I’ve compiled a list off all the most popular memory cards for the DJI spark, how fast they run and what I recommend.
DJI Spark Specs
Image Processor: Intel Movidius Myriad 2
Flight Processor: Intel Movidius Myriad 2
Sensor: 12MP 1/2.3″
Video: 1080p30 @ 25Mbit/s
Stills: 3968×2976 @ 3MB-6.6MB these are the sizes I’ve seen so far.
Video Size Limits: 3.85GB – at this point the clip will be broken into two.
Video Record Time Limits: 29 minutes
One thing to note is you don’t really need to buy the fastest micro SD card for the DJI spark. These Sparks have a very slow internal bus, just like the Mavick and the GoPro.
This DJI Spark is also slightly different from other drones because abandoned the Ambarella chip as the image processor to instead use this Intel Movidius Myriad 2 chip. So now this single Intel chip powers both the flight controls as well as the imagine pipeline. Pretty cool!
This is also why you will probably never see a firmware update for 4k video or even RAW photos in this little drone. I just won’t be possible with a processor that is not configured for those tasks.
Anyway, here are the cards that I personally own and have tested inside the camera.
Best microSD Memory Cards For The DJI Spark
These read and write speeds you see here were obtained using a sequential Crystal Disk test with Windows 10, these are not the speeds of the cards function inside the drone.
Does It Work? I put each card inside the spark, took some photos and some video to see if I could generate any problems.
One of the things I did when doing this was put the camera in Time Shots at 2 seconds to see if I would get any delays. Most cards would give me some sort of delay at one point or another, almost like it skips a shot. I would consider this behavior normal.
|Micro SD Memory Card||Read Speeds||Write Speeds||Does It Work?|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3||99.38 MB/s||90.33 MB/s||Yes|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3||99.45 MB/s||89.85 MB/s||Yes|
|Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3||99.49 MB/s||70.29 MB/s||Yes|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – Old Version U1||47.69 MB/s||36.23 MB/s||Yes|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – New Version||99.46 MB/s||79.64 MB/s||Yes|
|Delkin 64GB U3||98.50 MB/s||88.44 MB/s||Yes|
|Lexar 1000x 64GB U3 UHS-II||151.7 MB/s||53.18 MB/s||Yes|
|Lexar 633x 64GB U1||96.89 MB/s||33.29 MB/s||Yes|
|Lexar 300x 64GB U1||47.37 MB/s||31.17 MB/s||Yes|
|Transcend Ultimate 633x 64GB U3||96.67 MB/s||79.62 MB/s||Yes|
|Transcend Premium 400x 64GB U1||96.87 MB/s||32.58 MB/s||Yes|
|Transcend Premium 300x 64GB U1||96.88 MB/s||33.29 MB/s||Yes|
|Transcend High Endurance C10||22.88 MB/s||21.84 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3||97.72 MB/s||87.23 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U3||97.42 MB/s||79.51 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Pro Select 64GB U3||97.84 MB/s||86.80 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Evo 64GB U3||98.85 MB/s||68.23 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Evo Select 64GB U3||98.88 MB/s||70.52 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Evo+ 64GB U1||96.81 MB/s||28.31 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Evo Select 64GB U1||97.65 MB/s||29.52 MB/s||Yes|
|Samsung Evo 64GB U1||47.65 MB/s||26.48 MB/s||Yes|
|PNY Pro Elite 64GB U3||98.44 MB/s||64.43 MB/s||Yes|
|PNY Elite U1||96.88 MB/s||41.18 MB/s||Yes|
|Patriot 64GB U1||82.76 MB/s||14.92 MB/s||Yes|
|Netac Pro 64GB U3||77.70 MB/s||49.70 MB/s||Yes|
Every card worked just fine.
DJI Spark Memory Card Recommendations
Although all the cards I tested worked just fine, you still have to consider reliability, price, warranty and brand reputation.
Since I’ve been testing every memory card in every camera for a several years now, I have a few recommendations.
If I could only pick two midrange cards I would pick these.
Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3
An all around great card and a good value. Sandisk is one of the leaders in memory card performance and reliability. While the Sandisk Extreme isn’t the fastest micro SD card, it does everything you’ll it to do for the DJI Spark. – Amazon
Samsung Pro Select 64GB U3
Samsung is one of the most known brands for micro SD memory cards. They have so many different models with different speeds. I recommend the Samsung Pro Select because it strikes a good balance between price and performance. – Amazon
They are all U3 cards, so they will be some what future proof, at least for a while. Or you can use them in other devices – like if you buy a Sony camera that shoots 4k.
The Sandisk Extreme Pro and Plus are nice also but probably overkill for this drone. If you see them on sale I would go with a Pro or Plus.
A Better Priced Memory Card – Best Bang For The Buck
If you care only about price then these would be my next choices. I would probably pick the Samsung EVO cards over the Sandisk just because that Sandisk is not U3, it’s not even U1, but it is fast has proven it’s reliability. Just look at the reviews on Amazon.
Sandisk Ultra C10 – New Version
This is one of Sandisks best selling Micro SD memory cards. It works great in all devices as well as DJI’s drones. – Amazon
Samsung Evo Select 64GB U3
A very popular memory card that does just about anything you’ll need it to and it’s fast! Because it’s U3 it will have great video recording capabilities for future devices. – Amazon
Samsung Evo 64GB U3
Another great Samsung card. It’s also just about as fast as the EVO Select when testing it in Windows 10. Because it’s U3 it will have great video capabilities in other 4k devices. – Amazon
You can also buy a 32GB version of any of these cards and expect the same results.
What Size Card Should You Get?
Since the video bitrate is only 25Mbit/s and the camera only shoots JPEG, you can get away with a smaller card. Here are some specs below for different size cards.
Camera OSD record timers
You can get these numbers to display on your drone by turning on Display Camera OSD. (not accurate)
These are the numbers the camera will tell you when you put in these cards. The Jpeg numbers are totally wrong by the way. Every time I take a single shot, it counts down 1.75, or a 3 shot burst takes away 4-5 shots from this number. So I would cut the JPEG numbers roughly in half. This could be because the JPG size will vary a lot depending on how much information is in the scene and how it’s compressed.
Since the cameras readings are not really accurate, I did some real world testing.
It takes me about 21 minutes to record 3.85GB and that point camera will breaks the clip up into roughly 4GB chuck.
3.85GB (21 minutes) goes into 32GB 8 times so 20 x 8 = 174 minutes or in timecode – 02:90:50
Real world testing the record times are really more like this
- 16GB = 87 minutes of recording 01:45:00
- 32GB=174 minutes of recording 02:90:50
- 64GB=348 minutes of recording 05:80:00
If I can get the camera to record at a higher bit rate than 25Mbit/s then this would of course change.
SDHC vs SDXC Memory Cards
Usually SDHC cards and SDXC memory cards make a difference because one is 32-bit and the other is 64-bit, but since the camera in the spark only formats fat32, it’s safe to say that this drone likely only has a 32-bit architecture and you’ll not be able to get files larger than 4GB.
Even if you format the card exFat in a computer and then put it into the Spark, you still get a 4GB limit.
The camera will also limit your record times to 29 minutes.
So at 21 minutes your video files will get broken into two, then record another 8 minutes on a separate clip before stopping.
So what size memory card should you get for your spark?
Since you’ll likely never shoot a 4GB clip with this drone unless you’re recording before you take off or after you land, you should be fine with a 16GB or 32GB card.
A 16GB card will give you 87 minutes of record time which would require you to burn through about six full battery charges with the drone in flight.
However, if you ever upgrade to a 4k drone in the next few years, or have other devices that need microSD cards, it will be nice to have a card that won’t break video into 4GB chucks if those devices support exFat – that’s the way I look at it anyway.
With a 64GB card, you’ll also get over 5 hours of record time, so you can keep old clips on your card as backup until you need that space.
Problems With Memory Card In The DJI Spark
It’s inevitable that some people will have problems with memory cards, even the best memory cards can still have bad production runs.
Here is a list of a few issues that could be causing your Spark to give you problems with your memory cards.
- It’s simply a bad card – This happens, trust me, I get the emails. Most cards have a three-year or even a lifetime warranty. Warranty with Sandisk is a breeze, I’m not sure about Samsung. But if you’ve only had your card a month, return it to Amazon, or wherever you got it and they’ll replace it.
- Counterfeit cards – This is probably the number one problem – people buying stuff on Ebay. Shopping at Ebay is like riding Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland – it’s filled with pirates. Even if you buy on Amazon, make sure you buy from the actual manufacturer since every so often counterfeit companies can get their stuff up there.
- Your card is old and overused – Cards don’t last forever. Flash memory has a life cycle. New technology in flash cards will cycle around the flash to help keep it running longer, but older cards could give you issues.
- There could be something wrong with your drone. I’ve heard of people that have bent the memory card connection pins inside their cameras before. You can sometimes check this with a flashlight. There could also be other issues from bad hardware inside the drone and you’ll likely need a few cards to check for those problems.
Best Memory Cards For The DJI Spark | Bottom Line
There are a lot of micro SD memory cards out there and like with anything, there is a lot of crap and a lot that’s overkill. I try to keep this list updated with the most current cards. A lot of the old Micro SD memory cards out there just don’t run very well with inconsistencies or heat issues. But also, a lot of the best or fastest memory cards are overkill for this drone.
One of my five recommendations is probably the best way to go if you want to save money while also getting a really good card that will last you the life of the drone.
Help me out by sharing this article with your fellow drone shooters and let me know if you have any issues with any memory cards.
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