Good size, average speed, inexpensive... winnah!

Apr 27, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Inexpensive, easy to find, name brand vendor, good size for most devices

Cons:Can be a little slow to transfer data

The Bottom Line: Good for just about any device that uses SD cards. A fair trade-off between transfer rate, storage size, and cost.

I've gone through about 5 digital cameras, several MP3 players, a phone, and a couple of random devices that all used SD cards. Currently, I'm using a Kodak Z650 digital camera on a regular basis. I like to save images with as little compression as possible, so with a 6MP+ digital camera, those images can get a little large. After using just a 1GB card for a few months, I "splurged" and bought a 2GB card. Then I bought another!

Why two cards you may ask when a single 2GB card could hold over 300 images with no trouble? Video. Just about every digital camera you can buy now comes with the option to record audio and video, so you have a digital camcorder along with your digital camera. After bouncing back and forth between using either the digital camcorder or the digital camera to record events, I found that, for my needs, the quality of the digital camera's video was fine and saved time when I shared the video online or on a DVD. Taking a few minutes of video can eat away at your storage space, and after you've taken a few dozen pictures and gotten 15-20 minutes of video saved, you may ask where those 2GB of space went. For that reason, I went ahead and got a second 2GB card to prevent me from running out of space in most situations. If I ever have to take more than 30 minutes of video I'll use the camcorder, but for short videos, the 2GB card can more than handle things. As far as transferring video, it's much faster using the SD card than moving my video over from my digital camcorder via firewire. The trade off is in the quality, which is in a direct relationship with the file size (usually the smaller the file, the more compression, the lower the quality). It's not true in every single case (for the video junkies out there I'm sure they're waiting to rant about how good a job XVID does in compressing video), but it's my general rule of thumb.

As far as actually transferring files, this card is a standard card, so it isn't a card that transfers data exceptionally fast. It works for my needs (what usually slows my camera down is the flash recharge speed, not the data transfer rate), but if you need higher transfer rates, you'll have to step up to a high-speed SD card (with some additional cost). Last week I needed to move a file and all of my thumb drives were in use, so I grabbed the extra SD card to move about 30 10-12MB files. The time to move the files to the card via my computer's SD slot was around 20 minutes, if that gives you any idea of the transfer rate. Moving them over to the other computer took about the same amount of time, if not a little longer.

Overall verdict-

When it comes to electronics, I'm almost always balancing cost versus benefits. Could I get a card with a faster transfer rate? Sure. Would it make sense for me to pay extra for that card based on my needs? No, not really. So I'm fine with two SD cards an my camera. I also have a fair amount of faith in Sandisk, since they are pretty much the leading manufacturer of small form-factor media. Grade- B

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