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ISAW A3 memory card?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone smile.gif,

I am new on here and decided to join this forum and post here because I have (I believe) an important question.
Soon I will be getting the ISAW A3 Monster action camera, and I would like to know which kind of memory card would work best with the camera.
I don't know of any specifications yet about what kind of memory card(s) it may or may not accept so I can't give you any info about that unfortunately, but I hope someone can give me advice, tips, or perhaps explain to me the differences between memory cards and why they work best with certain kinds of camera's (DSLR, Compact, SD/HD Camcorders).

Since I have heard a few things about how the quality of the recorded footage can be lower due to the use of a wrong memory card, I figured I'd gather some advice so I can decide which kind of card I should buy in order to get the highest achievable video quality with the camera.

Thanks in advance biggrin.gif.
post #2 of 7
Cool camera!

You have heard incorrectly.

Check the owner's instructions. If it is like most other 1080p60 camcorders it will take anything, Class 4 and above. It seems the common standard today is Class 10, with can accept data about three times faster than a 1080p60 camcorder can produce it. It is true that faster cards can transfer data to computers in less time, but only if the computer has a high speed card reader. Few do.

It is not true that video quality will get better if the card speed or class rating is above what the camera requires.

The confusion generally comes from not understanding mega bits per second and mega bytes per second. Video formats use one and memory card makers use the other. As I recall, there are 8 bits in a byte.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok. I have only heard it from a friend that it could affect the video quality, but since he is kind of a person who acts like he knows a lot when he doesn't, I already kind of expected that it could be incorrect.
If the class rating and card speed do not affect the video quality when they reach higher than the camera's requirements, is there any kind of card that will improve anything when it passes the camera requirements?
post #4 of 7
I checked the website for your camera. It says to use a Micro "SDHC/SDXC (up to 64GB)" . And, next to the price, it says you get a 16GB card for free.

At the highest quality setting, a 16GB card will hold about 80 minutes of video. Since the web page says the battery is good for about two hours, I would get a 32GB card that holds over that. If you shoot two hours of video at once, you can change the battery and card at the same time. That's assuming you get a spare battery.

If you're new to video, 2 hours may not sound like much, but it is a lot. Good video usually comes from a series of 5 second clips edited together. Watch anything on TV and you will see what I mean. 2 hours of 5 and 10 second clips is a lot!

I would not be spending money on cards and batteries until I know I need them.

If you don't get a free card, I would suggest one of these: http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-microSDHC-Memory-Adapter-SDSDQUA-032G-U46A/dp/B007XZM6VG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368721753&sr=8-1&keywords=Micro+SDHC%2FSDXC

SD cards rarely fail. But, that is all that can go wrong. It's digital. It stores bits. The bits are on or off and there is no quality difference.

Sandisk is a good brand, with a good warranty. If you search, you should be able to find a shareware utility that will test SD cards in your computer if you are worried.

No matter what you buy, a good practice is to get two copies of your footage as soon as you can. At the end of a shoot, I transfer all my video to my computer and do a computer backup to an external drive. Then I put the card back in the camera, reformat it and charge the battery for what ever comes next.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help.
I'm quite new to video yes. Though I have never filmed just 5 second clips and put them together to get the final piece.
Why would I record just 5 seconds and create a video from multiple 5 second clips?
Yes, it is likely that I will be getting a spare battery, and I'm thinking about getting a 64gb sdxc card. Since I haven't seen any webshop around here in NL where they offer a 'free' 16gb card, I probably won't get one for free. And buying the camera from a shop out of NL or the isaw website isn't an option either.
I think 64 gb will go well beyond 4 hours of recording. Since I will be going on a sports vacation for a week where I won't have access to a computer to backup my videos to an external drive, it is important that I won't run out of space on my memory card(s).
Is there no quality difference in sd cards? As in, record on 5 different brands of class 10 cards, there would be no quality difference?
Also, since the camera features 120 fps recordings at 720p and 240 fps recording at 480p, would slow motion video's be much larger then videos shot at let's say, 60 fps?
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by Zavic View Post

1. Why would I record just 5 seconds and create a video from multiple 5 second clips?

2. Is there no quality difference in sd cards? As in, record on 5 different brands of class 10 cards, there would be no quality difference?

3. Also, since the camera features 120 fps recordings at 720p and 240 fps recording at 480p, would slow motion video's be much larger then videos shot at let's say, 60 fps?

1. Because the typical viewer's brain drifts quickly to more interesting things if you don't make your video fast paced with "pop". One of the ways that's done is with short clips and shooting angles that change. Watch anything on TV and mentally time each clip by counting. You will see. Even live shows do it by having multiple cameras shooting and a live mixing editor picking the shots. Obviously, that rule has to be adjusted sometimes.

2. I suppose the manufacturing quality can vary. But, the picture quality won't. Speed capability goes up as the price goes up. But, the maximum speed is determined by the camera, not the card. The card either works or it does not. When it is formatted bad sections will be blocked just like a hard disk on your computer. By brand names from trusted sources. Counterfeits are possible not common.

3. I'm not sure because I don't know your camera. I suspect that the slow motion videos will have lower resolution so the total size won't vary much. I found the instruction manual on the camera website. It will tell you.
post #7 of 7
Just to amplify on the above, going also to the basics of digital video.

1. The optimal time length of the clip you want to shoot depends on what is going on. If not much, then the viewer's mind will wander. If there is a lot going on, then the clip length depends on the interest and scope of what you are shooting. A shot of a baseball player hitting the ball, running to first and rounding the bag takes more than five seconds. A shot of flower in a pot that goes on and on is boring. Get it? On TV, it is mostly close-ups of heads talking. So the viewer is not visually bored, they usually shoot in short clips, changing the angle while the actor pedantically describes some plot point, or carries out a fascinating test tube analysis of a fluid sample.

2. Video files are sets of zero's and ones. That's it. There can be errors in transcribing zero's and ones, but there can be no difference in "quality." You are thinking analog. Everything is numbers. In the old days with analog TV, you could adjust the antenna to get a better picture - less noise. With HD TV, which is all zero's and ones (it's digital), you can either receive the signal or not, adjusting the antenna does not give you higher quality. Similarly, the sd card can either keep up with the bitrate (see below) - how fast the zero's and ones are written - or it cannot. It will just fail if it cannot, no change in quality.

3. Again, video files are just bits. The size of the file depends on the - you got it, the *bitrate* and the amount of time you record. That's all. The video can be HD or SD, or high-frame rate or low-frame rate, any kind of compression scheme, any shutter speed. But the only thing that matters for size for a video of a given time length is - the bitrate. How many bits are being written per second. So if you shoot a 120 fps clip for 5 seconds or a 60 fps clip for 5 seconds and the bitrate is the same, the file sizes are identical.
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