SD cards – those tiny plastic rectangles that hold your camera photos, smartphone videos, Nintendo games, and more. Don’t let their small size fool you; SD cards pack a powerful digital punch. Slip one slim card into your device and suddenly you’ve got gigs upon gigs for storing apps, media files, documents – you name it. Whether you’re snapping scenic shots on a DSLR, filming a documentary on your mobile phone, or downloading your entire Spotify library for that 14-hour flight, SD cards enable storing it all. Plus, they’re affordable, portable, and compatible with most electronics. However, with cryptic acronyms like SD, SDHC and SDXC, it’s easy to get confused. Here’s a straightforward guide to picking and using the right SD card for your needs.
Types and Capacities of SD cards
Here is an overview of the main types and capacities of SD cards available:
- SD – The original SD card format. Provides decent speeds and a good value. Common capacities range from 2GB to 128 GB. Good for point-and-shoot cameras.
- SDHC (High Capacity) – Introduced larger storage capacities from 4GB up to 32 GB. Ideal for basic digital cameras, audio recorders, etc.
- SDXC (Extended Capacity) – Allows vastly greater capacities from 64GB up to 2TB theoretically. Uses updated formatting for more space. Works well in DSLR cameras, drones, and gaming devices.
- microSD – A tiny version designed for smartphones and small devices. Available in SDHC and SDXC types. Typical capacities are 16GB to 512 GB. Provides storage for mobile apps, media, and data.
- miniSD – An even smaller variant popular in older mobile phones. Now largely obsolete.
- SDSC (Standard Capacity) – An early card type with a maximum of 2GB capacity. Rarely used today.
When choosing an SD card, match its speed class and capacity to your device and usage – 4K video recording requires higher write speeds and space than casual photography, for example. Most devices take SD cards up to 2TB via SDXC but consult your device’s manual for maximum supported capacity.
SD card care and maintenance
- Avoid exposing cards to liquids, extreme heat, bending, and physical impacts. This can damage both the cards and your stored data.
- Safely eject the card from devices before removing it rather than pulling it out haphazardly. This prevents possible data corruption or card errors.
- Store unused SD cards in a protective case away from dust, debris or static electricity. A dry environment is best for preservation.
- Format new SD cards and reformat used ones regularly. This helps maintain optimal performance and get rid of potentially corrupted files.
- Don’t overfill SD cards. Leave at least 10% free space to prevent lag, freezing and file errors. Overstuffed cards tend to fail quickly too.
- Back up irreplaceable photos, videos or documents stored on SD cards to another device or cloud storage. Cards can get lost/damaged and data recovery is difficult.
- Clean the metal contacts gently with a soft cloth if connectivity issues arise. Rubbing alcohol can remove grease or dirt buildup if needed. Never use water.
- When disposing of an old SD card containing sensitive data, do a low-level format, destroy the card, or use wiping software to securely erase everything.
Following these care guidelines will maximise the lifespan of your SD cards and protect precious personal files. Handle them with care!
Best SD Cards available at WHSmith
1. PNY 64 GB Elite Performance microSD Card
Snappy Shots: The PNY 64GB Elite Performance microSD card offers speedy transfer and ample room for photos. Its A1 rating means quick app loading, while Class 10 performance provides up to 80MB/s read speeds for fast image sequencing. With a 64GB capacity, it holds over 15,000 photos, so your camera roll will never reach full.
2. PNY 256 GB Elite-X microSD Card
Feature Film Storage: Home movie makers, vloggers and mobile journalists need big capacity – step up the PNY 256GB Elite-X. Blazing 100MB/s speeds allow smooth 4K video recording directly to the card. And mammoth capacity stores over 60 hours of footage. Waterproof, shockproof and temperature proof too.
3. PNY USB-C 3.1 Card Reader & USB-A Adapter
Plug-n-Play Portability: Struggling to transfer images from your camera? The PNY USB-C 3.1 Card Reader hooks up in seconds for simple shifting of photos and videos. Its reversible USB-C plug works flawlessly with the latest laptops, while the handy USB-A adapter maintains backwards compatibility.
4. PNY 128 GB XLR8 Gaming Class 10 U3 A2 V30 microSDXC Card
Level Up Your Gaming: Gamers and power users craving lightning speeds should turn to the PNY 128GB XLR8 microSDXC gaming card. Its video speed class of V30 captures 4K action without lag, while an A2 rating loads apps instantly. PCIe interface means zippy 100MB/s read and 90MB/s writes too.
5. PNY 64 GB Elite SD Card
Snap Happy: For point-and-shoot digital cameras, the affordable PNY 64GB Elite SD card hits a sweet spot. It promises smooth Full HD video recording and fast shot-to-shot performance. Room for thousands of high-resolution JPEGs as well. Reliable and compatible too.
6. PNY 128 GB EliteX-PRO60 Class 10 U3 V60 UHS-II SDXC Card
Speed Demon: The PNY 128GB Elite-X PRO SD card is a speed machine designed for sports, action and burst mode photography. Its blazing fast 299MB/s read and 299MB/s write rates mean endless shooting without slowdowns. V60 and UHS-II also allow distortion-free 8K video capture.
7. PNY Performance DDR4 2666MHz 8GB Desktop Memory
Performance RAM Boost: Give your desktop computer an upgrade with PNY 8GB DDR4 RAM. Its higher 2666MHz speed improves system responsiveness for smooth gaming, videos and graphics work. Just plug in for an instant boost to overall performance. Reliable too with aluminium heat spreaders.
No matter what device you use, SD cards unlock extra space for storing precious apps, photos, music, videos and other personal files. With many types and capacities to choose from, identify your storage needs first, then select a card that fits from WHSmith. Treat your SD cards with care to maximise their lifespan. And don’t throw older cards away – those digital memories are priceless. When used properly, these mighty memory cards will serve you well for years to come. For more information visit Findwyse.