[Cheatsheet] How to buy an SD Card

You have a photo shoot starting in thirty minutes and you just have a gut feeling you're gonna need an extra memory card for this one. You head to the nearest electronics store and find a seemingly endless selection of cards. Which one do you buy? What do all those numbers and symbols mean? Well, fear not! Inspired by this awesome article by How To Geek, I decided to create a cheatsheet to make buying an SD card easier.

How to buy an SD Card Cheatsheet

Type of SD Card:

SDSC: These are usually the slowest and with the lowest amount of storage (ranging from 1-2 GB, and sometimes 4 GB).
SDHC: Here's where you'll want to start, since they range from 2 GB to 32 GB.
SDXC: These usually have the highest capacity. They go up to 32 GB to 2 TB.

Class Rating

2, 4, 6, 10, and the Ultra High Speeds: 1 and 3. Basically, the higher the number the faster the transfer rate of the card. Shooting video for a wedding? You’ll probably want a class 10. Shooting Landscape photography, perhaps a class 4 or 6 will do the trick.


This really depends on the type of camera you use and the size of the files that it produces. As a point of reference, if I use a 16 GB card with my Canon 6d, and shoot an average scene that gives me a 26 MB file, I could get roughly 613 photos if I’m shooting RAW. 


Well, there you have it! A quick reference guide simplifying the process of buying an SD card. Enjoy!