Way back in his YouTube Channel, Peter McKinnon had a great idea in which he used a rear lens cover and camera body cap to make an SD card case.
While I have been using his hack for a few months now, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should be investing in a “real” SD card holder. Is the lens cover enough to protect the precious data on those cards?
There are plenty of other options out there on photo sites like B&H, and Amazon that are dedicated SD card holders. Those options usually market themselves as weatherproof beasts to protect your cards from spills, drops, and dust.
I figured I would put this Peter McKinnon hack to the test. This cap solution seems like it might be rugged enough.
The drop test
I started with a worst case scenario. What would happen if I dropped my SD card holder from a very high point?
The highest point I could find was the roof of my house. I climbed on top of the roof to drop the cap case from the top of the roof onto my driveway. This is a pretty extreme scenario. SD cards are so light they would probably not even be damaged from any drop height. You could drop one out of an airplane and it would still work.
That is, If you could find it.
I dropped the case several times and in two drops, the case landed on edge and bounced apart. The two halves flew out in opposite directions. It’s important to note, while the case split apart, it did not break. The impact was enough to bounce the plastic threads loose, but the plastic never cracked.
The fall barely left a scratch. I also didn’t want to stand super close to the edge so I through the case which gave it some extra momentum. It wasn’t a true drop test.
When I dropped the case from a lower height, the case never split open. In all honesty, I don’t think the first test means much. How often are we chucking our card cases off of a roof top? The second drop test is a lot more realistic and this case passed with flying colors.
The water test
Water is a much more worrisome issue with SD cards. A little fresh water wouldn’t likely hurt them. But if the cards sat in water for a long time, or if they got sprayed with salt water I could probably kiss my SD cards goodbye.
I wanted to completely submerge this case for a few minutes to see what would happen. Trying to submerge the case was not easy. The case wants to float even when loaded with SD cards, but let’s assume I also wanted to keep some lead fishing weights in this case.
Why?I don’t know.
I weighed down the case so it would stay submerged and I went about my day. I completely forgot about the experiment until hours later. When I finally remembered, I went back to check on it. I pulled open the case and found no water had penetrated through the plastic seal.
The last test I ran was a crush test. What would happen if I dropped this case on the floor, and accidentally stepped on it?
As it turns out, nothing. I think if I jumped on it at just the right angle, it would crack, but anything short of that and it would be fine. Within the confines of my pack I don’t see anything ever happening to this little guy.
Peter McKinnon created.
Travel Finn approved.
This case hack is awesome.
Even the most rugged traveler would be happy with this solution. I now have no reason to ever want a different SD card case for my gear. It’s the perfect cheap solution for many of us because most photographers also have spare covers and caps lying around. If not they are plenty cheap on Amazon or wherever.
Any brand ought to do, but the Canon EF ones are a little larger than most so I prefer them. Smaller lens systems like the Sony’s and Fuji’s will have smaller covers.
If you ever had any doubts about this DIY SD card holder, I hope they have been laid to rest here.