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Sandisk sd cards

Mtntrogger

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Aug 16, 2019
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58
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46
Hey friends, I finally filled up my first sd card on my spark. I already had a backup in the hanger in case I maxed out a card while still needing more footage. I noticed the new one is a bit different than the first one. The first one was the Sandisk "extreme plus", the new one is the 'ultra plus'. I noticed a different model that seemed geared towards drone owners on my last trip to wally world. Wondering what the difference between these is. Will the card effect the quality of the footage ? Do yall have any recommendations on sd cards, favorites ?
Thanks, I appreciate any input !
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
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Jul 10, 2017
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4,801
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Indiana, USA
From Best Buys Q&A page...

Ultra is more HD & slower read/write speed than Extreme.

Extreme is more 4K/HD & faster read/write speed, more expensive. ... ultra good for recording up to 1080p HD; extreme is higher speed, and can record up to 4K video. (Nov 9, 2017)

I also have the Extreme Plus (128gb) card(s).

It looks like the Ultra may work fine for the Spark.

I have a GoPro Hero7, Samsung 360 camera and an old phone capable of shooting 4K, but I never do because of the file size and I'm not sure if my PC is up to editing 4K. 😀

Better to be safe than sorry I guess.
 

Der olle Hansen

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Jul 3, 2020
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Loc
Luebeck, Germany
In the SPARK manual DJI recommends Sandisk, Kingston, and Samsung "UHS-1" SD Cards.

UHS-1
In 2010, the classification for the bus interface "UHS" (Ultra High Speed) was presented.
UHS-1 is the successor to the previous Normal Speed (speed classes 2, 4 and 6) and High Speed (Speed Class 10).

SanDisk Extreme PLUS
  • developed for Android smartphones, tablets and system cameras
  • record in burst mode, videos in Full HD and 4K Ultra HD UHS
  • speed class 3 and video speed class 30 for recording videos in 4K UHD
  • up to(!) 100 MB/sec reading speed or 90 MB/sec writing speed for faster transferring and recording
  • designed for and tested in extreme conditions; temperature resistant, waterproof, shockproof and X-ray proof.
SanDisk Ultra Plus
The only information I found in Google is "up to 80 MB/sec".
Usually only the fastest value is mentioned in advertising statements and this mostly relates to the irrelevant READING speed.
But WRITING the data is important for videos and photos!
For example:
  • When saving single photos for a panoramic montage, the next picture can only be taken when the current one has been written completely to the storage medium.
  • With HDR recordings, at least 3 photos are recorded in a row.
  • If the SD card is too slow, there will be a "data traffic jam"

For videos, the SPARK takes thousands of photos in an endless stream, each with 1280 * 1024 pixels.
Each pixel requires at least 3 bytes of storage space (information about red, green, blue), so each individual image requires at least 6.2 MB of storage space. 30 frames per second are recorded with the video, that makes 186 MB per second! With the usual 8-bit color depth, we get even more video data per second!
DJI bought the patented video coding format "H.264" not only for the Spark. (Manufacturer's advertising statement: "H.264 is undoubtedly today's number one video codec. H.264 was developed to provide videos in first-class quality for mobile devices, 4K or 8K televisions, or is used in professional Content ingestion and post production and offers unparalleled compatibility and robustness of a sophisticated codec.")
This compression significantly reduces the data volume, so that the SPARK gets by with a video memory bit rate of just 24 Mbit per second. (The larger and newer DJI drones have a lot more to offer.) 24 Mbit/sec is actually only 3 MB/sec.

When I bought my SPARK I inserted an old SD card into the slot, a slow one that I no longer needed in my mobile phone. And the DJI Go4 app promptly complained that "A very slow SD card is inserted."
Now I'm using a "SanDisk Extreme Pro" that can WRITE at 90 MB/s. That is far more than sufficient, but the card was on sale at a very affordable price.

I would always recommend the fastest affordable SD card so that there are no delays in WRITING the image data on board of the drone. It doesn't matter whether reading out at home on the computer takes a few seconds longer or not.
Therefore always pay attention to the WRITING speed, which is for cheap cards usually significantly lower than the advertised READING speed. And you should be skeptical if only the READING speed is given or just a speed value that you don't know whether it relates to reading or writing.
 

Der olle Hansen

Active Member
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Jul 3, 2020
Messages
41
Loc
Luebeck, Germany
Does the read /write speed influence video quality ?
The quality of the pictures (stills and the optical illusion of moving images) is influenced by
What then comes out of the codec as a mathematic calculation result is the maximum quality that can be obtained due to the technical requirements and the manipulations by the user. The SD card is just a neutral place to store this result.
As already described in the previous post, the memory card only has to be fast enough to be able to save the enormous flood of data quickly enough and without errors.

Most SD cards do not forgive one mistake that is often made:
If you switch off the drone while recording (and writing data to the card) is in progress, this video file is destroyed - in this case the quality is zero ...

And last but not least, the "image quality" also depends on the image composition, the ambient light and the cameraman's ability to capture a captivating subject, an interesting moment or an exciting scene.
Several breathtaking and award-winning pictures and movies do have technical defects, but these are of no importance compared to the other outstanding properties.
One who has been a perfectionist in photography is Ansel Adams. You can't imagine what he would have shown us if HD camera drones had already been invented in his day ...

Ansel Adams: The Tetons and the Snake River (1942)


 
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RotorWash

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Premium Pilot
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Jul 18, 2019
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54
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P.E.I., Canada
Thank you ! Does the read /write speed influence video quality ?
As long as the SD card is fast enough to keep up with the bitrate/framerate, the speed of the card makes no difference in the quality of the picture.
 

theDRONEranger

Well-Known Member
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Jul 24, 2019
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79
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65
From Best Buys Q&A page...

Ultra is more HD & slower read/write speed than Extreme.

Extreme is more 4K/HD & faster read/write speed, more expensive. ... ultra good for recording up to 1080p HD; extreme is higher speed, and can record up to 4K video. (Nov 9, 2017)

I also have the Extreme Plus (128gb) card(s).

It looks like the Ultra may work fine for the Spark.

I have a GoPro Hero7, Samsung 360 camera and an old phone capable of shooting 4K, but I never do because of the file size and I'm not sure if my PC is up to editing 4K. 😀

Better to be safe than sorry I guess.
Check out HANDBRAKE. It is a free utility the converts 4K video for editing. It permits you to convert from H265 to H264 without loss of quality. So you can still record the 4K videos. FREE! HandBrake: Downloads
Please visit the GoPro link for more info: HEVC Explained
 
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