What to look for on the SD card in 2022
Whether you’re a casual fan, a vloger or a professional photographer, you need a reliable memory card in your camera. But with all the classifications, numbers, and speed ratings, it’s hard to tell what’s good from what’s just right.
Speed classifications are especially important when purchasing an SD or microSD card for your camera. They let you know how fast your camera can write data to the card, how many files it can hold, and how fast you can take pictures. There are four speed classifications to consider when purchasing an SD card: read / write speed, speed class, UHS speed class, and video speed class.
Read / write speeds are probably the easiest to find on the SD card packaging. “Read” speed indicates how fast the card can transfer data to your computer when you connect it, while “write” speed indicates how fast the card can record data when taking photos and videos. Pay attention to the write speed – it determines how fast you can take still pictures in fast sequences, and the quality of the video you can record on the card without delay.
At least 30 MB / s should be enough for casual photographers. If you are shooting fast action or 4K video, you will want a card with a write speed of at least 90 MB / s. Some cards in this list achieve write speeds of over 200 MB / s.
The speed class of the SD card will be displayed on the front of the card in a circle and will be a number from 2 to 10. The speed class is the minimum speed in MB / s at which the card can transfer data. Class 10 (10 MB / s) is the fastest at the time of this writing.
However, the UHS speed class is different and appears as a number inside a symbol that looks like the letter “U”. UHS stands for Ultra High Speed, which is a data transfer standard used by SD cards. U1 has a minimum speed of 10 MB / s, while U3 has a minimum speed of 30 MB / s. U3 cards gain increased speed thanks to additional pins that allow them to send more data at once.
The video speed class is displayed as a number next to the letter V. At the time of this writing, the video speed classes on the SD card include V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90, with V90 being the fastest. The V6 lets you record standard definition video, while looking for a V90 card for more demanding formats such as 4K and 8K video.
Another factor to consider is durability. Many manufacturers make their cards resistant to dust, moisture, X-rays and more to help protect your data in a variety of conditions. Cheaper memory cards are likely to be easier to snap on and offer less protection than more expensive options. Most photographers won’t have to worry about this, but if you’re a rugged photographer, you may want to invest in a more robust card.
Counterfeit SD cards can be a big problem, especially because they can look real online. The listing may say it’s for a 64GB card and 8GB will appear instead. If you shop through Amazon or another reputable retailer, avoid third-party retailers. All of our recommendations will be in reputable stores, but before you buy, make sure the seller is selling them himself.
With these parameters in mind, let’s take a look at this list of some of the best camera SD cards on the market.
- ✓ The highest speed you can get on an SD card
- ✓ Can be used for professional work
- ✓ Made to withstand harsher conditions
- ✓ Backward compatible with cameras designed for UHS-I cards
- ✗ It could be built more firmly
The Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC UHS-II offers faster performance than comparable competition cards for less money. Lexar is a reliable brand in the field of digital memory, so you can be sure that you will get the most for your money.
You can get 64 GB for less than $ 100 and it’s fast. The U3, UHS-II and V90 ratings, together with the high projected write speed, mean that this card is fast enough for professional photo and video work.
Lexar Professional cards do not have a metal case, but are designed to withstand some harsh conditions, including temperatures down to -13, according to the company. However, if something happens, the cards are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
The 64 GB size offers plenty of memory, so you won’t have to change it often unless you’re shooting a lot of 8K videos. However, if you think you will need additional memory, these SD cards come with a capacity of up to 256 GB.
If you are looking for professional photography or video recording, this card will serve all your needs.
- ✓ Great performance for the money
- ✓ Decent protection built in
- ✗ It is only a capacity of 64 GB
The Transcend SDXC UHS-II U3 card gives you performance comparable to SanDisk and Lexar at a great price – around $ 50 for 64 GB. If you need speed but your budget is very limited, this card is worth paying attention to.
The top speed and respectable write speed of 180 MB / s make it a solid card for someone who is just starting out and needs fast memory. The Transcend card also has most of the protection you would expect from a good built-in memory card, including protection against static electricity and shocks.
This SD card does not have the most durable shape, but at a price it is difficult to overcome.
The cheapest SD card for cameras
- ✓ It gives a decent performance without ruining
- ✓ Handles 1080p shots and slower continuous shooting
- ✓ Good for photographers who learn ropes
- ✗ Not as fast as newer, more expensive options
- ✗ They can’t handle much better formats like 4K or 8K
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC UHS-I card that photographers have relied on for years may not be the fastest memory card or the highest capacity memory card, but it is a solid all-rounder for beginners or enthusiastic photographers.
The UHS-I rating may discourage some people because it will write slower than UHS-II rated cards – at least 10 MB / s compared to 30 MB / s. But it will work well if you are using an older camera that is not built for the UHS-II, such as the Nikon D750.
The V30’s video speed means you can easily record 1080p HD footage, although 4K may cause some delay. According to the Wirecutter benchmark test, a medium-sized sequential scan with a real-world write speed of around 84.5 MB / s should also be fine.
Frankly, you really can’t beat this reliable level of performance for less than $ 25.
The best SD card for cameras under $ 25
- ✓ Lots and lots of storage space
- ✓ Decent speed rating for photos and videos
- ✗ Not the fastest
- ✗ More expensive than faster UHS-II cards with less capacity
Another item from SanDisk, 1TB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC card is a high-capacity card from a reputable manufacturer. It has a lower write speed than UHS-II, but will still be reliable for less demanding work.
Basically, this is a 1TB version of the 64GB Extreme Pro SanDisk card. The speed values are all the same and can be used in any camera that holds UHS-I SD cards. It will bring you more money than an external hard drive, but the portability of an SD card could be worth it if you know you need so much space.
4K video can be recorded on this card because there is more room for large RAW video files to create, but it may still be delayed due to the slower writing speed. If you’re shooting a video, you’ll want to stay at 1080p so you can shoot with minimal slowdown.
If you’re looking for something you know can hold all of your vacation photos and videos, this SanDisk card is worth considering because it has the same amount of memory as some computer hard drives.
The best high capacity SD card for cameras
- ✓ Impressive speed rating for micro SD card
- ✓ Good value for money
- ✓ Includes SD adapter and USB reader
- ✗ Not for people who need a full SD card
- ✗ Smaller size can facilitate loss
The 128GB microSDXC Canvas React Plus from Kingston gives you good performance in a (very) small package with a decently high storage capacity. If you are engaged in shooting and shooting videos with drones, this card will probably become the basis of your set.
Its UHS-II and V90 speed class means it can handle even harder work, so recording video in 4K and even 8K shouldn’t be a problem. This makes Canvas React Plus a good choice for content creators who need to produce a lot of high quality video with devices that take microSD cards.
The included SD card adapter allows you to use this card in a larger camera, such as a DSLR, but most likely you will benefit from drones and action cameras.
The card also comes with a USB adapter that allows you to connect to a computer and download pictures and videos. Older USB connections may be slower to read files, but reviewers say the card is fast enough on newer USB 3 and 3.1 ports when used with the included reader.
The Best Micro SD Card For Cameras