Should you spend the extra money for a high speed SD memory card for a Canon A560 camera or will a slower card work just as well?

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Slower speed SD cards will also work in the camera but performance of camera will be slower when compared to using a higher speed SD card.

When the picture is taken, picture data is temporarily stored in camera's buffer memory (RAM) before it is written to the Flash memory (in this case SD card). Before the next picture is taken, the camera's buffer needs to be cleared. With a slow speed SD card, it will take longer time to write data so you may have to wait for few seconds before you can take next picture. This will be more obvious if you take picture at highest resolution with minimum compression (super fine mode). If you take continuous pictures (with high resolution) camera may pause it between to write to memory before taking the next shot. Similarly high resolution movie of long length may also stop as buffer memory will fill and flash writing will be slow and take some time.

For taking one picture at a time most of the time you will not feel much difference that you are using a slow card. If you can afford and want faster performance buy a relatively fast card. Read reviews of specific brand and speed of SD cards and buy one with good customer reviews and look for bargains while shopping!

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