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SD cards are essential to any photographer as they’re one of the most popular types of memory cards used by camera manufacturers. There are other categories of people who could benefit from SD cards though. Anyone who needs to expand the storage capacity of various compatible devices such as laptops, gaming consoles, or scanners can take advantage of this kind of memory card. One downside of the popularity of SD cards is that the market is full of so many choices which makes picking the right option very difficult. If you’re sure you need an SD card for your particular device, there are just a few key aspects which you have to take into account before you start searching the market for suitable products:
1. Class 10 speed
If you care about writing speed, you should make the extra investment into a memory card with a Class 10 rating. This ensures a quick enough sequential write speed to handle the filming of high-resolution videos. There are other speed classes out there, but Class 10 is the fastest.
This depends on your needs but it’s worth knowing that 64GB is one of the most balanced options considering the cost per gigabyte. If your needs are less demanding, 32GB cards could still represent viable options. For most users, 32GB and 64GB card varieties offer plenty of space but there are higher options too. You can go for 128GB or 256GB SD card capacities which have become quite popular. They are more expensive, but if you’re a professional, it could be worth it to be able to store more photos and recordings. Before looking at cards with larger capacities, it’s important to make sure that your device is compatible with SDXC. The ‘XC’ in this type of SD card means ‘extended capacity’.
3. Ultra High Speed Class (UHS)
Some SD cards are better designed to meet the demanding needs of those who take constant high-resolution pictures or record in Full HD. You will require a higher speed UHS card if you plan on working with very large resolutions, like recording video in 4K.
There are probably some other details that matter too when it comes to selecting the best SD memory card. Still, the features presented in the guide are the essential ones to consider. Now it’s time to check out the individual reviews of products that made this list. Only certain memory cards have been included, those that do the best job at balancing the latest technologies, performance, and design with their cost. You might also be interested in our articles about the best sd card readers and the best micro sd card.
Best Buy SD Card
If you’re looking to make a truly great investment in an SD card, the SanDisk Extreme Pro could be a very good option. This UHS-I memory card is designed with maximum performance in mind allowing for better workflow if you’re a professional. It has lots of interesting goodies including fast read and write speeds.
This model comes with V30 speed class for easily capturing uninterrupted 4K videos. You’ll no longer have to worry about dropped frames when filming fast-action scenes. Another feature that contributes to this level of performance is the UHS U3 rating.
To be able to handle rapid shots and other types of high-performance photo capturing, you need a memory card that can write data fast enough. As this SD card can reach a maximum of 90Mb/s writing speed, it’s sure to increase your productivity. The read speeds are a bit higher managing approximatively 95Mb/s in the best case scenario.
In terms of storage capacity, this memory card doesn’t disappoint as it comes with 64GB. That means you can store plenty of important files, but the manufacturer offers other versions with different capacities to suit multiple needs. You can go even as low as 8GB or as high as 512GB.
A nice little extra that SanDisk provides for this SD card is the RescuePRO Deluxe software. Accidental deleting of data can happen so it’s nice to know that you can still recover files using this handy software. To start, you will need to download your free included copy.
Considering the overall features of the SanDisk Extreme Pro, it can be said that it’s worth the extra investment compared to regular SD cards. It’s a blazing fast memory card whose value per cost deserves an important spot on this list. A great tool in the hands of any demanding photographer.
- 64GB capacity
- Up to 95MB/s read speeds
- Up to 90MB/s write speeds
- V30 video speed
- Can record high-res video
- Durable design
Best SD Card For DSLR
With multiple capacities and delivering performance fitting for elites, this model from PNY deserves a top spot on this list of best SD cards available. This one’s the 64GB model. An SDXC Class 10 memory card which has a lot in store for advanced DSLR users.
The first thing that you can notice about this small SD card is how well constructed it is. It’s obvious that the manufacturer intended to create a durable product considering the 4-Proof technology. Whether it’s high temperature, water, magnets, or shocks, this memory card should be able to face any tough condition.
If 64GB isn’t enough for you, this model boasts much higher capacities. Besides 128GB and 256GB cards, there’s also a huge 512GB model. They all manage the same maximum transfer speed of 95MB/s and are U3 rated. There’s also a 32GB option available, but this one has just a U1 speed class.
Minimizing the time spent moving files from the card to your PC is a top priority for this memory card. Keep in mind that the impressive 95MB/s speed is for reading data. When you’re writing new data to the card, expect a lower value, somewhere around 50-65MB/s to be more realistic.
If you wish to capture videos at extremely high-resolutions, such as 4K, you can definitely count on this memory card as its UHS-I rating makes it an ideal choice for this purpose. The card also has a Class 10 rating and will play nice with a very wide range of cameras and camcorders.
In conclusion, PNY did a solid job with their Elite Performance SD card. It’s an excellent choice for any DSLR professional who doesn’t want to be limited by their storage device. Taking into account the performance per cost, this is a very balanced memory card, and this is why it’s fully recommended.
- 64GB capacity
- Class 10 UHS-I
- 95MB/s read speeds (maximum)
- Shockproof and waterproof
- SDHC and SDXC devices compatibility
- U3 performance
SanDisk is one of the most famous manufacturers of memory cards and this reputation comes from their dedication to creating performant and reliable products. A fine example is the Ultra, an SD card that seems to find an optimal balance between cost and performance. This compact model comes in multiple capacities ranging from 16GB to 128GB.
With maximum read speeds of 80Mb/s and 32GB storage capacity, this card won’t blow you away but it promises decent performance at a more reasonable price. This is a UHS-I card which comes with a Class 10 rating so you can expect writing speeds to start from 10Mb/s.
Capturing Full HD video is a breeze with the level of performance offered by this memory card. It’s great for taking photos with a camera too and it works particularly well for point-and-shoot models. After your photos and videos are done, you can quickly transfer them to a PC or, if you choose a higher capacity SD card, you can even rely on it for extra storage.
As with many other similar memory cards, this model too provides a sturdy construction to last well in time. It’s waterproof and temperature-proof. The occasional accidental drop won’t affect it so you can take it out and move it around without the need to treat it as a very delicate object. Even if other manufacturers prefer to make certain compromises on design quality to keep the prices low, SanDisk appears to rely on the highest construction standards.
Taking everything about the SanDisk Ultra into account, the final verdict is highly positive. It represents the right mix of performance and storage capacity at a reasonable cost. If a reliable 32GB SD card is what you’re looking for, this unit should be strongly considered.
- 32GB capacity
- 80MB/s read speeds (maximum)
- Class 10 rating
- Durable construction
- UHS-I memory card
Best SD Card For GoPro
Those looking to get their hands on a cutting-edge 128GB SD card shouldn’t miss the Lexar Professional 633x. This little card is intended for more professional users as evidenced by its name and the included special recovery software. The solid writing and reading performance seems to match that impression too.
Lexar is known for its rigorous quality tests on its products as they have dedicated labs for that purpose. Extensive testing is done in these facilities with multiple types of digital devices to make sure that the final product is as reliable as possible for different types of users.
The memory card reviewed here is the 128GB model, plenty of storage for most professional users. If that’s not enough there are other options too. You can get 256GB and 512GB models from the same line though these are considerably more expensive.
Other options available are 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. Picking the right one for you isn’t hard with such a wide variety at your disposal. You can shoot longer with bigger cards so maybe the extra investment would be worth it in the long run. It’s important to note that performance doesn’t stay the same.
While models from 32GB to 128GB provide a decent writing speed of 20MB/s, models with larger capacities such as 256GB and 512GB varieties manage to reach approximately 45MB/s. Your workflow can improve if you choose more expensive models. Lexar also includes a capable recovery software called Image Rescue. Although it’s not a guaranteed process, it can bring back deleted files most of the time.
With so many solid features for the money, the Lexar Professional 633x has great potential on the market for SD cards. Demanding photographers everywhere will be definitely pleased by what this model’s performance. The price for the 128GB version is very competitive so make sure you check this one out.
- 128GB capacity
- 95MB/s read speeds
- Can record full HD and 4K videos
- SDXC UHS-I/U1 card
- Included recovery software
Dash cam users who need a reliable SD card to capture footage while driving will certainly appreciate the SanDisk Extreme. This is a revised version compared to the previous one and it looks like SanDisk worked on maximizing the performance no matter what capacity is required for the task.
This is the 32GB model and it comes with efficient reading speeds of up to 90MB/s. Ordinary memory cards barely manage to achieve around 7Mb/s writing speeds which for many users is deemed insufficient. SanDisk optimized this SD card to be able to reach impressive write speeds of up to 40Mb/s.
There are lots of applications for which you can make use of such a performant card. The low capacity makes it ideal for dash cams or other devices that usually don’t accept higher capacities. You can also shoot multiple frames in a second with ease if you are a photographer or record 4K UHD videos. As these could require extended storage, there are models that go beyond 32GB with the largest being 256GB.
If your work takes you to harsh environments, it’s worth mentioning that the name ‘Extreme’ of this memory card isn’t just for show. It can resist x-rays and high temperatures. Water and shocks shouldn’t pose any problems either.
Like other similarly-featured SD cards destined for more professional photographers, this unit comes with a free download for a capable recovery software. The RescuePRO Deluxe software allows you to find deleted files which have been erased by accident. It’s quite reliable most of the time.
When you consider all of its abilities together with the cost, the final result is a very good investment. The SanDisk Extreme deserves some attention if you’re looking to spend your money wisely on a high-quality SD card. Make sure you pair it with a capable DSLR to fully take advantage of the blazing fast write speed of this card.
- 32GB capacity
- 40MB/s write speeds (maximum)
- V30 video speeds
- UHS U3 rating
- Durable design
Sony is a familiar brand in the electronics industry, and photographers will also recognize its influence in the SD card department where they have lots of performant models available. One of them is the SFG2UY2/TQ, a 256GB model which comes with an excellent value per cost ratio.
Its large capacity is clearly one of the most impressive characteristics of this memory card. If 256GB is excessive to you, it’s worth knowing that Sony also makes this model in lower capacities while hardly making any compromises on the overall performance. The card can be found in capacities as low as 8GB and 16GB.
Before we try to understand its performance better, let’s take a closer look at the design choices. It seems that Sony focused on durability to allow you to use the card with confidence even when the environment gets difficult. Some of the key protective features of the SD card are resistance to water, dust, temperature, and UV rays. An advanced anti-static technology has also been integrated.
Performance-wise, the 256GB memory card can work pretty well considering its 70MB/s transfer speed. To be able to achieve this value you are going to need a capable interface. This level of performance is perfect for advanced shooting and combining this with the large storage capacity means you can work for longer and more efficiently.
A special downloadable software to recover files is offered by Sony to try to find those damaged or erased photos and bring them back. The File Rescue software is one of the most reliable available.
With so much space available, the Sony SFG2UY2/TQ won’t fill up too soon and when you take into account its overall reliability, the final conclusion can be highly positive. As it lacks a U3 speed rating, it won’t be a good choice for 4K recording, but for anything else, this model delivers the quality you’d expect from Sony.
- 256GB capacity
- 70 MB/s Transfer Speed
- Downloadable software
- UHS-I memory card
- Class 10 rating
Transcend is another highly popular memory card manufacturer and one of their best models is the TS32GSDHC10E. It comes in multiple capacities, built-in ECC, and UHS Class 1. The model reviewed here is the 32GB one, a very simple to use SD card which can prove to be extremely versatile.
Although the 30MB/s transfer speed performance doesn’t seem that impressive, it’s actually very good if you factor in the reduced cost. The card is fully Class 10 compliant making it a good option for Full HD recording and reasonably fast high-resolution picture-capturing response.
To achieve its maximum speed, it’s required to use only devices that provide support for the UHS-I interface. When the time comes to transfer data to your laptop you might be disappointed to find lower speeds than expected. That could be the case if you use the laptop’s integrated card reader. For the most productive results, it’s recommended to invest in a high-quality card reader like Transcend’s own RDF8 model.
Bringing lost photos back is possible if you use the RecoveRx software. A downloadable copy is included with your memory card purchase. This is a user-friendly application that searches deep within your card for any trace of deleted files which can be recovered.
When it comes to storage capacity, the SD card won’t impress anyone with its standard 32GB available. There are other versions available for those who demand more. A 64GB provides plenty of extra space and there’s even a 128GB model.
A good all-around SD card, the Transcend TS32GSDHC10E works great with multiple types of devices including Raspberry Pi systems. It’s not as fast as some of its competitors, but after a simple price comparison, you can clearly see that this unit might be a smarter choice. In the end, what matters is what you value more – affordability or performance.
- 32GB capacity
- Built-in error correcting code
- UHS Class 1
- RecoveRx software download included
- Versatile and easy to use
Best SD Card For Video
While not as well known as the other brands on this list, Komputerbay represents a rising force in the memory card industry. It makes exceptionally good options for more professional users who require large capacities and fast performance. Let’s see what this 256GB model from their Professional lineup has to offer.
This is Komputerbay’s fastest SDXC card managing to reach speeds of more than 90Mb/s. Such a great performance boost will definitely be welcomed for users of high-performance DSLR cameras. Those filming Full HD and 4K action-packed scenes will also benefit a lot from the Class 10 UHS-I U3 superior writing speeds.
With such a large capacity, transferring data to a PC afterward can take a long time for normal memory cards. Not with this one though as its quick transfer speeds promise. It will work like a charm enabling you to save some time and be more productive.
This unit is only compatible with certain devices, those that accept SDXC cards. It should work without any problems with most DSLR cameras and camcorders. Professional photographers are sure to appreciate the extended capacity of 256GB of this SD card. Other options ranging from 32GB to 128GB are also available.
One thing to consider when using an SDXC card with such a large capacity like this one is to ensure that you can connect it to your computer to transfer files. Older card readers will most likely not support it, so you will probably have to purchase an additional card reader which also enables you to enjoy the card to its full potential.
For a UHS-I card, the Komputerbay Professional is a very fast one fitting to meet the needs of most photographers. It boasts reliable transfer rates and a large capacity. The price is lower compared to other models, but you might run into slight inconveniences like the need to format it when it first arrives. All in all, this represents a good purchase.
- 256GB capacity
- Class 10 UHS-I
- Ideal for cameras and camcorders
- 95MB/s maximum transfer rates
- U3 performance
For anyone who’s looking for a reliable SD card with a smaller capacity, the Transcend SDHC TS32GSDHC10U1E needs to be taken into account. It has a modest capacity of 32GB but it provides great data transfer performance with its maximum speed of 90Mb/s and UHS-1 Class 10 compliance.
Continous shooting can be difficult if you don’t have the right memory card. This model is ideal for that purpose considering the UHS-I interface combined with the efficient exFAT file system. Whether it’s burst-mode shooting or smooth Full HD video recording, this SD card won’t back down.
A download for the RecoveRx software from Transcend is provided when you purchase this memory card. It can be useful to have this kind of application because accidents can happen. In that kind of situation, finding traces of erased files can quickly become a priority. Let this software’s user-friendly interface guide you through the recovery process.
Another great feature of this SD card is the built-in Error Correcting Code for extra reliability when using it. The card is very versatile in terms of compatibility with SDXC devices. This is the 32GB version but there are models with reduced or larger capacities too.
Make sure you invest in a good card reader to ensure that your PC can read data from the SD card. This is especially recommended to do if you’re using an older card reader from a laptop and go for an SD card with a larger capacity.
The Transcend SDHC TS32GSDHC10U1E is a very reliable SD card, all things considered. It may not be the fastest card around when compared with similar UHS-I models, but it does the job well taking into account the more affordable price tag.
- 32GB capacity
- MLC flash-based performance
- UHS-I support
- Efficient exFAT file system
- Built-in error correcting code
If you value performance over storage capacity then the Sony SF-G64/T1 could represent an excellent investment. As long as you have a UHS-II compatible device, you will be able to enjoy incredible transfer speeds of up to 300Mb/s and slightly lower writing speeds. The cost is definitely quite high but for some might be worth it.
This memory card has all the qualities for improving your workflow. This blazing fast transfer speed can theoretically allow you to transfer 1GB of data in just a few seconds, more than double the performance of UHS-I models. To get the most out of this SD card, it’s recommended to get a capable card reader like Sony’s MRW-S1.
Photographers who frequently do burst shots know that the writing speed of the memory card is critical to obtain the best results. The 299Mb/s write speed of this unit delivers much faster buffer clearing time to create an optimal burst shooting experience.
To enjoy this level of performance with more confidence, Sony includes in the package a free download for the File Rescue software which has the ability to recover deleted files. There are some limits to its capacity to fully recover all the files, but overall it works when it counts.
As this is a more premium SD card, you’d expect it to be constructed more reliably to be able to last in time. You won’t be disappointed because this card is very durable, created to resist harsh weather and accidental shocks. You can have some extra peace of mind when shooting photos with it.
Overall, the Sony SF-G64/T1 is one of the best choices for those in need of the ultimate performance available for an SD card. It may not be worth it for more casual users because the price is definitely higher than other models. Recommended for professionals.
- SDXC UHS-II
- 299Mb/s maximum write speed
- Ideal for 4K recording
- Class 10 U3 rating
- Downloadable software