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How to choose a better memory card when shooting

One of the most important choices you’ll need to make in the course of shooting video is what memory card will be most suitable for your specific needs. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll provide our opinion on the most suitable memory cards for video use, including choices that are suitable for CFexpress, CFast, XQD MicroSD and SD cards users. Although these cards may not be suitable for your needs after reading this article, you’ll know the best way to select and utilize memory while filming.

The best memory card to record video
There is a myriad of terms used in the field, such as speed for writing and reading, UHS Speed Classes, the terms XQD and SD, CF V Class and more, the options for selecting and making use of memory cards for recording videos can appear to be complicated. In order to help you understand the possibilities in choosing the right memory card, here’s what you should know about picking the most suitable memory cards to shoot video.

Many of the cameras today that are mirrorless DSLRs or even professional digital cinema cameras offer videos in 4K resolution and up, making the decision of the memory cards you make use of is vital. It’s not surprising that shooting video takes the most memory when compared to taking stills… therefore, the memory cards you decide to choose is crucial.

We’ll give you a few tips in this post, we’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages for different kinds of memory cards. We’ll also discuss what you need to consider when shopping for memory cards for your video project as well as our top picks for the best ones.

What memory cards do I need to utilize to record video?
The two most commonly used memory card formats were Secure Digital (SD) and CompactFlash (CF) cards. SD cards can be found across all cameras ranging from point-and shoot models to professional digital cinema cameras, with microSD cards that are smaller commonly used for cameras, such as HD camera camcorders and aerials. These cards are much more durable and long-lasting and are commonly utilized in top-quality DSLRs as well as cinema digital cameras.

Most cameras that shoot digital video have dual slots for memory cards. As an example, Panasonic’s G5S camera has two SD slot, but certain cameras allow a variety of types (maybe CF and SD) on their dual slot. The main benefit of dual slot cards is that after the card you are using is filled with details, it is possible recording on another one. In order to ensure that this is done smoothly, discover exactly how the dual slots on your camera function.

Understanding read vs write speeds
Memory cards come with write and read speeds. Write speeds define how fast images and videos are saved onto cards. Read speeds are the speed at which data is available from the card. For instance, when you transfer the video files onto an external hard drive. In general, read speeds are more efficient than writing speed however, write speed is vital for video because the cards you use be fast and have ability to handle the recording of large quantities of video digital data.

Speed of a card can be measured through a multiplier value the ‘x’ signifies 0.15MB/sec as in when multiplied 2000x by 0.15MB/sec is equivalent to 300MB/sec. This can be referred to as the ‘Class’ ratings. Class ratings indicate the bare minimal write speed required to record video. For instance, a Class 2 card is capable of the continuous writing of data with a speed of 2MB/sec. A Class 4 card can handle 4MB/sec, Class 6 will handle 6MB/sec while Class 10 is the fastest, with 10MB/sec. It is recommended to have the Class 4 card to capture Full HD 1080p video, but you should opt for a the Class 10.

Also, there’s the V Class rating, which was developed in the SD Association. The most prestigious V score is V90 that indicates a minimum sustained speeds of 90MB/sec. Other V Class ratings are V60 as well as V30, V10, and V6, where they represent the speed of MB/sec.

When it comes to memory cards, it’s best to go with what’s referred to as the sustainable speed instead of the “achievable speed’. It’s a good rule of thumb If you’re shooting RAW in 4K, it will require speed of writing at least 75MB/sec to maintain the speed without losing frames.

UHS Speed Classes show the speed at which video files can be transferred onto memory cards. UHS-I can support maximum speeds of transfer up to 100MB/sec. While UHS-II can provide speeds as high as 312MB/sec. In the UHS Speed Class there are two types of designations: U1 and U3 that represent the minimum speeds for writing of 30MB/sec and 10MB/sec and 30MB/sec respectively. When it comes to video, it is recommended to select the U3 specifically designed card since it can handle 4K video.

The CFast 2.0 cards used to be the top of the line in speed. The first CFast 2.0 card was released that was launched in 2013, boasted speed of reading of 450MB/sec as well as writing speeds up to 350MB/sec. The CFast and XQD cards were designed through the CompactFlash Association (CFA) to substitute that CF card format, which was at its peak capacity for performance.

The current version of CFast cards are able to have an maximum theoretical speed of 600MB/sec, and that of XQD cards, have a limit of 1000MB/sec. They’re ideal for filming high-quality 4K videos and even higher resolutions. The XQD card is not compatible with all cameras like others, but they work with Nikon DSLRs as well as mirrorless cameras such as including the Sony FS7 as well as Panasonic’s LUMIX S1 and S1R full-frame cameras.

Each memory card will have its capacity displayed in the form of a graph ranging, for instance starting at 4GB, up to 500GB. It is a fact that capacity numbers always increase and cards can include capacities of 4GB 8GB, 16GB 32GB 64GB, and so on. The more your value, the bigger capacity it will have to keep your data

Memory card slot formats and memory card slots explanation
While there are many varieties of card types and formats, the two most commonly used formats were Secure Digital (SD) and CompactFlash (CF) cards. SD cards can be found for all kinds of cameras, from point-and-shoots up to cinema-style professional cameras, with smaller microSD cards currently being utilized in cameras, such as HD camcorders as well as aerial cameras. These cards are much more durable and long-lasting and are commonly utilized in high-end DSLRs as well as digital cinema cameras.

Some cameras that shoot digital video come with dual slot memory cards. As an example Canon’s Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR has only one SD card slot as well as a CF slot for cards. In contrast, the Panasonic GH5S camera has two SD slot cards.

The advantages of dual slot cards are that once one card has been loaded with details, you will be able recording on the second one. Moreover it is safe knowing that you’ve not missed every shot. Make sure, however, to understand what your dual slots operate in conjunction so you are able to set up your camera in a way that maximizes the efficiency of both cards.

The CFast, XQD and The CFexpress: What’s the different?
As you’ve likely guessed speed is the crucial factor when it comes to shooting video. the CFast 2.0 cards were the top of the line in speed. The first CFast 2.0 card, which was launched in 2013, claimed speed of reading up to 450MB/sec as well as speeds to write of 350MB/sec.

CFast as well as XQD cards were developed through the CompactFlash Association (CFA) to take over their CF card format when it reached its peak capability of performance. They are currently in their latest versions. CFast cards can be used with an theoretical limit of 600MB/sec, while XQD cards have a limit of have a maximum speed of 1000MB/sec. These cards are perfect for filming HD video resolutions up to 4K and above.

The new generation of fast removable storage will be CFexpress that combines the existing CFast 2.0 and the XQD 2.0 standards. One of the main drawbacks for CFexpress cards are that at present, they’re not compatible with a lot of cameras. However, we are beginning to notice the change. Nikon’s Z6, Z6 II, Z7 Z7 and Z7 II For instance currently use CFexpress cards due to firmware upgrades. Also, the Canon EOS R5 also supports CFexpress cards, too. Find out more in our guide on finding out the cameras that use the CFexpress card..

The speed of memory card reading and writing and class rating
The performance of memory cards relates to the speed at which it reads and also its writing speed. Write speeds indicate how fast images and videos are saved onto memory cards. Read speed is a measure of the speed at which data is taken from the card, such as when you transfer your video files onto a computer or hard drive.

The majority of the time, read speed is higher than writing speed, however writing speed is essential when recording video because you’ll require cards with both speed and capability to record massive amounts of video files.

The performance of a card is displayed using the use of a multiplier (each ‘x’ is .15MB/sec that is, the 2000x value multiplied with 0.15MB/sec indicates 300MB/sec, or the most recent “Class” rating.

The Speed Class score was determined by requests from firms that deal with video and film, since video recording in various resolutions and formats requires specific write speeds for recording on cards.

The class ratings indicate the minimal write speed required for recording video. A Class 2 card will handle the continuous writing of data at a rate of 2MB/sec. A Class 4 card is able to be able to handle 4MB/sec. Class 6 will work at 6MB/sec while Class 10 has the highest speed with 10MB/sec. A general guideline, you’ll require at minimum a Class 4 card to capture Full HD video but it’s recommended to select Class 10 for all other applications.

In order to accommodate the huge amount of data that is required when recording 4K, 360° and 8K videos, there is the V Class rating that was established through the SD Association. The top V ratings is the V90 that indicates a minimum sustained speed of 90 MB/sec. Other V Class ratings are V60 as well as V30, V10, and V6, where they indicate the speed in MB/sec.

In test benches, cards may attain higher speeds, but it’s best to focus on the “sustainable speed” instead of the ‘achievable speed’. It’s similar to car models which claim to be able to achieve 60mpg under tests, when in reality it could be more like 40mpg. It’s a good rule of thumb for shooting RAW in 4K, it will require write speeds that are at or near 75MB/sec in order in order to maintain the speed without losing frames.

UHS Speed Classes explained
The”so-called” UHS Speed Classes define how fast videos can be transferred onto a memory card. UHS-I allows maximum speeds of transfer up to 100MB/sec. While UHS-II can provide speeds as high as 312MB/sec.

In the UHS Speed Class there are two types of designations: U1 and U3 which are the minimum speeds for writing of 10MB/sec or 30MB/sec, respectively. When shooting video, it’s better to select the U3 card since it is able to handle 4K video.

Capacity of the card
The choices of memory cards is confusing. As an example, among the SD card family, there are variants called SDXC (Secure Digital “Xtra Capacity”) cards offer much more capacity and processing speed as compared to the traditional SD cards. However, you should ensure your choice of card is compatible with the camera you are using.

Each memory card will display its capacity displayed in the form of a graph ranging, for instance between 4GB and the size of 512GB. Capacity values will always be doubled and cards can come with capacities of 4GB, 8GB, 16GB 32GB 64GB, etc. The more the amount, the greater capacity it can save video and images.

How to choose the right memory card to meet the demands of your videos
It are confusing, but it is important to be conscious of the card with the highest speed your camera can handle. Go through the manual of instruction or visit the site of the manufacturer to make sure the card you want to use is compatible with what your camera is capable of taking care of.

Consider what length of time you’ll shoot for, and what number of cards you’ll need for this? It’s easy to calculate according to the time you’ll be shooting for as well as the resolution that you’ll be shooting at. Be sure to have the storage space to accommodate the shoot, and make sure you have at the very least an additional card that is greater than your needed capacity.

It is generally safer to use high-capacity cards made by brands like Lexar, Kingston, SanDisk, Sony and Transcend. They tend to be quicker, more reliable, more durable and offer greater backup options for the work you do.

What is the best way to choose the writing speed you want
To speed up writing, memory card manufacturer SanDisk suggests Class 2 cards to record standard video. Class 4 is recommended for HD Video Classes 6 and up to support Full HD video UHS U1 is for full HD video with real-time video recording. U3 is for Full HD and 4K video that supports real-time recording of video. Be aware of the resolution you are shooting, and select the appropriate Class.

Go above your maximum capacity
Consider how long you are planning to shoot for, and also how many cards will you need to achieve that? It’s easy to make basic mathematical calculations that are using the length of duration you’re shooting for as well as the resolution you’ll shoot at.

You should ensure that you have the storage space to last the duration of your shooting. Don’t want to get in a position of not having enough storage while shooting. So, always carry at minimum one additional card in addition to the amount you think you will need for pre-shoot!

Take your time and play it secure
It’s possible that you may have found a bargain card that will work well with your work routine, however generally, it’s best to choose capacity cards with a high capacity from well-known companies including SanDisk, Sony and Kingston.

They tend to be faster than other cards, they are more reliable, and sturdy and provide better protection for your tasks. Make sure that you’ve done your research prior to purchasing your cards. For instance, Nikon’s DSLRs make use of the XQD card format.

Memory cards that are best to store video are available in the present
Top CFexpress video cards

Created to satisfy the demands for data of Raw video in 4K The CFexpress cards use the PCIe interface, which has the possibility of up to eight lane through where data can be transmitted. Each lanes can provide 1GB for each second of data. This means that CFexpress cards have the capacity to support the theoretical rate of up to 8GB/s.

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