What do I need to know about SD cards?

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
43
Derby, UK
I'm using a Scandisk 2gb card in my LX5, which for daily use is fine, I had this card knocking around from something else, so didn't look for anything else.
I'm soon going on holiday, somewhere scenic, hopefully loads of photo opportunities so am looking for more capacity. Just had a google and didn't realise there were so many options and such a range of prices. So what do I need to look for? What should I avoid? Am I better off with one big card or several smaller ones? I'm not interested in the video capabilities.
Thanks
Flickr: P.H.bike's Photostream
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
I use Class 10 cards by Sandisk.
I have 4 & 8 gb cards. Make sure your reader will support the card you decide to use.
Always format every time you upload images to the computer and insert the card back in the camera.
This is a must do.
 

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
43
Derby, UK
I use Class 10 cards by Sandisk.
I have 4 & 8 gb cards. Make sure your reader will support the card you decide to use.
Always format every time you upload images to the computer and insert the card back in the camera.
This is a must do.
I don't have a card reader, I've just been connecting the camera to the PC. This seems OK, is there an advantage to a reader?
I'm not sure I understand this class of SD cards, is it just write speed or is there more to it than that?
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
A card reader is faster than USB.
No sweat tho'. The higher the class the faster the card.
It's hard to see a difference with stills but with video, there is a difference.
I don't do video but still like the fastest card available.
I'm nutty for things like that.
 

Herman

The Image Stimulator
Jul 11, 2010
123
The Netherlands
Herman
Wikipedia is your friend: I suggest like Streetshooter (Don) class 10, not from Sandisk but from Transcend.
(got to admit I haven't got Transcend so far, I got Scandisk which is too expensive)
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
Wow Class 10! I'm the owner of the world's slowest compact - well the Sigma DPs are always branded with this iron - and I find my Class 6 does a plenty fast job. Having said that I'd not go lower and find a perceptible difference with the Ultra IIs. Been very happy with the Extreme III range from Sandisk - been my staple for the last two years or so. Not had to look elsewhere. But I'll look at a Class 10 next time...though I heard that still write times are negligible in the upper classes and these were more for HD video work? The OP didn't mention a HD movie requirement....
 
Sep 8, 2010
123
London UK
Andy
If you are not taking video then a class 4 will be fine but i always try and use class 6. I'd buy 2x 4gigs rather than 1 8Gig as if one card ever fails you still hopefully will have other images on the other card. Any well known brand will be fine. I use all sorts and have never had one fail on me(goes off to find some wood to touch!!)
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I have a class 10, and then I have an ancient something or other in my Canon Elph that is still going strong after all these years.

I did think that the class 10 was supposed to be faster to write - as in it would cycle through faster so one could get on to the next moment of picture taking.:popcorm2:

P.H. I always used to use whatever wire attached to whatever camera to load the pictures in, but it was pointed out to me once that there was less to go awry with a card reader. I bought one from Amazon by Sandisk that was quite reasonable. Heck, if we can all buy cameras and lenses and software to develop the images to their full glory, then we might as well make sure they get into our computers the most direct way.

By the way, P.H. I'm really glad you asked this question and please don't hold back. We all can learn something new everyday, if we're lucky.:thumbup:
 

P.H

Regular
Apr 4, 2011
43
Derby, UK
Thank you all for the response:2thumbs:
I've ordered a 8gb Class 6 Transcend, I liked the idea of a spare card so I'll take the 2gb one along as well (Which I now notice is only class 2 but has seemed fine) I've also ordered a USB card reader... so how long before I go out with the camera while the card is still in the reader?
A follow up question: Streetshooter mentioned formatting, I've never done this, just cut and pasted all images from the camera to the PC. Do you format in camera or on the PC, or does it amount to the same thing?
Thanks
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
I think you better hear this directly from Don. But I'd be formatting to the camera's requirements, so doing it in camera. I format mine after each transfer.
 
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Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Thank you all for the response:2thumbs:
I've ordered a 8gb Class 6 Transcend, I liked the idea of a spare card so I'll take the 2gb one along as well (Which I now notice is only class 2 but has seemed fine) I've also ordered a USB card reader... so how long before I go out with the camera while the card is still in the reader?
A follow up question: Streetshooter mentioned formatting, I've never done this, just cut and pasted all images from the camera to the PC. Do you format in camera or on the PC, or does it amount to the same thing?
Thanks
After you get your images on the computer and BACKED UP..... then, always format the card in the camera when you put it back in.
This should become a habit.
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Paul, the card reader is used for transferring the image files/photos on to your computer... Once you know for sure that all have transferred, you then need to "eject" the card reader from your computer. Depending upon your computer and what software you're using, etc., this may be done automatically. When I say "eject", I don't mean that it will come flying off the side of your computer, but that it will be safe for you to removed the card and the card reader.

You might want to set up a folder on your desktop for your photos as their initial holding spot. Then use that folder's contents to upload to your software...and then go back and delete the photo files once you're sure that all are safe within your software.

I'm sorry if you've already mentioned which photo software you're using?

But back to formatting...you put the card back in the camera and go to the LX5's menu. If memory serves me, it's in the wrench menu. Then you follow the directions...pushing the appropriate arrows, etc., to Format.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I should let Don explain it but the short layperson's explanation is that it gets all that digital recording stuff in there set for new pictures.:biggrin:
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Keven,
If you delete the images on the card, the info is still there but the camera has permission to write over them.
If you format, it deletes and cleans the card.

Think of it like a chalkboard. If you use your hand to wipe the board, there is still residual chalk on the board.
If you wash the board, it's clean.

If you don't format, some old info could make it's way to new images and corrupt them.
Don
 

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