SanDisk goes bigger, faster for new SD and microSD cards

According to research, around 1.1 trillion photos will be taken on smartphones in 2014, and while few of these will ever be seen outside of Facebook or Instagram, these will take up space. With this in mind, SanDisk has launched new cards for both cameras and smartphones helping deal with the space issue, while bringing speed into the picture.

Two products have been launched this week, variations on a theme but improvements all the same, as one of the global leaders of smart media across the planet unveils bigger and faster cards for your smart and optics-friendly devices.

First is the category of SD cards, and while CompactFlash at one point led the charge, SanDisk now tells us that the thin plastic SecureDigital card commonly referred to as “SD” is used by over 80 percent of professional videographers, and we can imagine there are a whole bunch of photographers in that crowd as well.

But video is the big deal here, and while images are still shot by plenty of photographers, and the speed here matters, video is where devices really start to require the monumentally massive card sizes with plenty of speed.

Specifically, it’s when you’re shooting 4K Ultra HD media, which takes up four times the space, and can apparently take up as much as 4GB per minute, depending on the camera you’re shooting on.

To help with this, SanDisk has this week launched a 512GB Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I high-speed 4K ready card to Australia, delivering 4K-ready speeds and an insane amount of space, making it possible to store as much as 12 hours of 4K video on the card, or as much as two solid days — 48 hours — work of video in Full HD.

“As an industry leader, SanDisk continues to push the boundaries of technology to provide customers with the innovative, reliable, high-performance solutions they have come to expect from us,” said George Saad, Country Manager for SanDisk in Australia and New Zealand.

“4K Ultra HD is an example of a technology that is pushing us to develop new storage solutions capable of handling massive file sizes. The 512GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I card is a tremendous advancement that enables professionals to reliably store more content on a single card than ever before.”

Lots of storage and speed does not come cheap, and SanDisk’s 512GB card will carry an estimated retail price of $1150, though lower sizes will be made available, with 128GB and 256GB options available, as well.

Mobile phones are also getting some of SanDisk’s developments, but not in the form of SD. No, those cards are far too big for the likes of a phone, and so if you have an Android or Windows Phone, or even a small action camera like a GoPro that can take microSD, you’ll be pleased to know that SanDisk has been working on making the microSD cards ready for 4K video, too.

Ultra High Definition video isn’t just something that works on big cameras, with several smartphones capable of shooting the high-resolution format, also, as well as at least one model of action camera.

With this in mind, SanDisk has engineered a 4K ready microSD card to work with the speeds Ultra HD requires, though not necessarily with the same amount of storage as its full-size brother.

This card is the SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB microSDXC, and while it lacks the massive storage size as its regular SD card brother, it does offer the same sort of speed.

Fortunately, it doesn’t carry the same sort of price tag, with a more manageable $179 for the 64GB microSD, while the 32GB option carries an $89 price tag, with availability for both of them, as well as the aforementioned half-terabyte 512GB SDXC arriving in October.