Best Memory Cards For The Panasonic GH5

Memory Cards You Should Buy For The Panasonic GH5

An in-camera comparison between all the most popular UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and how they perform in the Panasonic GH5.

There are a lot of options for memory cards for the Panasonic GH5, some work great, others not so great. Use this guide to find the fastest SD memory cards for you Panasonic GH5.

 

Camera Specs

Sensor: Micro 4/3 20.3 Digital Live MOS / Processor: Venus Engine Image Processor
SD Memory Card Type: UHS-II / UHS-II
Video: Internal 4:2:2 10-Bit 4K Video at 24/30p
Continuous Burst: 12fps
Size of Buffer: 1.5GB
Uncompressed Shots Till Buffer Fills: 70
Est. Time Taken To Clear Buffer: 14-15 seconds. (UHS-II Cards)

 

Panasonic GH5 Black – Amazon / Adorama / B&H

Panasonic GH5 Accessories

 

 


Best Memory Card For The Panasonic GH5


 

General Performance And Speed Chart

Like some of the other Panasonic cameras as well as Sony and a few Nikons, the Pansonic GH5 has a memory bus speed that caps at around 35MB/s using UHS-I memory cards. UHS-II cards allow for more bandwidth, which means a max speed of around 70 – 80MB/s. Just over double the speed.

This means if you want to record internal 400Mbps 4k or 6k video, you’ll need to use a UHS-II memory card.

However, the tests shows that not all UHS-II memory cards are working properly with the GH5 right now. See the chart below. 

 

All USB 3.0 tests done using CrystalDisk – Windows 10, with the Lexar SR2.

SD Memory CardsUSB 3.0 ReadUSB 3.0 WriteGH5 WriteOrder
UHS-II    
Transcend290.2 MB/s182.1 MB/s76.49 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Pro 300263.2 MB/s233.4 MB/S72.08 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Pro 280260.5 MB/s214.8 MB/s69.05 MB/sAmazon
Toshiba Exceria Pro258.8 MB/s226.5 MB/s67.95 MB/sAmazon
Delkin 1900X v60273.3 MB/s97.3 MB/s59.95 MB/sAmazon
Sony M253.2 MB/s91.62 MB/s59.45 MB/sAmazon
Delkin V90245.1 MB/s164.6 MB/s36.27 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 2000x272.7 MB/s244.5 MB/s35.45 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 1000x147.4 MB/s78.4 MB/s34.92 MB/sAmazon
UHS-I    
Samsung Pro+ U397.5 MB/s87.3 MB/s36.61 MB/sAmazon
Samsung Pro U397.7 MB/s78.6 MB/s36.45 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Pro U398.6 MB/s90.8 MB/s36.05 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Plus U399.0 MB/s64.4 MB/s36.17 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme U372.43 MB/s54.1 MB/s36.10 MB/sAmazon
Kingston U398.1 MB/s90.4 MB/s36.02 MB/sAmazon
PNY Elite Performance U396.5 MB/s66.1 MB/s35.03 MB/sAmazon
Samsung Pro U196.3 MB/s82.2 MB/s35.03 MB/sAmazon
Delkin 633x U398.3 MB/s88.7 MB/s34.87 MB/sAmazon
Transcend U396.7 MB/s68.4 MB/s34.67 MB/sAmazon
PNY Elite Performance U196.5 MB/s66.5 MB/s34.65 MB/sAmazon
Sony U3 – Old Model96.5 MB/s84.5 MB/s34.50 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 600x U195.4 MB/s64.8 MB/s34.30 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 633x U393.3 MB/s67.3 MB/s34.28 MB/sAmazon
Sony U3 – New Model96.7 MB/s56.2 MB/s34.17 MB/sAmazon
 

 


Recommended SD Memory Cards For The GH5


Transcend surprisingly was the fastest card and they do make good cards, however, my first choice would be to go with either of the UHS-II Sandisk cards.

 

Best UHS-II Memory Cards

The best UHS-II card was actually the Transcend. If you find a good sale on one you might as well pick one up, however, sometimes transcend cards give me problems in some cameras, (it’s rare, but it happens), so my first choice would be one of the Sandisk Cards.

Currently you should avoid Lexar cards until I can get more information on why they don’t work.

  • Transcend 64GB – Amazon / B&H
  • Sandisk Extreme Pro 300 64GB – Amazon / B&H
  • Sandisk Extreme Pro 280 64GB – Amazon

 

 

Best UHS-I Memory Cards

Right now UHS-I cards will work fine for 4k recording. They all seemed to work fine when I tested them so you can look for good deals or go with your favorite brands.

Of these top performers I personally would go with Sandisk simply because Sony cameras will not shoot 4k XVAC video on a Samsung card. I know Sony and Panasonic are entirely different companies but it might be a good idea to play it safe, especially if there is new firmware coming that is going to change the video bitrate in the GH5.

That being said, I do love my Samsung cards and have been using them for years, so if you find one on sale, don’t be afraid to grab one.

 

 

Internal 4k or 6K Recording | UHS-I vs UHS-II

For internal recording I only had access to the 150Mbps bitrate and every card I tested worked fine, including UHS-I cards, even when shooting 6k burst stills. However, Panasonic will offer a 400Mbps update later this year. So if you plan on using that, you will need to use a UHS-II card that can write at least faster than 50MB/s. 

 

 

Memory Cards That Don’t Work Well

For some reason the Lexar UHS-II and one of the Delkin cards would not work properly as UHS-II memory cards. I tried four of my different Lexar cards both in slot one and in slot two and they wouldn’t work. It could be the camera I was using was just a bad copy, or it could be some firmware issue that could later get resolved, since I know my cards are fine after testing them in just about every other camera on the market. 

 

 


Panasonic GH5 Frequently Asked Questions


 

Can I use Micro SD Memory Cards in the Panasonic GH5?

Yes, you actually can but I have had bad experiences using Micro SD memory cards. Basically what would happen to me was the cards would sometimes wiggle loose inside the adapter causing a memory card error. It doesn’t happen with every type of card or adapter but it does happen sometimes. For that reason, I don’t recommend buying them. Plus, they are small and easy to lose and if you buy some older models, they could put out some seriously heat that could potentially melt the card. 

 

What Cards Work Best For Video?

If your shooting at 100Mbps or even 150Mbps you can use UHS-I memory cards. However, if you’re buying this camera for video, which you are, you’ll want to take advantage of the 400Mbps video and for that you’ll need a UHS-II card.

 

My Card Isn’t Fast, What’s Wrong?

People still have a lot of problems with cards, here are a few reasons.

  • Some cards like the Lexar UHS-II cards and one of the Delkin UHS-II cards aren’t working as they should.
  • It could simply be a bad card. It happens. Just make sure you test your cards right when you get it. Shoot several minutes of video at a time to make sure everything is working.
  • You could have a fake card! There are a lot of counterfeit cards out there, especially on Ebay and occasionally on Amazon. Be sure to get your cards from a trusted source. B&H and Adorama are great, or, if you use Amazon, make sure you buy from a trusted seller.
  • Sometimes some cards perform slow until you put a few shots on them. Not sure why this is, but if you notice your card performing slow right after formatting, this could be the cause.
  • Make sure your cards are clean and that the connection terminals inside your camera are clean and not damaged

 

Do Lexar Cards Suck?

As a brand Lexar cards do not suck. They work great in every camera I’ve tested except this one. So I’m convinced it’s likely more of an issue with the camera’s hardware not being compatible with the way Lexar cards work. So if you’re a GH5 user, yes, I guess you could say Lexar sucks. 🙂

 

Do I really need a UHS-II memory card?

If you’re serious about video, then yes, you need UHS-II cards.

 

What Size Memory Card Should I Get, 32GB or 64GB?

64GB cards are great, especially if you’re only shooting 150Mbps. You will need a few of them though. With 400Mbps you’ll likely want to go bigger.

Panasonic GH5 UHS-I vs UHS-II

 

 


Best SD Memory Card Fuji GH5 | Bottom Line


The GH5’s performance with memory cards was slightly below average. The cameras hardware doesn’t seem to be up to spec with some of the competition in terms of how it handles memory cards. However, Panasonic was smart to at least offer UHS-II memory card compatibility which allows the camera to perform as fast as a UHS-I camera would (like Fujifilm) that uses good hardware.

In other words. Panasonic wanted to save money on cheap hardware, now you have to pay for it by buying more expensive memory cards, when cameras like the Fujifilm X-T2 can get the same performance out of UHS-I cards. This is something that frustrates me and should frustrate you, and we need to complain about this stuff so these companies change their practice.

I hope this article was helpful and I’ll be honest by saying I don’t know a ton about Panasonic cameras. So if you find out anything else that might be helpful to readers, please leave a comment and I’ll continue to improve this article.

Comments(36)

  • Dan
    April 27, 2017, 1:13 pm  Reply

    Thanks for writing this. I wish I read it before buying 2x 128gb Lexar cards…

    Currently they do “work” in my GH5 but every once in a while it takes 6 seconds before it starts recording (happens several times a day), and it always seems to take 3+ seconds after stopping to finish writing to the cards. Even my older cards seem to lag less.

    I will have to try those Sandisks…

  • April 27, 2017, 2:55 pm  Reply

    Hey Dan, yeah it’s to bad, I see a lot of people buying those Lexar cards since they usually are great cards. Just curious, if you do a burst sequence, how long does it take your card to clear a full buffer? UHS-II should be around 15 seconds, the UHS-I I think were taking around 30 seconds.

  • Dan
    April 27, 2017, 5:40 pm  Reply

    GH5 + Lexar 128gb 1000x, time to clear full buffer:
    JPEG – ~60/50s dual cards / ~50/40s single card
    RAW – ~90/75s dual cards / ~40s single card

    I’m mainly using this for video. The different numbers are because I did some of them twice. It’s really weird how the times vary so much, I’m pretty sure I was just getting black frames too.

    But definitely the dual writing takes a toll 🙁

    I just ordered some Sandisk UHS-I 128gb to tide me over until the V90s come down in price. I only hope the delay lag issue is gone, otherwise I’ll have to add this to my list of complaints about the GH5

  • rnofromfrance
    May 6, 2017, 11:53 pm  Reply

    Great post, thanks.
    I would have just like to find one more info : “GH5 read speed” . When you plug the GH5 directly to the computer via usb-c and download footage from the camera.
    I am using UHS-I u3 cards and downloading footage directly from camera is 2x slower than using a usb3 card reader. I would have like to know if that is a non-issue using UHS-II cards.

    Another thing to note : I have a couple of Transind 64Gb U3 cards that would give me errors on the GH4 but seems to work just find on the GH5 even with higher bitrate… Surprising. I still dont recommand Transind though, their customer service is terrible, they will do everything to not reimburse or replace defective items.

    And lastly, I use mostly micro-SD for the past 2 years on my GH4 and GH5 (the sandisk extreme u3) and never had a single issue. Just use a good adapter and keep it in there. I see the adapter as an extra layer of protection for the actual card… If something goes wrong with the connectors of the adapter you can just remove the microSD and keep using it.
    In addition, it is much more versatile since we use gopros and drones that records only on microSD…. I only have one type of card that works on all cameras.

    Also, sometimes I need to upload a clip or a picture as quickly as possible : I just put the microSD on my smartphone and upload the file on google drive using LTE (wifi app has some limitations for raw pics or 4k clips)

  • May 12, 2017, 5:18 pm  Reply

    Good note on the Micro SD cards. I can see them being useful for people that use phones other than iPhones.

    For the camera read speeds, these are calculated in-camera. How fast the camera writes to the card. It’s done by shooting a series of bursts until the buffer is filled, then calculating how much data was written vs the time it took to clear the buffer.

    I didn’t have any Transcend problems with this camera, but I do get issues sometimes in some Sony cameras.

  • May 14, 2017, 4:42 pm  Reply

    Thanks Mark, I’ll double check right now. Adorama, and BHphoto often change around their products, or discontinue some of the older models.

  • Sam
    May 15, 2017, 1:08 am  Reply

    Hi Alik, awesome post. Exactly what I was looking for!

    So if I were to use the GH5 for 400mbps recording after the firmware update, the Sandisk Extreme Pro 300 64GB would be able to handle it? Because I’ve read a thing or two about people saying that a V60 card will be required to record at 400mbps. The prices are steep on these cards, so I want to make sure I buy the right one!

  • May 18, 2017, 9:06 pm  Reply

    Yes. 400mbps is around 50MB/s and the Sandisk 300 cards can handle that.

  • Orange
    May 25, 2017, 9:42 pm  Reply

    My Transcend 95/60 u3, 128GB card could not handle the 200Mbps GH4 or 150Mbps on the GH5. It was very reliable at 100Mbps video.

  • May 29, 2017, 11:14 pm  Reply

    Nom Noms indeed. I’ll have to check those out.

  • May 29, 2017, 11:17 pm  Reply

    There is actually a newer Transcend U3 card that’s faster than that one. I just got it. It’s a 95/85 if you’re into Transcend. I haven’t tested it in the GH5 yet though. I think I’ll also have to pick up those Nom Noms and do another test. 🙂

  • Eamonn McLoughlin
    May 30, 2017, 9:43 am  Reply

    Holy s**t, look at those prices. Panasonic are really extracting the urine. You’re right, they should add some decent hardware to read UHS I cards like the Fuji camera you mentioned. Thank God for the relatively cheap Transcend and Sandisk cards.

  • Orange
    May 30, 2017, 3:13 pm  Reply

    I just noticed this. Also seem to test the fastest of them all :O But I think I’ve have to wait for the size to increase.

  • Orange
    May 31, 2017, 3:46 am  Reply

    Is the name in the table 2nd from top correct? Link is to Lexar not Sandisk.

  • June 3, 2017, 10:35 pm  Reply

    Thanks Orange, I fixed it. It was actually wrong on a few pages. :/

  • zacharyrose
    July 11, 2017, 8:10 am  Reply

    Are there any updates to this, are the lexar cards still not performing well? Looking for high capacity cards That won’t have much lag with dual record 4k60. Currently 1000x lexar 256 can have some serious record lag.

  • July 15, 2017, 1:18 pm  Reply

    Not yet. Lexar 1000x cards aren’t great when looking for speed. Lexar as a company is actually going away as well. You might have to go with Sandisk or Transcend.

  • zacharyrose
    July 15, 2017, 1:49 pm  Reply

    Yeah that’s what I’ve heard! Too bad sandisk/transcend both don’t have cards over 128gb with those speeds. Have been looking into adata v90 but no info on how they play with gh5

  • July 15, 2017, 4:43 pm  Reply

    There is a Delkin 1900x, I labeled it Delkin 100. It comes in a 256GB, it’s not as fast as the 2000x Lexar cards but faster than the 1000x.

    But, I need to double check that, I would think the other Delkin card would run faster than this one, it should. When I get back into town Sunday night I’ve have to double check my data to make sure I didn’t get those two cards mixed up.

  • zacharyrose
    July 15, 2017, 5:03 pm  Reply

    I look forward to your findings! The Delkin are interesting for sure, but would wanna have higher speeds for the odd times i’ll use 400mbit codec dual record, hoping there are no issues. lexar 1000x 128 cut a clip short yesterday in 100mbit 1080/120 so just wanna make sure i get the right cards, Adata might be a good bet but could be same issue as lexar 2000x as seriously underperfoming.

  • Guy McLoughlin
    August 14, 2017, 7:11 pm  Reply

    How are the GH5 WRITE speed tests determined in your table ?

    The CrystalDisk benchmarking software is a MAXIMUM WRITE speed test, NOT a MINIMUM WRITE speed test. So I can’t see how it is of any real use when trying to determine if a SDXC UHS-II card can guaranteed a minimum write speed. The Vxx SD card rating is all about a guaranteed minimum write speed for every bit on the card.

  • August 15, 2017, 12:51 am  Reply

    I get it from shooting a continuous burst until the buffer fills, then record the time it takes the buffer to clear and calculate that against how much data was captured.

  • Guy McLoughlin
    August 15, 2017, 6:04 pm  Reply

    Interesting idea. I don’t know how accurate it will be compared to actually shooting video at 400 Mbps, but it’s a good compromise until the new GH5 firmware shows up.

    Based upon my own experience testing SDXC 64GB cards to shoot with hacked GH2 cameras back in 2013, I suspect that many premium SDXC cards will fail when shooting at 400 Mbps. Back in 2013 I tested ten types of premium 64GB cards and found that many cards that were able to hit a MAXIMUM WRITE speed of 600 Mbps on benchmarks, were NOT able to sustain 100 Mbps WRITE speed for the entire card space. The only two brands that could do this were the Sandisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec cards and the Patriot Pro cards, everything else failed before the card was full. ( to force the camera to constantly record at it’s maximum bit-rate I set up a 1080p monitor that played pixel-level random “snow” at 60fps, and this caused some cards to error-out after only 10 minutes of recording )

  • August 19, 2017, 12:19 pm  Reply

    Yeah, same issue happens with Canon and their 500 Mbps write speeds. Only a few UHS-I cards and new CF cards can sustain that rate. It’s almost random between brands too.

    There are so many different ways to configure flash now in these cards and they are not advertised. I think some configurations are just better than others for higher data rate transfers and only some brands of cards are using that method. While other types of flash is designed for longevity. I actually notice differences in my tests. Some cards perform very inconsistently until I put a few shots on them first.

    So when you test video with your cards, you can try putting some shots on the card first if you’re running into buffer issues vs shooting with a freshly formatted card.

  • Benjamin Arista
    September 20, 2017, 12:33 pm  Reply

    How about the Hoodman sdxc uhs-2 2000x Card is this a good brand?

  • Benjamin Arista
    September 20, 2017, 12:36 pm  Reply

    Bec. right now im using the Lexar 1000X its really sucks, every gigs I experience at least 2 freeze.

  • September 21, 2017, 11:21 pm  Reply

    Hey Benjamin, I haven’t gotten into testing Hoodman cards yet. There is also some new ADATA UHS-II cards that just came out as well.

    Lexar cards in general suck for this camera for some reason.

    I’ll pickup those ADATA and Hoodman for my retest on this camera later this year.

  • SaneVoice
    September 23, 2017, 3:58 pm  Reply

    Clicked on the recommended card on this page and it leads to Lexar Professional 1000x. I bought this and it sucks in GH5. It records but playing the clip in-camera has issues but works fine on computer.

  • disqus_RN73Owzldd
    September 24, 2017, 9:50 pm  Reply

    You’ve got the wrong links listed for Sandisk Extreme Pro 300 64GB. – Your links go to the Lexar cards

  • September 25, 2017, 1:01 am  Reply

    Thanks so much. I had a few bad links awhile ago going around on some o these cards. I thought I got them all fixed but I guess now. ::

  • September 25, 2017, 1:02 am  Reply

    Not on this page, I don’t recommend that card. There are a few other blogs that copy me now and they post recommended cards based on the advertised specs not the real performance. The Panasonic GH5 hates Lexar cards.

  • Dwenson
    January 4, 2018, 1:17 pm  Reply

    How about the Delkin V90 (280MBps/250MBps R/W) SD card? – this is so far the card I have used that can handle 4k All-Intra (400Mbps or 50MBps) recording flawlessly. Even though other brands of SD cards has write >280MBps peak, they were not specified as v90, mostly only v30, because it can’t sustain continuous 90MBps writing without overheating – thus reducing speed.

    I have Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MBps/90MBps (R/W) and Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 150MBps (R) and both failed on 4k All-I after few seconds of recording.

    The point is – don’t just rely on peak speeds marked on card for those are good for recording bursts of photo files for short period of time. We must also check the sustained write speed marked with V- prefix on memory cards.

  • January 8, 2018, 3:12 pm  Reply

    My Delkin V90 was tested and didn’t do well. I have it labeled as the Delkin 250.
    I’m wondering if there is a camera to camera issue with these GH5 not liking some memory cards.

    It’s on my list of cameras to re test. I have some new cards too like the ADATA, Fujifilm and the Hoodman Steel.

    Also, check out that Toshiba cards, it has come down in price since I originally did this test and it is now one of the best buys for UHS-II cards.

    I’ll add some links today back on the memory cards so you can better see what’s what. I took them down for some site reconstruction earlier this year.

  • Dwenson
    January 8, 2018, 3:33 pm  Reply

    This is what I used. It has Cinema label.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1294783-REG/delkin_devices_ddsduhs2128g_128gb_cinema_uhs_ii_sdxc.html

  • January 8, 2018, 3:36 pm  Reply

    Yeah, I used the 64GB version of that in my tests. You say it’s working great for you? Has it worked for you since firmware 1.0?

Leave a Comment