Best Memory Cards For The Sony RX10 III

Fastest memory cards for the Sony RX10 III

This camera is a very interesting camera. Can’t say I love it although a lot of people do. My problem is the size of this thing for only having a 1″ sensor. And for a 1″ sensor, it should do more. Take for instance the new Olympus EM-1 Mark II, the camera is a performance monster with even a bigger sensor. If the RX10 III had a micro 4/3, I would have no complaints.

Now, that being said, this camera does everything its designed to do really well, unlike the RX100 V, which shares some of the same features but is plagued by heat issues and a rather disappointing lens compared to this beast. So for that alone, I gotta give this Sony credit. They built one hell of a fixed lens 1″ sensor camera. I just wish it burst shot 24fps and had a larger buffer like the RX100 V. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to wait next year for the RX10 IV to see all that.

When looking at memory card performance, the Sony RX10 III is on par with the rest of Sony’s cameras, however, like the rest of Sony’s cameras, it’s pathetic compared to the competition and unfortunately suffers from the same bottleneck.

When it comes to buying memory cards, Sony cameras also seem to have a lot of compatibility issues with several brands. So this guide hopefully will steer you towards buying the best memory card for the RX10 III, so you don’t run into any problems.

 

Camera Specs

Sensor: 1″ 20.1MP  /  Processor: BIONZ X

Memory Card Type: SD UHS-I

Video: 3840 x 2160p: 30 fps, 24 fps

Est. Size Of Buffer: 500MB

Continues Shooting Speed: 14fps

Shots To Fill Buffer:  30 RAW

Time To Clear Buffer: 14.5 seconds

 

Sony RX10 III – Amazon / Adorama

 


Best Memory Cards For The Sony RX10 III


When it comes to memory card performance I didn’t run into any issues with this camera like I did with the RX10 II, where I would often get these weird blue corrupted frames using some brands of cards. Not a problem with the RX10 III. Although that problem could exist just on a camera to camera basis rather than on the model, since some Sony cameras will have problems with memory cards while others will not, even if it’s the same model.

 

When looking at the speed chart you can see the bottleneck of around 32MB/s. This is pretty normal with Sony cameras and this also means that you don’t really need to buy the fastest memory card you can buy, you’ll see no benefit. Instead buy the most Sony friendly memory card you can find, which is usually a Sony brand card, and I’ve also seen very little problems with Sandisk and Samsung cards. But honestly, I wouldn’t buy any other brand for my Sony cameras.

 

Sony RX10 III Memory Card Speed Chart

SD Memory Cards USB 3.0 Read USB 3.0 Write Sony RX10 III Write See Price
UHS-II        
Lexar 2000x U3 64GB 280.9 MB/s 181.4 MB/s 31.96 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Transcend U3 64GB 268.9 MB/s 174.3 MB/s 31.45 MB/s Amazon
Toshiba U3 64GB 238.5 MB/s 199.7 MB/s 31.28 MB/s Amazon
Delkin UHS-II U3 32GB 245.1 MB/s 164.6 MB/s 30.70 MB/s Amazon
Sony UHS-II U3 64GB  253.2 MB/s 91.62 MB/s 30.69 MB/s Amazon
Lexar 1000x U3 64GB 145.0 MB/s 60.7 MB/s 30.59 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Sandisk Extreme Pro U3 64GB 257.3 MB/s 109.9 MB/s 30.28 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
UHS-I        
Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3 97.5 MB/s 87.3 MB/s 32.00 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3 98.6 MB/s 90.8 MB/s 31.91 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Samsung Pro 64GB U3 97.7 MB/s 78.6 MB/s 31.81 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3 99.0 MB/s 64.4 MB/s 31.79 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3 72.43 MB/s 54.1 MB/s 31.60 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
PNY 64GB U1 96.5 MB/s 66.5 MB/s 31.56 MB/s Amazon
Kingston 64GB U3 98.1 MB/s 90.4 MB/s 31.43 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Samsung Pro 64GB U1 96.3 MB/s 82.2 MB/s 31.09 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
PNY 64GB U3 96.5 MB/s 66.1 MB/s 30.50 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Lexar 600x 64GB U1 95.4 MB/s 64.8 MB/s 30.32 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Transcend 64GB U3 96.7 MB/s 68.4 MB/s 30.27 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Sony 64GB U3 (Old Model) 96.5 MB/s 84.5 MB/s 30.04 MB/s Amazon
Lexar 633x 64GB U3 93.3 MB/s 67.3 MB/s 29.91 MB/s Amazon / Adorama
Sony 64GB U3 (New Model) 96.7 MB/s 56.2 MB/s 29.17 MB/s Amazon
Samsung 64GB SDXC EVO U1 47.7 MB/s 27.3 MB/s 23.83 MB/s Amazon / Adorama

 

Based on the memory card speed test of the Sony RX10 III, the Sandisk Extreme Pro and the Samsung Pro+ U3 cards perform the best. However, 2MB/s won’t be noticeable at all in real world shooting and I still recommend Sony cards even though they don’t perform as well.

 

 


Fastest Memory Cards For the Sony RX10 III | The Results


 

Best UHS-II Memory Card

While the Sony RX10 III cannot take full advantage of the UHS-II memory cards, they still do work, but I find they seem more likely to give you issues with 4k video recording. 

If you decide to go with a UHS-II memory card, the Lexar 2000x and Transcend seem to perform slightly better than any of the others. If you decide to go with Sandisk, there is one available now that 300MB/s, the one I tested was only a 280MB/s. There is also a Sony UHS-II memory card, but it seems to lack the performance of other UHS-II cards. I’ve yet to find a Sony UHS-II card that’s rated at 300MB/s, although I’m sure they’ll come soon.

Lexar 2000x U3 64GB – Amazon / Adorama

Transcend U3 64GB – Amazon

 

Best UHS-I Memory Cards

Since all the UHS-I memory cards perform very close to the same, I recommend going with Sandisk cards, Sony or Samsung. With Sony being my first choice, with the Old Model out performing the new model.

Sony 64GB U3 (Old Model) – Amazon

Sandisk Extreme Pro U3 64GB – Amazon / Adorama

Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3 – Amazon / Adorama

 

 

 


Where To Buy Memory Cards


If you don’t buy a memory card from one of the links above, you’ll need to be careful you don’t get counterfeit cards. They are very common on Ebay, even sometimes on Amazon. Always make sure you buy your cards from a trusted source on Amazon, or a trusted camera store like Adorama, or B&HPhoto. I would avoid buying any memory cards on Ebay.

 

 


Best Memory Card For Video In The Sony RX10 III


To shoot 4k video on the Sony RX10 III, you’ll need to get U3 memory cards. Although now you’ll start seeing memory cards with V30, V60, and V90 written on them. Any of these work as well. I also recommend going with Sony brand cards. The last few years I was getting a lot of people complaining about PNY and other brand cards in their Sony cameras, so I no longer recommend these less expensive cards. Although they can and they do work, and they do work fine for me, they sometimes give other people issues.

Since I’ve started recommending Sony cards I no longer get complaints from people having issues with memory cards not working when trying to shoot 4k video.

 

 

 


Frequently Ask Questions


I’ve been doing these memory card speed tests for several years now and I get a lot of the same questions asked, so I’ll do my best to answer those here.

 

Do I need a UHS-II Memory Card? – You do not need a UHS-II memory card and they actually will give you no benefit over UHS-I memory card when used in camera. The only difference a UHS-II memory card will make in the Sony RX10 III is it will allow you to transfer your data to your computer quick, if you have a fast UHS-II memory card reader.

 

What’s the difference between U1 and U3 SD Memory cards? – The main difference has to do with minimum write speeds. U1 cards are guaranteed to write at a minimum speed of 10MB/s, and U3 SD memory card can write at a minimum speed of 30MB/s. Now of course there are many things that go on inside the camera that might not guarantee this, but it’s usually not the cards fault. You’ll also start seing V30, V60 and V90 written on cards. This has to do with the minimum write speeds V30 – 30MB/s, V60 – 60MB/s, V90 – 90MB/s.

 

What’s the difference between SDHC and SDXC with SD memory cards? – This has to do with the formatting of the card. SDHC cards are Fat32, and SDXC cards are exFat. Now pretty much SDHC means any card 32GB and smaller, and SDXC means 64GB and larger.

 

My memory card is creating corrupt shots what do I do? – Unfortunately in this situation you likely have a bad card. There isn’t a lot you can do about this other than to replace your card. 

 

My memory card doesn’t work what do I do? – It’s likely you could have a bad memory card, but also make sure you always format your card in camera. This tends to reduce issues with cards not working or not performing correctly.

 

My buffer keeps getting fill when recording video? – This usually means you’re memory card is not fast enough and you’ll need get a faster card. If you already have a card on the list above, you should try a different brand. Not all cameras work the same with each card, different production cycles between cameras and cards can produce various results and there is no guarantee the cards I rated will work perfectly with your camera. Lexar, Toshiba, Samsung and Sandisk are usually pretty safe bets.

 

Can I use Micro SD memory cards? – Yes you can, but there are a lot of crappy out there. I have just about every one made so just leave me a comment if you want to know if they work or not.

 


Best Memory Card For The Sony RX10 III | Conclusions


Although there are a lot of great memory card options out there for your Sony camera, I really only recommend either Sony brand or one of the top brands like Samsung and Sandisk. Honestly, even the UHS-I Lexar cards aren’t great. 

But anyway, hope this helps and I’ll continue to buy and test new Sony cards as they become available. In the meantime, have fun shooting and I hope this guide helped! Let me know if you have any questions. 

  • Alexander Hahn

    Thank you for your effort, as your’s it by far the best site for memory card recommendations.
    Comparing sensor size is not as easy as it seems, though, as a full size sensor would
    require an even bigger and heavier lens for the RX series.
    I shoot both the RX10 and RX10M3 and I must say the M3 is an even heavier and more
    unbalanced beast, but the lens is absolutely great for nature/animal/people work.
    On safari in Botswana and Namibia I am always one of the first to get their shots in,
    when all the Canon/Nikon SLR guys still shout for their wives/gf’s to bring up the
    heavy glass 😉 (I am leaving all my big Nikon equipment at home, luggage being limited to
    20kg including (!) camera bags and cabin luggage :-()

  • http://alikgriffin.com/ Alik Griffin

    Thanks Alexander,
    I’m finally starting to understand these cameras. I was playing with the Panasonic FZ2500 for awhile and it kind of clicked with me. The Panasonic is sort of the same thing. They actually make nice travel cameras or video cameras and I love the built in ND filters.

  • Alexander Hahn

    Yeah, but sadly the RX10M3 has lost it’s ND-filter. Don’t know why…
    Otherwise the newest model is just great – for me at last – as I have quite big hands
    and the camera handles well. Have to use a monopod or beanbag on safari, though…
    The lens goes up to 600mm (35mm equivalent) and – with a menu setting – doubles up
    to 1200 mm, without losing any pixels (called “clear image” by Sony).