An actual in-camera speed test between all the most popular micro SD memory cards to compare how each performs in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom.
Use this guide to find the best and fastest memory cards for your Mavic 2.
What’s cool about the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom is they have very fast buffers so they can take advantage of faster cards. You will notice a speed increase when it comes to clearing the buffer if you’re shooting RAW photos which are about 41.1MB in size.
If you’re just shooting video, you will not need the fastest card, only a card fast enough to handle 4k 100mbps, which means almost any U3 card.
Here is the list of recommended cards, below I put together a table of how each card we tested performed in the Mavic.
Also, check out my new list of Must Have Accessories for the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom Recommended Memory Cards
Sandisk Extreme Pro U3 64GB
The Sandisk Extreme Pro is the best micro SD memory card for the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom. It performed the best and is the fastest.
Sandisk Extreme Plus U3 64GB
The Sandisk Extreme Plus also ran very fast in our tests. If you’re just using a card for mostly video, this will be a good choice.
Delkin U3 64GB
The Delkin micro SD U3 cards ran very well in the Mavic 2 Pro. Delkin is a great brand and works well in most cameras and electronic devices.
Samsung Pro+ U3 64GB
Samsung micro SD memory cards are some of the best and always rank high in the lists. The Samsung Pro+ is the best UHS-I card they offer right now with speeds and performance nearly equal to Sandisk.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Memory Card Speed Chart
We tested each card in the Mavic 2 by shooting a series of burst photos to see which cleared the buffer the fastest. This is a list of how each card generally performed.
|Micro SD Memory Card||Read Speeds||Write Speeds||Quality|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3||99.38 MB/s||90.33 MB/s||😀|
|Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3||97.72 MB/s||87.23 MB/s||😀|
|Delkin 64GB U3||98.50 MB/s||88.44 MB/s||😀|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3||99.45 MB/s||89.85 MB/s||😀|
|Samsung Pro Select 64GB U3||97.84 MB/s||86.80 MB/s||😀|
|Transcend Ultimate 633x 64GB U3||96.67 MB/s||79.62 MB/s||🙂|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U3||97.42 MB/s||79.51 MB/s||🙂|
|Samsung Evo Select 64GB U3||98.88 MB/s||70.52 MB/s||🙂|
|PNY Pro Elite 64GB U3||98.44 MB/s||64.43 MB/s||🙂|
|Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3||99.49 MB/s||70.29 MB/s||🙂|
|Samsung Evo 64GB U3||98.85 MB/s||68.23 MB/s||🙂|
|Lexar 1000x 64GB U3 UHS-II||151.7 MB/s||53.18 MB/s||😐|
|Netac Pro 64GB U3||77.70 MB/s||49.70 MB/s||😐|
|PNY Elite U1||96.88 MB/s||41.18 MB/s||🙁|
|Samsung Evo 64GB U1||47.65 MB/s||26.48 MB/s||🙁|
|Samsung Evo+ 64GB U1||96.81 MB/s||28.31 MB/s||🙁|
|Transcend High Endurance C10||22.88 MB/s||21.84 MB/s||🙁|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – New Version||99.46 MB/s||79.64 MB/s||🙁|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – Old Version U1||47.69 MB/s||36.23 MB/s||🙁|
|Transcend Premium 400x 64GB U1||96.87 MB/s||32.58 MB/s||🙁|
|Transcend Premium 300x 64GB U1||96.88 MB/s||33.29 MB/s||🙁|
|Lexar 633x 64GB U1||96.89 MB/s||33.29 MB/s||🙁|
|Lexar 300x 64GB U1||47.37 MB/s||31.17 MB/s||🙁|
|Samsung Evo Select 64GB U1||97.65 MB/s||29.52 MB/s||🙁|
|Patriot 64GB U1||82.76 MB/s||14.92 MB/s||🙁|
DJI Mavic 2 Memory Card Recommendation
DJI recommends using memory cards that are at least U3 rated. In their documentation, they also say the Mavic 2 will take cards up to 128GB.
I’ve tested various cards and found that 16GB cards do not work, but 32GB, 64GB and 128GB work great. I did not test any cards larger than 128GB in the Mavic 2 as you would need a backpack full of batteries to keep the drone up long enough to even shoot enough video to fill a card that large. Even 128GB memory cards are going to be overkill for a 100mbps video codec.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom Memory Card Recommendations
Buy cards that are only:
UHS-I or greater,
U3 or greater
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro will format and use a 64-bit filesystem. This means the DJI Mavic will format memory cards to ExFat. However, the video will still be broken up into 4.7GB chunks, which is about 5 minutes of H.265 video. This is called chaptering and it is often done as a safety precaution. If a clip gets corrupted, you only lose a maximum of 5 minutes instead of the whole clip.
SDXC vs SDHC Memory Cards
SDXC memory cards can support 64bit
SDHC memory cards can only support 32bit.
U3 vs U1
We found U3 memory cards run consistently better than U1 memory cards and highly recommend U3 memory cards over U1. DJI officially recommends U3 memory cards as well.
U3 sets the minimum record speed to 30MB/s no matter the situation. Even if the card is fragmented or almost full, you’ll always get a minimum write speed of 30MB/s.
U1 has a minimum record speed of 10MB/s. This means you can see a drop in performance in certain situations.
While the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom only record 100mbps (12.5MB/s), it needs memory card write speeds of at least 12.5MB/s to operate. Having a U3 memory card ensures that your video will never be interrupted by a drop in speed.
What the new stats written on cards means
V30, V60 and V90.
This is the same thing as class 10, U1 and U3.
V30 = U3
V60 has a minimum speed of 60MB/s
V90 has a minimum speed of 90MB/s
UHS-I vs UHS-II
There are a few UHS-II Micro SD Memory cards on the market now, you don’t need them. In fact the old Lexar 1000x UHS-II memory card didn’t perform as well as standard U3 cards.
The Mavic 2 Pro does not have the hardware to support the extra pins in UHS-II cards so there is no reason to spend the extra money on them.
Different Records Formats | Getting The Best Image Quality
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom have a few new record formats and they are slightly different from each other because they each have different sensors.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro Specs
Record Modes 4kHQ / 4K FOV
Max Video Bitrate: 100mbps
Video Containers: MOV / MP4
Video Codecs: H.264 / H.265
Still File Size: 41.1MB
You have two recording formats for the Mavic 2 Pro.
4KHQ and 4KFOV
4KHQ will crop the sensor down to 8 Megapixels so there is no pixel binning.
There are some pros and cons to cropping your sensor with 4KHQ, the main advantage is having improved image quality, fewer artifacts and 10-bit color.
There are a few disadvantages to using 4KHQ which involves a tighter FOV and an increase in perceived depth of field. In other words, if you reposition your DJI Mavic 2 Pro to give you the same field of view as 4KFOV using the full sensor, you’ll have more depth of field. Although, this could be a good thing for drone footage since you typically want everything to be in focus.
Pros: 10-bit color, fewer artifacts, improved overall image quality
Cons: tighter field of view
Pro or Con: Deeper depth of field (matching fov)
Pros: Wider field of view
Cons: 8-bit compression
Pro or Con: Shallower depth of field
H264 vs H265
With the DJI Mavic 2, you have the option to record H.264 or H.265.
Pros: H.265 is a superior recording format and will allow for smaller files and a slightly higher quality of compression.
Cons: Harder on your computer
Common Memory Cards Issues | DJI Mavic 2
Trouble Initializing Memory Cards In OSX
We discovered some issues where after using the card in the Mavic 2 Pro it would not be recognized in OSX. We’re not sure why this is but the last place our cards were formatted (before being formatted in the Mavic) was on a Samsung Galaxy S8. This must have created an ExFat filesystem that was not friendly to OSX but friendly to Mavic 2 and when formatting the card in the Mavic, it did not replace the filesystem.
If you have an issue where your card is not recognized by OSX, there is a fix.
You can pull your data off of the Mavic through a USB cable, then format the card in OSX. When formatting your memory card in OSX or Windows, you’ll have to format it to ExFat. On OSX, the option for a Master Boot Record will work great.
No Card Error
If your Mavic 2 isn’t detecting your memory cards, then it’s likely they are formatted to an incompatible filesystem. The solution would be to format them to ExFat, either in OSX, windows, or even a GoPro will do the job. If you format the memory cards to the OSX filesystem, they will not be recognized by the Mavic.
There was one issue where the remote was displaying that the SD Card was full, “SD FULL”. However, recording to the card worked just fine and there were no noticeable issues on actual performance or writing to the cards. This was only seen once in our tests and we have not been able to reproduce it.
If you get this problem, reformat the memory card to ExFat in OSX or Windows, or take the card out of the drone and re-insert it with the drone turned off.
Best Memory Cards Mavic 2 Zoom / Pro
Since the Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom has a very fast buffer and produces massive DNG raw files, buying the fastest UHS-I SD memory cards will make a difference. UHS-II memory cards in the Mavic 2 do not produce improved results since the Mavic 2 Pro does not use UHS-II technology, so there is no reason to buy UHS-II cards.
When it comes to picking the best size memory card, 64GB cards will be the best choice for most people, 128GB cards are compatible but will likely be overkill even if you have three batteries from the fly more combo. Record times roughly give you about 10GB of data for 10 minutes of footage. Non-stop recording for two flights would give about 60 minutes of footage, so choose your card size according to your average record sessions.