Memory cards are not one of those photography related devices that make photographers excited. You probably never heard a photographer say “wow, that new SD card is so cool, I’ve got to buy one!” Nevertheless memory cards can impact user experience dramatically, especially if you are shooting a lot in burst mode, recording high definition or 4k video with high bit rates or if you have a habit of filling the memory card before transferring all of your images and video files to your computer in one go. This is where the read and, even more importantly, write speeds of the memory card make themselves noticeable. If the memory card is too slow at writing data, the buffer of your camera will fill up rather quickly or you won’t be able to shoot video with high bit rates at all. If the read speed is too low, on the other hand, transferring data from the card to the PC will take quite a long time.
In this blog post I would like to show you some benchmarks and talk a little about my newest SD card, the Transcend Ultimate Speed SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 32GB. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? In a later post I’m going to decipher the “marketing speak” for you and do a comparison with some of my older memory cards. What you will see is that speeds indicated by manufacturers can be very optimistic or downright misleading. For now, let’s take a look at two very popular benchmarks – CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD – used to test various storage devices (HDDs, SSDs, memory cards, USB sticks, etc.):