Choosing The Right SD Card For Your Camera To Film Videos

Updated on September 7, 2021

Do you want to get the best quality of videos out of your camera without dropping frames? Not sure which SD card for camera videography is right for your needs? This blog post will help you choose the right SD card for your camera to film videos. In this post, we will give tips on picking the appropriate memory cards and what kind of video they should be used for. 

SD Card Type

Nowadays most commonly found cards are SDHC and SDXC cards because older generation SD cards are not able to store that much information. These cards have different speed rates and data storage limits which can interfere with the camera they are being used on. So let’s focus on SDHC and SDXC cards, what is the difference?

SDHC cards  Are available in sizes between 4 GB and 32 GB but can only be used with full-size SD hardware, not microSD or miniSD. They are the same size as regular SD cards, so they're often used on older devices that can't support newer standards. SDXC cards, on the other hand, store between 64 GB and 2 TB of data, making it the most popular type today, thanks to a large price drop and larger storage capacities. However, by choosing a memory card for your camera, you should be very careful to check the speed of the card as well. 

SD Card Speed

Most modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras have 4K video recordings built into them. To shoot 4K or higher resolution, the camera needs to use its sensor a lot more than when filming 1080p. So it's crucial to have a fast memory card with a high write speed. A slow card can't transfer data fast enough and you might even experience freezes or stutters while filming in 4K.

V30 vs V60 vs V90 cards: Which one is best?

When buying a new memory card, you need to pay attention not only to size and class but also to transfer speed. The higher the class number, the faster the card. Currently, we have three main classes: V30, v60, and V90. V30 has a minimum write speed of 30MB/s, V60 - 60MB/s, and V90 - 90MB/s.

A V30 card is designed for HD video recording (720p and 1080p) while a V60 can handle 4K resolutions. If you want to shoot in 4K with your DSLR or mirrorless camera, you should get a v60 memory card since it is designed for 4K video. But you may ask - when should I choose V90? A V90 card was created to transfer huge amounts of data faster than any other class (minimum 90 MB/s). So if you own an advanced DSLR or mirrorless camera, and shoot in high resolution, or your camera shoots 4K 120FPS and more - go for a v90 card to be on the safe side. 

Calculate the speed that you need

Here you shouldn’t mix megabytes (MB) vs megabits (Mb) since it is two different quantities. Let’s say that your SD card has 30MB/s writing speed. And your footage is Full HD 100Mb/s. Will your SD card be fast enough? The answer is yes. 30MB/s equals 240Mb/s which is way faster than your 100Mb/s that is required to properly shoot a Full HD video in your camera. However, you will not be able to record 4K 60Fps 400Mb/s footage to this card without dropped frames, so make sure to calculate what speed is necessary before buying an SD card so that you don’t get stuck with something too slow when recording in certain situations.

Some practical tips

Firstly, we recommend you start your important shoots with an empty, formatted card. A full sd card is slower and could cause some problems while recording in 4K, like dropped frames or even unexpected shutdown in extreme cases. By having an empty card you will also don’t have to worry that much about the free space in your card. Also, we understand that V60 or especially V90 SD cards could be very expensive, so we recommend you try out one trick. You can use a V60 or V90 card for recording the main footage and when your card fills up you can just use cheap V30 or even cheaper cards to store your footage. It is always handy if your camera has 2 card slots or if you have a laptop and don’t want to use an external hard drive. In this way, you can save some money, space and stay compact in long shoot sessions.

We hope that this blog post has helped you realize the importance of picking a camera memory card and what kind it should be used for. If you have any questions, or if we’ve missed anything in our guide, please don’t hesitate to comment below!

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