In the photographic community, we spend a lot of time discussing gear, primarily cameras, and lenses, but we often forget the unsung hero of photography – the humble SD card. Although it is not as glamorous as talking about photography cameras and video cameras, all photographers would be lost if not for these tiny pieces of plastic that store all of their footage. To make sure you have all of your bases covered when it comes to shooting video to a memory card, this article will be looking at:
- Shooting video to a memory card tips
- Does SD card affect video quality?
- What speed SD card for 1080p video?
- What size SD card for 4K video?
- Best SD card for 4K video recording
- Best microSD Card for video recording
Shooting video to a memory card tips
Here are some useful tips for using memory cards when filming videos.
This one may seem obvious, but the first rule of SD cards is backing up your storage. Always be sure to back up your files – regularly – to your computer in case anything goes wrong with your card.
Label your SD cards
When you’re shooting with multiple cameras it can be very confusing handling multiple SD cards. If you label your cameras with a bit of masking tape and pen and then label your SD cards to correspond to the cameras they were used with, you will know just by looking at the cards what camera they go with, and in what order they were used. Saving this as the SD card’s file name on your computer is also very helpful.
Avoid filling your SD card completely
In order to avoid SD card errors, it is a good idea to avoid filling your SD card completely, which can cause corruption. Make sure you back up your card regularly and avoid using the entirety of the data capacity.
Switch off your camera before removing your SD card
To remove your SD card and its contents safely, you should always switch off your camera before removing your SD card.
Never turn your camera off during the read or write of an SD card
As mentioned, you should always turn off your camera before removing your SD card. However, you should never turn your camera off during the read or write of an SD card as it could corrupt not only the file but the whole SD card. Check to see if a light is flashing on your camera, as that typically indicates the read/write process. (Check with your camera instructions to confirm).
Does SD card affect video quality?
In short, yes. Modern cameras these days have very advanced filming capabilities, and if you’re filming in high-definition and don’t have the right size SD card it won’t be able to keep up with your camera’s speed, and the video will stutter. The speed of the card is also crucial.
For 4K, you require an SD card with a video speed class of V30. High-speed SD cards are recommended for keeping up with 4K cameras, especially when shooting in RAW; this is a class 10 SD card or higher with a UHS (Ultra High Speed) classification.
What speed SD card for 1080p video?
When shooting in 1080p it is recommended that you use a V6 SD card or higher. A V6 SD card has a guaranteed minimum write speed of 6MB/s or higher. However, some photographers prefer to use a V10 SD card for faster performance with a minimum write speed of 10MB/s or higher.
What size SD card for 4K video?
For a 4K video, you really need an SD with a capacity of at least 128GB so you don’t have to frequently swap out cards. With 128GB you can store up to five hours of 4K video.
If you’re used to shooting in 1080p, be aware that a frame in 4K is four times the size of a 1080p video frame, so if you want to make the transition from 1080p to 4000p you will need a bigger SD card than the one you are already using for 1080p.
Best SD card for 4K video recording
Our pick for the best SD card for 4K video is the Lexar Professional Class 10 UHS-II 2000X. This is a mid-range SD card in terms of price, but we believe that paying a little extra for this card is worth it. The Lexar SD card has a high-speed data transfer, saving you precious time and energy as a videographer. Importantly, it comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
This card has a capacity of up to 128GB, a read speed of up to 300MB/s, a write speed of up to 260MB/s, and it is great for photography as well as 4K video. Overall, it is a reliable, high-speed, and consistently well-performing SD card that can keep up with your video camera, making it the best SD card for 4K video, and also the best SD card for 1080 video recording. For its price, it cannot be beaten by other SD cards.
Best microSD Card for video recording
If you need to record video on a smaller camera, or a mobile device, then you may need a microSD card in a smaller format, but all the same shooting capabilities. The Samsung PRO Endurance microSD card is widely considered to be the best microSD card on the market. Of course, it is the perfect size for smaller cameras, and as the name suggests, lasts for a long time.
This microSD card has a capacity of up to 128GB, a read speed of up to 100MB/s, and a write speed of up to 30MB/s, and a warranty of up to 5 years.
And that’s all of the basics on SD cards for videography covered. We hope you found our tips and advice for shooting video on an SD card helpful!
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