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Memory Options for Your In Car Camera.

Choosing the Right Memory Card for Your Camera and Your Needs.

Memory is an important part of your car camera kit as a whole, choosing the right memory for your requirements means the difference between capturing and holding onto the scenes you need, and potentially losing or not capturing the scenes you need.  Luckily, whilst being an important part of the equipment, memory cards are not hard to choose from and it is not that difficult to identify which you need.  Here we explain what to look out for when deciding which memory card you need to buy.

Firstly, if you have decided to source your own memory, you would need to establish the "format" of the memory card your car camera will accept.  The cameras we provide, with a couple of exceptions, operate using what is known as a "Micro SDHC Card".  These are the smallest in physical size of the main types of memory card available.  The other kind - the larger type - are known as "SDHC Cards".  In order to establish which kind of card your camera will accept, you will need to refer to the operating manual.  If you get the wrong type, then you will have to return it to the supplier as it will simply not fit into the slot on the camera.  Therefore it is essential that you take the time to find out which card is required.

Popular Memory Card for the car camera.

Once you are confident of the type of card you need with regards the format, you can then address the size in GB (gigabytes) you will need for the recordings you anticipate making.  There are two main areas of thought / consideration in the storage of your driving activity and these can be summarised in the statements below, one of which will more closely match what you need than the other.

a) You need a video of the complete journey - from start to finish.
b) You are happy to lose video of the start of your journey - so long as you do not lose footage of an accident which happened at any point on your journey.

If your requirements fall into the first category - a) - above, then you will need to estimate the length of the journey or journeys measured in hours on the road and recording.  IE you will need enough capacity to store THAT number of hours.

If you are not needing to retain the full start to end of your trip or trips (ie from door to door), and you are happy that storing any accidents along with the "most recent" footage will suffice, then you can opt for a memory card with a lesser storage capacity and potentially save money in doing so.

We prefer to talk about video storage in terms of a rough rule of thumb guide of around 1GB per 9 Minutes of video, with this in mind, a 32GB memory card will - on average - store around 288 minutes or 4.8 hours which equates to 4 Hours 48 Minutes.

This however is a very rough guide - which leans in favour towards being a low estimate of the number of minutes which can be stored (to be on the safe side), as various parameters (which are changeable by the user) on every single camera available can swing these figures in either direction.  In addition to this, recording in the dark can increase the compression rate acheived by the camera - thus increasing the number of minutes of driving which can be stored on the same card compared to video taken in daylight.

These differences are largely irrelevant to camera users falling into category b) - as it is clear that an accident only takes a few seconds and those details will be captured if the camera is configured and aimed correctly no matter what size memory card is used.  People who fall into category a) however, must choose their camera and memory card carefully, and if unsure, always contact us to verify individual camera output and storage capabilities before making your purchase.

Preparing the Memory Card.

Memory can be formatted on a PC.  However it is far better to use the facilities built into the camera to format the cards, as they often place certain control directories, software and files on the card during the format process.  We have even seen models refuse to work with cards formatted on a PC.  In addition, some cameras - in particular those without a built-in screen - require the card to be formatted on the camera, and then placed in a PC whilst the settings are configured, written to the card, and then used by the camera once the card is transferred back to it.  Always double check your operating manual before formatting your card for specific instructions - as this process is important in ensuring the correct and stable running of the camera as a whole.

If you have been using a memory card for a while, it may be worth checking it to ensure that it does not contain an excessive number of locked files - these are video segments which have been locked and cannot be deleted by loop recording functions on the camera.  This can happen either via the manual lock key - whereby the owner presses a button on the camera to lock and therefore protect a file, or when the g-sensor on the camera triggers the lock in an impact or exaggerated manouver.  Once a cameras memory card becomes clogged with locked files - it will no longer be able to perform at optimum capacity and this could impair the cameras ability to capture video in a consistent manner - either for whole long distance journeys - or short commutes or shopping trips.

A Memory Card for Capturing Memories.

An increasing number of camera owners use their equipment to record scenic roads and routes they have used on holidays or other leisure related travels.  This is also ideal if, for example, you wish to provide a long lost distant relative or family member living in another country with a video of your area, or maybe the area where they originally came from to show them how things have changed!  Most people have the facilities to playback movies on a home computer, and the memory cards can be shared, copied, passed around, re-used or just stored for posterity. 

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