Finding the right memory card for your GoPro Hero 5 or Session can be a daunting task. There are so many different brands with different specs and in different sizes.
So what cards work? Turns out, most of them.
This guide will go over what you need to know about which memory cards you’ll need for your GoPro Hero5.
Best Memory Cards GoPro Hero5 & Session
GoPro Hero5 Camera & Memory Card Specs
Memory Card Requirements: Micro SD / Class 10 or better / SDHC or SDXC
Recommended Sizes: GoPro recommends 32GB-64GB cards, although bigger cards do work now.
Maximum Internal Write Speeds: 12MB/s est.
Check out the GoPro Accessories Page.
GoPro Recommended Cards
GoPro has recommended a few cards that have been known to work well with their cameras. Here is what cards have been working for them; I’ve posted the cards in various sizes below.
The Hero4, Session and newer cameras support up to 128GB cards.
|Sandisk Extreme Plus||Amazon||Amazon|
|Sandisk Pixtor Advanced||—||—|
|Lexar 1000x UHS-II||Amazon||Amazon|
Do you have to only use the GoPro recommended cards?
Although GoPro officially recommended these cards, turns out most cards work.
But there is more to the story so you need to exercise some caution.
You’ll also hear people talking about fast cards and slow cards, while this can make a difference with some cameras or file transfer speeds, The GoPro Hero 5 isn’t limited by the speed of the cards like you would think. The reason is, GoPro’s bandwidth is not that fast.
Why can’t we just use any memory card?
The only reason I can think of is that there are some lower tier brands that just don’t match the quality control of the top tier brands like Sandisk, Lexar and Samsung. There are also counterfeit memory cards floating around Ebay and even Amazon you need to be careful of. Some older cards also seem to get really hot like an old Sandisk Ultra I was testing.
Some cards also seem to produce more corrupt files. Perhaps the flash memory isn’t as stable.
The GoPro Hero5 Max Speeds
The reason you don’t need the fastest memory card for the GoPro Hero5 is the camera is limited to shooting a 60 Mbps data rate, this is 7.5MB/s. USB transfer speeds from the GoPro seems to also bottleneck at around 12MB/s. Even the slowest card I tested still was able to write at around 20MB/s.
GoPro Hero5 Memory Card Speed Comparison
The following chart compares the speed of all the most popular Micro SD memory cards. I also tested each card in the GoPro Hero 5 for a limited time to see if they would record 4k at a data rate of 60mb/s.
I want to work towards going through and using each of these cards regularly to see if I get corrupt files, but this will take time.
Memory card read / write speeds were determined using Crystal Disk on Windows 10.
|Micro SD Memory Card||Read Speeds||Write Speeds||Does It Work?||Order|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3||99.38 MB/s||90.33 MB/s||No||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3||99.45 MB/s||89.85 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3||99.49 MB/s||70.29 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – Old Version U1||47.69 MB/s||36.23 MB/s||No||don’t buy|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – New Version||99.46 MB/s||79.64 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Lexar 1000x 64GB U3 UHS-II||151.7 MB/s||53.18 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Lexar 633x 64GB U1||96.89 MB/s||33.29 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Lexar 300x 64GB U1||47.37 MB/s||31.17 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Transcend Ultimate 633x 64GB U3||96.67 MB/s||79.62 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Transcend Premium 400x 64GB U1||96.87 MB/s||32.58 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Transcend Premium 300x 64GB U1||96.88 MB/s||33.29 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Transcend High Endurance||22.88 MB/s||21.84 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|PNY Pro Elite 64GB U3||98.44 MB/s||64.43 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|PNY Elite U1||96.88 MB/s||41.18 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3||97.72 MB/s||87.23 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U3||97.42 MB/s||79.51 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Samsung Pro Select 64GB U3||97.84 MB/s||86.80 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Samsung Evo+ 64GB U1||96.81 MB/s||28.31 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Samsung Evo Select 64GB U1||97.65 MB/s||29.52 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Samsung Evo 64GB U1||47.65 MB/s||26.48 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Patriot 64GB U1||82.76 MB/s||14.92 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
|Netac Pro 64GB U3||77.70 MB/s||49.70 MB/s||Yes||Amazon|
It seems firmware 1.55 fixed some issues with some of these cards. For example the PNY Pro Elite 64GB U3 memory card works now. It didn’t work with previous firmware.
Memory Cards & Brands To Consider Avoiding
The only card that gave me trouble was the PNY Pro 64GB U3. I’m sure if I bought this card again it would work, these things just happens, especially with brands like PNY. They actually caused a lot of problems for Sony shooters back when I use to recommend them in Sony cameras. So I no longer recommend PNY.
Also, avoid the Sandisk Ultra – Old Version. The card ran very hot and it’s performance when testing was all over the place. And in fact, avoid Old Versions of any card on Amazon. I think some have been labeled old even since I’ve purchased these so I’ll try to update as much as I can.
There is also Patriot and Netac Pro. I don’t know much about these brands so I wouldn’t trust them either.
But of course, if there is a great sale, you can always buy them to see if they work. Just make sure to test them out before going on your great adventure.
Memory Cards & Brands You Can Trust
The only brands that have never given me problems in my years of doing memory card speed tests are, Sandisk, Lexar, Kingston and Samsung. Transcend cards have given me some problems in Sony cameras but usually they are also very good and they make some really nice cards.
I have a 16GB Kingston card that I’ve tested and works fine, but I didn’t have time to order a 64GB card before leaving town for a month. I’ll update when I get back.
Cards Giving People Trouble
I’ll be going through each card and testing them out over the next few months.
So far the Sandisk Extreme Pro card gave me corrupt RAW photos once. I’m not sure if I just bumped the camera hard or if it got too hot, but I haven’t had it happen again. The files were actually playing back fine in camera, the corruption didn’t happen until I transferred the files to my computer, and I had Quik set to delete the files automatically so there was no chance of easily recovering. So as a recommendation, don’t have Quik delete your files off camera on import.
Share your experience in the comments and I’ll post it here.
Will The GoPro Hero5 Support 128GB Cards?
The GoPro Hero 4, the Session and newer, all support cards up to 128GB.
GoPro Hero5 Memory Card Video Record Times
Record time will vary on the format you’re shooting along with the frame rate since it all effects the bit rate.
Time is listed in minutes. ‘–‘ means same as above.
|4K||30 / 25 / 24||60 Mbps||35.56||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89|
|4k Superview||24||60 Mbps||—||—||—||—||—|
|2.7k||60 / 50 / 48||60 Mbps||—||—||—||—||—|
|2.7k Superview Protune||30 / 25||60 Mbps||—||—||—||—||—|
|2.7k||30 / 25 / 24||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|2.7k Superview||30||45 Mbps||—||—||—||—||—|
|2.7k 4:3 Protune||30 / 25||60 Mbps||35.56||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89|
|2.7k 4:3||30 / 25||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|1440 Protune||60 / 50||60 Mbps||—||—||—||—||—|
|1440||60 / 50||60 Mbps||—||—||—||—||—|
|1440 Protune||48 / 30||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|1440||48 / 30||30 Mbps||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89||1,137.78|
|1080||120 / 90||60 Mbps||35.56||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89|
|1080 Protune||24-60||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|1080 Superview||80||60 Mbps||35.56||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89|
|1080 Superview Protune||24-60||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|1080 Superview||24-60||30 Mbps||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89||1,137.78|
|960 Protune||50 / 60 / 120||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|960||50 / 60 / 120||30 Mbps||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89||1,137.78|
|720 Protune||50 / 60 / 120||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|720||50 / 60 / 120||30 Mbps||71.11||142.22||284.44||568.89||1,137.78|
|720 Protune||30 / 25||45 Mbps||47.41||94.81||189.63||379.26||758.52|
|720||30 / 25||20 Mbps||86.67||213.33||426.67||853.33||1,706.67|
I’ve been shooting quite a bit with my GoPro Hero 5 and although I bring two 64GB cards with me, I’ve yet to need both. I only have two batteries and burn through both before I can get through a single 64GB card. So if you need a bigger card you might want to also consider more batteries.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the fastest micro SD memory card for the GoPro Hero 5?
Memory card speed doesn’t really matter in the GoPro since the camera cannot read or write data faster than about 12MB/s anyway. Even the slowest card can perform to these specs. What seems to be more important right now is if the GoPro likes certain cards or not. All we can really do is report cards that don’t work and continue to update so we can keep a nice list of the best cards to buy.
Are more expensive micro SD memory cards better than cheap ones?
With read and write speeds the expensive memory cards are usually better, however, the GoPro doesn’t need fast memory cards and it’s not necessary to buy the most expensive cards because of this.
Should I buy one big card or several smaller cards?
This is a really popular question and there is a correct answer – sort of. The philosophy is that it’s better to buy a few smaller cards than one big card.
That is of course, if the smaller card is going to meet your needs. The idea behind this is that if you have your media from a shoot spanned across several cards and one of those cards starts going bad or having issues, it will only corrupt the data contained to that one card. It will also be easier and cheaper to replace it later.
Now from my experience using the GoPro Hero 5, it’s a little more difficult to change out the cards compared to the other cameras since the bottom door is a little difficult to open and usually your camera will be inside some sort of holder. So if you use you’re camera a lot, you’ll likely fill a 32GB card and have to interrupt a shoot to swap it. In this case, I would recommend a 64GB card which should get you through the day.
My card is not working, what do I do?
If your card gives you any problems at all, don’t hesitate to contact the store you bought it from and try to exchange it. If you do exchange, try a different card instead of the exact same card. For example, my Sandisk Extreme Pro gives me problems with corrupted files every so often, so instead I now use the Sandisk Plus and it works fine.
Best Memory Cards For The GoPro Hero5 / Session – Bottom Line
It seems the technology in the the GoPro cameras is unstable. Maybe it’s just the firmware, maybe it needs to be that way to keep it small, but it would be nice to see them improve on this and give the camera a higher data rate throughput. 12MB/s USB transfer speeds is pretty slow and the buffer when taking photos is pretty bad.
Because of this lower data rate, most memory cards are fast enough to work with the camera and the Hero 5 does seem to improve upon previous models with the memory cards it can accept. Some cards might have a better chance of causing corrupt files and I’ll continue to post my findings on this.
If you have any good or bad experiences with cards for your GoPro Hero 5 or Session let me know and I’ll continue to update this post.
Check out the GoPro Hero5 Accessories List.