Why 16GB Memory Cards Are Better:

It is not hard to find a memory card that can pack as much as 128 gigabytes (GB) storage capacity into an SD memory card, a boon when shooting videos or when embarking on  a weekend trip with a nice point and shoot like the FujiFilm x100F or Leica Q. Personally, however, I like the 16GB SD cards and here are my reasons:

  • When on a trip, I tend to use one card per day — and use that as a limiting factor to how many photo frames I might capture in a single day. Even with the increasing file sizes (nearly 50 megabytes), it is enough for my style of photography as my maximum frames a day is about a 100. Throw in some video, and even then I don’t run out of capacity.
  • One card a day adds a layer of protection in terms of data storage, and your photos. If you lose a card or damage one, the worst case is you lost a single day’s work, not the entire trip’s worth of photos.
  • For me it is an additional back up copy — much like the developed roll of film. My workflow means, come to the hotel room, download photos to the drive, load to the cloud and file away the card for archival storage, never to be used again.
  • At such low storage capacity, they are super cheap, even at the top end of the range and I tend to buy them in bulk and always have two or three cards in my camera bag/pouch.
  • It is way easier to download photos from a 16GB card to your iPad versus say a 64GB card. The SD card connector is great to use but the Apple photos app is an abomination and takes forever to create previews and the download the photos. Larger the card, the longer it takes to create a preview. (By the way, if you know any better option, do let me know, for I want to download photos to the iPad faster.)

As someone once said, bigger isn’t better, it’s just bigger. If you are looking for a brand recommendation, I am fairly agnostic though Lexar made a regular appearance and so did Sandisk. Like I said, they are all pretty much same in quality: just get the fastest one available and don’t spend more than $15 a card!

(Via Om Malik)


I’m struggling with this myself because of video. I have four 128GB Class 3 / U10 4K capable MicroSD Cards for my 4 recording devices. I’ve had one go bad so instead of losing 30 minutes of video. I lost 4 hours. But, when I’m riding on my motorcycle with 2 cameras going, stopping every 30 minutes to change memory cards is not fun at all so I continue to buy a 128GB card every 3-4 months on average until I have a terabyte of mobile SD cards with me for week long trips. I offload the data nightly to a 1TB portable HDD and usually fill it up after 4 days. 

For Photography, a 64GB CF + SD Card is what I use in my Canon 5D. This more than covers all I need to shoot in a day or long weekend and of course, running dual cards lowers my likelihood of losing all of the photos.