Do you wonder what SD card you should get for your new trail camera? Let’s look at a few things to aid you in our decision.
Most trail cameras on the market are SDHC compatible while some newer cameras are now coming out with the SDXC format. Be sure you know which type you need for your camera. The manufactures should have this information available to you. If you are not able to find the information, check with the manufacture customer service team prior to purchasing a card that may not work for you.
What is SD, SDHC and SDXC mean? SD stands for "Secure Digital", SDHC stands for "Secure Digital High Capacity", SDXC stands for "Secure Digital eXtended Capacity". Because SDXC uses a different file system called exFAT and it works differently than standard SD cards, this new format is NOT backwards compatible with host devices that only take SD or host devices that only take SDHC.
You also will see a Class 2,4,6 or 10 on SD Cards. This is the speed rating which measures maximum transfer speed for reading and writing images to and from a memory card, expressed as megabytes per second. However, video doesn’t need as big a data pipe because the video format is a smaller “fixed stream” that uses only a portion of the data pipe.
Unlike card write speeds that measure maximum performance, class ratings measure the minimum sustained speed required for recording an even rate of video onto the card. The class rating number corresponds to the transfer rate measured in megabytes per second. Class 2 cards are designed for a minimum sustained transfer rate of 2 megabytes per second (MB/s)1, while Class10 cards are designed for a minimum sustained transfer rate of 10MB/s2.
Next is which size, 4GB, 8GB,16GB, 32GB, ETC. The size depends on what you are using the camera for. Most of our customers are using the 8GB with the newer cameras the last couple years. If you are using video you will likely want a larger capacity card. A larger capacity card would also be used for photos if you are not planning to check your cards for long periods for time or if you have the camera is a very high traffic area.
The SD card that is right for your trail camera may not be right for your DSLR camera. One thing to note is that you should not use your SD card in your trail camera and then in your DSLR camera. The cameras have different formatted files which if interchanged can cause damage to one or both cameras.
Here at OutdoorTrailCams.com we like to have two SD cards for every camera we are using. This makes it easy for us to switch out the cards. We don’t like to hang out by the cameras for any length of time. We take the card we switched out back with us to view our pictures in various ways. We vary with using our laptops to a handheld viewer. We at times even go to the extreme of using our Delkin Devices HDTV Photo viewer on a 60” TV.