Not All SD Cards are Created Equal

Posted Feb. 14th, 2012 by Daniel J. Cox

When I first started shooting digital cameras back in early 2003, I was introduced to the Lexar CF compact flash card line. They were very reliable and I was a loyal user for many years, but over time Lexar just seemed to fall off of the map. No advertising, no interest in staying connected to pros and Sandisk was out maneuvering them at every turn. I hear that they are still out there and even ready to launch a new card that will overtake the Sandisk cards retaking the crown of fastest write speeds of any card on the market. Good for them. Competition is always good.

Over the years we’ve seen a couple of other card makers come and go and some have stayed. One I decided to try in the last twelve months has been SD cards made by Delkin. At first I figured all cards were most likely pretty much the same. They sure look similar. Delkin was a little less expensive than my Sandisks but not by much. Anyway I bought two and the experience has been very disappointing. I won’t beat this over the head, suffice it to say I lived and learned. And I figured that learning experience may be beneficial to others.

Here’s what I found. Apparently Delkin uses lesser quality plastic that their cards are encased in. Both of my Delkin cards have begun to fray at the edges so to speak. What I mean by that is the plastic on the end of the cards with the electrical contacts is breaking away and splitting open. You can see for yourself on the images below.

Delkin card falling apart at the edges.

The edges have begun to chip away and expose the entire electronic as one big chunk of metal

A second card that is also falling apart compared to the better quality Sandisk.

I’ve spoken with my dealer that I bought these cards from and they have assured me that Delkin will stand behind these 100%. I’m confident that they will, but to see this kind of failure in quality does not instill confidence. Thankfully, though each card has given me an error message at least twice, and pulling it from the camera and reinserting it fixed the error message. But now that I’m home I’ll be getting them replaced.

For additional information on CF and SD card write speeds and other details about digital memory cards you might want to take a look at Rob Galbraith’s site. He does a great job tracking down all the technical issues and specs on both CF and SD cards. Click here to see his web page.

Anyone else out there having problems with Delkin or any other cards? Tell me about your experiences with any cards you may be using.

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There are 9 comments on this post…
  1. Robert schneiderOn Oct. 23rd, 2018

    SanDisk cards problem bought fell in cards no problems yet. Also if you used cards a lot and for years time to by new ones

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 26th, 2018

      Sorry Robert. I have no idea what you’re tryin to say here.

  2. cesstudenni.scienceOn Sep. 9th, 2015

    But that’s just it – SD cards aren’t all about storage! In fact, there are several other factors to consider, and when purchasing your cards, you should make yourself aware of them. That said, SD cards aren’t all created equal, and it’s important to be educated as to what separates each one from the rest.

  3. Duncan KniftonOn Apr. 5th, 2013

    I’ve been having this exact problem, and I use the SanDisk Ultra’s.
    I have had loads falling apart.
    I have a theory that its the camera I’m using..the Pentax K5.
    Its waterproof seal for the SD card slot I think may be too tight and so harms the cards. ??

  4. TomOn Mar. 14th, 2012

    I’ve had the same problem with Sandisk too. None of this fraying but mine has split apart and is currently botched together with some cellotape. First the lock switch goes (which means it then defaults to “locked” – ridiculous), and once that happens it’s not far off falling apart entirely.

    I’ve ordered a couple of Samsung SD cards now as they supposedly have a reputation for being rugged. It’s depressing that I’ve had to go to this extreme given that I’ve never mishandled my SD cards, yet so far they’ve all failed me eventually.

  5. Malcolm SalesOn Feb. 15th, 2012

    Hi, I had to return a Sandisk card for replacement when it failed to work in my Canon G12 but was recognised in my Mac.

    The replacement was branded Jessop – A national retailer in the UK.

    So even some private brands are produced by a well known manufacturer.

    I shall be sticking to Sandisk & Lexar.

  6. Laura KaczmarekOn Feb. 15th, 2012

    I also use SanDisk. When I started with digital several years ago, I actually bought a PNY and have had no issues with it at all. However, I am switching over to SanDisk exclusively.

  7. DarylOn Feb. 14th, 2012

    I have never had a SanDisk fail so until I do I see no reason to experiment.

  8. Fred KurtzOn Feb. 14th, 2012

    I stick with Lexar and SanDisk. I have had no problems with either one and just ordered two 16 gig Lexar SD cards for my new Panasonic GX1.

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