Nobody has ever complained about a memory card being too fast and, increasingly, electronics manufacturers are expecting you to have high-speed memory cards that are compatible with certain features. These days, smartphones, tablets, and even laptops often rely on memory cards to expand their storage. With consumers demanding higher resolution and less compressed video from cameras, manufacturers have responded by supplying memory cards that are not only more durable, but more capable. Today, cameras are recording 4K video to microSD cards and raw HD video to SD cards. Luckily, memory cards have kept up with the rising demand, and the fastest cards around rival SSD drives, though finding out which ones are truly fast can be a challenge.
Determining Card Speed and the Dreaded “Up To”
When memory card manufacturers list their cards’ read and write speeds, they often use terms like “up to” or “maximum” when reporting the spec. A maximum read speed or speed “up to” a certain amount is the maximum burst speed of a card. It might be able to sustain that speed for a few seconds, which is great for saving a picture quickly, such as when shooting Sony’s Alpha a9 or Alpha a9 II at their maximum burst rate of 20 frames per second, but don’t expect to see read and write speeds like that for sustained transfers, such as when you’re shooting video. Plus, some manufacturers are a bit more liberal with the speeds they quote than others. Sustained transfer speeds can vary greatly from card to card, so to determine a memory card's overall speed—just looking at the card's advertised maximum speed isn’t always the best yardstick.
It is also important not to confuse bits and bytes. Bits are abbreviated with a lowercase b (as in Mb/s), while bytes are abbreviated with a capital B (MB/s). There are eight bits in one byte. Often, video-recording codecs will list their speeds in bits per second, while cards list their speeds in bytes per second. So, when a video camera like the GH5 records at 400 Mb/s, remember that is “only” 50 MB/s.
Luckily, memory cards have several metrics to help you sort out which ones are fast all around. To the uninitiated, they can be a bit overwhelming and look like random numbers, so in this article we will not only reveal what the fastest cards are, but also help you understand why.
SD and microSD Cards: SD versus SDHC versus SDXC
One of the more obvious metrics to consider when comparing SD cards is whether they are SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards. While these cards look the same, the file format they use is different, which determines the maximum capacity of the card. Plain SD cards have a maximum capacity of 2GB, while SDHC cards max out at 32GB, and SDXC cards can support up to 2TB—though the largest cards are currently at 1TB. This metric does not affect speed at all; an SDHC card can be just as fast as a SDXC card, and often, they are.
UHS (Ultra High Speed) Card Classifications
Some SD cards have UHS (Ultra High Speed) Classifications. A UHS (Ultra High Speed) Classification commutates a card’s bus speed, or the maximum speed at which a memory card is capable of transferring data at. But, just like plugging a slow hard drive into a 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 port won’t magically speed it up, a UHS classification doesn’t affect the speed of the memory in the card, but manufacturers will rarely make a UHS-I card that is unable to read or write faster than a non-UHS card. Non-UHS SD cards max out at 25 MB/s, but UHS cards can work much faster. Currently, there are two types of UHS classifications: UHS-I Cards, which have a maximum theoretical speed of 104 MB/s, and UHS-II cards that allow for a maximum transfer speed of 312 MB/s. UHS-II cards also have a second row of electrical contacts to aid in the speed boost. If your memory card reader or camera does not have the second row of contacts, the speed will be more in line with UHS-I cards. A card’s UHS classification is a good way to help gauge a card’s burst speeds.
Sustained Speed Class Ratings
Since card manufacturers almost always only give you burst read and write speeds instead of sustained speeds, it can be difficult to pick out a card for other uses than burst photography. Many new 4K-capable cameras write at very high bit rates, and if you plan on recording video for longer than a few seconds, the burst speed doesn’t help much. Also, there can be a huge variation between the maximum burst read speeds and the minimum sustained write speeds of different cards. It’s not a simple ratio. To determine the minimum write speed of a card, you need to look at its speed class rating. A speed class rating means that the card has been verified to never write slower than its class rating. Since there are different speed classes, some cards will write faster than others, but you can be comfortable knowing that any card with a speed class rating will never write slower than that speed. Some popular speed class ratings used on SD cards today are:
- V90: Minimum 90 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- V60: Minimum 60 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- V30: Minimum 30 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- U3: Minimum 30 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- V10: Minimum 10 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- U1: Minimum 10 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- Class 10: Minimum 10 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- V6: Minimum 6 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- Class 6: Minimum 6 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
- Class 4: Minimum 4 MB/s Sustained Write Speed
Random Speed Class Ratings
Many smartphone and tablet manufacturers include microSD card slots for users to expand their storage space. Installing applications and other small data files stresses out memory cards in a completely different way than video and photo typically do, because it often requires reading many small files simultaneously, rather than one single extremely large file. Simply measuring sequential read and write speeds doesn’t do this justice, which is why the SD card association introduced a new type of speed class—the Application Performance Class. Unlike the other speed classes, the Application Performance Class measures random read and write speeds, typically shown in IOPS. Also, since smartphones and tablets almost exclusively use microSD cards for storage space, only microSD cards are certified for Application Performance Class—even though there is no technical reason full-size SD cards can’t be certified, as well. The following is a breakdown of popular Application Performance Classes.
- A1: Minimum 1500 IOPS (about 11 MB/s) random read speed and minimum 500 IOPS (about 4 MB/s) random write speed
- A2: Minimum 4000 IOPS (about 31 MB/s) random read speed and minimum 2000 IOPS (about 15 MB/s) random write speed
The Fastest SD Cards
Now that we’ve decoded all the technical jargon, it should be clear that if you want the fastest SD cards you can get, look for UHS-II cards with a V90 rating. Luckily, B&H carries many UHS-II / V90 cards from a few manufacturers. Sony SF-G Tough Series UHS-II Memory Cards are available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities, and offer read speeds up to 300 MB/s and write speeds up to 299 MB/s, which should satisfy the most bandwidth-hungry cameras. Delkin Devices Power Cards are available in 128GB, 64GB, and 32GB capacities, and offer read speeds up to 300 MB/s and write speeds up to 250 MB/s. AngelBird offers 256GB, 128GB, and 64GB UHS-II cards with a read speed of 300 MB/s and a write speed of 260 MB/s, while ProGrade Digital makes UHS-II cards with a read speed of 250 MB/s and a write speed of 200 MB/s.
If you don’t need 60 MB/s sustained write speeds but still want to benefit from high burst speeds, thanks to UHS-II, SanDisk’s 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-II microSDXC card offers read speeds up to 275 MB/s and write speeds up to 100 MB/s. These cards offer read speeds of up to 300 MB/s and write speeds of up to 260 MB/s, though they are only U3 rated, meaning their sustained write speeds likely will drop off faster than V90 cards.
Does your camera only support UHS-I speeds? If so, there’s not much point in paying more for UHS-II media, since it would just default to the read and write speeds of your camera. So, if you rely on UHS-I cards, SanDisk makes Extreme PRO UHS-I media with respectable read speeds of up to 170 MB/s and write speeds of up to 90 MB/s.
The Fastest microSD Cards for Cameras
microSD cards are essentially miniaturized SD cards, and share the same UHS and speed class properties as their full-sized brethren; so just like full size SD cards, the fastest microSD cards are UHS-II / V90, which are currently made by Delkin Devices and Lexar. Delkin’s Power UHS-II microSD series offers a 32GB and 64GB cards with a maximum read speed of 300 MB/s and a maximum write speed of 250 MB/s, while Lexar’s Professional 1800x UHS-II microSDXC cards go up to 270 MB/s reads and 150 MB/s writes. Delkin’s Prime UHS-II microSDXC cards are V60 rated, with read speeds of up to 300 MB/s and write speeds of up to 100 MB/s. If you don’t need 60 MB/s sustained write speeds but still want to benefit from high burst speeds, thanks to UHS-II, SanDisk’s 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-II microSDXC card offers read speeds up to 275 MB/s and write speeds up to 100 MB/s.
However, many microSD-compatible devices don’t have UHS-II capable card readers able to take advantage of the fast speeds offered by UHS-II. If that’s the case, UHS-I / U3-rated cards are also worth a look. Delkin Devices offers Advantage UHS-I microSD cards in capacities of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. These cards offer up to 100 MB/s read speeds and 75 MB/s write speeds. SanDisks’s fastest UHS-I microSD cards are the U3-rated Extreme PLUS line, which offer maximum read speeds of 100 MB/s and maximum write speeds of 90 MB/s, and are available in capacities of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Additional UHS-I microSD memory cards are available from Sony, Transcend, and PNY.
The Fastest microSD Cards for Smartphones and Tablets
Users looking to use microSD cards to increase the storage capacity of their mobile devices could benefit from looking at a slightly different family of memory cards. While cards designed for extremely fast sequential read and write speeds tend to be fast all around, there is little need for a UHS-II bus when you are mostly reading and writing lots of small files, which is why Application Performance Class cards are recommended. The fastest, and only A2-certified microSD card family available right now are SanDisk Extreme cards. Available in capacities as large as 1TB, these UHS-I cards are A2 certified, meaning they offer minimum random read speeds of at least 4000 IOPS (about 31 MB/s), minimum random write speeds of at least 2000 IOPS (about 15 MB/s), and minimum sustained write speeds of at least 10 MB/s, which should translate to respectable performance when being used as local storage. These cards are also suitable for use beyond mobile devices, as they are V30 rated and feature max read speeds of 160 MB/s, max write speeds of 90 MB/s and minimum write speeds of 30 MB/s.
CompactFlash cards used to be the faster and more professional big brother of SD cards; however, several years ago, the CompactFlash Association announced there would be no more updates to the format, leaving card performance with a glass ceiling. Today, CompactFlash cards have hit their performance ceiling, and are about half the speed of the fastest SD cards. The UDMA 7 interface has a maximum possible transfer speed of 167 MB/s, and even if a card manufacturer put faster flash memory in a UDMA 7 card, it wouldn’t matter—it would be like plugging an SSD drive into a USB 2.0 port on your computer (well, not quite that bad, but you get the point). The bright side of this is that the sustained transfer speeds of CompactFlash cards are often a lot closer to the maximum speed; however, since there are no official speed classes for CompactFlash cards you must trust the manufacturer’s advertised speeds.
CompactFlash Card Speed Class Ratings
Many CompactFlash cards have speed ratings like 400x, 800x, 1066x, etc. This speed rating system is quite old and is based on the data-transfer rate of audio CD files, a paltry 150 KB/s. Needless to say, this doesn’t have much bearing on anything you will probably be doing with your cards, so while you could figure out how fast an 800x card is in KB/s by multiplying 150 by 800 and converting KB/s to MB/s by dividing by 1,000 (the answer is 120 MB/s), you could also just go by a card’s stated 120 MB/s speed.
The Fastest CompactFlash Cards
Because the maximum speed of CompactFlash cards has been capped at 167 MB/s, almost all card manufacturers now offer cards capable of peak read and write performance at that speed. The fastest cards will be UDMA 7 and advertised as having maximum read speeds between 160-165 MB/s. Lexar’s fastest line of CompactFlash cards is the Lexar Professional 1066x, available in capacities from 32GB to 256GB. These cards have a 160 MB/s maximum write speed, a maximum write speed of 155 MB/s, and a minimum write speed of 65 MB/s. SanDisk’s Extreme Pro line of cards also offers similar performance of up to 160 MB/s read and 150 MB/s write speeds, while the Transcend Ultimate and Delkin Devices Cinema CompactFlash card lines also offer similar maximum read speeds at 160 MB/s, though their write speeds, at maximum of 120 MB/s, are a bit slower than the Lexar and SanDisk cards. These cards are as fast as CompactFlash cards are going to get—if you want something faster, you will need a different type of memory card.
Newer Memory Card Types: XQD Cards
XQD Cards are the reason CompactFlash cards aren’t getting a speed update, since they are the CompactFlash Association’s official replacement for CompactFlash cards. XQD cards are based on the PCIe standard (with an 8 Gb/s bus speed), offer far higher maximum transfer speeds than CompactFlash, are much smaller, and have a more rugged build than SD cards. There are currently two versions of XQD cards, Version 1.0, which allows for maximum transfer rates of 500 MB/s, and Version 2.0, which allows for speeds up to 1000 MB/s. While still limited in use, both versions offer faster possible transfer rates than CompactFlash.
The Fastest XQD Cards
While Sony is no longer the only XQD memory card manufacturer, its XQD G Series cards are the fastest ones around. Available in capacities of 32GB, 64GB,120GB, and 240GB, they are XQD 2.0 compliant and offer read speeds up to 440 MB/s and write speeds up to 400 MB/s. Delkin Devices also makes Premium XQD cards in capacities of 64GB, 120GB, and 240GB with performance similar to Sony’s cards. When it comes to speed, these cards give SATA SSD drives a run for their memory.
CFast 2.0 Cards
Even though CFast cards look almost identical to CompactFlash cards, they are a completely different standard, and will not work in CompactFlash card slots or devices. They are not backed by the CompactFlash association, but are beginning to pick up some steam due to the slow adoption of XQD cards. CFast Cards use SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) connectors to interface with computers and cameras, and the new CFast 2.0 cards use SATA III, meaning they allow for the same maximum transfer rate of 6 Gb/s (750 MB/s) as SATA III drives. While the interface isn’t quite as fast as XQD 2.0, there still aren’t any cards in either format that come close to the maximum possible speed so, at this point it really isn’t an issue.
The Fastest CFast 2.0 Cards
Currently, SanDisk, Delkin Devices, Transcend, Hoodman, ProGrade Digital, and Lexar offer CFast 2.0 cards. These cards are available in capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB and all feature fast read and write speeds, with the fastest read speeds of 560 MB/s belonging to the cards from Delkin Devices and Hoodman, while the fastest write speed of 495 MB/s belongs to Delkin Devices’ CFast 2.0 card. The other cards mentioned here aren’t slow, by any means, and offer read speeds ranging from 510-550 MB/s and write speeds ranging from 370-455 MB/s.
Future Memory Card Types – UHS-III, SD Express, and CFexpress
While UHS-II SD cards offer the fastest speeds of their respective camp that are available right now, their replacement has been announced and should show up sometime in the future. In the case of XQD 2.0 cards, not only has their replacement been announced, it is already starting to hit the market.
UHS-III memory cards, offering bus speeds up to 624 MB/s, were announced in February of 2017 and never really appeared, and in June 2018, even faster SD Express cards were announced. SD Express cards use the PCIe standard for bus transfer speeds of up to 985 MB/s. It is unclear at this point if UHS-III cards will ever hit the market, since it would make more sense to just use the faster SD Express standard. Also, for cards larger than 2TB, the SDUC standard will handle cards up to 128TB. SD Express cards will also be backwards compatible with older bus speeds and be the same size ad SD cards.
Getting back to XQD cards, they are being replaced by CFexpress cards, which are more or less rebranded XQD cards. CFexpress 1.0 cards are what XQD 3.0 cards would have been, as they use PCIe 3.0 instead of PCIe 2.0 like XQD 2.0 cards use, and the PCIe 3.0 bus will allow CFexpress cards to hit a theoretical maximum read speed of 1750 MB/s. CFexpress cards are also backward compatible with select XQD devices that adopt a firmware update to enable CFexpress. B&H currently has CFexpress cards available from SanDisk, ProGrade Digital, Lexar, and Wise Advanced, in capacities ranging from 64GB to 1TB.
Unfortunately, SD Express isn’t available at this time. So, if you want the fastest cards money can buy, you are going to have to stick to UHS-II SD cards, XQD Cards, CFexpress, or CFast 2.0 cards. The choice is up to you.
So, there you have it. No matter what kind of camera you’re shooting with or what your speed needs are, this article is almost certain to have what you’re looking for. With cameras available that can capture rapid-fire shutter bursts, large raw files, and 10-bit internal video, the need for memory cards with fast read and write speeds becomes more necessary every day.
What do you think—are these cards fast enough for you? Feel free to leave your comments below.
Did B&H conduct tests to verify brands' paper claims? I read this article and ordered "the fastest, and only A2-certified microSD card" the SanDisk Extreme just to find out "A2" stamped cards barely meet A1 class.
See screenshots of test results here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1431038-REG/sandisk_sdsqxa1_256g…
How can I find the bus speed of my devices? I'm a film camera guy so I only use these cards for mid to mid-high end phones and laptops. Currently Samsung Note 9, Moto g fast, & 2 Dell Inspirons; 2017 15-3567 laptop and 2020 15-7586 2 in 1. I've looked all over for bus speed specs on these and can't seem to come up with what I need. I'm looking to get 2 X 512gb micro sd cards but want them to be most efficent without going overboard or counter clocking between devices/cards. Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks.
You are over estimating your needs. The bus speed is indicated by the speed rating of the card, more speed is more speed.
I have a Panasonic AG 350CX video camcorder and want to record at it's maximum settings, especially 10bit color. Which as card option is my best choice?
Hi Ilirijan -
I am recommending these memory cards:
Angelbird 256GB AV Pro MK2 UHS-II SDXC Memory Card B&H # AN256SDV60: Designed for high bit depths, frame rates, and resolutions, including Full HD, 4K, and 3D video, as well as raw and continuous burst photography in DSLR and drone systems, the 256GB AV Pro MK2 UHS-II SDXC Memory Card from Angelbird features a storage capacity of 256GB and takes advantage of the UHS-II bus to support sustained read speeds of 260 MB/s and sustained write speeds of 140 MB/s. This card has also been designed with the V60 Video Speed Class rating, which guarantees minimum write speeds of 60 MB/s.
UHS-II media achieves its speed through an extra row of pins and while this card has been designed for cameras that are UHS-II / V60 compatible, it may be used in devices that do not support UHS-II / V60. However, bear in mind that this card will then default to your device's speed class and bus rating, such as UHS-II and V30, which supports minimum write speeds of 30 MB/s, or UHS-I and U3, which also supports minimum write speeds of 30 MB/s. If your device does not support U3, this card is compatible with the U1 and Class 10 standards, each of which guarantees minimum write speeds of 10 MB/s.
Built for extreme conditions, Angelbird's 256GB AV Pro MK2 UHS-II SDXC Memory Card is protected against water, shock, x-rays, magnets, and temperatures ranging from -13 to 185°F. Also featured is ECC data reliability, wear leveling, and power management for low power usage. A built-in write protect switch helps to safeguard your content from being erased. Included is an activation code for the full limited warranty and additional free software licenses and content. (Limited 3-Year Warranty)
Which is the best for high res music player? If you want the storage of 512gb?
Hi Virgilio -
Enjoy premium sonic performance with the onyx black Astell&Kern SP2000, an A&ultima Series high-resolution music player offering uncompromising audio fidelity for audiophiles and music lovers. Dual AKM AK4499EQ DAC chips and redesigned circuitry provide a wide, flat frequency response, a high signal-to-noise ratio, and independent channels for the balanced 2.5mm and unbalanced 3.5mm outputs. The 3.5mm port doubles as an optical output for easy hookup to an external DAC.
The SP2000 supports uncompressed bit-to-bit audio transmission in PCM resolutions up to 32-bit / 768 kHz or DSD resolutions up to 22.4 MHz. Dual-band Wi-Fi support allows you to wirelessly stream music from a mobile device or computer. When it comes time to load music onto the SP2000, its 512GB internal memory and compatibility with large-capacity microSD cards (up to 512GB) ensure that you won't run out of storage space anytime soon.
With an octa-core CPU, a high-definition 5" touchscreen, and a sleek multifunction wheel, the SP2000 is powerful, fast, and easy to control. Its internal battery delivers up to eight hours of continuous playback time and supports standard and fast charging via USB. The SP2000 includes a USB Type-C cable and a complementary yellow leather case. https://bhpho.to/2Wx9OWG
And what about access time? How does it compare to eg. phone’s internal storage and does really matter? Let’s say I’ll be going for Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra soon which I bet has pretty fast internal storage and would like to go for the lowest storage version to make my 256GB 100MB/s read/write card as primary storage for photos. Would I notice speed difference when browsing/scrolling (108 MP) photos compared to internal storage? If yes then would it help to upgrade to even faster card?
I have a Nikon D500 with two slots one an XQD card. Is the CFepress cards compatible or does a firmware update exist?
As of today, the firmware updates mentioned by Nikon regarding CF Express cards has yet to be released. I would recommend keeping an eye out for our e-mail newsletter for any updates.
Dear Chris Gold, with the best memory cards approaching SSD speeds, but at 2-3 x the cost, why is it so difficult for the lazy/stingy camera developers to include a built-in NVMe SSD M.2 card. In terms of size, it would practically take up equal, or less space, than 2 x CF cards. And then they connect it to a simple universal USB 3.0 Thunderbolt connection, from which anyone can get any picture off any camera!! Currently on your website, you are advertising a good brand of 1TB M.2 SSD at $150, a third of the price of a cumbersome fast card and many times faulty readers!! Many thx,
When you're halfway through an all day sports tournament and need to swap memory cards because your first one is full...
What is the fastest memory card for a Sony A7III ?
The Memory Card Slot 1 of the Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera is compatible for use with UHS-II memory cards, which would be the fastest cards compatible for use with the camera. The link below are 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB UHS-II SDXC memory cards that have a 300 MB/s read speed, 250-260 MB/s write speed, and has a V90 video speed for your usage needs. The Sony SF-G Tough Series UHS-II card would be the fastest option, with a write speed up to 299 MB/s. For more information, you can see the following link by either clicking directly on it or by copying and pasting the link into your internet browser's address bar:
You mentioned Delkin is the only manufacturer of V30 micro sd cards. You failed to mention that they suck according to the reviews. If you want to write an article about something, it would benefit your customers to point out which ones WORK the best. You talk about how manufactures exaggerate speeds etc., yet you don't bother to mention quality OR which ones are more honest and ones that aren't. You provided good technical info but failed to provide practical info.
Actually I think it is you who fail to provide practical info. "Suck" is not a data point. And "negative reviews" are disgruntled complaining even when the issue is user error. Satisfied people do not tend to bother with reviews, hence negative reviews are only useful when they are linked so one can see how many there are, and how consistent they are compared to positives. Are you new to the Internet?
fast -> swift
Glue and seatbelts are fast.
And transfer SPEED, which is numerical, is properly signified by any adjective that implies a rate of change.
Why does Sony's PXW-Z280 manual show XAVC-I can only be recorded to SxSPro+ cards and not XQD-G cards while both cards show on the Sony web site as having 400MB/s write speeds and the XAVC-I codec maxes out at 960Mbps well within the spec of both cards?
We are sorry to hear about any issues you are facing. So that we may best assist you feel free to email us directly at [email protected]. We should be better able to help you from there.
Regarding SanDisk Extreme "random read speed of at least 2000 IOPS (about 15 MB/s)" you meant to say WRITE speed?
Yes, the A2 performance of the SanDisk A2 MicroSD cards should be listed as having a write speed of 2000 IOPS, and a read speed of 4000 IOPS. It was typed correctly earlier in the article, but was simply mislabeled under the “The Fastest microSD Cards for Smartphones and Tablets” section/paragraph, and is listed on SanDisk's website on the link below. The error should be corrected soon, and we apologize for any confusion it may have caused. Thank you for pointing out the error.
What is the fastest memory card (or combination of CF and SD) available for my 5D III?
The fastest possible CF/SD card combo for your 5D Mark III is the SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO CompactFlash & SDXC Memory Card Kit (2 x 128GB) B&H # SAEPCFSD128G. https://bhpho.to/2SVhrBx
I have a Canon 5D Mark IV, It has two slots for cards, one the SD Card and the other a larger compact card. Am I understanding right, that the Compact cards are not keeping up with the speed of the Sd cards? I was thinking of switching to using the compact cards, but do not know very much about either one. I do try to buy from a camera shop so they can help me select the best card, I shoot mostly still but do love to do some video. I do notice a big difference in downloading the large files this camera makes when using different SD cards. I also have two other cameras, the canon m50, and canon 70D. Thanks...
The 5D Mark IV has a faster bus feeding the CF card slot than the UHS-I SD card slot. The fastest CF cards measured by Camera Memory Speed clock in at 112.1 MB/s (Lexar 1066X 128GB- the 64GB tested at 111.1 MB/s and the 32GB tested at 112.0 MB/s). Other fastest CF cards from SanDisk, Transcend, Toshiba, etc. ranged between 108-111 MB/s. The fastest SD cards the same site measured were the SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB at 79.0 MB/s. Many other SD cards tested in the 76-78 MB/s range. Please note that some UHS-II cards used in UHS-I devices, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, will default to a maximum transfer speed of 50MB/s (the slower of the two UHS-I bus speeds) rather than the faster SDR104 bus mode.
As a nature photographer shooting RAW and rarely doing any videos, I have been using the CF cards and need to purchase a couple more cards. Was planning to buy the 32GBs Extreme Pro but unsure if that is best since the spec's talk mostly of video. Should I go ahead and go for these for my Canon 7D
While the Lexar Professional 1066x cards would have a faster write speed compared to the SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card (160MB/s), the SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card would be more than fine for your nature and landscape shooting needs. Write speed is more important to those who are shooting long burst shots as the faster write speed allows the camera to write the data to the memory card quicker so it may clear the camera's buffer memory and allow you to keep shooting bursts of images with the fewest interruptions. Sustained write speed is a necessity when shooting video, especially UHD 4K video, as the camera is sending a long stream of data to the card, and slower cards can cause interruptions in the video.
Nature and landscape photography does not require long bursts of images, so for your shooting needs, write speed will not be a major determining factor for your shooting style, especially as you are also not shooting video of your nature and landscape scenes. Your biggest need will be to transfer the volume of images you are shooting from the memory card to your computer, and both the SanDisk and Lexar cards have a read speed of up to 160MB/second, so transferring images from your memory card to your computer would be equally fast with both brands. You should be more than happy with the performance of the SanDisk Extreme PRO card for your current usage needs, and should be confident to know that you have one of the fastest CompactFlash memory cards on the market should your usage need change in the future.
The fastest any card can actually write in the 7D has been measured by Rob Galbraith at 57.5 MB/s. (Lexar 1000X which has been replaced by the Lexar 1066X cards)
If you are referring to a 7D Mark II, Camera Memory Speed tested the Lexar 1066X 32GB at 102.9 MB/s and the SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB (160 MB/s) at 101.2 MB/s. There would be no real world difference between the two.
hello B&H im going to be buying the canon 5D Mark 4 soon im looking on getting a sd card to go with it i shoot a lot of sports what to you recomend and are there any deals coming up on the 5D mark 4
A very fast and reliable memory card option to consider for use with the 5D Mark IV is the SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO CompactFlash & 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card Kit B&H # SAEPCFSD64GP. Please see the link for the current pricing. https://bhpho.to/2ccyyu3. In terms of any specials offers, we would announce those via our e-mail newsletter. If you have not done so already, you may register at the bottom of our homepage.
If you haven’t purchased that 5D4 yet, one thing to keep in mind is the files size you will have with each still you shoot. This true especially if you shoot in raw. I convert all mine to DNG files and they still end up to be 50 megs each depending on the subject. You new camera is able to take some respectable video and you might end up shooting more of it with this body than you think. Before transcoding, in camera, these files are always in the gigabyte range my point is that you may need larger cards than one first suspects. Since Kodak digital cameras, I have never had a problem with a sandisk card.
The SD card interface in the 5D Mark IV is UHS-I, and has been measured to max out at around 78-79 MB/s with the fastest cards from a large number of manufacturers. The CF card bus can reach 108-112 MB/s with the fastest UDMA-7 cards such as the Lexar 1066X and Sandisk Extreme Pro cards. For sports, where frame rate and write speed is crucial to maintaining long bursts, you'd be much better served to use CF cards for fast action. I keep both CF cards (I use the Lexar 1066X) and SD cards in the camera, but record fast sports to the CF card only. For slower subjects, such as much of the pre-game pageantry or the bands at halftime, I can switch to the slower SD card to save space on the CF card. The 5D Mark IV raw files can take up a LOT of space, especially when shooting in low light when noise makes the image file size larger.
I am renting-to-buy a Canon 5Ds. I want to get a Lexar Professional 1066x CF card. How big of one will this camera support? 128 is fine but there is a 256 available... I tend to go into the field and shoot for a very long time so storage is important. What do you recommend.
Is there a problem or less performance if i use UHS-I U3 MicroSD instead of UHS-I U3 SD card in my DSLR, Which I use it with my GoPro ?
*I shoot video
I am sorry for my weak language
In some instances, using a Micro SD card with an SD adapter in a camera which only has a standard SD slot might have the potential to become corrupt. It’s generally best to stick with the correct card format for the camera you are using.
I shot with an SD card 128GB micro XC I in a canon XC10, and i cant playback the footage. i only can see the file but media player, quicktime player, none of the player can play the footage. in the properties it says Format EXFAT..is there anyway to have the footage ?
Hi Rolphe -
Can you play back the footage in-camera? Please e-mail us: [email protected]
Will Lexar Professional 32 GB SDHC UHS-11 , 2000 X - 300 MB work with my Leica T?
Hi Randy -
Is there a SD UHS-II to CompactFlash adapter?
B&H does not carry a CF adapter designed for use with the UHS-II. I’m not aware of an option on the market at this time.
What UHS-I sd card would you recommend with a least 65MB/s write speed?
You could check out the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Memory Cards. They would have a max write speed of 90 MB/s.
I have a Samsung DV300F camera. The manual says micro SDHC gauranteed to 32GB and micro SDXC to 64GB. Does that mean I should not try to use a card with larger capacity? I mainly take family and travel photos. What type card do you suggest?
I likely wouldn’t use a card with a larger capacity than what is stated in the Samsung manual. Otherwise, you could experience compatibility issues. That being said, a 32GB card should be more than large enough (you should be able to get over 3,000 images with a 32GB card in the DV300F). I would suggest looking at the SanDisk 32GB Ultra UHS-I microSDHC Memory Card (Class 10) for your camera.
Can my SONY 6300 use an XQD 2.0 card?
The Sony Alpha a6300 uses SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick PRO HG-Duo cards. Unfortunately, you would not be able to use XQD memory cards in that camera.
Hello B&H. I am interested in a 512GB SD card. I keep it in the laptop most of the time, copy photos from cameras on to it, and sometimes edit them on that card, before I can move them on to the desktop hard drive.
My question is, which of the following cards will have the highest sustained write speeds for my usage as stated above?
1. P&Y (PNSD512GBU3)
2. Lexar (LESD633X512)
3. Delkin (DESD633X512G)
They are confusing because the specs are not easily comparable. For example, P&Y says U3 but going into the details page, linked to P&Y Techhnologies, it shows that the card is U1. One card states minimum write speed while the other states the maximum. Delkin and Lexar say 633x but P&Y doesn't say anything. They are all rated U3 on the label but they don't seem to be the same :)
The minimum read speed for those three cards would all be 30 MB/s. Between the options, I would lean towards the Lexar 512GB Professional UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (U3). I find that Lexar makes some of the better memory cards on the market. Their cards tend to be among the more reliable and higher performing.
You might checkout the following Explora article: The Numbers on Your Memory Card Explained. It has some great information about how to understand the various numbers and specs on memory cards. The 633X is simply another way to express the max read speed of a card.