If you’ve been following our coverage on Tactical Cam Reveal X then you know that it has some pretty unique features. One such feature involves its built-in microSD slot which allows you to insert your own custom firmware onto the device.
This means you can add additional functionality through third-party apps (for example: the popular Open Camera app) or even run operating systems like Linux if you want more control over how the camera works. But one thing remains true — there are many different types of SD cards available with varying capacities and performance specs. So today we’re going to talk about all things SD cards so you’ll be able to choose the right one for your needs.
What is an SD Card?
Before diving into the details of various SD card options, let’s quickly go over the basics. An SD card is essentially just another form factor for storing data. The first SD specification was released in 1998 by SanDisk but they weren’t widely adopted until 2006 when Sony developed their Memory Stick format. These days most cameras have SD slots as well as MicroSD ones so you should check both before buying anything new.
The main difference between these two formats lies in how each stores information. While traditional flash drives store files within internal NAND chips, SD cards instead rely on NOR Flash. This means they’re faster at reading/writing data than other devices while also being less prone to physical damage since everything happens outside the actual chip itself. Also unlike USB sticks, SD cards don’t need power from the host device either. Instead, they draw energy directly from the battery inside them.
With regards to capacity, there are three common sizes used for SD storage media: Standard Capacity, High Speed Mode & UHS Speed. All refer to the number of gigabytes the SD card carries. If you’re using older models then chances are you won’t see any mention of these numbers unless you dig deep into technical specifications. However, newer versions do include them prominently so keep that in mind.
For now, let’s focus on the differences between each size and what makes them suitable for certain situations. Here’s a quick rundown:
Standard Capacity: A standard sized SD card measures 32 mm long, 24mm wide and 3.3mm thick. They start around 16 GB and go up to 256 GB depending on manufacturers. You might find yourself using these in smaller gadgets like phones, laptops, etc. where space isn’t much of a concern. In general, these disks tend to be slower due to lower read/write speeds compared to larger counterparts.
High Speed Mode: Faster SD cards come in several forms based on technology including MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital Class 10 (SDCard), Secure Digital eXchange Format (SDFormat) and SuperSpeed. Most modern smartphones use MMC whereas SDCards usually appear on digital cameras and portable video recorders. As mentioned above, high speed modes offer improved write speeds along with increased reliability. For instance, it takes longer to fill up a class 6 card than it would take to fill up a class 4 version.
UHS Speed: It stands for “Ultra High Speed” and refers to SD cards capable of transferring data at rates greater than 20 MB per second. This means your pictures could load up quicker and videos could play smoother. Not only that, higher transfer speeds mean fewer errors occur during transfers thus improving overall stability. There are five classes ranging from 1x to 8x and you probably wouldn’t notice any significant changes unless you actually perform side-by-side tests.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics, let’s move onto talking about specific SD cards that work with TacticaCam Reveal X.
SD Cards and Cameras Explained
Tactical Cam Reveal X uses a MicroSDHC card. To understand why this particular spec is important, here’s a breakdown of which SD specifications are compatible with the device:
MicroSDHC: With a capacity range between 2 GB – 512 GB, this SD variant offers better compatibility with higher end cameras. Its small frame means it fits nicely on smaller gadgets like mobile phones or tablets while still packing enough room for extra storage. Another perk is that it doesn’t require too much voltage to function unlike previous generations.
SDIO / miniSD: Both of these standards were created specifically because SD wasn’t working out that great with phone makers. Since then though, they’ve become quite rare thanks to the popularity of MicroSD. MiniSD is basically a shrunken down version of regular SD meaning that cards designed for SDIO can technically fit into miniSD adapters.
Other variations: Technically speaking, almost every SD card type exists in miniature variants. These include CompactFlash Type II, Type III, Extended Range MediaCard and Secure Digital Video Recording among others. What matters most is whether or not the card physically conforms to those standards.
To sum it up, make sure you buy a genuine SDHC card that meets the requirements listed below. Otherwise your photos may look dark or blurry and footage might get jittery.
What type of SD card does Tactacam reveal X use?
As previously stated, TacticaCam Reveal X uses a MicroSDHC card and that’s really all you need to worry about. That said, if you’d like to learn more about exactly what kind of MicroSDHC card it uses then here’s a brief overview of the specifications involved:
Capacity: Depending on manufacturer, these can range between 2 GB – 512 GB.
Class: Each SD card comes with a classification rating that indicates the fastest rate of data transfer possible without error. Classes vary slightly between brands however. Generally speaking, the earlier the number, the faster the drive.
Transfers per second: Basically, this says how fast a card can complete reads and writes. Again, the higher the value the better.
RPM: RPM simply refers to rotation per minute and determines how often the disk spins. Higher values indicate faster performance.
Performance class: Similar to class ratings, this specifies how fast a card can process commands. Usually referred to as “performance,” this reflects how fast a user can access data stored on it.
Transfer Rate: Transfer Rates aren’t standardized across brands or categories. This figure shows how much information a single command can handle in a given amount of time.
These measurements help inform users on how to pick out the best suited SD card for their usage case. Let’s break down each category further to explain what kind of performance you should expect from each one:
2nd Generation Class 4 vs 5: Like many people, TacticaCam Reveal X owners mistakenly think that a bigger number equates to better quality. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Manufacturers sometimes produce class 4 products that outperform cheaper alternatives despite having similar performance scores.
4th Generation Class 6 vs 7: Unlike the previous generation, this one focuses solely on raw read/write times. Essentially, Class 6 is twice as good as Class 7.
6th Generation Class 9 vs 10: Compared to the previous two, these provide even better performance. According to the latest figures, Class 9 performs roughly five times better than Class 10.
8th Generation Class 12 vs 13: As with the previous two, these specify maximum read/write speeds. While the gap between these two hasn’t changed much recently, Class 12 provides roughly double the speed of Class 13.
Of course, you shouldn’t base purchasing decisions on marketing jargon alone. It’s best to consult reviews written by experts who test and review each product thoroughly. Luckily, Amazon lets customers filter results according to price ranges so you can easily compare prices between cards of equal specifications.
Can I use a 64GB SD card in my Tactacam reveal X?
Yes! And no surprise, SD cards continue to grow in size year after year. Newer iterations boast even higher resolutions allowing them to hold thousands upon thousands of megapixels worth of imagery. Take a look at the newest Pro line of cards manufactured by Lexar which includes offerings up to 64 GB.