How to Read Your SanDisk SD Memory Card Label

By HarisM

SanDisk Secure Digital (SD) memory cards are used for many purposes. They have almost replaced traditional photographic film entirely. However, they can also be used for recording video or simply used as multipurpose additional memory. Not all SD cards are created equally. Some cards are optimized for quick burst or continual shooting; some have been optimized for video and others for both. In order to purchase a card that adequately fits your needs and intended purposes, you should understand the capabilities of the card. SanDisk SD cards are easy to understand and you do not need to look any father than the card's label.

Examine the front label of a SanDisk SD memory card.

Scan the label of the SD memory card for the capacity indicator. The icon is slightly larger than the other icons present on the label. It is followed by GB, which stands for Gigabyte. 1 GB is equivalent to 1,000,000,000 bytes, and one byte is a single unit of digital information. The larger the card's capacity, the more photos and videos it can store.

Consider what you have discovered from the label. Type of SD card depends on the capacity of a card. Any SD cards that are 2GB in capacity are SD. SD memory cards ranging from capacities of 4GB-32GB are considered SD High Capacity (SDHC), and any SD cards ranging in capacity from 64GB-2 Terabytes are classified as SD Extended Capacity (SDXC). Whether a card is SD, SDHC and SDXC is clearly labeled on the front label of a SanDisk SD card.

Locate the Read/Write indicator on the label of the SD memory card. It is easy to find; simply look for a number followed by MB/S. MB/S refers to megabytes of memory the card can Read/Write per second. This indicator specifies the card's speed for shooting photos and the transfer rate. If a card reads 15 MB/S, the card is capable of Read/Writing data onto the memory cells of the card at a maximum rate of 15 megabytes per second. A higher Read/Write speed translates to less time between high mega-pixel shots.

Take a look at the Class Rating. To identify the class rating, look for an icon on the front label that consists of a number (2, 4, 6, 10) enclosed within a capital letter C. The class rating is the minimum data transfer rate designator for video recording only. Unlike the Read/Write speed, the class rating measures the minimum sustained memory card performance. Video quality increases from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD) as ratings increase. If a card has a class rating of 4, this means the card is capable of a minimum sustained rate of 4MB/sec. This measure of a card's capability is exclusive to SD cards. A Class 2 card is recommended for basic recording, but if you intend to record in HD, Class 4 is the minimum requirement for 720p and Class 6+ for 1080p.