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SanDisk Video HD Memory Cards for Flash Camcorders

Looking for memory cards for your flash-based camcorder? SanDisk has a helpful answer with the SanDisk Video HD SD/SDHC memory card product line -- explicitly rated by hours of video recording time, not just gigabytes of capacity.

In the days of analog tape, you could determine capacity by using a two-hour or longer tape, or setting the camera to a (super-)long-play mode for 4 or 6 hours. But with digital cameras, you need to think in terms of numbers like 4 or 8 or 16 GB of storage capacity.

So the SanDisk Video HD memory cards are presented in a similar way -- The largest number on the front of the package is the recording time, not the storage capacity. For example, the packaging features a 4 hour recording time for the 16 GB card. Of course, this does require an asterisk -- the 4 hours is a typical recording time for HD video at standard quality. The information on the back then lists example recording times for both HD and SD video: 2 hours for high-quality HD (AVCHD, 1920x1080), and 3 hours and 40 minutes for high-quality standard-def video (MPEG-2, 720x480).

Continuing the videotape theme, the Video HD cards also include a jewel case (plastic holder) and set of labels (for the case, not the cards).

In terms of performance, the Video HD memory cards are around the middle of the SanDisk "good-better-best" product lines for flash memory cards (see previous post). The Standard cards have a Class 2 (2 MB/sec.) minimum baseline performance, the Ultra II cards are Class 4 (4 MB/sec.) baseline plus a maximum read/write data rate of up to 15 MB/sec., and the Extreme III cards are Class 6 (soon stepping up to 10), with max read/write speeds up to 30 MB/sec.

The Video HD cards are Class 4, like the Ultra II line, but are unrated in terms of the max performance. They're typically priced around the same as the Ultra II, but, as usual, look around for discounts or special deals -- for example the 16 GB cards list for around $97 but have street prices around $41 -- and for even more storage, the 32 GB Ultra II is currently available at around $91.

See my full article: Flash Memory: Technology Summary for more on memory card formats and features

See my Portable Storage Gallery for more on storage formats and devices.

Find the SanDisk Video HD and Ultra II SDHC cards on Amazon.com

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