Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Best SD/SDHC cards for Canon Rebel T2i / EOS 550D, T1i/ 500D and XSi /450D


Secure Digital or SD cards are widely used in cameras.  Three different kinds of SD cards are used in cameras:

  • SD cards (up to 4G),
  • SDHC cards (High Capacity 4G to 32G)
  • SDXC cards (eXtended Capacity up to 2TG).

    SD card speed classifications:

    The speed ratings are very confusing for consumers.  The speed Class Rating are the official standard defined by SD associated.  The speed is defined as the minimum transfer speed at the worse cases,

    • Class 4: 32 Mbit/s (4 MByte/s)
    • Class 6: 48 Mbit/s (6 MByte/s)
    • Class 10: 80 Mbit/s (10 MByte/s)

    The X rating is a unit coming from CD-ROM drive speed of 1.2Mbit/s. The conversion of Class and X rating:

    • 26x   Class 4  (writing speed 32 Mbit/s)
    • 40x  Class 6   (writing speed 48 Mbit/s)
    • 66x   Class 10  (writing speed  80 Mbit/s)
    • 133x Class 45  (writing speed 360 Mbit/s)

    Sometimes, the SD card, SDHC or SDXC card have a rated speed of XXMB/s. That is the maximum speed that the card reads or writes at normal conditions.

    Which SD card brand to get and how much memory?

    The reliability of SD/SDHC cards are extremely important for digital SLRs. I learned this lesson in a hard way after my SDHC card  failed and I lost all the photos and videos on the card. Since the price of the SD/SDHC cards are down so much, it is better off to buy good and reliable cards.

    The SanDisk Extreme SDHC card is fast and more affordable than before. Considering the value, reliability and speed, the best cards to use with Canon digital Rebel T2i or EOS 550D; T1i /500D, or XSi /450D are  SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards.    For Canon Rebel T2i or EOS 550D, 8G SDHC card can record 24 min of 1080p video and ca 450 photos in RAW.  You can get a couple of 8G or 16G SDHC cards depending on your own needs.

    If you feel that the SanDisk Extreme SDHC card is too expensive, SanDisk Ultra SDHC card is still OK for Canon T2i. The other very good card is Lexar professional 133x SDHC card.


    23 Responses to “Best SD/SDHC cards for Canon Rebel T2i / EOS 550D, T1i/ 500D and XSi /450D”
    1. Norman says:

      Many people like Transcend SDHC card but I have my reservation after my transcend SDHC card failed and my Transcend FLash drive failed.

    2. Roy says:

      EOS T1i manual recommends C6 or higher for video

    3. Chris says:

      The classification of SD cards does not always reflect actual performance – it only stipulates minimum requirements. The crucial bit for filming with Canon DSLRs is your card’s transfer speed during writing. For HD movie recording, in a f.ex. the EOS 550d, the write speed has to be above 5.5mbps.

      I use cheap Sandisk Class 2 4gb sdhc cards, and have never once had problems or seen the buffer bars. The reason is, those cards write at 10.89mbps – more than double the requirement. If you want to push it, you can go out and buy the Sandisk class 2 16gb cards which record at 5.87mbps. Here also – no problems. No need to use loads of money when you can meet the requirement comfortably at a fraction of cost

    4. Silvermane says:

      I just pulled out a cheap sandisk class 2 and a class 10 and set to TV continuous shooting with shutter speed 1/1000
      Heres what happened…the shooting speed was MUCH slower with the class 2 and when i let go of the shutter button the red light was still accessing the card. when I used the class 10 it was continuos with NO pausing or stuttering and when i let go of the shutter button the red light went off instanty. there is a HUGE difference my friend. Buy a Class 10 and do the test. Im sure youll stand corected. :-)

    5. Chris says:

      Hi Silvermane,

      Different cards have different write speed, and newer Sandisk class 2 cards are from what I hear considerably slower than previous batches. Some class 2, like the ones I was lucky enough to buy, write at 10.89mbps, while I’ve heard of other class 2 that write at 3.5mbps which obviously is not enough for the Canon 550d/T2i.

      The model number of 4gb Sandisk cards that write as fast as class 10 are SDSDB-4096-A11. They are still available very cheap on f.ex. amazon. The modelnumber for the 16gb that are fast enough writing at a constant speed of 5.87mbps is SDSDB-016G-A14F. If you check the model number on amazon while you shop, you probably won’t go wrong.

      No guarantees of course, but others that have bought these makes have had no problems. Buying class 10 of course, is the safest :-)

    6. aubrey says:

      hello! is and 8gb PNY sd card ok for a canon eos rebel t2i??? pls help! :)

    7. HDTV Guru says:

      I have reservation on PNY card. I prefer SanDisk.

    8. Commenter says:

      Hmm… just bought a Ultra II to use with my 550d, but I cannot record 1080 videos. After 10 seconds of recording, I receive the message “Video recording has been stopped automatically”.

      I’ve tried formatting, both Low Level and normal… doesn’t fix the problem

      Has anyone else had this problem with an 8 GB Sandisk Ultra II? I would love a solution…

    9. coffeeman says:

      “Hmm… just bought a Ultra II to use with my 550d, but I cannot record 1080 videos. After 10 seconds of recording, I receive the message “Video recording has been stopped automatically”.

      Try a class 6 card, it should work fine when recording 1080 video.see page 221 of you owner’s manual.

    10. JE says:

      the SanDisk Ultra SDHC is only a speed 4 which is not fast enough to permit HD recording on the Canon EOS T2i….therefore faster SDHC card (minimum of 6) should be used and this one should not be used if you want to use the video on this camera. It is best to get the SDHC with a speed of 10 if you like to shoot raw or 1080p video since this will transition the quickest from picture to picture and will not have any hiccups in the video whereas the 6 is not “good enough” but not perfect.

    11. chrizz says:

      i just bought a canon rebel eos 550 t2i and i do videos i uploaded a video to my pc and it skips tride to convert it didnt work wht should i do

    12. Jay says:

      Transcend 16 GB class 10 works like a charm on on T2i. I’m actually going to make the 32GB version my next purchase because I was soo impressed.

    13. Editor says:

      SanDisk Extreme is more affordable, this card was selected as the most preferred to replace the SanDisk Ultra.

      Editor updated on March 9, 2011.

    14. brian says:

      im apparently missing something.
      I see this was updated just a few days ago… but after looking for a bit i noticed this little number:

      it seems to be basically the same card only “extreme pro”
      which apparently means it can write at 45MB/s
      and is currently selling for $68.63…
      about 24 less than the one you have.. but apparently faster transfer rates? same capacity…

      so have i overlooked something?
      or perhaps does that card not work with the t2i for some odd reason?

    15. Editor says:

      Thank you Brian for bring this up. This is better and cheaper card!

    16. brian says:

      I’m still doing a bit of research on it (quick reply there! its only be 30 minutes.. hah)
      it seems that the card i linked to is UHS Speed class 1
      which is indeed better and cheaper… but apparently not supported by the T2i
      (from what i can tell so far) but that doesn’t mean it will not work in the camera
      its just wont work up to the specs it is supposed to
      and thus may have transfer rates slightly below 30MB/s

      im still looking for more info
      but i guess it comes down to whether you want to save 24 bucks and have a slightly slower card or not
      … before i make any decision im trying to find out exactly how much less these transfer rates would be in a non UHS Class compatible camera

    17. brian says:

      if i felt like spending more time im sure i could get something more detailed but i found this article

      after the Feb 1st update you will see this paragraph:

      “In cameras like the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV which don’t speak UHS-1, the Extreme Pro revert to a non-UHS-1 transfer mode that, in our testing, still puts them among the quickest SDHC cards available. That said, they trail by a few percentage points the speeds offered by, for example, the company’s Extreme series as well as Lexar’s 133X line.”

      so a “few percentage points” but a decent amount of savings
      and assuming you feel like buying a UHS card reader.. the transfer rates to your computer would be much faster… assuming thats a concern for anyone

      so i think im gonna go for it.. im opting for the 32GB actually for $142 off newegg

    18. Editor says:


      Great research! From what I understood, the SanDisk extreme Pro does work on T2i, just not as fast as it should be.
      But save a lot of $$ for a little slower speed still a nice deal, right?


    19. DSLRRookie says:


      I just bought a PNY 32gb Class 10, which claims 20MB/s write speed. However, I tried to film my niece’s choir performance only to have the card buffer out after 2 sec, repeatedly. I could film the floor for 10 minutes but the minute i pointed the camera up it buffered out and auto-stopped.

      I am very disapointed in PNY and would throw a caution flag at anyone looking to buy anything from PNY in the future.

    20. DSLRRookie says:

      Oh, I forgot to add that I was shooting on a T2i


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