When selecting an SD card for your trail camera, too often the choice is made by what you already have on hand. The reality is, your choice of SD card may end up being the weak link in your trail camera setup. Why do we recommend certain SD cards, and why are these recommendations so important? Let’s explore exactly what SD card types and classes mean, and what impact they can have on your success with trail cameras.
SD CARD TYPES
All current SPYPOINT cameras require an SD card that is between 2GB and 32GB in size. This is the SDHC type card. The SDHC cards use the Fat32 file formatting system. The SDHC type cards are one of three common SD card formats. The first were SD cards, and had just 128MB to 2GB of storage. They also used a different file formatting system than SHDC cards. You will also find SDXC cards. These cards are larger than 32GB and use yet another file formatting system that is not compatible with SPYPOINT trail cameras. For SPYPOINT cameras, cellular or non-cellular, always be sure you are using an SDHC card, between 2GB and 32GB in size.
16GB SDHC card can hold more than 10,000 pictures, so don’t get caught up worrying that your card isn’t big enough unless you go to some astronomical size.
SD CARD CLASSES
While card size and style are relatively easy to understand, there are multiple card speeds available, and these speeds and what they mean aren’t always communicated clearly. What exactly does SD card class mean, and why is important?
The class of a card indicates the minimum sustained write speed for the card. Basically, how fast can information be transferred from the device writing the information, to the card storing it. A Class 10 card can write at 10MB per second, where a Class 2 can only write at 2MB per second. It’s possible to get faster speeds out of cards, but the class indicates what should be the minimum writing speed.
If we apply this to how we know a camera functions, we can see why it’s so important. Once the camera is triggered and the photo is taken, the camera has to write the data of that photo to the card. Until that data is transferred to the card, the camera can’t do anything else. If you run your camera with a burst setting, the follow-up shots may be delayed if a slower card is used.
A slow card is like a putting a restrictor plate on a racecar. All the technology is there to perform better, but you’re putting a limit on how much performance you can get. A Class 10 card ensures that the information is being written as fast as possible, and doesn’t bog the system down.
If you want to maximize performance, and avoid headaches, ALWAYS use a Class 10 SDHC card between 2GB and 32GB in size for your SPYPOINT cameras. To avoid any confusion or doubt, SPYPOINT offers SD and MicroSD cards that have been specially designed to match SPYPOINT camera requirements, saving you the effort of searching through listings online that may offer a better price, but be sorely lacking in performance.
We also have a video resource to explain SD cards, and how to format them to get the best performance in your SPYPOINT trail camera.