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Canon Memory Card - Selecting the Right Canon Memory Card - Canon memory card format, Speed, Price

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A Canon memory card is used to hold your pictures and video from Canon cameras, but trying to figure out which memory card to buy can be a bit confusing. There are different formats and different speeds, and if you do not have a basic understanding of these things, then it becomes quite difficult to purchase the right Canon memory card. This guide offers explanations on all the lingo when it comes to Canon memory cards.

Canon memory card format

Canon offers memory cards in three different formats, which are SD, SDHC, and CompactFlash. SD and SDHC are the most popular formats for digital cameras. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a newer camera that does not take either SD or SDHC. The only real difference between the two formats is the fact that the SDHC can actually hold more pictures. The largest SD card you will find holds 4 gigabytes of pictures or video, although SDHC cards can go up to 32 gigabytes. If your camera supports both SD and SDHC, then always opt for the SDHC card because it can hold a lot more pictures and video.

As far as CompactFlash goes, usually the only cameras that use this format are the professional grade digital cameras. However, Canon is coming out with more and more cameras that use the CompactFlash format, like the Canon Rebel, which is a semi-professional grade camera. If you are not sure what kind of memory card you need, look at the one that is in your camera or consult the handbook that came with your camera.


Another thing to take into consideration when purchasing a Canon memory card is the speed of the card. The memory card’s speed plays an important part in how fast your camera will take pictures. You can have one of the fastest cameras on the market, but if your memory card is very slow, then it will not make much difference. For SDHC cards, the speed is given in the card’s class. A class six card writes at least 6 megabytes per second to the card. Usually a class six card will be the slowest card you want to purchase, especially if you are shooting video onto the card.

With CompactFlash cards, the speed of the card is given a bit more clearly. Common speeds in CompactFlash cards from Canon are 30 megabytes per second and 60 megabytes per second. In many cases, 30 megabytes per second may be all you need if your camera takes CompactFlash cards.


Of course the larger the Canon memory card and the faster it is, the higher the price. For example, a 4 gigabyte Canon CompactFlash memory card sells for $40, while a 1 gigabyte card sells for $20. Of course you may be able to find deals on memory cards online, but often the retailers do not list the speed of the card. This is why you will probably be much better off paying a little more at a store because then you can be sure that you are getting the right speed of card. Canon memory cards range in price from $20 up to $70, depending on the size and speed of the card.

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