Short for Secure Digital, SD cards are a reliable flash memory used in many different digital products. From cameras and smartphones to tablets, audio/video players, and video game consoles, SD cards have multiple applications. The best SD card for business use will depend on what you need it for, but it is fair to say there is a card out there for your use case. And this is because the technology of SD cards keeps evolving.
Since they were first introduced in 1999, the technology has evolved to now have terabyte capabilities. This is a huge leap from the 32 and 64 MB SD cards first available in the first quarter of 2000. New manufacturing processes and performance classifications now make SD cards one of the best portable storage solutions.
|Feature/Aspect||Top Pick: SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Card||Runner Up: Transcend 64GB SDHC 700S Memory Card||Best Value: Kingston Canvas Go! Plus 512 GB|
|Read Speed||Up to 170MB/s||Up to 285MB/s||Up to 170MB/s|
|Write Speed||Up to 90MB/s||Up to 180MB/s||Up to 170MB/s|
|Video Support||Full HD & 4K UHD||4K UHD||Full HD & 4K UHD|
|UHS Speed Class/Video Speed Class||U3, V30||U3, V90||U3, V30|
|Durability||Temperature, water, shock, and X-ray proof||Waterproof (up to 30 mins, 1m deep), temperature, static, X-ray, and shockproof||Waterproof, temperature proof, shock and vibration proof, x-ray proof|
|Special Features||CFexpress Type B Card & SD Express standards, sequential burst mode photography||MLC NAND flash memory, RecoveRx software||Designed for action cameras and drones, A2 support|
SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Card
Top Pick: SanDisk is the top-rated manufacturer of SD cards. The Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card has shot speeds up to 90MB/s and transfer speeds up to 170MB/s. This allows it to shoot sequential burst mode photography, Full HD (1920×1080), and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video.
This also includes capturing uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30). And with 1TB of storage capacity, this card is robust enough for many jobs.
When it comes to the CFexpress Type B Card form factor, it uses two PCIe lanes with a maximum data transfer rate of 2GB/sec. On the other hand, the SD Express standard uses one PCIe lane at maximum data transfer rate of 1GB/sec.
If you have a minimum write speed requirement, make sure to always look for this specification with Sandisk extreme SD line of memory cards. This is especially important when you start capturing 4K and higher definition videos.
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The card is temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof. The card is 0.09 x 0.94 x 1.26 inches, weighs 0.059 ounces, and comes with a lifetime limited manufacturer warranty.
Transcend 64GB SDHC 700S Memory Card
Runner Up: Transcend manufactures its cards with top-tier MLC NAND flash memory. This makes the brand one of the most durable and reliable SD cards in the industry. The 700S memory cards meet both the UHS-II Speed Class 3 (U3) and the UHS Video Speed Class 90 (V90) standards. This allows it to make 4K Ultra HD video recordings, with read speeds of up to 285MB/s and write speeds of up to 180MB/s.
Transcend cards are waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water. Additionally, they are temperature, static, X-ray, and shockproof. The company also offers exclusive RecoveRx software, a free data recovery utility.
This card is 0.94 x 0.08 x 1.26 inches, weighs 0.42 ounces, and comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Kingston Canvas Go! Plus 512 GB
Best Value: This MicroSD card from Kingston is one of the most robust MicroSD cards for action content. It has been designed and tested to continue working for action cameras and drones. It has been proven to be waterproof, temperature proof, shock and vibration proof, and x-ray proof.
When it comes to performance, the Canvas Go! Plus has fast transfer speeds of up to 170MB/s. So, it can transfer and capture Full HD & 4K UHD with relative ease. Furthermore, it supports A2, to expedite your workflow.
The standout performance includes high speeds with UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30) ratings.
ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II V90 300R Memory Card (256GB)
ProGrade is known by photographers and cinematographers for addressing their recording and workflow needs. This card has a blazing 300 MB/s read speed and 250MB/s write speed rating along with UHS-II, U3 Speed Class.
The controller and firmware are optimized and designed for cinematic cameras shooting video of 4K, 8K, RAW, and RAW HD. And it is compatible with Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, and Samsung.
ProGrade carries out rigorous 100% card testing, resulting in the highest quality assurance. This includes serialized tracking of key components and manufacturing data to ensure quality control, which is why the company offers a three-year warranty. This card is X-ray-proof, temperature-proof, and waterproof.
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card
The second entry from SanDisk is this 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-IISD memory card. The performance this card delivers is designed for professional and advanced photographers and videographers.
It provides super-fast write speeds of up to 260MB/s along with sustained V90 video speeds and UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) delivering 8K, 4K and Full HD video recording. As for the transfer rate speed, you can get up to 300MB/s.
The card is rugged enough for action shooting without having to worry bout location because it is shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and X-ray-proof design.
Lexar Professional 2000x 256GB SDXC UHS-II Card
This Lexar card offers a high-speed performance by using UHS-II technology. This allows it to deliver a read transfer speed of up to 300MB/s along with write speeds of up to 260MB/s. With this speed, you can make Full HD, 3D, 4K UHD, and 8K video recordings.
This card is also backward compatible at the highest UHS-I speeds and works with older, non-UHS-I devices, performing at Class 10 speeds.
The card is X-ray proof, temperature proof, shockproof, and vibration proof and it has limited lifetime product support.
PNY 512GB Elite Performance Memory Card
The price per GB of this PNY SD card delivers value. At 512GB, the card has a sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s with a Class 10, U3 rating. This is enough speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD videography.
According to PNY, it is compatible with point-and-shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, standard and advanced HD-enabled video cameras, and more. The card is also magnet, shock, temperature, and waterproof.
The card is 0.08 x 1.25 x 0.94 inches and weighs 0.05 ounces.
Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card 128GB
The 128GB TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II from Sony is 18X stronger than standard SD cards. In addition to its ruggedness, you get fast file transfer up to 300 MB/s and up to 299MB/s write speed. It is also UHS-II, Class 10, and U3 compliant with support for the V90 video speed class.
This card has the highest level of waterproofing and dust proofing because of its completely sealed monolithic structure. Another great feature is the Sony SD Scan Utility. It regularly and automatically scans your SD memory cards so you know before it reaches its limit.
This card is 1.26 x 0.94 x 0.08 inches and weighs 0,071 ounces.
SanDisk 1TB Extreme MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card
If you want a MicroSD, the SanDisk 1TB Extreme MicroSDXC UHS-I is a solid option. You get up to 160MB/s read speeds and write speeds up to 90MB/s for transferring high-res images and 4K UHD videos. The UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30) lets you shoot 4K UHD and Full HD videos. It is waterproof as well as temperature, shock, and X-ray proof.
This card is 0.04 x 0.59 x 0.43 inches and weighs 0.16 ounces
SAMSUNG EVO Select 512GB microSDXC UHS-I U3
The EVO Select 512GB microSDXC UHS-I U3 from Samsung delivers up to 100MB/S read and 90MB/S write speeds. This includes UHS Speed Class U3 and Speed Class 10 for capturing 4K UHD and Full HD video as well as photos.
The card is also waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray-proof, and magnetic-proof, and it comes with a full-size adapter for use in cameras, laptops, and desktop computers.
This card is 0.59 x 0.04 x 0.43 inches, weighs 0.352 ounces, and comes with a 10-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY.
Choosing the Right SD Card
When it comes to businesses or professional work, the demand for SD cards goes beyond just storing personal memories. For entrepreneurs, photographers, videographers, or any professional requiring data storage, choosing the right SD card is crucial for performance and efficiency. Here’s an expanded understanding to aid in the selection process:
- Performance Needs:
- Speed Class: Beyond just the read and write speeds, pay attention to the Speed Class marked on the card. SD cards are categorized into classes like Class 10, UHS-1, UHS-3, etc., that indicate the minimum sustained write speed.
- Sequential vs. Random Speed: While the previously mentioned speeds often refer to sequential read/write, random read/write speeds are equally important, especially for apps and OS functions.
- Versatility in Applications:
- Multiple Devices: If your business involves using different devices, look for cards with versatility. An SD card that works seamlessly across cameras, drones, and other recording devices offers an edge.
- File Recovery Features: Some SD cards come with built-in software for file recovery, which can be a lifesaver if something goes awry.
- While it’s tempting to settle for what you need today, consider future needs. With technology rapidly evolving, getting an SD card with slightly higher specifications can make it more useful down the line.
- Value for Money:
- Often, businesses focus on getting the most cost-effective solutions. But, when it comes to SD cards, a slightly higher initial investment can ensure better reliability and longevity, providing better value over time.
Tips for a Wise Purchase:
- Always buy from authorized dealers to avoid counterfeit products.
- Regularly backup data to reduce risks associated with data loss.
- Keep the card’s environment in mind; some are resistant to water, shock, and X-rays, ensuring data protection in challenging scenarios.
Types of SD Cards
A quick look at an SD card and you will see different acronyms and ratings. This information is crucial to get the most out of your SD memory cards.
- SD or SDSC – Secure Digital Standard Capacity: maximum of 2 GB storage
- SDHC – Secure Digital High Capacity: from 2 to 32 GB of storage
- SDXC – Secure Digital Extended Capacity: from 32 GB to 2 TB of storage
- SDUC – Secure Digital Ultra Capacity: from 2 to 128 TB of storage
There is one more standard or type called SDIO or Secure Digital Input Output. These cards have more functionality including wireless networking such as Bluetooth or GPS receiver, television tuning, and even fingerprint recognition.
What makes an SD card suitable for business use as opposed to personal use?
SD cards designed for business use often prioritize factors like higher read and write speeds, durability, and data protection features. Given that businesses may frequently transfer large files or rely on faster data access, cards with superior speed classes, such as UHS-3, might be preferred. Additionally, cards for business use often have enhanced durability features, such as water, shock, and X-ray resistance. Some also come with encryption features for added data security, which is crucial for sensitive business data.
Is there a significant difference between microSD and standard SD cards for business applications?
Both microSD and standard SD cards serve the primary function of data storage. The main difference is their size, with microSD cards being much smaller. The choice between them largely depends on the devices being used in the business. In terms of performance, both can offer high read and write speeds, especially if they are from reputable manufacturers. It’s essential to ensure that the chosen card type is compatible with the business’s devices and meets the required performance standards.
How often should businesses replace or upgrade their SD cards?
The need to replace or upgrade SD cards can vary based on the frequency and intensity of use. Typically, under normal conditions, SD cards have a lifespan of about 10 years, as mentioned by the SD Card Association. However, for businesses that constantly record, overwrite, or access data, this lifespan can be shorter. Regularly monitoring the card’s performance and checking for signs of slowing down or errors can provide an indication.
Does a better SD card improve video quality?
Using an SD card by itself does not directly improve the video quality of a recording. Video quality is primarily determined by the camera sensor, lens, codec, resolution settings, bit rate, and lighting conditions. However, the type and speed of an SD card can have an indirect impact on video recording, such as allowing for faster speeds and larger uploads.
What is the fastest SD card type?
Currently, the fastest SD card type is UHS-II, with read speeds of up to 300MB/s and write speeds of 260MB/s.
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