With the release of the GoPro Hero 7 series, enthusiasts and creators alike are looking for the best SD cards to take full advantage of what these cameras have to offer. Whether it’s the Black, Silver, or White version of the camera, we’ll break down which SD card is right for you.
|Sensor Size: 12 MP 4:3 1/2.3 inch CMOS
SD Card Slot: Single Slot Micro UHS-I
Maximum SD Card Size: Up To 256GB
Minimum SD Card Specs: UHS-I, Class 10 or U1
Video Bitrate: 60-78Mbps
Continuous Burst: 30 Photos / 1 Second
Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160p 24/25/30/50/60 fps
Shots To Fill Buffer: 30
GoPro Hero7 Black – Amazon
Table Of Contents
- Recommended SD Memory Cards GoPro Hero 7
- Micro SD Memory Cards GoPro Hero 7 | Speed Chart
- Memory Card Record Times | GoPro Hero 7
- GoPro Hero 7 Black Technical Notes & Tips
- Tips | Getting The Most Out Of Your Memory Cards
Recommended SD Memory Cards GoPro Hero 7
If you buy the GoPro from the GoPro store, you will get a 32GB Sandisk Extreme memory card for free, these are great. If you buy from anywhere else you will have to buy your own memory card.
These are my recommendations based on years of testing for the new GoPro Cameras.
Top 3 Best Memory Cards
Of all these cards, the Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Plus cards always work the best.
While the Extreme Pro cards are great for the Hero 7 Black, they had issues in the past with older cameras. If you still own an older GoPro, avoid the Sandisk Extreme Pro cards for now.
Sandisk Extreme UHS-I V30 A2
The Sandisk Extreme A2 micro SD memory card is the latest production of the Sandisk Extreme cards. The Sandisk Extreme A2 is more than fast enough to handle the GoPro Hero 7 Black maximum bitrate of around 80mpbs.
The new Sandisk Extreme Pro is available in sizes up to 400GB and have a limited lifetime warranty. Sandisk has been making this model and other models of SD cards for years so make sure you buy the latest A2 to get the best, most up to date performance.
Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 A2
Available at: Amazon
While the Sandisk Extreme Pro is technically Sandisk’s flagship micro SD memory card, you won’t really see a difference with the GoPro Hero 7 and I recommend the Extreme over the plus because they are often found at a better price. However, if you can’t find the Extreme, or the Plus, the Pro cards are also fantastic. The latest A2 versions feature the latest SD memory card technology.
While you may feel like A2 memory cards are better, A2 and A1 ratings really only affect performance when running apps from the cards from smartphones or gaming devices.
Note: Some of the older GoPro cameras like the Hero 5 did not like the Sandisk Pro cards, but these are new and improved cards, so they may no longer be an issue.
Samsung EVO Select U3
Available at: Amazon
Samsung is one of the leaders in Micro SD memory cards. They are priced very competitively and work very great in GoPro cameras. There are a few Samsung cards that work well in the GoPro Hero 7 besides the EVO Select U3, but this is by far the most popular and the easiest to find.
The Samsung Evo+ U3, Ev0 Pro Select U3, Pro+ U3 and Pro U3 are all excellent picks as well.
The Samsung Evo Select U3 comes in all the popular sizes: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The Evo Select cards also come with a 10-year warranty.
You can find more compatible Samsung cards in the speed chart below.
Other Micro SD Memory Cards To Consider
If you don’t love the three cards above or can’t get them in your area there are a few other great cards that work really well.
Delkin U3 UHS-I
Available at: Amazon
The Delkin brand is sort of the underdog when it comes to memory cards but they shouldn’t be ignored. I’ve been using and testing the Delkin brand for years in various devices like my Mavic 2 Pro and even my GoPro Hero 6.
Delkin is now making UHS-II micro SD Memory cards but their standard UHS-I version has more than enough speed for the GoPro Hero 7 cameras shooting at the 4k60 HEVC H.265 video codec.
The cards come with a lifetime warranty but sizes are limited.
Lexar 1000x UHS-II
|Available at: Amazon
Although the GoPro Hero 7 doesn’t support the UHS-II interface, the Lexar 1000x cards are still very reliable in the Hero 7 cameras. Lexar is no longer owned by Micron and is now owned by Chinese company Longsys who is producing all their cards. The Lexar 1000x cards use to be the best option for 128GB memory cards, but now Sandisk is making even bigger cards at a better price.
What I love about the Lexar UHS-II cards is they come with a UHS-II micro SD memory card reader. If you’re shooting a lot of video on your GoPro and are tired of the slow transfer times when moving your files from your camera to your computer with the GoPro Quick app, this is a nice alternative for speeding up those slow transfers.
Micro SD Memory Cards GoPro Hero 7 | Speed Chart
While the three cards above are the best memory cards for the GoPro Hero 7, they are not necessarily the fastest. I chose these micro SD cards because they were the best bang for the buck. To see more great cards and options check this cool speed chart.
I’ve marked a lot of cards ‘Maybe’ in this chart to identify cards that could potentially have issues when recording H.265. The GoPro Hero 7 Black and Silver can pump out a data rate of 85mbps which may cap the limit of U1 record speeds.
Memory card read/write speeds are determined using Crystal Disk on Windows 10.
|Micro SD Memory Cards | Hero 7||Read Speeds MB/s||Write Speeds MB/s||Recommended|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro U3||99.38||90.33||Yes|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus U3||99.45||89.85||Yes|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||99.49||70.29||Yes|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 - Old Version U1||47.69||36.23||No|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 - New Version||99.46||79.64||No|
|Delkin 64GB U3||98.50||88.44||Yes|
|Lexar 1000x U3 UHS-II||151.7||53.18||Yes|
|Lexar 633x U1||96.89||33.29||No|
|Lexar 300x U1||47.37||31.17||No|
|Transcend Ultimate 633x U3||96.67||79.62||Yes|
|Transcend Premium 400x U1||96.87||32.58||No|
|Transcend Premium 300x U1||96.88||33.29||No|
|Transcend High Endurance||22.88||21.84||No|
|PNY Pro Elite U3||98.44||64.43||Yes|
|PNY Elite U1||96.88||41.18||Yes|
|Samsung Pro+ U3||97.72||87.23||Yes|
|Samsung Pro U3||97.42||79.51||Yes|
|Samsung Pro Select U3||97.84||86.80||Yes|
|Samsung Evo U3||98.85||68.23||Yes|
|Samsung Evo+ U1||96.81||28.31||No|
|Samsung Evo Select U1||97.65||29.52||No|
|Samsung Evo Select U3||98.88||70.52||Yes|
|Samsung Evo U1||47.65||26.48||No|
|Patriot 64GB U1||82.76||14.92||No|
|Netac Pro 64GB U3||77.70||49.70||Yes|
Memory Card Record Times | GoPro Hero 7
You’re going to burn through two batteries before you’ll burn through a 64GB memory card in a GoPro Hero 7. This is why I mostly only use 64GB cards. I don’t usually carry three batteries to keep the camera recording long enough to last through 64GB of data.
If you’re traveling and don’t get a chance to clear off your camera regularly, 128GB cards are very useful.
Here is a rough calculation of record times in minutes for the GoPro Hero 7 Black and Silver.
|4k||30 / 24||67 Mbps||64||127||255|
|2.7k||30 / 24||45 Mbps||95||190||379|
|1080||60 / 30 / 24||45 Mbps||94.81||189.62||379|
GoPro Hero 7 Black Technical Notes & Tips
The GoPro Hero 7 Black Overheating
I did a few tests with different cards. I don’t know why but when I was using a crappy card (Patriot), the camera overheated after about 20 minutes in a cool room in 4k60 with stabilization on. I would get a display message and the video would stop recording.
When I switched to the Sandisk 128GB ultra card, the camera still got very hot, but it allowed me to record for longer times of about 25 minutes.
While the GoPro Hero 7 cameras will likely overheat in a hot environment, it seems there could be a relationship with what card you use as well. I’ve seen some cards get hotter than other cards in the past when doing my memory card speed tests.
GoPro Hero 7 Video Just Stops Recording
When shooting 4k60 with the HEVC codec, my cameras consistently only records for about 25 minutes. When I’m out in an open environment with a lot of airflow, I can usually get longer video clips.
It seems the GoPro Hero 7 will cut the video if the camera starts to get too hot and it seems it will only sometimes give you the heat warning.
If your camera stops recording for what seems like no reason, it could be your camera is getting too hot. Try lowering the resolution, switching to a lower frame rate or using H.264 instead of HEVC. You could also try to place the GoPro in an environment with better airflow.
It is a little ironic that they made the camera that has issues with overheating the Black.
Problem With 128GB Cards In The Karma Fixed
With the GoPro Hero 7, I’m no longer having connection issues with the Karma grip when using 128GB cards. This was a problem some people experienced with the Hero 6 and no firmware update ever seemed to fix it.
Since the GoPro Hero 7 Silver and White share similar specs and hardware as the older Hero 6 and Hero 5, it’s possible you could run into some connection issues when using the 128GB cards in the Karma gimbal or grip. For me switching to 64GB micro sd cards always fixed the problem.
The Difference Between Mbps and MB/s
A lot of people still get very confused by this and it’s actually pretty important.
Mbps is megabits per second.
MB/s is megabytes per second.
Divide Mbps by 8 to get the megabytes.
So when your cable company offers you 20mbps internet, it’s actually only going to give you 2.5MB/s.
This is the case with cameras as well. Their bit rates are recorded as Mbps. GoPro cameras are capable of hitting 85mbps.
85mbps is 10.6MB/s. Keep in mind that the camera won’t always record at 85mbps. I usually see it running at around 75-80mbps in my tests.
Tips | Getting The Most Out Of Your Memory Cards
What Numbers And Letters Mean
On memory cards, you will notice many different numbers and letters. These numbers do matter because they give you a glimpse into the real performance of the cards.
SDXC and SDHC
SDXC and SDHC have to do with the file system. SDXC is capable of supporting the exFat 64-bit filesystem. However, it doesn’t matter because the GoPro Hero 7 only records 32-bit which breaks your files up into 4GB chunks.
U1, U3, V30, V60, V90
These numbers have to do with the minimum record speeds.
U1 is guaranteed to record at a minimum speed of 10MB/s, U3 30MB/s, V30 30MB/s, V60 60MB/s, etc.
This is important because the GoPro Hero 7 Black and Silver are capable of recording data rates that will peak just about 80mbps which equals 10MB/s. This is important because U1 cards may fail when recording at this data rate.
A1 vs A2
Micro SD memory cards have a new rating seen as A1 or A2. This is a new performance class that has to do with running Apps from the memory cards. The cards are structured a little different to better support caching for random read and write access. The GoPro Hero 7 cameras only read and write sequentially, this speed class is not relevant to a card’s performance in the camera.
UHS-I vs UHS-II
There are a few UHS-II micro SD memory cards available now and some of them even have excellent performance in the GoPro Hero7. However, small consumer devices like the GoPro cameras still have not adopted the UHS-II technology which features a second set of pins that can allow for more than double the memory card speeds.
Clear off your cards as much as possible
In my years of testing memory cards in GoPro cameras, I have found occasionally I still get bad cards, even though they are from the recommended brands.
Sometimes the camera just glitches out, or there will be issues with the firmware. When this happens, it can randomly corrupt different files on the camera, making them unrecoverable.
It’s always recommended that you backup your data to your computer as soon as it’s convenient and you don’t leave valuable videos and photos on your GoPro for days.
GoPro makes this very easy with Quick.
When working with new cards, or cards that have been in other devices, it’s always recommended that you format your memory cards in-camera and not on your computer or other devices.
Micro SD Cards Are Fragile
Be careful when handling your Micro SD memory cards. They are fragile. When SD cards eventually die, it’s often from flex fatigue from the constant handling of the cards. They are just plastic and all this flexing eventually can wear out the connections inside the cards. When the cards heat up, the metal can expand and eventually the circuits inside break. It’s the same thing as Bendgate with the iPhones. Repeated flexing eventually wears down the components.
Never force your cards into the GoPro and find a safe place to store them when they’re not inside the camera.
Keep The Connections Clean
If you experience strange issues with your GoPro, check that your cards are clean. I’ve had issues with cards in the past where the pins become dirty. Usually, the cards still work, but only a limited function. There could be dust or lint or dirt that gets on the pins. Keep an eye on the pins and keep them clean.
Best SD Memory Cards GoPro Hero 7 | Conclusions
While it seems like there is a lot to worry about with memory cards in the GoPro Hero 7, most of the problems come from using off-brands or non-popular brand cards purchased of auction sites.
GoPro cameras have been configured to run very well with Sandisk cards. The Sandisk Extreme cards really are the way to go, but I have found Extreme Pro, Ultra and Plus cards all work great as well.
If you are having strange issues with camera lockups or sluggish performance, it’s almost certainly your memory card. Even if you’re using one of the recommended memory cards, sometimes people still experience issues. No electronic device is perfect and micro SD memory cards do have pretty high failure rates compared to other types of flash memory cards.
If you experience any issues in performance, the firsts thing you should always try is to swap out memory cards to something different than what you were using.
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