What Size SD Card Is Needed for a Trail Camera?

Thomas S. Tucci

Updated on:

What Size SD Card Is Needed For A Trail Camera

Shooting wildlife with a trail camera is struggling until you see clear photos and videos. But a compatible and standard-sized SD card is required to store high-quality images and videos. So, what size SD card is needed for a trail camera, and how to find a compatible match?

The SD card size needed for a trail camera depends on the resolution of the camera and the number of pictures/ videos you take. And in many cases, a large SD card size (i.e.,128 GB) is required to store maximum images and movies. Similarly, if you have a certain number of images or video clips, then a 2 GB, 4 GB, or 8 GB SD card would be enough (depending on your needs).

If you are interested in knowing more about the different sizes of SD cards best for trail cameras, keep reading until the end!

Different Sizes of SD Card For Trail Cameras:

For your trail cameras, you can try out the various SD card sizes listed in this section:

2GB to 4GB: These are the smallest SD card size and are suitable for trail cameras that capture a small number of low-resolution pictures and videos.

8GB: This one is considered to be a medium-sized storage device. It pairs well with trail cameras as well. The photo or video Pixels Per Image (PPI) range between low and medium.

16GB to 64 GB: If you’re looking for a larger storage capacity, a 16-64 GB SD card would be the right call. You can click images with all PPI or resolution with this much capacity.

128GB: This is the largest SD card size, and is an optimum pick for the best resolution, speed, and storage without any trouble whatsoever.

Which SD Card Should You Purchase?

Generally, a trail camera uses a 2GB to 32GB SD card to function correctly and store contents. However, some trail cameras are different and are compatible with other SD cards.

For example, if your target is not to focus on image quality or you plan to store fewer images, a 2GB to 16GB SD card would be enough. A 32GB or 64GB SD card would be a good option for higher resolution and keeping a lot of pictures and videos.

The built-in memory storage of a few trail cameras can also affect the size of the SD card. This is because if your trail camera has much more memory storage, you might not require a big SD card.

Hence, it is important to check your trail camera’s storage capacity before purchasing it.

Different Types of SD Cards for Trail Cameras

You need to know different SD card types before you buy one for your trail camera. This is because only some trail cameras are compatible with other SD cards, and the size range varies from one type to another.

The most common types of SD cards for trail cameras are:

SDHC Card

SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) provides:

  • High-capacity storage, typically 4GB to 32 GB
  • Ideal for trail cameras that take high-resolution photos and videos
  • It helps to store a lot of pictures and videos

SDXC Card

SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) provides:

  • Designed for high-capacity storage, typically 64GB and above.
  • This SD card is also similar to an SDHC card in terms of high resolution and storage.

UHS-I/UHS-II

UHS (Ultra High Speed) SD cards provide:

  • High performance in terms of fast read and write speeds.
  • Similar to SDHC and SDXC cards for resolution and storage.

Best SD Card Sizes for Any Trail Camera

The top three best SD card sizes for trail cameras depend on the user’s specific needs and the camera’s capabilities. However, in general, the 16GB, 32 GB, and 128GB SD cards are the best SD card Sizes.

These three SD cards are not only distinct due to their sizes but also for their pros and cons.

16GB SD Card for Trail Camera

A 16 GB storage should go with almost all the requirements of a trail camera. To understand the deal better, take a look at the ins and outs.

Pros

  • A 16GB SD card is generally less expensive than larger capacity SD cards, hence it’s cost-effective.
  • Suitable for lower-resolution trail cameras. Thus, you don’t have to switch SD cards in the middle of your work (if you switch to higher to lower resolution photos)
  • It can store several thousand photos and a few hours of video, so you get saved from the added hassle and expenses of gathering multiple SD cards.

Cons

  • It cannot store large amounts of photos/videos like other SD cards. Hence you need to repurchase frequently if your goal is to click multiple photos/videos
  • Not be suitable for extended use

32GB SD Card:

This storage is compatible with most trail cameras. So undoubtedly, it’s a safer yet wiser choice.

Pros

  • It offers faster read and writes speeds (98 and 85 Mbps respectively)
  • Wastes less power even while offering you a larger capacity for higher-resolution photos and videos
  • Ideal for extended use

Cons

  • More expensive than 16 GB

128GB SD Card:

Here we’re with the largest affordable storage capacity. It’s a favorite option for the experts. Consider this in the first place, if you can raise your budget a bit.

Pros

  • Great for shooting for several days.
  • Comes with the maximum read and write capacity (170 and 90 Mbps respectively)

Cons

  • High cost and hence not appropriate for people who are on a budget.
  • It might only be compatible with some trail cameras.

Comparison Among 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB SD Cards for Trail Camera

Features16 GB32 GB128 GB
StorageLimitedLargeHighest
CostBudget-friendlyCostlyMost expensive
ResolutionAverageHigh qualityBest quality
CompatibilityLow/medium resolution trail camerasHigh-resolution trail camerasHigh-resolution trail cameras might not always be compatible and may need a firmware update.

Things to Consider for Buying an SD Card for a Trail Camera

Choosing a compatible SD card for your trail camera is essential. However, there are a few important factors to consider:

Capacity

For a good quality SD card, enough storage is required to hold all the photos and videos you capture. The capacity might vary depending on the resolution and quantity of the images/videos you take.

Speed

The SD card you choose for your trail camera must have a fast read and write speed. The rapid speed will help save photos/videos easily without lag. Thus, you can easily capture all the specific moments and movements of wildlife.

Durability

A trail camera is mainly used to take photos or capture wildlife perfectly, even at night. Hence the durability of an SD card matters a lot as this can withstand a certain amount of physical stress and exposure to elements such as dust and water. Waterproof and shockproof SD cards are ideal for use in trail cameras.

Compatibility

Your SD card must be compatible with your trail camera. Otherwise, an incompatible SD card will not function properly and will fail to store high-resolution images or videos easily.

Some trail cameras may require specific SD cards such as SDHC or SDXC.

Bottom Line

By now, you must know what size SD Card Is Needed For A Trail Camera. When choosing an SD card for a trail camera, consider the resolution, storage, and quantity of the photos or videos you plan to capture.

Standard SD card sizes for trail cameras are 2GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB, but mostly 16GB, 32GB, or 128GB are used for the best output and storing maximum photos/ videos.

Before purchasing an SD card for your trail camera, you must ensure compatibility to prevent low quality. Always keep a backup of the data stored on an SD card to avoid data loss.

With all this information, you can purchase one SD card for your trail camera. Buy the best one and keep everything in your mind that has been mentioned above.

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