” rating mean? And how does it line up with the “MB/s” when used instead? Well, I’ll let Lexar answer that …


So a 100x card is quite slow by today’s standards, although it is certainly fast enough for most people and most purposes. The problem, though, is that it often costs much more than faster and better cards. This is simply related to volume differences …

So what kind of value equation can you get from these boxing day sales? Well, it’s a tough call, but you should be able to spend less than $1 per GB these days and still get a pretty fast card.

So let’s look at Future Shop’s current sale on 32GB cards … I am personally interested in this size as they can be had for very reasonable prices these days … but the question is whether they are fast enough?

I’ll cut your wondering short and suggest that 200x -- 30MB/s cards go on sale regularly for great prices as low as 20 bucks, and that’s basically a steal. I used to be happy to get two such cards for at 16GB size for 50 bucks. And that was only a couple of years ago.

So here is what I would buy, annotated from the Future Shop web site … I’ve applied a green circle to those that are a decent value for performance versus size versus cost. The Lexar 32GB and 64GB cards are a steal. The rest are still a good value if you happen to prefer certain brands.


Note that, should you desire really high performance for high bit rate video (for example with hacked Panasonic m4/3 bodies), then you might consider adding a few bucks and grabbing the 45MB/s or 80MB/s cards. They are not as good a value if you are just shooting normal stuff, but if you invest in fast USB 3 card readers and / or shoot high bit rate video then suddenly  they are a very good value.