MD80 memory cards

The MD80 mini camcorder takes microSD (short for micro Secure Digital) cards which are commonly available and cheap for the amount of solid-state storage they provide. At roughly 10 minutes recording time per GB of storage space it makes sense to purchase one of the larger microSDHC cards. Buy from MyMemory if you’re in the UK. I’ve been happy with them. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a selection of memory cards for MD80 camera available in all price ranges.

SD was the original standard that is available upto 2 GB I believe, and SDHC are the larger, more modern ones. All SD should work in something that will take SDHC, but not necessarily the other way round. Not all SDHC memory cards are built the same. As video recording has a high data rate, you need to be able to write to the card at least as fast as the data is being produced or the video you are recording will experience problems e.g. skipping or corruption. Luckily for us, the Speed Class Rating exists. This specifies the minimum write speed (what we are interested in) that a card is defined to operate at. It’s difficult to know what speed the video is written at as it will vary depending on light levels, how much of the image is changing, etc. so the easiest way is just to buy a higher class of card. There’s very little difference in price apart from at the largest capacities so it’s a no-brainer really! The usual classes are:

Class 2: 16 Mbit/s (2 MB/s)
Class 4: 32 Mbit/s (4 MB/s)
Class 6: 48 Mbit/s (6 MB/s)
Class 10: 80 Mbit/s (10 MB/s)

That said, if you feel you need a higher capacity card remember that these classes only specify the minimum transfer rate, but I would go for at least a Class 4 for the MD80.

I would also recommend buying a branded card made by a well-respected manufacturer as they are likely to last longer, perform better and experience less instances of corruption or failure. They often exceed their Speed Class Rating by quite some margin too. My personal choice would be Sandisk, though I would also consider Crucial, Kingston, Corsair or Samsung. These are all easily available for very little price premium over the generic unbranded models.

While it’s easy enough to use the USB cable that comes with the MD80 to transfer your video files, you’ll most likely get better performance using a dedicated card reader. You can often get these bundled in with the card. For those who have a card reader built into their laptop or desktop computer, adaptors are also available that enable microSD or microSDHC cards to be used in the normal SD card slot.