SD Card: Too bad this format won the flash-card wars


An SD Card is hampered with the aid of a damaged plastic divider between electrical contacts within the higher right of the photo.

flash-card wars

I like the low value of SD playing cards. I love the truth that slots for the memory card structure are built into many computer systems at the moment. I like that the digital camera trade has mostly settled on a single format as a substitute for the gaggle of incompatible options from years prior. I like that you may purchase an SD card everywhere in the world when you are on a trip, and you want to take more photographs.

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I do not just like the SD Card format itself. My red meat comes down to at least one primary drawback: I don’t assume the design is durable enough. It is too unhealthy. For the 2d time in a yr, the narrow plastic dividers between the electrical contacts on the back of the cardboard snapped partly free. The misaligned prong prevented me from retrieving my pictures unless I carefully chopped it off with a pocketknife.

I have other gripes, too — the baffling pace scores (What’s better, type 10 or america1?) and the slider that slips too simply into write-protect mode. These I can are living with, but total, I can’t help but really feel that SD cards are designed to be slotted right into a digital and never touched again.

This is positive for many people. Nevertheless, it’s a drag for those of us who take quite a few photos and are constantly popping playing cards in and out of cameras and card readers. And because of SD Card’s popularity — it displays up on excessive-end cameras just like the Canon 5D Mark III I use about each day — that suggests increasingly more photo professionals and fans are saddled with SD Card’s flakiness.

I believed maybe the issue was once simply me. Still, when I requested colleague and digital camera reviewer Lori Grunion if she had any questions about SD Card sturdiness, she said, “My greatest problem with them is that the tiny plastic dividers that outline the contact areas spoil off.” exactly.

The particular version I was the use of was once a 32GB Lear professional card. To its credit score, Lear deals lifetime warranties on its pro merchandise, even to the point of convalescing customers’ image files if important. I am just upset that, for the 2d time, I’ll have to move through the trouble of changing it.

I asked Lear about the sturdiness drawback, and product supervisor Adam Kaufman instructed me there may be only so much the corporate can do given bodily limits of the SD Card specification and rules relating to plastics.

“Which is now not an extraordinary problem after we get returns,” he said of the snapped dividers. “We try to use sturdy top quality plastics that are sturdy enough to beef up that stuff, but we have now to stay inside the spec.”

He delivered, “There are regulatory issues that restrict us from the use of extra heavy-responsibility supplies. That proves to be a challenge from time to time.”


XQD flash reminiscence playing cards for prime-end cameras have the backing of Nikon and Sony.

There might be hope from the Compact Flash faculty, whose flash memory playing cards are much greater and quicker at information switch than SD Card, but a lot more expensive. Lamentably, though, the excessive-end camera market saddled itself with a schism between two incompatible codecs, Cast 2.0, backed by using Canon, section One, and Are, and XQD, backed by way of Sony and Nikon.

“Compact Flash at this point is a qualified play,” Kaufman said. With two successors inheriting the crown, “it’ll fragment to a smaller market.”

Meanwhile, at the least until our cameras wirelessly zip our photos to our computers or the cloud, the rest of us are caught with the fallible SD Card layout.

“We’re making them as fast and as reasonably priced as we can. We’re trying to push the capacity ahead,” Kaufman said. “Outside of that, it is hard to do much more with it.”