Formats Explained

Record durations are offered as a guide only in this page. Please check your camera settings before shooting.



Predominantly used with Sony’s FS7 camera, the card has data read speeds of up to 400 MB/s and write speeds of up to 350 MB/s you can transfer your various media files quickly and efficiently. Sony has integrated their own unique controller to ensure the data speeds are accurate and consistent. Additionally, this memory card comes with a USB 3.0 adapter to help streamline workflows when a XQD card slot isn’t available. The XQD memory card is designed to enhance the workflow of those working with 4K video content and RAW images.


Sony’s optical disc format is based on the same starting technology as Blu Ray. For use with cameras such as the PDW700 or PDWF800  the discs come in 23GB (40 minutes of HD) or 50GB (95 minutes of HD) versions. Costs can vary depending on capacity of disc from around £12 to £35 each. There are larger capacity discs for archive only of 100GB -these do not work in the cameras.

SxS Card (S by S card)

Sony’s solid state memory card system first used with the EX range of cameras. These cards are usually supplied with a camera that has two card slots. A 32GB SxS card in an EX1 or EX3 camera would give 100 minutes HD recording. The same 32GB SxS card in a Sony PMW500, PMW400, PMW200 or PMW300 would give you 60 minutes recording time with the camera set to 4:2:2 Mpeg 2 at 50Mbps.

Compact Flash Card (CF Card)

This record method has become popular due to affordable purchase costs of approx £95 for 32GB CF cards. Recording on a Canon XF305 or Canon EOS C300 gives you up to 82 minutes HD recording per card. For 50Mbps recording make sure you have a card that is fast enough. We stock 60Mbps Sandisk Extreme cards.

HDCAM tape

Industry standard tape recording format. Durations of up to 40 minutes full HD record times are available for HD camcorders. Longer duration tapes means they physically get bigger in size, so don’t fit! This format records at 100Mbps so complies with HD broadcast standards.

P2 cards

Panasonic launched this solid state format in 2004 as the first tapeless acquisition format. Recording at 1GB per minute means a 32GB card gives you 32 minutes HD record time.

P2 is an extremely robust format. Examples have been given of cards being frozen and even boiled before being inserted into a camcorder and still recording perfectly. This aspect and the fact that they can record at 100Mbps+ has made them a popular choice for Natural History series such as BBC’s Frozen Planet.

SD Cards

Secure Digital or (SD) is a memory card format for use in portable devices. SD technologies have been implemented in more than 400 brands across dozens of product categories and more than 8,000 models.These cards can come in various physical sizes and capacities(any SD card over 2GB is considered a SDHC card). We recommend name brand SDHC cards, such as SanDisk, with a class 4 rating or higher.Recording time will vary according to the resolution setting used and the card capacity.

Micro SD Card

The 32GB SanDisk Ultra® microSDHC™ memory card combines high performance storage capacity and blazing data transfer rates. With excellent performance and value, this card represents an ideal recording media for your HERO3 camera. The GoPro 3 Silver records H.264 codec, .mp4 file format so one 32GB Micro SD card should give you around 4 hours record time.


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