An in-camera speed test between all the latest U3 UHS-I and UHS-II SD memory cards in the Panasonic LX100 II to find which cards perform the fastest and which are the best value. Use this guide to finding the best memory cards for your Panasonic LX100 II.
Panasonic LX100 II Specs
Sensor: 17MP MFT Sensor
Processor: Latest Venus Engine Processor
Continuous Shoot: Up to 11fps
Est. Buffer Size: 500-600MB
RAW Shots To Fill Buffer: 40
Time To Clear Buffer: 16-17 seconds
Variable Size Of RAW Shots: 20MB/s average
4k Datarate: 100mbps
Best Memory Cards Panasonic LX100 II
The Panasonic LX100 II is a small compact camera with incredible capabilities. Some Panasonic cameras have incompatibilities issues with some brands of memory card but the Panasonic passed all the tests with the latest UHS-I and UHS-II U3 cards.
When buying memory cards for the Panasonic LX100 II, you won’t need the fastest memory cards which came out to be the UHS-II cards since the camera cannot fully utilize UHS-II tech. Instead you can save a significant amount of money by buying a UHS-I cards. The speed difference is negligible but the price difference is substantial.
The Speed Test
For the latest memory card speed test in the Panasonic LX 100 II, I’ve mostly stopped testing the U1 memory cards. U1 cards are great but they are slowly being phased out by manufacturers. The reason is, U1 cards only guarantee a minimum speed of 10MB/s, which usually isn’t good enough for 4k video. Most cameras today are allowing for at least 4k at 100mbps which translates to about 12.5MB/s. Note the difference between MB/s and mbps. Megabytes vs Megabits.
|Memory Card||Speed Class||USB Read||USB Write||LX100 II Write||Order|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s U3||UHS-I||99.2||88.34||33.50||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus U3||UHS-I||99.3||88.15||37.15||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||UHS-I||99.3||56.8||36.39||Amazon|
|Sandisk Ultra U1||UHS-I||99.5||34.3||22.59||--|
|Kingston Canvas React A1 U3||UHS-I||99.6||82.5||35.12||Amazon|
|Kingston Canvas Go! U3||UHS-I||99.6||74.0||35.20||Amazon|
|Lexar 633x U1||UHS-I||95.0||54.6||33.25||--|
|Sony Professional U3||UHS-I||98.5||60.2||36.19||Amazon|
|Sony U3 94MB/s||UHS-I||96.7||57.5||33.94||Amazon|
|Sony U3 95MB/s||UHS-I||96.6||85.4||33.62||Amazon|
|Transcend U3 U3||UHS-I||96.7||87.8||33.00||Amazon|
|PNY Elite Performance U3||UHS-I||96.7||66.9||35.24||Amazon|
|Delkin Advantage U3||UHS-I||--||--||35.57||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria U3||UHS-I||97.2||29.9||26.49||Amazon|
|Verbatim Pro+ U3||UHS-I||98.5||83.7||34.12||Amazon|
|Amplim A1 V30||UHS-I||--||--||35.01|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s||UHS-II||258.5||190.5||34.96||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro||UHS-II||263.6||223.8||36.47||Amazon|
|Sony G Tough||UHS-II||256.8||201.0||38.21||Amazon|
|Fujifilm Elite II||UHS-II||259.3||168.4||36.35||Amazon|
|Hoodman Steel 2000x||UHS-II||268.7||183.9||36.33||Amazon|
|Hoodman Steel 1500x||UHS-II||258.1||169.2||36.98||BHphoto|
|Amplim 1900x V60||UHS-II||249.8||104.5||36.14||Amazon|
|Angel Bird V90||UHS-II||256.6||211.1||31.96||Amazon|
When looking at the test results, there were some clear winners, however, the difference between the fast cards and the slower cards was only a few MB/s which is insignificant when looking at real world performance and use. So while a card like the Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s was lower on the list, this just means it works a little different with the cameras buffer and it’s still a great card. Flash memory also varies between manufacturing and model numbers and a 2-5MB/s variation in the test results is very normal.
Each card was tested a few times and I took the fastest results. The difference between each test was often a few MB/s. So if I took this average in this case all the numbers will be much closer. Again, the reason for this is the Panasonic LX100 II has some sort of bottleneck happening at the buffer or processor level that is lowering the speeds to about 30-38MB/s.
Top 5 Recommended Memory Cards Panasonic LX100 II
For this top 5 list, I’m excluding UHS-II cards since the camera cannot utilize that tech. However, if you have multiple cameras that can use UHS-II and you’re purchased the LX100 II as a B-Cam, then it might be a good idea to find which UHS-II card performs best with your A-Cam since they all performed well in the LX100 II, where as some cameras like the GH5 for example, still don’t like certain card brands (like the older Lexar). This list is more geared for people who bought the LX100 II as a daily shooter or travel / street cam.
While I always recommend the Sandisk Extreme Pro, it’s not going to be the best value for this camera so I’ve left it off the list. It’s still a great card and don’t hesitate to buy it if you want the best UHS-I memory card from Sandisk.
Sandisk Extreme Plus
The Sandisk Extreme Plus was the fastest performing UHS-I card. It’s a very popular card and easy to find at most stores. It can also often be found at a very good price. However, in terms of price it can often be listed at a similar price to the Sandisk Extreme Pro, so be sure to do a little shopping because it might be worth going the Pro if the price is similar.
The Sandisk Extreme is your best bang for the buck if you can find it cheaper than the Sandisk Extreme Plus. Sometimes the Plus is less expensive for some reason. In higher end cameras this is just a decent card since it’s not very fast. But since the LX100 II has a limited buffer speed, the Extreme is a great choice.
Sony Professional U3
The Sony Professional UHS-I card is a new card from Sony. It’s similar to their UHS-II Tough card in that it has a more robust build to it. It doesn’t feel as tough as the UHS-II Tough cards, but it does have an improved build. In terms of performance it’s right up there with the Sandisk cards.
Delkin is a brand that always makes my list. They make just good, reliable cards with great performance. The Delkin Advantage is their U3 UHS-I card and Delkin is always a good option. They also make a less expensive Delkin Select but it is only U1 so it was not tested.
Kingston CanvasReact A1 U3
Kingston has recently rebranded their cards and offers them in more variety. The CanvasReact and CanvasGo. The React is the higher end of the two, but the Go is also a great option for the LX100 II. The CanvasReact has an A1 rating which means it will also work well with apps that use random read write cycles in other devices like tablets or laptops.
Best Memory Card For Video | LX100 II
The LX100 II has some interesting 4k video capabilities with bursting and timelapse functions. While it is a little limited as a video camera, it still performs very well as an extra camera or a B-cam for b-roll.
When testing all the various memory cards in the Panasonic LX100 II, no compatibility issues were found and no issues with buffer were seen in any of the U3 cards.
If you choose not to buy cards tested in the list above, it is still recommended that you buy U3 memory cards so you will be guaranteed a data stream of 30MB/s since Panasonic LX100 II shoots 4k at 12.5MB/s which is just above the U1 or Class 10 rating.
List of Rates & What They Mean
Listed on each memory card are a bunch of numbers and letters that show what each card is capable of. While SDHC and SDXC were once an important metric, it no longer matters with most cameras unless you need longer than 4GB of video recording. Then you’ll want SDXC which allows for 64-bit formatting. If you can’t find the SDXC written on your memory card, the trick to assure you get an SDXC card is to buy a card that is 64GB or larger.
There are a few new standards that indicate minimum write speeds. Where we once had Class 10, U1 and U3, companies are now using V30, V60 and V90. This has to do with the minimum write speeds the card is capable of. Here is how the rates translate into minimum write speeds.
Class 10 / U1 – 10MB/s or 80mbps
U3 or V30 – 30MB/s or 240mbps
V60 – 60MB/s or 480mbps
v90 – 90MB/s or 720mbps
The latest code we’re seeing on memory cards is A1 or A2. Only a few SD cards have this rating since it’s mostly designed for running apps and is more commonly seen on micro SD cards for smartphones or tablets.
A1 or A2 cards have a built-in cache that allows for improved performance with random read and write cycles that come from running various apps. These A1 and A2 ratings are important if you’re using the card in a tablet or laptop that you want to use for more random access, mainly apps.
Memory Card Sizes And How To Choose
The Panasonic LX100 II shoots RAW files at a size of about 20MB and has a 4k video bitrate of 100mbps, which translates to 12MB/s.
This means you’ll be able to fit about 3,000 shots on a 64GB card.
For video you’ll be able to shoot about 750MB worth of video a minute which means you’ll be able to shoot about 85 minutes of video on a 64GB card.
Usually a single 64GB will get the job done, but you may want to consider a 128GB card if you’re recording a lot of video and shooting a lot of stills and don’t want to swap cards throughout the day.
You likely won’t need greater than a 64GB card unless you’re shooting a lot of video while taking photos. In that case, I usually like to buy multiple 64GB cards, but some people like buying very large cards and clearing the data off less often. If you’re using very large cards, be sure to have some sort of backup plan incase your card ever dies with all your photos. Memory cards aren’t meant to be permanent storage devices, so you should clear your data off each card after you’re finished shooting.
Fastest Memory Cards Panasonic LX100 II Conclusions
The Panasonic LX100 II is a cool little compact camera with a lot of capabilities. There is small buffer bottleneck that makes buying the fastest memory card a little easier since they all cap out at about 30-38MB/s.
Performance has been very reliable across all brands so when it comes to finding the best memory card for the LX100 II, it comes down to brand reputation, reliability and value. Sandisk, Sony, Delkin and Kingston all make really great UHS-I cards with some nice specs at nice prices.
While Sandisk is the most popular brand of memory card out there, we saw no advantage of going with the new Sandisk Extreme Pro 170mb/s and in our test, they all performed at about the same speed (except for the Ultra), with the standard Sandisk Extreme Plus coming out just on top.
There are a lot of memory card sales coming and goes and this is one of those camera where you just don’t have to be too picky about memory cards. Buy the brand you like, or what’s on sale, just make sure you buy it from a trusted source and stick with U3 or V30 if you like shooting video.