Choosing the right SD card for your camera is crucial, especially if you’re an avid photographer or videographer. With the rapid advancement of camera technology, it’s essential to have a reliable and high-performance SD card that can handle the demands of capturing high-resolution images and recording 4K videos. Whether you own a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or an action cam, we’ve compiled a list of the twelve best SD cards that are not only fast but also specifically designed to support 4K video recording.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top SD cards available in the market that cater to different camera types, including DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and action cameras. But, before we dive into the recommendations, let’s take a closer look at why the right SD card matters for your camera and the key factors you should consider when making your selection.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiastic hobbyist, having a fast and reliable SD card can significantly impact your shooting experience. No one wants to miss out on capturing a perfect shot due to a slow or incompatible memory card. Moreover, if you’re into videography, shooting in 4K resolution requires an SD card with excellent write speeds to avoid dropped frames and ensure smooth footage playback.
So, without further ado, let’s explore the top twelve SD cards that will meet and exceed your expectations, whether you shoot with a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or an action cam.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an SD Card for Your Camera
Choosing the best SD card for your camera involves considering various factors to ensure compatibility, performance, and reliability. Here are key factors to keep in mind when selecting an SD card for your DSLR, mirrorless camera, or action cam:
- Capacity: Determine your storage needs based on the size and frequency of your photo and video files. SD cards come in a range of capacities, from a few gigabytes to several terabytes. Consider the volume of content you typically capture and choose a card with sufficient storage space.
- Speed Class: The speed class of an SD card indicates its minimum sustained write speed. Look for cards with higher speed classes, such as UHS-I or UHS-II, to ensure smooth video recording, quick data transfers, and fast burst shooting. Speed class is especially important for capturing 4K video or shooting in burst mode. More on SD card speed class: SD Card Speed Classes Difference Explained.
- Video Speed Class: If you primarily shoot videos, pay attention to the video speed class of the SD card. Video speed class indicates the card’s minimum sustained write speed specifically for video recording. Look for cards with a higher video speed class, such as V30 or V60, to ensure consistent performance when recording high-resolution videos.
- Compatibility: Ensure that the SD card you choose is compatible with your camera model. Check your camera’s specifications and verify which SD card formats it supports, such as SDHC, SDXC, or microSD. Additionally, some cameras may have specific requirements for speed class or UHS support, so consider those as well.
- Durability: If you frequently use your camera in rugged or adverse conditions, opt for SD cards that offer durability features such as waterproof, shockproof, and temperature resistance. These cards are designed to withstand extreme environments, protecting your data even in challenging situations.
- Brand Reliability: Stick to reputable brands when choosing an SD card. Established brands like SanDisk, Lexar, Sony, Kingston, and Transcend have a track record of producing reliable and high-performance storage solutions. Avoid cheap, unknown brands that may compromise on quality and durability.
- Warranty and Support: Check the warranty provided by the manufacturer, as it indicates their confidence in the product’s quality. Additionally, consider the availability of customer support in case you encounter any issues with the SD card.
Learn more on SD cards: What is SD Card for? (Secure Digital Card Guide).
12 Best SD Cards for Cameras
Here are the twelve best SD cards for cameras:
Top SD Cards for DSLR/Mirrorless Cameras
#1. SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I
- Shot speeds up to 90MB/s, transfer speeds up to 170MB/s [requires a compatible device...
- Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video (1) and sequential burst mode photography, (1)Full...
- Capture uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and video Speed Class 30...
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I card is a top choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike. With read speeds up to 170MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it delivers blazing-fast performance, making it perfect for continuous shooting and recording 4K videos. Available in various storage capacities, this card is a reliable option for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
#2. Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC UHS-II
- High-speed performance—leverages UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed...
- Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of Full-HD and cinema-quality 8K...
- Backwards compatible with UHS-I devices
For photographers and videographers seeking exceptional speed, the Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC UHS-II card is an excellent choice. With a blazing-fast maximum read speed of 300MB/s and write speed of 260MB/s, it offers unrivaled performance. Its UHS-II technology ensures smooth 4K video recording and quick file transfers, making it ideal for professionals working with high-resolution content.
#3. Sony SF-G Tough UHS-II SDXC
- Tough specs: world's first one-piece molded construction with high hardness materials...
- Ribless, no write protection switch design: world's first ribless, no write...
- Fast file transfer: up to 300 MB/s transfer speed and up to 299MB/s write speed 3....
Designed for rugged use and extreme conditions, the Sony SF-G Tough UHS-II SDXC card is built to withstand challenging environments. With read speeds up to 300MB/s and write speeds up to 299MB/s, it delivers exceptional performance. Its robust construction makes it resistant to drops, bends, water, dust, and even X-rays, ensuring your data remains safe in any situation.
#4. Kingston Canvas React Plus SDXC UHS-II
- Ultimate speeds to support professional camera use
- Capture 4K/8K Ultra-HD high-speed shots without dropping frames
- Top-of-the-line performance for professional content creators
The Kingston Canvas React Plus SDXC UHS-II card is an excellent choice for photographers and videographers who prioritize both speed and reliability. With read speeds up to 300MB/s and write speeds up to 260MB/s, it handles high-resolution photos and 4K videos with ease. The card also features built-in error correction and wear-leveling technology, providing added data integrity and durability.
#5. Toshiba Exceria Pro N502 SDXC UHS-II
- N502 provides high performance for photography and video production. With a read...
- WORK UNDER TOUGH CONDITION: Since the cards were specifically designed for outdoor...
- CATCH SOME RAYS: No worries at the airport security check or at your sunny vacation...
The Toshiba Exceria Pro N502 SDXC UHS-II card offers outstanding performance for professionals and enthusiasts alike. With read speeds up to 270MB/s and write speeds up to 260MB/s, it ensures quick data transfer and smooth 4K video recording. The card is also resistant to water, shock, X-rays, and extreme temperatures, making it reliable in various shooting conditions.
#6. Transcend SDXC UHS-II U3
- Compliant with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and UHS Video Speed Class 30 (V30) standards
- Up to 64GB storage capacity
- Up to 100 MB/s read; 85 MB/s write
With its UHS-II U3 speed class, the Transcend SDXC UHS-II U3 card delivers high-speed performance for capturing and transferring large files. It offers read speeds up to 285MB/s and write speeds up to 180MB/s, making it suitable for continuous shooting and recording 4K videos. The card is available in various capacities, catering to different storage needs.
#7. PNY Elite-X SDXC UHS-I
- Class 10 U3 V30 speed rating with read speeds up to 100MB/s
- Class 10 U3 V30 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography...
- Ideal for photography and videography enthusiasts and for recording and transferring...
The PNY Elite-X SDXC UHS-I card provides a cost-effective solution without compromising on performance. With read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it offers reliable performance for everyday photography and Full HD video recording. It’s an excellent choice for casual photographers and videographers who require a balance between affordability and functionality.
Top microSD Cards for Action Cameras
#8. SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I
- Save time with card offload speeds of up to 190MB/s powered by SanDisk QuickFlow...
- Pair with the SanDisk Professional PRO-READER SD and microSD to achieve maximum...
- Up to 130MB/s write speeds for fast shooting (Based on internal testing; performance...
The SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card is a go-to option for action camera users. With read speeds up to 160MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it offers fast and consistent performance. This card is capable of recording 4K UHD and Full HD videos with ease, ensuring you capture every exciting moment without any lag or dropped frames. Its durability, water resistance, and shockproof design make it ideal for extreme outdoor activities.
#9. Samsung EVO Select microSDXC UHS-I
- ALL THE SPACE YOU NEED: Store lots of media on your phone with this micro SD memory...
- FAST AND SMOOTH: Superfast U3, class 10 rated transfer speeds of up to...
- EXPAND AND STORE BIG: The EVO Select card ranges from 64GB - 512GB, allowing you to...
The Samsung EVO Select microSDXC UHS-I card combines affordability with impressive performance. With read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it provides reliable speed and responsiveness for action camera users. It supports 4K UHD video recording and is available in various capacities, allowing you to choose the right storage option based on your needs.
#10. Lexar Professional 1000x microSDXC UHS-II
- High-speed performance—leverages UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed...
- Premium memory solution for sports camcorders, tablets, and smartphones
- Designed for high-speed capture of high-quality images and extended lengths of 1080p...
For action camera enthusiasts who demand blazing-fast speed and high-quality performance, the Lexar Professional 1000x microSDXC UHS-II card is an excellent choice. With read speeds up to 150MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it ensures smooth recording of 4K UHD and Full HD videos. This card also comes with a USB 3.0 reader for convenient file transfers, making it a versatile option for action camera users.
#11. Kingston Canvas Go! Plus microSDXC UHS-I
- Superior speeds—Transfer and capture content faster in Full HD & 4K UHD with...
- Ideal for action cameras and drones—High-speeds with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) & Video...
- Supports A2 app performance class—Expedite your workflow with faster application...
The Kingston Canvas Go! Plus microSDXC UHS-I card is designed specifically for action cameras and other mobile devices. With read speeds up to 170MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it provides fast and reliable performance. This card is built to withstand harsh environments, including water, shock, vibration, and extreme temperatures. It’s an excellent choice for adventurers who want a durable and high-performing microSD card.
#12. Transcend High Endurance microSDXC UHS-I
- Compliant with Application Performance Class 2 (A2), UHS Speed Class 3 (U3), and UHS...
- Sequential Read/Write: 160/125 MB/s
- UHS-I technology delivers fast R/W speeds of up to 160/125 MB/s
The Transcend High Endurance microSDXC UHS-I card is tailored for action cameras that require continuous and reliable recording. With its MLC NAND flash chips, it offers exceptional durability and long-term reliability. This card is capable of recording Full HD videos continuously, making it ideal for capturing extended adventure activities. With its high resistance to extreme temperatures, shock, and vibration, it ensures your footage is protected in challenging conditions.
Choosing the best SD card for your camera is a crucial decision that directly impacts the performance and reliability of your photography and videography endeavors. Whether you own a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or action cam, selecting an SD card that aligns with your specific needs is essential.
In this article, we’ve explored the top SD cards available for different camera types, highlighting their speed, capacity, and compatibility with 4K video recording. These SD cards from trusted brands like SanDisk, Lexar, Samsung, and Transcend offer impressive performance, ensuring smooth data transfers, quick write speeds, and reliable storage for your valuable memories.
When choosing an SD card, consider factors such as capacity, speed class, video speed class, compatibility, durability, and the reliability of the brand. Understanding your storage requirements, shooting preferences, and camera specifications will guide you toward the perfect SD card that meets your expectations.
Investing in a high-quality SD card will not only enhance your shooting experience but also provide peace of mind knowing that your valuable photos and videos are stored securely. With the right SD card, you can unleash your creative potential, capture stunning moments, and preserve memories in all their glory.
Remember, your camera is only as good as the SD card that powers it. So, take the time to evaluate your needs, explore the options available, and choose an SD card that elevates your photography or videography to new heights.
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