This is a frequently asked question. Like many such questions, it has some suggestions rather than one definitive answer. And those suggestions are:
- Buy brand name cards. Lexar and Sandisk are the main brands, and they are very good electronically. They have anti-aging mechanisms built in that some cheaper cards do not.
- Get a lot of them. Often, I would rather have two 8GB cards or even four 4GB cards than one 16GB card. This spreads your risk. Memory cards die, get lost, get stolen, and so on.
- Speed is less important unless you shoot sports (many repeated shots) or video. For video, the sustained throughput (the small 1-9 number surrounded by a circle) is very important. But if you do not shoot video or constant shutter mode shots such as in sports, speed only affects the read/write time from buffer to card and from card to computer, (not the quality) and you may well prefer a $30 “slow” card ran a $150 “Super Generation 6 Extra Extreme Screaming Speed Pus Pro” card.
- That said, I think everyone should have one very fast card – for when you shoot repeated large images.
- Do not open the camera when the LED at the back, that indicates “wait, I am writing to the card” turns off.
- Format your card every time you re-insert it into the camera – but only after you have copied all you images to the computer and made a backup.
- Use a CF/SD card reader for connecting to the computer. Many people find this more convenient than connecting the camera. The choice is yours, though.
I hope that is useful – and remember, shoot a lot and fill those cards, especially this season.