Not every memory card will work well with your GoPro camera. If the card is too slow for example, you may end up with recording errors and loose all your footage.
To avoid such disaster, here are some recommendations that will guide you towards choosing the right memory card for your GoPro camera model.
First off… What kind of SD card do you need?
Before buying an SD card, make sure it complies with your camera. This is what GoPro cameras require:
Why Do You Need a High-Speed SD Card?
When you film at [email protected], [email protected] or other demanding video settings, the camera uses the H.256 codec – instead of H.264 – and writes video files at 12MB/s. This requires a fast microSD card known as UHS-1 V30 or U3 (writing speed of 30MB/s). UHS stands for “Ultra High Speed”. Slower microSD card categories like Class 10 (writing speed 10MB/s) or below won’t work with demanding video settings.
Sounds a bit confusing? The chart below can help you figure out what speed class you need for each video format.
Graphic via SD Association
Top 7 High-Speed Memory Cards for GoPro 2019 (4k compatible)
1. SanDisk Extreme UHS-I 160MB/s
SanDisk is the mother of SD cards. This model in specific is my top choice for SD cards to use with GoPro cameras. It’s compatible with every GoPro model, it’s fast and affordable. Comes with an USB adapter and there’s plenty of capacity options: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 400GB.
- Ideal for Android smartphones and tablets, action cameras, and drones
- Up to 160MB/s read and 60MB/s write speeds for fast shooting and transfers*
- Compact and durable microSD card reader
2. Samsung EVO Select 100MB/s
Despite it being really cost-effective (32GB version under $10), the EVO Select is fast and reliable. It performs really well even when recording with the most demanding video settings on HERO7.
- Up to 100MB/s & 90MB/s read & write speeds respectively; Class 10 UHS 3; Durability: 10,000 mating cycles
- High-performance for 4K UHD video recording, high resolution pictures, mobile gaming and music, for use in Smartphones,...
- Includes: Full-Size adapter for use in Cameras and Laptop/Desktop Computers
3. Lexar Professional 1000x
This model is suggested by GoPro, which assures full compatibility with every camera edition. Its two-bus system (UHS-II) makes this card fast in download, reaching speeds up to 150MB/s.
- High-speed performance-leverages UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed up to 1000x (150MB/s)
- Includes micro SD UHS-II reader for high-speed file transfer from card to computer, dramatically accelerating workflow
- Premium memory solution for sports camcorders, tablets, and smartphones
4. Samsung Pro Plus UHS-I
Samsung has a good variety of memory cards which work really well with GoPro. I also suggest this model as it fits under the V30 category (writing speed 30MB/s) and works well with most GoPro demanding video settings. You can also check out the cheaper V10 category by Samsung, but it’s not suitable for high speed rates (eg. 4k60).
- Up to 95MB/s Read and 90MB/s Write speed
- Storage Capacity: 32 GB
- Great Performance in High-End Smartphones, Tablet PCs, Action Cameras, and DSLRs
5. SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-II
The Pro line is the top of the range from SanDisk. This model features two busses (UHS-II) instead of one (UHS-I), delivering supersonic transfer speeds up to 275MB/s in download. Writing speed remains the same of the V30 category (30MB/s). So you won’t get any extra benefit when you are filming with GoPro.
- Extremely Fast transfer speeds
- 4K UHD and full HD video capture
- Durable design for use in extreme environments
6. SanDisk Extreme PLUS V30 UHS-I
The Plus line has got very similar specifications to the Extreme line. However, benchmark tests show that it has a slight higher faster sequential write speed than the Extreme.
- Up to 95MB/s read speed and up to 90MB/s write speed
- 64GB Storage Capacity
- UHS-I/V30/U3/Class 10 --- Meets the new UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and UHS Video Speed Class 30 (V30) for 4K UHD
7. Delkin 1900X V60
This is the fastest (and most expensive) SD card of the list. Its performance is more than what you need for a GoPro as it reaches writing speeds of 60MB/s (6x faster). Though it can be useful if you combine its use with other professional video cameras.
- Approved for HD, 4K & RAW Burst
- Specialized to Record & Store Multiple Files & File Types Simultaneously
- Read/Write Speeds: 285/100 MB/s
Top 3 Comparison
How long can you record with your SD Card?
|Fusion||58min||1h 57min||3h 54min|
|HERO7 Black||1h 3min||2h 6min||4h 12min|
|HERO6 Black||48 min||1h 37min||3h 14min|
|HERO5 Black||51min||1h 42min||2h 24min|
|HERO4 Black||1h 6min||2h 13min||4h 26min|
Pro Tip » by setting a lower resolution or frame rate, your video files will be smaller and, as a result, your recording time will increase, allowing you to get more footage in one SD card. The best way to estimate GoPro recording times is by checking it on the camera’s display with an empty microSD card inserted. The camera will display the recording time when it’s set on video mode and you are not filming.
GoPro SD Card Size
What is the SD card capacity (GigaByte) supported by your GoPro camera model?
What about 250GB Cards? I made this chart relying on the information provided by the manuals for each camera model. However, newer GoPro editions like HERO (2018), HERO 5,6,7 and Fusion may accept 256GB memory cards although it’s not stated on their respective GoPro manuals. I tested the microSD Samsung EVO Plus 256GB on GoPro HERO7 and it worked fine.
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