In all portable devices, such as smartphones, cameras and action cameras, memory cards are the main or additional storage medium. If your gadget has the ability to record 4K video or you store some valuable information on it, then choosing the right memory card is especially important.
We will tell you which memory cards are the best in different price categories for various devices and shooting modes.
Memory cards for cameras
Cameras are now equally used for photography and for shooting video. As a rule, these are cameras with a large matrix and interchangeable lenses, with high resolution and certain creative possibilities.
In most cases, SDHC and SDXC memory cards are suitable for the camera. The first differ from the second in that they are limited to 32 gigabytes inclusive.
When choosing a memory card, in addition to the volume, you need to look at the write speed, which is indicated on the package in megabytes per second. If you are going to use a memory card for RAW burst photography or 4K video, then the speed should not be less than 30 megabytes per second.
Best Budget SD Cards
SanDisk Ultra Series
This is a universal memory card with an affordable price. If you need a reliable memory card for leisurely amateur or staged photography, or FullHD video, then such memory cards are quite suitable. Here you do not overpay for some unnecessary features, but simply get proven quality.
For example, this is SanDisk SDHC Ultra Class 10 UHS‑I U1 (80/10MB/s) 16GB
Memory cards for professional cameras
Sandisk Extreme Pro Series
This is a series of high-speed memory cards in SD format, designed for professional photo and video shooting. There are two lines of cards here: with a write speed of 90 megabytes per second (UHS‑I U3 format) and at a speed of 260 megabytes per second (UHS-II U3 format). Depending on the video bitrate of your camera, you need to select a memory card from one or another line.
SanDisk SDXC Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS‑I U3 (170/90MB/s) 64GB
SanDisk SDXC Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-II U3 (300/260MB/s) 64GB
Memory cards for drones and action cameras
The dimensions and weight of quadcopters and action cameras should be as small as possible, so microSD memory cards are used here. As with large SD cards, you need to pay attention to the write speed and capacity.
Budget microSD cards
To record video in FullHD resolution, that is, 1920x1080, memory cards of the 10th class are enough. 1 hour of video in this quality takes about 8 gigabytes, the flight time of a quadrocopter is usually up to half an hour, so too much volume is not needed. In the case of action cameras, the battery life is also short. At the same time, these devices can break, get lost or drown, so it’s better to buy several medium-sized memory cards than one large one. In this case, a smaller part of the footage is at risk.
SanDisk microSDXC Ultra Class 10 UHS‑I U1 (100/10MB/s) 64GB
The best microSD cards
Top models of quadcopters and action cameras can shoot video in 4K (3840 × 2160) or 5.1K (5120 × 2700) resolution, and these are completely different amounts of information compared to FullHD. The bitrate in this case reaches 200 Mb / s, which requires high-speed memory cards. One hour of video with such a stream of information takes up to 90 gigabytes, buying media for 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes makes little sense. In a word, you should not save on a memory card here.
SanDisk microSDXC Extreme Class 10 UHS‑I U3 (170/90MB/s) 256GB
Memory cards for DVRs
In DVRs, as a rule, the entire volume of video is divided into segments about 10 minutes long. When the memory card runs out, the oldest segment is deleted, a new one is written instead, and so on in a circle. And when hit, the DVR stops recording.
Therefore, a large volume for the DVR is not needed, too high a speed also does not make sense. The reliability of the memory card is more important, since the recording goes on all the time of the trip by car.
You can also use a regular MicroSD card for the DVR, but there are special high-reliability memory cards on the market.
For example, these are Samsung Pro Endurance cards, which, according to the manufacturer, are distinguished by the best durability in their class, and are also protected from magnetic fields, X‑rays, and sea water.
Samsung microSDXC Pro Endurance Class 10 UHS‑I U1 (100/30MB/s) 128GB + ADP
Summary table of memory card specifications
|Memory cards||Form factor||Volume, GB||Speed class||Reading speed, MB/s||Write speed, MB/s|
|SanDisk SDHC Ultra||SDHC||16–256||Class 10 UHS‑I U1||80||ten|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro||SDHC||32–1024||Class 10 UHS‑I U3||170||90|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro||SDHC||32–128||Class 10 UHS-II U3||300||260|
|SanDisk microSD Ultra||microSD||16–512||Class 10 UHS‑I U1||100||ten|
|SanDisk microSD Extreme||microSD||64–1024||Class 10 UHS‑I U3||170||90|
|Samsung Pro Endurance||microSD||32–128||Class 10 UHS‑I U1||104||ten|
Form factor, speed and volume are what you need to look at when choosing a memory card for a particular device. You are free to choose the brand that you trust more, but SanDisk, the main developer of many memory card formats, is in the first place in terms of demand among manufacturers. Samsung, Sony also produce high-quality products in this area, as well as other, more specialized companies. It is not recommended to buy little-known cards in small mobile shops, or unknown brands from China. Such products do not guarantee almost any reliability, which immediately puts an end to their use for something important.
An almost guaranteed recommendation, these are the SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards, they have proven themselves very well. If for some reason this brand is not suitable, Lexar and Samsung are good options.