High & ultra high speed memory cards

Memory card in card slotHigh 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.

More info memory card capacity

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4 Responses

  1. Gail Bjork says:

    Abby, if you computer is old, the memory card reader may not be compatible with SDHC memory cards. But I don’t understand why they won’t transfer via the USB cable. Make sure you installed the software that came with the camera.

    If your computer recognizes the card, navigate to the icon for the memory card, double click on it and if you see image files, drag and drop them onto the desktop. Then format the card in the camera before using it again.

    If this doesn’t work, call Panasonic tech support for assistance.

  2. Abby says:

    I have bought a DMC  – ZS1 camera with a SDHC 8Gb memory card… I can see the pictures on the camera but can not download them to my PC.  I tried via USB drive and by putting memory card directly in PC.  I get same
    message that no files but you can tell on
    y computer that it is using 4 GB of space on card.  What can I do?  I don’t want to lose my photos? 

  3. Gail Bjork says:

    James, any name brand memory card, such as those made by Lexar, SanDisk or Transcend, should serve you well. Some manufacturer’s sell memory cards under their name and they should be fine too. Higher speed memory cards can give you better performance when shooting video and using burst (continuous) mode as well as increase shot-to-shot time. The Panasonic FZ100 seems like a fine camera, which I’m personally considering buying.

  4. James says:

    I just ordered the Panasonic DMC-FZ100 online and am awaiting its arrival.  I downloaded the owner’s manual to see what type of memory card I ought to buy.  I noticed it said it should be at least Class 6.  Is there any reason to go higher, like a Class 10?  Which memory card would you recommend?  Thank you.