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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gadget Bag: Memory Cards


Capacities and speeds continue to improve, giving you more options for still and HD-video shooting

This Article Features Photo Zoom

SD Cards
As with its CompactFlash cards, Hoodman offers a single, U.S.-made line of SD cards, the high-end RAW SDHC (RAW Steel). The 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB cards are Class 10 speed, the 4 GB is Class 6. Prices range from $49 to $189. Like all Hoodman memory cards, they carry a lifetime warranty.

The top SD card in Kingston’s lineup is the 64 GB Ultimate X SDXC Class 10, rated at 233x (up to 35 MB/s). For those on a budget but still wanting performance, the Ultimate X SDHC Class 10 can write at up to 18 MB/s, and comes in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB capacities. All come with a lifetime warranty.

Lexar’s top SD card is the Professional 133x SDHC, available in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB capacities and priced from $89 to $259. The cards are Class 10 speed rated (minimum guaranteed speed of 20 MB/s). For the economy-minded shooter, the Platinum II SDHC cards are rated Class 6 (100x, 15 MB/s) and come in capacities from 4 GB to 32 GB at prices from $19 to $139. All carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Panasonic’s Class 10 Gold Series SDXC (64 GB and 48 GB) and SDHC (32 GB, 16 GB, 8 GB and 4 GB) cards can transfer data at up to 22 MB/s. Their economy Class 4 Blue SDHC cards come in 4-16 GB capacities and can transfer data up to 15 MB/s (there’s also a 2 GB Blue SD card).

PNY’s top SD card is the High Speed Professional SDHC Class 10, which comes in 8 GB and 16 GB capacities ($34 and $49, respectively), with up to 20 MB/s transfer speeds. PNY also offers slower, lower-cost cards, but at those prices, why not go for the top end?

SanDisk’s Ultra SDXC offers 64 GB capacity and Class 4 (15 MB/s) speed for $349. Users who can live with 4-32 GB capacity can get one of the faster Extreme SDHC Class 10 (30 MB/s) cards. Both types come with a lifetime limited warranty.

Most Sony digital cameras use Sony’s Memory Stick memory cards, but recent ones can also use SD cards. Sony offers Class 4 SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, priced from $24 to $129.

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