An in-camera speed test comparing all the most popular UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards in the Olympus OM-D E-M1X.
Use this guide to find the best memory cards for your Olympus EM1X.
Sensor: 20.4MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor
Processor: Dual TruePic VIII Image Processors
Continuous Shooting: (15fps AF-S, 10fps AF-C) Mechanical Shutter
(60fps AF-S, 18fps AF-C) Electronic Shutter
Memory Card Slots: Slot 1 – UHS-II / Slot 2 – UHS-II
Buffer Size: 1GB
Shots to Fill Buffer: 106 RAW ( AngelBird V90 )
Approx. Time To Clear Buffer: 10.5 sec
Best Memory Cards Olympus EM1X
Memory Card Speed Test
UHS-II memory cards perform very well in the Olympus EM1X with a top speed of about 150-155MB/s with the Angel Bird V90 being the fastest in this particular set of tests.
UHS-I memory card speeds on the other hand abysmally slow for a camera of this class, with speeds averaging 30-40MB/s, almost half of what a UHS-I camera like the Fujifilm X-T30 will output.
This means, you’ll really want to avoid UHS-I cards on the Olympus EM1X and maybe consider a v60 UHS-II card if you’re looking for just decent speeds at a cheaper price.
There were no serious hiccups with any of the cards in terms of reliability or compatibility, except the Sony M card would force the camera to stop bursting once the buffer was filled. That was the only card that gave me issues. The Sony G Tough and Sony G performed fine.
|Memory Card||Speed Class||USB Read||USB Write||Olympus E-M1X||Order|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s U3||UHS-I||99.2||88.3||38.51||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus U3||UHS-I||99.3||88.2||38.66||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||UHS-I||99.3||56.8||38.96||Amazon|
|Sandisk Ultra U1||UHS-I||99.5||34.3||25.51||--|
|Kingston CanvasReact A1 U3||UHS-I||99.6||82.5||37.76||Amazon|
|Kingston CanvasGo! U3||UHS-I||99.6||74.0||37.77||Amazon|
|Lexar 633x U1||UHS-I||95.0||54.6||37.18||--|
|Sony Professional U3||UHS-I||98.5||60.2||38.79||Amazon|
|Sony U3 94MB/s||UHS-I||96.7||57.5||38.43||Amazon|
|Sony U3 95MB/s||UHS-I||96.6||85.4||38.72||Amazon|
|Transcend U3 U3||UHS-I||96.7||87.8||38.61||Amazon|
|PNY Elite Performance U3||UHS-I||96.7||66.9||38.94||Amazon|
|Delkin Advantage U3||UHS-I||99.6||78.8||37.83||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro U3||UHS-I||97.8||74.7||39.69||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria U3||UHS-I||97.2||29.9||28.65||Amazon|
|Verbatim Pro+ U3||UHS-I||98.5||83.7||39.33||Amazon|
|Verbatim Pro U3||UHS-I||96.6||68.0||37.15||Amazon|
|Amplim 667x A1 V30||UHS-I||99.6||52.2||36.33||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s||UHS-II||258.5||190.5||142.46||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro||UHS-II||263.6||223.8||150.33||Amazon|
|Sony G Tough||UHS-II||256.8||201.0||154.01||Amazon|
|Fujifilm Elite II||UHS-II||259.3||168.4||133.05||Amazon|
|Hoodman Steel 2000x||UHS-II||268.7||183.9||133.35||Amazon|
|Hoodman Steel 1500x||UHS-II||258.1||169.2||80.06||BHphoto|
|Amplim 1900x V60||UHS-II||249.8||104.5||79.81||Amazon|
|Angel Bird V90||UHS-II||256.6||211.1||154.80||Amazon|
|Angel Bird V60||UHS-II||166.9||80.24||84.01||Amazon|
|FreeTail Evoke Pro V60||UHS-II||238.5||102.8||79.01||Amazon|
I did not do an extensive video test with this camera, I have posted some information about the video specs and performance below.
Top 5 Recommended Memory Cards Olympus EM1X
Sony Tough UHS-II
The Sony G Tough card has been consistently at the top of the charts since its release and the tougher build solves a lot of reliability issues that plague SD cards. They are one of the most expensive cards but they won’t fall apart like standard cards with the plastic shell.
Sony G UHS-II
The Sony G is also a fantastic card. Very close to the Sony Tough card in terms of performance, it just lacks the enhanced build quality making this a great backup card for Slot 2 if you decide to go with Sony. Do stay away from the Sony M cards though, they gave me some issues in this camera.
Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-II
The Sandisk Extreme Pro is top-tier. They didn’t perform the best in the Olympus E-M1X, but the difference of a few MB/s will not be noticable in real world shooting conditions. Sandisk is a very reliable brand and their memory cards are very good and use very high quality flash. It’s rare to get cards with slow spots or bad sectors.
ProGrade V90 UHS-II
ProGrade is a new brand that came from the purge of Lexar from Micron. While this company is new, they have years of experience because the founders worked with Lexar and their brand already has a great reputation.
AngelBird V90 UHS-II
AngelBird is a new brand of card. I don’t know too much about this company but their cards have been consistently performing very well, usually at the top of the charts. I’m going start recommending their cards until I see any negative feedback other than negative performance in the Panasonic GH5. That camera has absolutely horrible memory card firmware (worst I’ve tested), so it’s not really AngelBirds fault that Panasonic doesn’t build hardware and software that is compatible with many of the standard types of flash on the market.
Buying Memory Cards For Video
There are some nice video features in the Olympus EM1X, 1080p at 120fps and 4k at 237mbps which is pretty good compared to a lot of the competition. Fujifilm and Panasonic are doing 400mbps with their cropped sensors, but 237mbps is a little bit easier to work with since it’s a much lighter encoding and doesn’t take up as much memory. It also doesn’t require extremely fast cards so you’ll likely not run into any buffer issues if you’re using v60 UHS-II cards.
A bitrate of 237mbps translates to a speed of about 30MB/s. This is right at the U3 speed class and any U3 memory card should be able to handle this speed unless there are some defects or other issues.
The Olympus EM1X also has a about 1GB buffer so as long as you have a fast UHS-II card, you will never see hiccups with video recording.
While I don’t recommend UHS-I cards in the Olympus EM1X, you could use some of the higher end cards like the Sandisk Extreme Pro for video.
Note: I did not do any detailed video tests with the Olympus so I cannot comment on specific cards or any issues they may have. I skipped this test partly because of time restraints and Olympus cameras have never had memory card issues for me in the past and the camera only records video at 30MB/s so there wasn’t any cause for concern when it came to video recording.
Let me know if you run into any video issues with any cards and I’ll do an update.
Best Memory Cards Olympus E-M1X Conclusions
When it comes to buying memory cards for the Olympus E-M1X your options are really limited to UHS-II only. If you buy UHS-I cards for this camera you will be dramatically limiting the cameras capabilities to clear the buffer quickly which could get you in trouble if you’re doing a lot of continuous shooting, which is the whole point of buying this camera.
The Olympus EM1X also features two UHS-II memory card slots, so if budget is your concern, you could still use the v60 UHS-II cards, like a Delkin Prime or an AngelBird v60 and still get some really decent performance at a much better price and these cards will be more than capable at handling any of the video formats the Olympus is capable of recording with.
For bursting, I would recommend only buying V90 cards, for casual shooting and video, v60 cards will work great.