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The Crowdstorm buyers' guide to memory cards

Higher quality cameras – with movie-making capabilities, HD images and more megapixels – are increasing the need for memory cards that work faster and have a higher capacity.

We've done all the hard work for you to bring you the best online selection of memory cards, from SanDisk to Toshiba to Kingston. 

So whether you're looking for a memory card to fit USB flash drive you already own, or a new memory card to fit your fancy new high-end camera, you're guaranteed to find the perfect one for you over on our shopping and comparison pages. 

At Crowdstorm we source all the best deals from the retailers you can trust, both online and from the high street. We put them in a simple table so you compare both deals and types - then give you a button to click through directly to the retailer of your choice.

Which type of memory card should I go for?

  • Extreme/Extreme Pro: An extreme memory card is perfect for capturing the best HD-quality images and video. Extreme cards also allow for super-quick download and read/write speeds. They’re also shock and vibration-tested in extreme conditions so you know that all your images and videos are safe, no matter where you’re shooting. 
  • Ultra: Ultra memory cards are the most popular type for digital cameras. They’re also the most compatible. Reliable, fast and convenient. 
  • Everyday: Everyday memory cards are ideal for basic photography and everyday use with digital cameras 

Memory card formats

Here are the common memory card formats you may need for your devices. Be very careful to buy a memory card that is compatible with your device. Unfortunately you can't just scout through for cheap memory cards as they may not slot into your camera!

  • CF card (compact flash. Very high storage capacity (up to 256GB) and processing time, but only usable in a small number of high tier devices)
  • MicroSD card (smaller version of an SD card that store up to 512GB of data and are common memory cards for phones)
  • MicroSDHC card (smaller version of an SDHC card, storing up to 256GB of data)
  • MSPD card (memory stick pro duo: proprietary to Sony, but most of its devices are now compatible with SD cards too)
  • SD card (secure digital. The old gold standard in memory cards, these will store anywhere up to 2GB of data depending on which you purchase)
  • SDHC card (secure digital, high capacity. These go from 32-64GB capacity, taking over where CD cards left off, and are the most common memory cards for cameras. But check your device recognises this technology before you invest)
  • SDXC card (secure digital, 'xtra' capacity – now the top-end SD card. A huge step up in capacity and transfer speed, with storage as high as 2TB. But check your device recognises this new technology before you invest)
  • xD card ('xtreme' digital: old proprietary standard for Olympus and Fujifilm. These brands have now largely moved to SD)
  • MMC card (multimedia cards – these are like SD cards, but with a lower transfer rate and no access lock)

Memory card speed

Here’s a table to give you a rough guide to memory card class and speed:

Class Type Speed Suited to...
2 SD   Basic/older cameras
4 SDHC 15 M/Bs Entry level cameras
10 SDHC 20 M/Bs Mid-range cameras
Entry level camcorders
10 SDHC 30 M/Bs Mid-range and high-end cameras
10 SDHC 45 M/Bs

High-end cameras
HD camcorders

Memory card speed ratings explained

If you're confused by memory card speed transfer statistics, here are the basics:

  • Wireless LAN: With advances in Wi-Fi technology, it was only a matter of time before memory cards went wireless!
  • MBs: A memory card’s maximum data transfer speed – so the faster the better.
  • Class: Class ratings are used to signify the write speed of a memory card. For HD, class 4 is the minimum whilst class 10 is the maximum. 
  • UHS-Class 1: Very high-speed. Designed for higher end HD cameras that take large-sized images.

SD/SDHC memory card capacity

Image resolution (megapixels) 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB
2 2,111 4,222 8,444 16,889 33,778
3 1,583 3,167 6,333 12,667 25,333
4 826 1,652 3,304 6,609 13,217
5 760 1,520 3,040 6,080 12,160
6 704 1,407 2,815 5,630 11,259
7 633 1,267 2,533 5,067 10,133
8 559 1,118 2,235 4,471 8,941
10 500 1,000 2,000 4,000 8,000
12 452 905 1,810 3,619 7,238

SDXC memory cards

For cards of 64GB and above, you're looking to the latest memory card format: SDXC. With memory capacity now as high as 2TB, these cards really have taken camera memory to the next level. 

I've found the right memory card: what now?

Now you have all the details you need to make an informed buying decision you're ready to head over to our shopping and comparison pages, where we've scoured the web to find you the best deals and prices on all kinds of memory cards.

So whether you're a beginner photographer or have been in the game for years be sure to get the best memory card for your needs over on our shopping pages. Simply peruse hundreds of offers and when you find one that suits your budget simply click and you'll be transferred to the site of your selected independent retailer where you can click and buy – happy snapping!