One of the biggest areas that is overlooked when getting a video/camera setup for trips out is the speed of the your SD card. The GoPro HD Hero2 camera supports SD/SDHC cards up to 32GB (any SD card over 2GB is considered to be a SDHC card).
The new GoPro Hero 3 range – white, silver and black use Micro SD Cards.
The Speed Class Rating is the official unit of speed measurement for SD cards. Speed Class is a minimum speed based on a worst case scenario test and represents the minimum transfer rate of data that the card is capable of.
Class 2 – 2MB/s
Class 4 – 4MB/s
Class 6 – 6MB/s
Class 8 – 8MB/s
Class 10 – 10MB/s
The Speed Class is important for video mode or camcorders, as when recording video the device is actually saving a steady stream of data. This is exactly what you are expecting a GoPro HD Hero2 camera to do whilst filming video at high resolutions. GoPro recommend SDHC cards with a Class 4 rating or higher for the Hero 2. A Class 10 SD card is recommended when using Time-Lapse mode or photo every 0.5 seconds. For the GoPro Hero 3 a Class 10 SD card is the best choice regardless of what you are using it for.
There is always a danger that if your SDHC card isn’t up to it that you could encounter error messages or loss of data. When ever my GoPro has crashed or frozen it has always been down to the card I have been using.
The difficulty comes when you start looking at Speed Class and card storage size. The higher the speed class the higher the price, the higher the card capacity the higher the prices. Therefore finding a Class 10 card with a capacity of 32GB at a decent price isn’t easy (but it is getting better). The larger national stores aren’t the place to look as a decent size card with a high speed class will cost a kings ransom. Over the last year or so I have moved from 8GB Class 4 cards to at least 16GB Class 10 cards for all of my cameras so I don’t have to worry about which card(s) I grab as I rush out of the door.
As a rough guide when recording at 1080p a 16GB card will be good for one full charge of your GoPro battery.
So what is the best GoPro SD Memory card? I currently have a range of cards including –
The price difference is so small that I would recommend Class 10 and a minimum of 32GB.
Some of my paddling mates have had pretty good success with the Extreme Speed range of cards from Samsung.