Ultra-Fast SD Cards Built for Ultra HD Selling More and More

by on July 28, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – July 28th, 2014

Memory card and chip maker SanDisk is started selling insanely fast memory cards that were designed with the large memory requirements of 4K in February of this year. Their flagship product in this category, the SanDisk Extreme PRO, promised and delivered transfer speeds of up to 280 MB per second, more than enough to move even multigigabyte UHD 4K video clips between memory and computer or other device in just seconds instead of over several minutes.

This is what 4K video has needed since it came out and now the technology is moving forward quickly as the recording and display format takes an ever stronger hold in the camera and TV market. 4K UHD means ultra-high resolution that offers 4 times the display resolution of conventional HD. Instead of normal HD’s 1920 X 1080 pixels, 4K offers 3,840 x 2,160 pixels of crystal clear image and video breakdown.

Naturally, this requires the kind of serious data transfer capacities that SanDisk and others are now selling.

Previous, more conventional memory SD cards used to go to a maximum of just 95 MB/second, so the jump to 280 is no little thing. For professional and amateur videographers who are shooting 4K videos and 5K photos on some of the latest UHD DSLRs, film cameras and camcorders, the new format ready ultra-fast transfer speed of these SD cards is a vital time saver.

While a lot of conventional cameras won’t be compatible with the new generation of SD cards, the enormous data speed requirements of 4K cameras will ensure that most of these will fit well with these new memory cards, and SanDisk isn’t the only one taking advantage of this.

Panasonic has also created its own superfast SD card, which offers comparable transfer speeds to those of the SanDisk version. The Panasonic version was introduced at the same time as the companies very own high-powered 4K DSLR/Hybrid camera , the GH4.

In addition to Panasonic, Data storage maker Kingston is following the same path with its well-known memory card brand and other companies such as Taiwanese manufacturer Transcend are in the fast transfer memory game too. While the SanDisk cards are the fastest brand currently on the market, they’re also not that cheap. A 16GB version retails for just under $120 and the 64 GB variant goes for a hefty $300 USD.

Obviously, these prices will drop significantly as the popularity of 4K cameras grows and as competition in the notoriously fast advancing memory storage industry takes hold.

For now, fans of shooting photos and particularly video in 4K UHD clarity would do well to spend a little extra on their memory cards and go for the high speed versions. All those extra minutes while using regular memory do add up over time.

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