Let’s take a few minutes to discuss memory cards.
All cameras including the Olfi action camera require some kind of storage media. In the case of the Olfi one.five and most action cameras, you’ll need a MicroSD card. These cards are now pretty standard across small cameras and mobile devices.
Will any MicroSD card work?
The short answer here is no. Not all memory cards (MicroSD in this case) are equal. They come in different speed and storage capacity variations.
First, let’s talk about storage:
The Olfi and most action cameras can accept and storage capacity up to 64GB (sometimes more, but this isn’t officially tested). However, remember that your Olfi and most other action cameras will use a lot of storage quickly. We like to use the rule of thumb that 20 mins of video recording at 1080p 60fps with the bit rate set to high will consume roughly 5GB of storage. So you can see that more storage is usually better.
Personally, I find myself using multiple 32gb memory cards on our shoot. The reason for this is to reduce potential data loss if something goes wrong. These cameras are designed to be used in extreme conditions and as a result, they can take a beating, but what if one was to go missing or dropped in the ocean? The camera can be replaced, but the memories and content can’t.
Next, let’s discuss speed:
You’ve now selected a storage capacity, so you can just pop this card in your camera and everything will work ok, right? WRONG! You’ll need to check how fast this card is. Speed is arguably the biggest factor when choosing a new memory card.
Class10 is a phrase that is often thrown around by both users and manufacturers alike. Class10 indicates a minimum write speed of 10MB/s (Megabytes per second), contrary to popular belief, this is not the fastest card available. Your action camera ideally needs a minimum write speed of 45MB/s for optimum performance. A good rule is to look out for UHS3 rated cards as these indicate a minimum write speed of 30MB/s but are usually much quicker, so look out for the actual write speed stated by the manufacturer.
Take a look at the graphic below sourced from SDcard.org for more info on write speeds.
Notice that we are talking about WRITE speed. The read speed will always be higher and is usually the advertised “speed” of the card. Be sure to look out for this and read the product description thoroughly. If no WRITE speed is mentioned, then you can pretty much guarantee that this card will not be fast enough.
Is that everything?
Yes, you’ve now chosen a MicroSD card with a suitable capacity and write speed for your camera. Pop it in your action camera, head to the setup menu and format it. This is best practice and sets the card up to work perfectly with your camera. You’re now ready to start capturing memories.
But something doesn’t seem quite right!
Sometimes there are other reasons why a memory card might not work. Sadly, there are some fakes floating around and these aren’t to easy to spot before you buy. If you suspect your card isn’t performing as the manufacturer suggests, then try running a speed test on your computer. There are a few applications available for free online. We use BlackMagic Disk Speed Test here at Olfi. If you find that your card isn’t up to scratch, contact the seller for a refund or replacement.
Other times, the card may be damaged. Try inspecting the card for hairline cracks or corrosion on the terminals. MicroSD cards are so small that they can be susceptible to breakages from time to time, so remember to keep a backup of your data.
Lastly, sometimes your memory card may start to slow down. This can happen if you use your card a lot. When you delete files, they are not erased from the card, but rather open to being overwritten. As this happens continually, your data becomes fragmented. It’s good practice to format your card from time to time to clean up these files and keep things running at optimum speeds.
Official Olfi Memory Cards:
To keep things simple for our users, we have our own Olfi branded memory cards available on this website to perfectly complement most action cameras. These cards have a write speed of 90MB/s, so they’re more than fast enough to handle what your action cameras can throw at them.