It seems like everything from your dashcam to your trailcam to your pocket digital camera uses a microSD or standard SD card. Those microSD cards are so tiny – smaller than a fingernail. Usually when you buy one, it comes with an adapter that looks like a regular SD card. That’s good, because you may only have a regular SD card slot in your laptop or desktop computer. The adapter works great – just slide the tiny MicroSD securely into its adapter and, voilá!, you essentially have a standard SD card than can be plugged into an SD card slot. These little cards may all look the same except for the color, but it’s important to know what’s inside. Dashcam manufacturers and enthusiasts recommend MLC cards for durability. Every card is subject to wearing out eventually but MLC should have the best life expectancy in a dash cam.

Many dashcams and other devices can be plugged directly into your computer to view or retrieve and save files like your video clips with the card never leaving the camera. The owners manual will explain, but a USB cable is frequently provided.

If you don’t have an SD card slot in your computer, another option is a separate card reader that plugs into your computer’s USB port. The card reader plugs into your computer’s USB port and many card readers have the ability to plug different kinds of cards into them. We have card readers that accept both SD and microSD cards and they work very well. Once you plug it in, the card shows up as a new drive on the computer and you can browse, see, use, copy, and save the video clips to your computer, external hard drive, cloud drive, or wherever you keep files for long term storagel

Size matters

Not every SD or MicroSD card will work in every dashcam. Read your camera owners manual and also pay attention to user experiences that you may read about in online reviews for your specific model. An MLC card is a great choice for every dashcam we have seen, but bigger isn’t always better. The storage capacity of the card can sometimes confuse your dashcam if it’s too big. We use 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB cards regularly in the dashcams that we use and test and haven’t seen any issues. Some of the bigger cards like 128GB and 256GB won’t work in your dashcam at all. There seems to be a sweet spot between price and durability – most manufacturers suggest that 64GB cards will outlast smaller cards by far in the number of record cycles that can be expected before failure.

Our microSD cards have been used over and over again and we haven’t suffered any failures with them yet. As with any electronic devices, follow directions for handling and you can expect them to serve you well for years.