What Is an SDHC SanDisk?

by Adrian Grahams

SanDisk's Secure Digital High Capacity flash memory card can be inserted into devices including cameras, camcorders, computers and personal video recorders to store, transport and access pictures, movies, songs and any other type of digital file. SDHC memory cards are small and lightweight, making them unobtrusive when inserted into a device and easier to carry around than USB thumb drives, rewritable DVD disks and external hard drives.

About SDHC Cards

SDHC is a standard memory card format administered by the SD Association. SanDisk produces a range of flash memory products, including SDHC cards. SDHC has superseded its forerunner, the standard SD memory card, as it offers higher capacity and faster data transfer speeds than the original SD cards. SanDisk manufactures SDHC cards with different memory sizes, ranging from 8 gigabytes to 32GB. SanDisk also makes SDXC cards with even higher capacities of up to 128GB. The cards also come with different read and write data transfer speed ratings, ranging from Class 1 to Class 10. Memory-intensive files such as video clips generally benefit from cards with higher data transfer speed ratings than you would need for storing still photos.

Using an SDHC Card

SDHC has become a standard format for flash memory cards; you can use them in a wide range of devices, including cameras, camcorders, computers, smartphones, TV sets and even GPS navigation devices. SDHC cards usually work straight out of the box, although some cameras, camcorders or laptop computers might prompt you to format the card when you first insert the card into the device's memory slot. Once you've formatted the card for the first time on one device it will work in most other devices. After you insert the card into a camera or camcorder, the device will automatically store files on the card. Inserting an SDHC card into a computer displays the card as an additional removable storage drive in the "Computer" folder; you can move files to and from the drive in the same way as you would with a USB thumb drive or external hard drive. On TV sets and PVRs, you can access the card from the functions menu and view video clips or photo files on the TV set.

Choosing an SDHC Card

SanDisk SDHC cards come with different memory capacities; cards with larger capacities are generally more expensive. When selecting an SDHC card, balance the cost with the memory capacity on offer and the type of media you want to store. A 32GB SanDisk SDHC card will store 3,600 10-megapixel digital photos and 160 minutes of high-definition video, while an 8GB card can handle 900 digital photos and 40 minutes of HD video. Therefore, while an 8GB card may be adequate for storing photos on a digital camera, you might want to invest in a larger 32GB card for capturing home movies on a camcorder.


The primary purpose of SDHC cards is to record media from cameras and camcorders in a format that is also compatible for viewing on other devices, such as TV sets or computers. Although you can use SanDisk SDHC cards to provide general additional storage for your computer, you might find a USB thumb drive or an external hard drive to be a better value. External hard drives also offer much more storage capacity – up to 2 terabytes in some cases – than SDHC cards. SDHC cards are also easier to lose or damage once they've been removed from the relative safety of the device's memory slots; bulkier USB and external hard drives are more durable.

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

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