Memory Card Rate Speed for Dog Action Shots - dummies

Memory Card Rate Speed for Dog Action Shots

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

When shooting action photos of dogs, you should shoot a lot because things change so much from one second to the next. Clicking constantly helps ensure that you capture the exact moment you’re looking for.

And because you’ll be shutter button–happy, you need plenty of storage so you can make it through the whole action session. Choosing your memory card (or media storage device) is an important part of action photography.

Don’t let the plethora of memory cards overwhelm you. You can cut through the massive selection to find something that’s right for you. In this case, because you’re shooting action photos, pay particular attention to the memory card’s rate speed — the maximum speed at which the card can save your image file and be ready to take the next shot.

This designation is often shown as an MB/s (megabytes per second) number. The higher the rate speed, the faster you can snap photos without waiting for the camera to catch up with your trigger finger. Look for a card with at least a 15 MB/s rate speed if you plan to shoot action.

Some manufacturers stray from the MB/s rate speed designation and instead use an x-speed rating. For instance, you may see the speed rating listed as 133x or 266x. This is simply an alternate method of indicating the card’s rate speed.

Just like the MB/s number, a higher x-speed rating means it’s a faster card, so look for cards with x-speed ratings of at least 133x. This is equivalent to a rate speed of 20 MB/s. An x-speed rating of 266x is equivalent to 40 MB/s.

As a rule of thumb, the larger storage capacity and the higher rate speed a card has, the more it costs. Why do larger capacity cards have a slower rate speed? The answer is simple: cost. Today, a 16GB 90MB/s CompactFlash card runs around $165, whereas a 16GB 30MB/s CompactFlash card currently goes for $65.