UHS-I SD cards

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Stephen, May 13, 2012.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen Guest


    I am looking to buy a new SD card but I am not sure which speed to
    buy. Can a camera cope with any speed card or does the camera have a
    limit to how fast it can write? For example, I see you can buy 600
    speed cards but say the camera can only write at 400 speed, then it
    would not make sense to spend extra money on a 600 speed card.

    I see that the faster cards are UHS-I cards. I hadn't heard of this
    before, so looked it up on wikipeia:

    It says "UHS memory cards work best with UHS host devices". What if my
    camera is not a UHS device? Would it work slower than the advertised
    speed in that instance? There doesn't seem any point buying a 600x UHS
    card if a non-UHS camera will only write at say 400x.

    I'm thinking of buying the new canon powershot 260sx hs. I have had a
    read of canon's web site but I can't find anything about whether their
    cameras support UHS, only a faq saying to use class 6 or higher.

    Should I buy the fastest card I can afford or do these speeds become
    meaningless after a certain rate?

    Stephen, May 13, 2012
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  2. Stephen

    Woody Guest

    Any card will work at any speed within its design limits.

    However the limitation comes when you want to use continuous
    shutter or (particularly) video. For those your card has to match
    or be better than the camera's needs. I have a Sony HX5V for
    which it is recommended I use 4x speed SDHC cards, shown by a
    figure 4 partially inside a diamond outline on the card label. In
    fact I use 6x and 10x cards (they are more commonly available)
    and it works perfectly. If I use SD cards then I can take
    'ordinary' pictures but will have problems with video and/or
    continuous shooting - the camera will stop working when its
    internal buffer memory is full.

    Most important is whether your camera can use SDHC cards or you
    are limited to SD only. A camera that uses SDHC can also use SD
    but not vice versa. SD cards are of smaller capacity and are
    slower than SDHC in the main.

    If you are unsure Google your camera and you will be able to
    discover your options quite easily.
    Woody, May 14, 2012
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  3. Stephen

    Alex Monro Guest

    Cameras have a write speed limit, which should be in the manual
    somewhere. Cards also have a write (and read) speed limit. The speed
    of the whole system will be the slowest of the two write limits.
    There have been 4 different revisions of the "SD card" standards - the
    original SD card supporting up to 2GB, the SDHC, supporting 4-32GB and
    faster speeds, SDXC for more than 32GB, and even higher speeds, and UHS,
    which I don't know much about.

    Older cameras generally won't work with newer cards, or will only "see"
    part of the memory capacity, but you can usually use older cards in new
    cameras. Some old cameras can have their firmware upgraded to work with
    newer cards.
    Only a few cameras currently support UHS. If it doesn't explicitly say
    it does, it probably doesn't.
    There's not a lot of point in having a card faster than your camera can
    write to, unless you're expecting to get a faster camera soon, or have
    a fast card reader to upload your pictures to your computer.
    Alex Monro, May 14, 2012
  4. Stephen

    Darkside Guest

    Exactly. Canon say the SX260 HS takes SD, SDHC, SDXC cards.

    If you take stills, class 6 or class 10 SDHC cards are readily available
    and (if you shop around) cheap. If you want to take long movies, the
    64Gb SDXC card at £33 on Amazon looks like a lot of capacity for your
    Darkside, May 14, 2012
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