High speed memory cards capture digital images fast. The higher the speed rating, the faster a digital camera writes images to a card, increasing shot-to-shot time, which means fewer missed shots.
However, every digital camera is designed to work at a maximum speed that can be determined by checking the specifications in your camera manual. Using a memory card that has a higher read-write capacity than the camera will not improve performance.
For example, if a digital camera can has a read-write performance of 20MB/second, using a card rated 90MB/second will not make a difference.
Besides fast write-time, high speed memory cards provide maximum performance when using a high-speed continuous (burst) mode and shooting high resolution videos.
The are several Secure Digital High Capacity memory card speed classes: Class 2, Class 4, Class 6 and class 10.
UHS Speed Class – Ultra High Speed memory cards used for recording real-time broadcasts and capturing large-size High Definition videos. Constant speed is guaranteed for compatible devices with video recording capabilities such as camcorders and video recorders.
XQD memory cards are thicker than Secure Digital memory cards but with a smaller footprint than Compact Flash cards that are used by many professional photographers. XQD cards have write speeds of 125MB/s, more than enough for high-speed, high-resolution RAW photography and high definition video.
Other reasons to buy a high speed memory card
As mentioned, not all digital cameras benefit from the use of a high speed memory card. Still, some purchase high speed cards for other reasons:
- images transfer faster from camera to computer using a memory card reader
- may use the faster card in other electronic equipment
- plan to use the faster card in a camera they anticipate purchasing in the future
The prices of high speed memory cards have dropped significantly the last few years. If you haven’t bought one, seriously consider buying a high speed card if you camera can benefit from it. Check out memory cards in our Amazon Shop.