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Choosing media cards can be a minefield - part 6 of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2016

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SD card types

SD, SDHC and SDXC

As SD cards have begun to physically shrink down in size over the years, the SD card can be considered the ‘full-size’ variant. It’s typically what is used in most modern digital cameras and nearly all laptops will come equipped with an SD card reader slot.

Where things can become confusing is when you see ‘SDHC’ and ‘SDXC’. The first stands for ‘Secure Digital High Capacity’. This was initially introduced to cover SD cards with a capacity above 2GB and below 32GB. The latter stands for ‘Secure Digital eXtra Capacity’, which go far beyond 32GB in size. You can buy SDXC cards with a whopping 2TB of storage.

SD, SDHC and SDXC all physically look the same, therefore they’ll all fit in a regular SD card slot. Problems might arise depending on the device you’re looking to use them in. Older devices that pre-date SDXC’s introduction might therefore not be compatible, so be sure to check your product’s specifications.

Devices are backwards compatible, so an SDXC-compatible device can use SDHC and SD cards. An SDHC-compatible device can use SDHC and SD cards, but will not be able to use SDXC cards.

The next two categories are included although you will not find them in many (if any) cameras outside of a phone.


MiniSD and MiniSDHC

The MiniSD was the first miniaturisation of the SD card and is around half the height of the original SD card. You can also find miniSDHC cards, which expanded storage to 4GB.

Again, you’ll need to make sure your device specifically supports miniSDHC rather than just miniSD. The miniSD card never gained much traction.


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1st Published 01/12/2016
last update 11/11/2019 12:43:11

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