Is it worth investing in a high-end SD card? We put six of the best to the test
We test six premium 32GB SD cards to see if they really can deliver the speed you need in a rugged form
Speed is a major consideration when you’re buying a memory card. In continuous shooting mode, your camera is capturing data faster than it can write to the card, so this data is stored in a temporary memory buffer. When this buffer is full, the shooting rate slows. The faster the card’s write speed, the quicker the buffer is cleared, which means you’ll be able to take more shots before it fills up.
We’ve taken a look at a selection of premium 32GB UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed) Bus SDHC/SDXC cards, as these are the most compatible with the present Nikon range. Each card has been put through two tests. The first checks the time it takes to clear the buffer: a D600 is set to 1/1000 sec in manual mode, then we shoot on continuous until the buffer is full and record the time it takes to clear the files to the card. By dividing the size of the files by the time taken to clear the buffer we’re able to establish each card’s in-camera write speed. The second test uses QuickBench software to establish the read/write times using the built in PCIe Bus SD card reader on a MacBook Pro.