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 portable devices. Source: apple-geek.ru

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

San­Disk Ultra — reli­able inex­pen­sive mem­o­ry cards. Source: westerndigital.com

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 Extreme Pro — mem­o­ry cards for pro­fes­sion­al tasks. Source: westerndigital.com

San­Disk SDXC Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-II U3 ​​(300/260MB/s) 64GB

The San­Disk Extreme Pro UHS-II U3 ​​class is one of the fastest mem­o­ry cards on the mar­ket. Source: westerndigital.com

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

San­Disk Ultra are uni­ver­sal microSD mem­o­ry cards. Source: westerndigital.com

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

The San­Disk microS­DXC Extreme UHS‑I U3 is per­fect for the very best quad­copters and action cam­eras. Source: westerndigital.com

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

Sam­sung microS­DXC Pro Endurance — for com­plex and demand­ing appli­ca­tions. Source: powerplanetonline.com

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.


От Yara

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