What Size SD Card for a Dashcam?

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You need a memory card – an SD card – to record footage on a dashcam. That said, what size SD card do you need for a dashcam? First, let’s discuss the best-sized SD card for your dashcam.

What Size SD Card Do You Need for Your Dashcam?

First, we should talk about the different SD cards sizes available. This is particularly the case with how many videos an SD card can hold. One thing to consider is the video quality.

However, there are also other factors. You also want to consider the type of dashcam and the speed rating of the SD card. Then you should identify what you require the dashcam for.

How Much Footage Can an SD Card Hold?

SD cards can significantly range in size. Some are as small as 4GB, while others are as large as 400GB. You also need to know the difference between SDHC and SDXC.

SDHC cards generally have anywhere between 4GB and 32GB of storage capacity. On the other hand, SDXC cards can hold anywhere from 32GB to 400GB of footage. Of course, it is also essential to know how much footage one of these SD cards can hold

All this depends on the quality of the footage you are recording. First, keep in mind that most dashcams currently record in 1080P. One minute of 1080P footage uses an average of 100MB of memory. Therefore, a single gigabyte can record about ten minutes of footage.

If we talk about lower video quality, say 720P, then a single gigabyte can hold much more. On average, one minute of 720P footage will take up roughly 25MB of space. Therefore, a whole gigabyte can hold approximately 40 minutes of 720P footage.

If we go down one step further to 144P, things look much different. A minute of 144p footage is only about 1.3MB. Even the smallest SD cards will go a long way if recording at such low quality. That said, who are we kidding? Nobody uses 144P anymore.

However, 4K HD video is becoming quite popular. This is currently the highest video quality that the average consumer has access to. Unfortunately, this super-high video quality requires a lot of storage, so if using 4K video quality, a single gigabyte will hold up to around three minutes of footage.

The Speed and Type the SD Card

The type of SD card will also make a difference in terms of the size you need. One distinction is between one-  and two-channel dashcams.

If you have a one-channel dashcam, it’s going to need around 8GB for every hour of recording. However, a two-channel dashcam will need around 16GB for every hour of recording.

Remember that the faster the SD card in question, the more memory it will need. In this sense, there are various classes or types of SD cards. A class 4 SD card will write at about 4MB per second. A class 6 SD card will write at 6MB per second. A class 10 SD card will report at 10MB per second. A UHS speed class U1 SD card writes at 10MB per second. A UGH speed class U3 SD card will write at a whopping 30MG per second.

As you can see, the class or type of SD card will make a big difference in what you need. Generally speaking, the faster the SD card, the better the quality of the video.

This is true in terms of visuals and the recording and playback rate. The faster the SD card, the less lag, and choppiness there will be. You want an SD card that is class 10 at the least for HD 1080P recording,

What Size SD Card for a Dashcam

Your Purposes

When choosing an SD card, the other factor is what you need it for. If you are just using it for commuting, a 32GB SD card should do fine. On the other hand, if you just need it to record while driving, you probably don’t need all that much space.

Remember that most dashcams will only record so much before they loop over the old footage. Therefore, you don’t need old footage if nothing notable happens, so limited space is fine.  

However, if you are using the dashcam for parking recording, you want something with a decent amount of memory. If this is the case, something like a 64GB SD card is recommended.

That said, if you are constantly on the road and need evidence of everything that transpires, bigger is better.

For instance, if you rideshare or are a taxi driver, you want your dashcam to record everything from start to end. This is also the case for professions that involve all-day driving, such as trucking and delivery. An SD card of 128GB or larger is recommended if this sounds like you.

Alternatives to SD Cards

You don’t necessarily need your dashcam to have an SD card. Technology has come a long way, and we now have the cloud. Many modern dashcams allow you to record footage directly to the cloud. This totally eliminates the need for an SD card.

Conclusion

Now that you know what factors need to be considered, you can choose the SD card size that works best for you.  

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