Choosing the right memory card for GoPro cameras has been a rollercoaster ride over the years.
Different brands of memory cards use different types of flash and various types of memory controllers and getting the wrong card could cause crazy issues like battery drains, startup crashes or even glitches with the Karma gimbal.
After testing microSD cards in GoPro cameras for a few years here is a guide to finding the best card for your GoPro camera, including the new Hero 9.
Table Of Contents
What is the Best SD Card For GoPro?
The best SD memory card for any GoPro camera including the GoPro Max 360 or the new Hero 9 is still the Sandisk Extreme. It has the best compatibility and is often bundled by GoPro with its cameras.
If you want to try something different, here is a list of cards that have been well tested in the last few generations of camera models.
Quick GoPro Memory Card Recommendation List
These are the best memory cards with their corresponding performance take from an SD slot in a Galaxy smartphone.
The latest GoPro Hero 9 can take memory cards up to 256GB, but 128GB cards work very well for normal usage. Several of the camera before the Hero 8 would only take memory cards with a maximum size of 128GB, so be sure to check to see if your camera is compatible if you need a bigger card.
|Recommended SD Cards||Write Speeds||Read Speed||Order|
|Sandisk Extreme A2 U3 128GB – Top Recommendation||54MB/s||79MB/s||Amazon|
|Samsung EVO Select U3 128GB||40MB/s||69MB/s||Amazon|
|Netac Pro A1 U3 128GB||37MB/s||83MB/s||Amazon|
|Lexar 667X A2 U3 128GB||38MB/s||86MB/s||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus A2 U3 128GB||75MB/s||80MB/s||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro U3 128GB||73MB/s||83MB/s||Amazon|
|Delkin Black V30, U3 128GB – What I use||71MB/s||77MB/s||B&H|
To see more information about each camera check these guides.
|Camera Model||Max Size|
|GoPro Hero 9||256GB|
|GoPro Hero 8||256GB|
|GoPro Hero 2018||128GB|
|GoPro Hero 7||128GB|
|GoPro Hero 6||256GB|
|GoPro Hero 5||128GB|
Max sizes come from the GoPro user manual. Keep in mind that not all memory cards were working correctly when running at their max size. In the older Hero 6 you would occasionally have issues with some cards running at 128GB sizes.
GoPro changed up their hardware quite a bit between the 6 and the 7 which is why it likely dropped again to 128GB.
Performance across the board and memory card compatibility did improve dramatically with the Hero 7 Black so they definitely upgraded something.
What Size Memory Card Can I Use For GoPro?
The size of the memory card you can use for your GoPro depends on which model you have.
New GoPro cameras can use memory cards up to 256GB.
Older GoPro cameras such as the GoPro Hero7 could use 256GB memory cards but there was a potential that they would cause problems when mounted to the Karma gimbal and you would have to drop down to a 64GB memory card.
What Size Memory Card Is Best?
The different GoPro cameras operate at different bitrates. The latest cameras can record up to 100Mbps with an average bitrate of around 96Mb/s.
Here are the bitrate settings of the Hero 9.
GoPro Hero 9 Bitrates
These are the bitrates you can expect to find in the different record modes.
|Hero 9 Recording Options||Standard HEVC||High HEVC|
Use the Bitrate Calculator to see how much time each bitrate will record.
It will take you about two batteries to use a 64GB card with a GoPro Hero8. This means, if you only have two batteries, you might not ever be able to use more than a 64GB card in a single session.
With the latest Hero 9, I can fill a full 64GB card before using the entire battery.
It might still be a good idea to go bigger just in case you ever forget to backup your data before going out to shoot again.
GoPro Hero Record Times | Chart
Here is a handy chart on record times with the different record formats.
On the new GoPro Hero 8, you have an option to record at a higher bitrate or a lower bitrate. The camera defaults to a lower bitrate on many of the preset so make sure you turn that up when programming your own recording preset.
Times are in minutes.
|4k, 5k Hero 9||30, 24||96 Mbps||44||89||178|
|4k||30 / 24||67 Mbps||64||127||255|
|2.7k||30 / 24||45 Mbps||95||190||379|
|1080||60 / 30 / 24||45 Mbps||95||190||379|
Recommended Accessories For GoPro
If you’re looking for some nice accessories for your GoPro check out this guide to the must-have accessories for GoPro.