Basics of Memory Cards for the Canon Rebel T5/1200D - dummies

Basics of Memory Cards for the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

As the medium that stores your picture files, the memory card is a critical component of your Canon Rebel T5 /1200D camera. Follow these tips for buying and maintaining cards:

  • Buying SD cards: Again, you can use regular SD cards, which offer less than 4GB of storage space; SDHC cards (4GB–32GB); and SDXC cards (more than 32GB). The second specification to note is SD speed class, which indicates how quickly data can be moved to and from the card. For best performance, especially for movie recording, consider a speed class rating of 6 or 10.

    Some cards may also carry another designation, UHS-1 or UHS-2; both labels refer to a new technology designed to boost data transmission speeds above the normal Speed Class 10 rate. Your camera can use UHS-1 cards, but because it doesn’t follow the UHS-1 standard, you’ll still get Class 10 read/write speeds. In other words, don’t pay more for the UHS-1 or UHS-2 functionality.

  • Formatting a card: The first time you use a new memory card or insert a card that’s been used in other devices, you need to format it to prepare it to record your pictures.

    Formatting erases everything on your memory card. So before you format a card, be sure that you’ve copied any data on it to your computer. After doing so, get the formatting job done by selecting Format Card from Setup Menu 1.

    When you choose the Format option, you can perform a normal card formatting process or a low-level formatting, which gives your memory card a deeper level of cleansing than ordinary formatting and thus takes longer to perform. To use this option, press the Exposure Compensation button, and select the box next to the Trash Can symbol on the menu screen. Then highlight OK and press the Set button.


  • Removing a card: After making sure that the memory card access light (lower-right corner of the camera back) is off, indicating that the camera has finished recording your most recent photo, turn off the camera. Open the battery chamber door, depress the memory card slightly, and then let go. The card pops up a bit, enabling you to grab it by the tail and remove it.

  • Handling cards: Don’t touch the gold contacts on the back of the card. When cards aren’t in use, store them in the protective cases they came in or in a memory card wallet. Keep cards away from extreme heat and cold as well.

  • Locking cards: The tiny switch on the side of the card, labeled Lock switch, enables you to lock your card, which prevents any data from being erased or recorded to the card. If you insert a locked card into the camera, a message on the monitor alerts you to that fact.


    You can safeguard individual images from accidental erasure by using the Protect Images option on the Playback menu. Note, though, that formatting the card does erase even protected pictures; the safety feature prevents erasure only when you use the camera’s Delete function.

  • Using Eye-Fi memory cards: Your camera works with Eye-Fi memory cards, which are special cards that enable you to transmit your files wirelessly to your computer and other devices.

    If you do use Eye-Fi cards, enable and disable wireless transmission via the Eye-Fi Upload option on Setup Menu 1. When no Eye-Fi card is installed in the camera, this menu option disappears.