|1. SanDisk Extreme Pro||2. Lexar Professional 2000x||3. PNY Elite Performance|
Are you constantly running out of space? With the large amounts of storage needed by 4K videos and RAW high definition images, is a lack of space storage space always an issue for you? This extensive guide contains the perfect solution to all your storage problems.
SD cards, even today, is an important accessory in DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras. This is due to a number of reasons. SD cards are relatively affordable, fairly compact, and offer a solid bang for your buck when it comes to storage.
But selecting the best SD cards for your camera that suits your requirements in a market full of options can be quite mystifying. It is extremely important that you are well-versed with all the specifications in order to make an informed decision on what you absolutely need in your purchase and what you are willing to let go off.
Regardless of whether you are just starting out with your newfound love for cameras or you are a pro who shoots in RAW or 4K all the time, this extensive guide on choosing the best SD card for your camera has you covered.
This comprehensive guide contains all you need to know when investing in this small storage device. It also contains a hands-on review of all the bestsellers in the market in recent months.
What To Look For In the Best SD Cards for Cameras?
With thousands of options out there when it comes SD cards, it is important you know what distinguishes the best from the rest. When investing in an SD card, you must take into account a number of specification, such as card type, speed, capacity, and more.
The two of the most important specifications are the capacity of the card and its price. But there are other details such as the type and class of SD card which are just as important. These affect the speed and compatibility of your SD card.
We have listed below all that you need to consider before you invest in the best SD card suitable for your needs.
1. Card Type
While browsing through various SD cards available in the market, you would definitely come across two types. The first one is SDHC, which stands for Secure Digital High Capacity, and the other one is called SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity). They are differentiated on the basis of the amount of storage they offer. SDHC cards offer between 4GB to 32GB of storage while SDXC cards start at around 64GB and max out at around 2TB. However, it is important that you note that the highest commercially-available storage for SDXC is 1TB.
Now, when it comes to the capacity of SD cards, it is important that you realize what you need these cards for. A 32GB SD card is sufficient for a casual photographer who generally tends to have multiple smaller-capacity SD cards.
However, if you are a professional photographer who often shoots in RAW settings, you’ll want extra space to store high-resolution photographs and videos. It is then an absolute must that you invest in an SDXC card of higher capacity so that you don’t face an issue afterwards.
3. Class and UHS Ratings
When we talk about the speed of an SD card, there are three terms any buyer should be well-versed with. They are: speed class, UHS (ultra high speed) class, video speed, and rated speed. While all these are somehow related to each other, some of them do take precedence over the other.
SD cards are distinguished on the basis of their minimums, as mentioned below. The speed class of an SD card is denoted by a C with a number on the inside. This number is a clear cut indication of the speed class of an SD card.
Based on their minimum speeds, SD cards are distinguished as follows:
The above-mentioned table covers the standard class of SD cards. This standard class was followed till the year 2009, after which the SD association introduced a new speed class called the UHS speed class. This new class supersedes the standard class, provided the device supports it. If you are using a device manufactured on or before the year 2009, the standard speed class will be the default speed class rating.
However, most of everything that was manufactured after the introduction of UHS speed class follows the new norms as mentioned in the table below.
UHD Speed Class
There is another class of SD cards which was introduced in recent years, known as the V or video speed class. These SD cards are specifically in keeping with high-resolution videos in mind, with an emphasis on 360 recording, HDR capture, virtual reality content, and the increasing resolutions which are quite common in high-end cameras.
The various classes available in the V-class are mentioned below along with their respective minimum speeds.
Although the above-mentioned classes and speeds have been standardized by the SD association, manufacturers still tend to put their own rated speeds on SD cards. These rated speeds are usually the theoretical maximum transfer speeds you can expect from an SD card. However, it is important that one realizes that these speeds are only possible when the devices using these SD cards are capable of handling these them.
How To Choose The Best Sd Card For Your Camera?
Your goal, while purchasing any electronic item, should be to maximize the amount you can get for a price that you can afford. The same is the case when it comes to SD cards. It is important that you are well-versed with your camera specifications as there is absolutely no point in investing in an SD card which is capable of faster transfer speeds than your camera can write to. The only benefit of such an investment is the fact that you will be able to offload images faster to your computer.
It is always advisable to invest in a brand that has been in the industry for several years. While there is no gaurantee that brands like SanDisk, Sony, Lexar, Kingston, or Toshiba will last longer, there is always a sense of security when you invest in them. There is a reason why these brands are trusted by professionals all around the world.
Another important tip to remember is the fact that one must invest in four 32GB SD cards rather than one 128GB card. This is because, god forbid, if you end up losing this tiny storage device of yours, it is always better to lose a fourth of your photos rather than all of them at once. It is also a good practice to copy and format your SD cards regularly. For this, a good speed class can be extremely important as image transfer is faster in higher classes.
To make your job much easier, we have compiled a list of the top 10 SD cards in the market right now. Most of these come with varying capacities. However, while reviewing them, we chose to pick the ones with 32GB of storage as they give the best idea of the balance of an SD card.
All the SD cards mentioned below come with excellent reliability and support, and showcase good performance and compatibility with the majority of devices.
Top 11 Best SD Cards For Camera 2021
1. SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card is often touted as the best SD card for cameras in the market and deservedly so. It checks all the right boxes to be the best SD card in the industry for most people.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card is a class 10, UHS-/U3 card with a video class speed of V3. This SD card can shoot video in Full HD 1080p, 4K UHD and even 3D with ease. The SD card can also handle RAW photo format smoothly, even when shot in burst mode.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card comes with the fastest read speeds at 95 MB/sec. When checked by experts all around the globe, it nearly met the advertised number with an average read rate of 93.6 MB/sec. Another interesting fact is that the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card has the highest write speed in the entire industry. At 86.2 MB/sec, this SD card is lightning fast when it comes to writing data.
This product also comes with a lifetime limited warranty. So if something goes wrong (which is actually quite rare), the card will be replaced by the manufacturers within a week. The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card works perfectly fine, even in extreme temperatures – from negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit to 285 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also be stored in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you ever plan to take a trip down the poles or the Antarctic, you know which SD card to trust now.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card can survive X-Rays, water, and shock. This has been tested and proven time and again by the manufacturers and even third party testers.
The product is available in 8GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities on Amazon. Even though we believe a 32GB is more than enough to store a large number of photos, if most of your recording is in 4K, we would recommend a higher capacity.
The only drawback of this otherwise perfect SD card is its price. Remember that the best come at a price after all, and so is the case with the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Card.
2. Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC Card
The Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC card is the cream of all SD cards when it comes professional videographers and photographers. It is one level up from the SanDisk model which was reviewed last and is touted as the ultimate professional photographer’s SD card.
The Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC card can shoot videos in either Full HD 1080p, 4K UHD, or 3D with exquisite ease. Be it the burst mode with RAW settings or 4K recording, this SD card will not disappoint you.
Great performance does not come cheap and that is exactly the case with the Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC card. However, that’s the price you have to pay for minimum data write speeds of 30MB/sec and a maximum write speed of 300 MB/sec. Another interesting giveaway of this SD card is the fact that you get an SD UHS-II adapter for easy transfer of files. If you ever end up losing your files or the card ends up corrupted, Lexar also offers a downloadable Image Rescue Software to restore the lost files.
The Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC card is available in 32GB and 64GB. When it comes to user reviews, we’re glad to say that they’re overwhelmingly positive. For just a tad bit over 50 dollars for the 32GB variant, the Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC card certainly isn’t the cheapest but certainly is the best in the business.
3. PNY Elite Performance SDHC Card
The PNY Elite Performance SDHC card comes in two different speed classes. It can be differentiated on the basis of capacity and speed class. The 32GB variant is a UHS-I/U1 card, so it can easily record a FULL HD 1080p video. However, it does not perform to the best of its ability when it comes to 4K or 3D video recording. The second variant, the 64GB is a UHS-I/U3 card which can record FULL HD 1080p, 4K Ultra HD and 3D with ultimate ease.
This SD card gives a decent read and write for its price range. The PNY Elite performance SDHC card can store more than 22000 photos in one go when we talk about the 64GB variant. It is extremely durable too, because it is magnet proof, shock proof, temperature proof and waterproof.
The PNY Elite Performance SDHC cards offer upto 95MB/sec read speeds. Practically, these speeds tend to be a little lower but that is expected due to varying systems and environments. The speed these cards offer are more than enough for most users.
The PNY Elite Performance SDHC card comes with a lifetime warranty, like all the SD cards reviewed till now, which just goes to show great after sale service on the part of the manufacturer.
The PNY Elite Performance SDHC card comes with a range of storage options ranging from 32GB to 512GB. The 64GB variant at under 20 dollars, is one of the best in business at this price range. It matches the capabilities of the top SD cards at half their price.
4. SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC card
These cards are twice as fast as the ordinary SDHC cards, and they deliver more than they promise. With a market transfer rate of 80MB/sec, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC card allows you to take pictures and transfer files at a decent speed with relative ease.
These cards are known for their exceptional video recording capabilities, and come with a Class 10 rating which ensure you can record FULL HD cameras with ease.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC card is extremely sturdy and stays in good shape even in the worst of conditions. It is magnet proof, shock proof, water proof and X-ray proof.
It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty. Like all other SanDisk storage devices, you don’t have to worry about the after sale service as it is extremely good.
The SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC card is the one of the best SD cards priced at under 10 dollars. From one of the most trusted manufacturers of storage devices, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC card delivers where it matters the most.
5. SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card
When it comes to best performance at a decent price, there are a very few SD cards in the market at the moment which can compete with the performance and durability of the SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I card.
With shot speeds as high as 70MB/sec and transfer speeds at around 150 MB/sec, provided the devices are compatible enough, the SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is the fastest functioning SD card. In practical use, the speed tends to reduce a little due to varying circumstances and environments, but this SD card is still the fastest, andis way ahead of its competitors at this price range.
With 128GB of storage, the SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is perfect for shooting 4K UHD videos and performs extremely well when it comes to sequential burst mode photography. This card provides a sustained and uninterrupted video capture rate of 30MB/sec. It is also specifically designed to support real-time video recording with UHS enabled host devices.
Just like all the other SD cards from the same manufacturers, there is very little you can question when it comes to the durability of the SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I card. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you don’t have to worry about your investment ever going waste.
At a little under 30 dollars, the SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is thebest there is. Once you invest in a card such as this, there is very little you need to worry about when it comes to storage. This is one investment that surely won’t disappoint.
6. SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card
If you are a professional photographer, who shoots in real time and 4K almost everyday and captures only RAW images at high resolutions and burst modes, then the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I card is the perfect SD card for you.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I card comes with a shot speed of upto 90MB/Sec, tested to reach close to 86MB/sec by third party experts and transfer speeds of upto 170 MB/sec. This SD card is a dream for many professional photographers. However, it is important that you use this card with the SanDisk SD UHS-I card reader for best results.
This SD card gives the best output and performance when shooting 4K UHD video in real time. Sequential burst photography is extremely smooth and there are very few SD cards which can compare with the read and write rates of the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I card.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I card comes with V30 or video speed class 30 which captures uninterrupted videos. It is designed to capture sustained videos at a rate of 30MB/sec, and real time video recording is an absolute treat in this SD card.
At around 40 dollars, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I card is not an option for photographers who are just starting out. The quality and performance comes at a price and designed for the professionals who need such specifications and are willing to pay for it.
7. Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I Card
The Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card is specifically designed for mid-range DSLR, HD camcorder and 3D cameras. This SD card lets you quickly capture and transfer high-quality photos, and record 1080p FULL HD, 3D and 4K UHD videos with read speeds of up to 633x or 95MB/sec.
The Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card comes with the speed of Class 10 SD cards and UHS-I technology to deliver an extremely high-speed performance. Another interesting feature of this SD card is that when used with a USB 3.0 reader, it provides high speed card to computer file transfer. This makes sure your workflow increases dramatically and you are the best in the business.
The Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card is also quite sturdy and durable. It performs to the best of its ability even in the worst of conditions. These SD cards are rated shock proof, water proof, temperature proof and X-ray proof. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
With its V30 or video speed class 30, you can keep shooting for a long time without changing cards. The Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card makes sure you are in line with the growing video capabilities of the cameras in recent times, and produces high performance cards that you can rely on.
The only issue with the Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card could be its after sales service. In recent years, Lexar has distanced itself from the card manufacturing industry and hence, investing in a Lexar product could prove to be a mistake.
The Lexar Professional 633x SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card is also quite decently priced for the performance it delivers. At under 10 dollars, it is easily one of the best SD cards in the business at the moment for mid-range cameras.
8. Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Card
Be it a professional photographer, videographer or enthusiast, the Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards easily capture and transfer 1080p FULL HD, 3D and 4K video. Even when it comes to capturing RAW images at the best resolution, this SD camera does not disappoint as it gives extremely high transfer rates.
The high performance, a trademark of the Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards, dramatically accelerates the work rate.
The Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card are extremely versatile, as well as they are backwards compatible with UHS-I devices, performing to the maximum thresholds of the UHS-I capabilities at class 10 speeds and also performing excruciatingly well when in UHS-II mode.
Like all Lexar products, the Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards are waterproof, shockproof, temperature proof and X-ray proof. They are extremely durable, and provide the buyer with the highest level of performance.
Since the Lexar industries have distanced themselves from the SD card industry, there is very little chance you will this card anywhere other than Amazon. Due to this, after sales service of the Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards could prove to be a major cause of concern.
At a little under 60 dollars, the Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards give you the best of both worlds. Extremely high-performance rates from a trusted brand at a decent price.
9. Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC Card
If you are a professional photographer or videographer, then you must have used a Transcend SD card at least once in your lifetime. It is one of the oldest brands in the industry. Even though it is a tad bit expensive than its competitors, Transcend SD cards are a still relevant name in the industry.
The Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC cards are manufactured with top-tier MLC NAND flash memory, making them extremely durable and reliable. The cards are ideal for use with advanced camcorders, high end DSLR cameras.
The Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card offers impressive transfer rates post production for photographers. When it comes videographers, this SD card provides top-quality video recording without dropping frames.
These memory cards comes with both UHS-II Speed Class 3 offering extremely high read and write speeds. When it comes to read speed, the Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card offers upto 285MB/sec and write speeds are near about 180MB/sec.
When it comes to video recording, this SD card comes with V90 or video speed class 90 rating, which implies that it can record 4K UHD, 3D and FULL HD 1080p with ease. The Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card is the best SD card for videography as it gives optimized V90 performance and best in class output.
The Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card comes with a storage capacity of 64GB, which is more than enough to store thousands of high resolution photos, and hours of full HD recording. This ensures you can keep on capturing fantastic moments without worrying about running out of space.
Transcend SD cards are known for their durability. The Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card is designed to withstand extreme conditions with relative ease. It is waterproof upto 1 meter of water for upto 30 minutes and temperature proof to perform well in temperatures ranging from -25 degrees celsius to 85 degree celsius. This SD card range is also shock resistant amd X-ray proof.
The Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card offers exclusive RecoveRX software, a free data recovery utility that allows you to search deep within a storage device for traces of previously erased files and media. This one of a kind feature is a trademark of Transcend storage devices.
This SD card also comes with a lifetime limited warranty and the after sales service offered by the manufacturers is quite decent. At about 60 dollars, the Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card is certainly one of the best in the business and surely outperforms all its competitors in this price range. Also, coming from a manufacturer trusted worldwide, there is very little in question when we talk about the Transcend TS64GSDC700S 64GB SDXC/SDHC card.
10. Sony SF-G64/T1 High Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 Card
Sony is one of the most trustable electronic brands in the world. It has been the pioneers of the portable storage industry for several decades now. Naturally, when you invest in a Sony SD card, it comes with a sense of trust and security. Sony has been a favourite for camera users around the globe for a long time now. The Sony SF-G64/T1 High Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 card is the best SD card from Sony at the moment.
The Sony SF-G64/T1 High Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 card comes with UHS-II and hence, showcases lightning fast read and write speeds. With upto 300MB/sec read and 299MB/sec write speeds, this SD card with its UHS-II delivers unparalleled performance.
The UHS-II is known for streamlining data workflow tasks with a blazing fast 300MB/sec transfer rate. At this transfer rate, you can transfer thousands of files in a couple of minutes. The Sony SF-G64/T1 High Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 card offers a transfer rate which 2.6x faster than the traditional UHS-I memory cards.
Write speed of Sony SF-G64 card is marked up to 299MB/sec. In a practical environment it may vary a little, but it still is the highest in the industry. It provides faster buffer clearing time between burst shots optimizing your shooting experience.
The speed of this card ensures transfer of high resolution photos and 4K quickly with the MRW-S1 reader writer.
All Sony SD cards come with a File Rescue Software which gives you added security andyou never have to worry about losing any data. UHS-II memory cards are tested under extreme and tough shooting conditions and deliver reliable conditions, no matter where you are.
The Sony SF-G64 card is extremely tough and durable. They can withstand drops, shock, X-ray, wet conditions, extremely hot or cold weather with relative ease.
When it comes to compatibility, the Sony SF-G64/T1 High-Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 card is specifically designed for professional photographers and videographers. They perform to the best of their ability with powerful imaging devices such as 4K camcorders or high end DSLRS.
Priced at around 100 dollars, this SD card is not something an enthusiast should ideally invest in. The Sony SF-G64/T1 High-Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II Class 10 U3 card is intricately designed by professionals for professionals. The price and the performance that comes with it are a justification of that.
11. SanDisk 64GB Class4 SDXC Flash Memory Card
SanDisk 64GB Class4 SDXC flash memory card is the oldest memory card in this listing. However, you must know that this is the only card out of thousand others that has stood the test of time and is still a relevant investment.
The SanDisk 64GB Class4 SDXC flash memory card is one of the most reliable and affordable SD cards available in the market today. With 64GB of storage space, it lets you capture thousands of photos at a go. The card also comes with a writable label, making it easier than ever to keep everything organized.
The SanDisk 64GB Class4 SDXC flash memory card is not only used in cameras and camcorders, but it is a very good option when it comes to other portable devices such as multimedia players etc. It gives you plenty of space to store all you want to. The card also is quite ideal for moving files between computers and other gadgets.
The SanDisk 64GB Class4 SDXC flash memory card is waterproof, shock proof, temperature proof, vibration proof and X-Ray proof. With reliability which has been proven time and again over the years, this solid-state memory has proven itself time and again in all conditions. It has been tested by both manufacturers and third party testers to work perfectly in all conditions.
If you are just starting out as a photographer and own a basic DSLR or a camcorder, then the SanDisk 64GB Class4 SDXC flash memory card is the perfect SD card for you. For just a tad bit over 10 dollars, this is the SD card has the best value for money and also years of trust and faith of customers from around the world.
With so many options available, deciding to choose which SD card to trust when it’s about storing those lifelong memories, those once in a lifetime captures, can be quite daunting. With this comprehensive guide, we have tried to make sure you make the best decision whilst choosing the best SD card for your camera.
It is extremely important that you go through the entire list of factors and top choices to make sure you choose the right product for you. And once you do, we are you sure you won’t be disappointed. So, go ahead invest in the best SD cards today. Happy shooting!