A Name-Brand Bargain in Camera Memory

Feb 28, 2008 (Updated Apr 15, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Inexpensive; small but not too small; reliable; popular format


The Bottom Line: This SD card is both cheap and roomy, and it will work great in any point-and-shoot digital camera. It should also be fine for MP3 players and other devices.

I have a 10 megapixel digital camera and have it set to take pictures at maximum quality, which results in picture files that are typically 3-4 MB each. I take a LOT of pictures, too. In addition, I often shoot video clips with my digital camera, as it does a pretty good job with video. However, the combination of big picture files plus video clips means that I go through a lot of camera memory. It's not unusual for me to fill up one 1GB chip and pop in another, and a 1GB chip can hold around 265 pictures from my camera.

I solved this problem by getting a SanDisk 2GB SD Card for my camera. I paid $20 at a Radio Shack but have since seen it for as little as $17 elsewhere.

What it is

SD stands for "Secure Digital," and it is probably the most popular format for portable, removable memory chips. Other formats used today include xD, Memory Stick and Compact Flash, but SD seems to be the most popular type. xD memory is primarily used by Fujinon cameras, which means it has a relatively small slice of the market. Memory Stick is Sony's proprietary memory format and Sony cameras are popular, but Sony has always been pricey and its Memory Stick format is no exception. Compact Flash is an older, larger memory format that is used more toward the professional end of camera lines. Compact Flash is no longer used in cameras targeted at the general consumer market.

These memory types are not interchangeable -- you can only use SD memory if your device has a slot for SD memory. Therefore, you should learn what type of memory your device uses before you go shopping for memory chips. If you can't figure out what sort of memory your device has, take the device with you to the store and let the clerk figure it out. That's what clerks get paid minimum wage to do.

An SD memory chip is encased in plastic and literally postage-stamp-sized, measuring about 1.25 inches long and about 0.9 inches wide. It is wafer thin and has a slide switch on one edge that can be used to prevent writing to the chip. With the lock switched on, you can't write new files or erase the memory chip. On the back of the SD chip are nine copper contacts.

There is a variant on the SD format called the Mini SD, which is about 1/3 the size of a standard SD chip. Some small devices such as cell phones and MP3 players take Mini SD chips, as the chips are incredibly tiny. A Mini SD chip can slip into a full-size SD adapter and be used in standard SD chip applications -- pretty handy.

SD chips are available in capacities up to at least 16 GB. I have not seen a 32 GB SD chip but it wouldn't surprise me if one existed. Virtually all devices that use SD chips can work with this SanDisk 2GB SD Card and any other SD card that's 2GB or smaller. With SD chips that are 4GB and larger, the device has to be rated for "High Capacity" SD chips. Look for a statement that the device can work with SDHC chips. If your camera (MP3 player, GPS device, cell phone, etc.) doesn't say this, it will probably not work properly with SD chips larger than 2GB. However, it should work fine with this SanDisk 2GB SD Card.

Note that this SD Card is in SanDisk's standard line. The company also has a higher-performance "Ultra" line that provides for faster read/write speeds. This might be necessary in a higher-end digital camera or in an HD video camcorder. It might also give you faster read times when you plug the chip into your computer. However, if you have a regular point-and-shoot digital camera, this standard SanDisk SD Card series will work fine for you, as it does for me.

Using it

I use the SanDisk 2GB SD Card in my Canon PowerShot G7 camera. The chip fits in a slot behind a door on the underside of the camera, and it is easily installed and removed. Once I have pictures on the chip, I pop it out of the camera and slip it into an inexpensive card reader so that I can move the files into my computer. (Card readers are the best way to move pictures into your computer. If you connect a cable to the camera to move the pictures into the computer, get a $12 card reader... it's much more convenient.) I have several card readers, including one built into one of my computers, and the SanDisk 2GB SD Card works perfectly with all of them. I've used the chip in two different cameras with no problems at all.

I've never seen any indication that the camera was bogging down because the chip was too slow. As I mentioned earlier, I shoot frequent video clips with my digital camera at a better-than-broadcast TV resolution of 640x480, and this SanDisk chip has no problem keeping up. It might be too slow for an advanced digital SLR camera or HD camcorder but it has worked perfectly for me.


For less than 20 bucks, the SanDisk 2GB SD Card is a bargain. If you look really hard, you may find it for as low as $15, which is a steal. I can get more than 500 very high resolution photos on this chip and it has not given me any problems in two months of heavy use. It is the perfect memory chip for any point-and-shoot digital camera that uses SD memory.

I recommend the SanDisk 2GB SD Card.

Recommend this product?

Read all comments (4)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!