A complete list of memory card speeds and their in-camera performance as well as some great recommendations and a video record time chart.
Use this guide to find the best memory cards for video or stills with the Sony A7rIV.
|Sensor: 61MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor|
Processor: BIONZ X
Memory Cards: Dual UHS-II
Continuous Burst: 10fps
Video: UHD 4K30p – 100Mbps
Buffer Size: 4GB
Shots To Fill Buffer: 31 Uncompressed – Sony Tough
Time To Clear Buffer: 14:08 – Sony Tough
Table Of Contents
- Best Memory Cards Sony A7r IV
- Top 5 Recommended Memory Cards Sony A7r IV
- Best Memory Cards For 4k Video
- What Size Memory Card Do You Need?
- UHS-I vs UHS-II
- How To Avoid Counterfeit Cards
Best Memory Cards Sony A7r IV
A couple of big things have changed with the Sony A7r IV compared to the previous model. The biggest is the addition of a UHS-II memory card in Slot 2 for incredibly fast memory card speeds when shooting with a dual memory card setup.
It also looks like Sony has upgraded the UHS-II hardware as it’s now one of the fastest mirrorless UHS-II cameras I’ve tested with performance very similar to the XQD cards found in the Nikon Z6/Z7.
Quick Memory Card Recommendation List
Check prices they bounce around a lot between brands. These are all great cards. The Sony Tough is totally worth it if you can justify the expense.
I have more details about each card later in the article.
Top Performers UHS-II Cards
Sony G Tough UHS-II – 200.08MB/s – Amazon
Budget-Friendly, Great For Video Shooters
In-Camera Benchmarks | Speed Test
For these benchmarks, I tested the camera shooting continuous burst in RAW uncompressed and calculated the data written against the time it took to clear the buffer. Usually shooting compressed RAW is a little bit slower as each shot has to also be compressed before written to the buffer. This will slow down the whole process.
I don’t usually test both Compressed and Uncompressed but I did in the Nikon D850. In that camera, shooting compressed slowed down the write speed process by about 60MB/s with some cards.
However, with compressed RAW the files are much smaller and you can get more shots into the buffer.
What’s interesting is the Sony A7r IV seems to now favor a certain type of flash configuration as only a handful of cards performed well.
|Memory Card||Speed Class||USB Read||USB Write||Sony A7rIV||Order|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s||UHS-I||99.2||88.3||64.17||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus||UHS-I||99.3||88.2||64.13||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||UHS-I||99.3||56.8||49.46||Amazon|
|Sandisk Ultra U1||UHS-I||99.5||34.3||27.37||--|
|Kingston CanvasReact A1 U3||UHS-I||99.6||82.5||68.99||Amazon|
|Kingston CanvasGo! U3||UHS-I||99.6||74.0||64.96||Amazon|
|Lexar 633x U1||UHS-I||95.0||54.6||48.88||--|
|Sony Professional U3||UHS-I||98.5||60.2||76.15||Amazon|
|Sony U3 94MB/s||UHS-I||96.7||57.5||55.95||Amazon|
|Sony U3 95MB/s||UHS-I||96.6||85.4||69.59||Amazon|
|PNY Elite Performance U3||UHS-I||96.7||66.9||58.16||Amazon|
|Delkin Advantage U3||UHS-I||99.6||78.8||69.47||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro U3||UHS-I||97.8||74.7||68.00||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria U3||UHS-I||97.2||29.9||30.21||Amazon|
|Verbatim Pro+ U3||UHS-I||98.5||83.7||74.59||Amazon|
|Verbatim Pro U3||UHS-I||96.6||68.0||57.41||Amazon|
|Amplim 667x A1 V30||UHS-I||99.6||52.2||47.88||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s||UHS-II||258.5||190.5||196.52||Amazon|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro||UHS-II||263.6||223.8||185.63||Amazon|
|Sony G Tough||UHS-II||256.8||201.0||200.08||Amazon|
|Delkin Power v90||UHS-II||257.6||191.0||197.78||Amazon|
|Delkin Prime v60||UHS-II||252.8||89.1||92.21||Amazon|
|Fujifilm Elite II||UHS-II||259.3||168.4||92.21||Amazon|
|Hoodman Steel 2000x||UHS-II||268.7||183.9||124.25||Amazon|
|Hoodman Steel 1500x||UHS-II||258.1||169.2||143.52||BHphoto|
|Amplim 1900x V60||UHS-II||249.8||104.5||90.44||Amazon|
|Angel Bird V90||UHS-II||256.6||211.1||91.15||Amazon|
|Angel Bird V60||UHS-II||166.9||80.2||124.94||Amazon|
|FreeTail Evoke Pro V60||UHS-II||238.5||102.8||90.49||Amazon|
Top 5 Recommended Memory Cards Sony A7r IV
Sony G Tough UHS-II – 200.08MB/s
If you can afford it, the Sony Tough cards are totally worth it. The build quality is great, very sturdy so you won’t have to worry about the card falling apart after a few years. Something that has happened to me quite a lot. The Sony Tough cards are also usually the top performers when looking at speed.
Sony 64GB UHS-II G – 200.08MB/s
Available At: Amazon
The Sony G cards are what Sony started making before the Tough cards. They are slightly less expensive than the new Tough cards but they still perform with incredible speeds. This actually might be a good option to use in the second card slot as a backup since it will likely just live in your camera.
Sandisk 64GB UHS-II 300MB/s – 196.52MB/s
Sandisk cards are always a great option. Always reliable, always fast, life-time warranty. Sandisk has the best reputation for flash memory. If you can’t get a Sony tough card, this will be one of the best cards you can buy for the Sony A7rIV.
Delkin Power V90 UHS-II – 197.78MB/s
Delkin is what I currently use in my Sony A7rIII. I had a few extra so why not. I use the Delkin Power in my UHS-II slot and the Delkin Prime in my UHS-I slot. They are great, I’ve never had a problem with Delkin cards in Sony cameras and if you can find one at a better price than the Sony or Sandisk cards don’t hesitate to try them out.
There are some bad ratings on this card on Amazon, but that’s mostly coming from Panasonic GH5 users, a camera that has some terrible issues with memory card compatibility. These work great with Sony.
Toshiba Exceria Pro v90 UHS-II – 185.63MB/s
Available At: Amazon
The Toshiba UHS-II card is very expensive in the United States, but in other regions like Japan, it can be a viable option and more reasonably priced. The Toshiba Exceria Pro v90 has always been one of the fastest cards with great performance in all brands of cameras. They’ve since rebranded, they are now saying their card does 270MB/s read and have given it a v90 class. I tested the older card seen in the photo here so expect some subtle change in performance if you buy the newest release.
Best Memory Cards For 4k Video
Record Limit Time: Unlimited
Minimum Requirements: U3
The Sony A7rIV still only outputs 100Mbps 4k video which translates to about 12.5MB/s. Because of this low bitrate, you don’t need fast cards for video.
If video is your focus, stick with the slower UHS-II cards like the Sony M cards, Lexar 1000x cards or Prograde v60 cards. You will gain nothing by buying the fastest SD memory cards if you’re just using the camera for video.
All the modern U3 memory cards that I have been testing have been working great for 4k video so all you really need to look for is that rating or better. So any U3, v30, v60, v90 card will work great.
The other rating you need to look at is SDXC or SDHC.
SDXC – This allows the cards to be formatted with a 64-bit file system so that you can have large video clips.
SDHC – With SDHC memory cards the camera will format them to 32-bit, this means video files will be broken up into 4GB chunks.
What Size Memory Card Do You Need?
I put together a nice guide based on specs and my experience to help you decide which size memory card to buy.
I still recommend 64GB, but if you shoot uncompressed with that 61MP sensor you might want to move up to 128GB since the file sizes are massive.
Also, the buffer will clear faster when using uncompressed files, but the files are larger so they take longer to copy.
The memory card size you’ll need for the A7rIV when recording video will depend on what format you are recording and how you plan on using the camera.
There are a few details you should note. Take a look at the max bitrates.
4k 24p / 30p Max Bitrate: 100Mbps
1080 24p / 25p / 30p / 50p / 60p Max Bitrate: 50Mbps
To get the maximum quality or 100Mbps at 24fps or 30fps with the Sony A7rIV you will need to record in 4k unless you want 100fps or 120fps then you can record 1080p with 100Mbps.
If you only want 1080p 24fps or 1080p 30fps, you will only get half the bitrate of 50Mbps. So even if you need 1080p, it’s better to record 4k then scale down, which if done correctly in a 16-bit sequence will results in a 4:2:2 data compression. That’s the theory anyway.
Sony A7rIV Record Times
Here is a handy chart you can use to find the record times you’ll get with different size memory cards with the different recording formats.
For video shooters or filmmakers, I recommend 128GB cards and I highly recommend you clear off your cards regularly for backup throughout the shoot. UHS-II cards are nice for this as they will transfer quicker than UHS-I cards.
For sitting in the living room vloggers, 64GB cards will be fine.
|4k30p, 24p||XAVC S 4K||100Mbps||43min||85min||171min||341min|
|4k30p, 24p||XAVC S 4K||60Mbps||71min||142min||284min||569min|
|1080 120p, 100p||XAVC S HD||100Mbps||43min||85min||171min||341min|
|1080 120p, 100p||XAVC S HD||60Mbps||71min||142min||284min||569min|
|1080 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p||XAVC S HD||50Mbps||85min||171min||341min||683min|
|1080 25p, 30p||XAVC S HD||16Mbps||267min||533min||1067min||2133min|
UHS-I vs UHS-II
The Sony A7rIV now uses dual UHS-II card slots. This means if you’re running a second card as backup you will see UHS-II performance with both cards. Before using backup would slow down your write speeds to UHS-I speeds.
It is still a good idea to buy a fast card for slot 2 if you are running a backup, but you probably won’t be taking that second card out of the camera often so you could just stick with a cheaper Sony G, or Delkin Power instead of running dual Tough cards.
Again, If you’re just buying the camera for video then you don’t even need the fastest cards since the camera only outputs 100Mbps video which translates to 12.5MB/s and I would recommend something like Sony M cards.
For how I shoot with my Sony A7rIII, I don’t run a dual memory card backups, instead, I have the camera set up so all my photos go to Slot 1 for the fast UHS-II speeds, then I set all video to got slot 2. This way I don’t need a fast card in slot 2.
Useful Tip: Video gets buried in a strange file system and sometimes I’ll shoot some B-Roll, and transfer all my photos over and forget to dig deep into the annoying file structure to pull the video, then format the card when I’m done and all the video is forever lost. So by only shooting video on Slot 2, and only shooting photos to Slot 1, this assures that never happens.
I wish Sony would just mix in the mov files with the RAW files like every other camera out there.
How To Avoid Counterfeit Cards
Unfortunately, counterfeit cards are still a problem and they pop up from time to time at different retailers.
Usually, when you see YouTubers preaching about card failures, it’s because they buy cheap cards off Ebay.
The best way to avoid counterfeit cards is to avoid buying cards off auction sites. Instead, always buy cards from trusted sources.
If a memory card is counterfeit, usually it has a hacked controller which will tell you the card is bigger than it really. For example, you buy a 128GB card, you then put the card in your camera and it tells you it’s 128GB, but there is only actually 32GB of flash memory. You might shoot for months or weeks before breaking past 32GB, and when you do, the card will fail.
This is why so many people have memory card failures these days, they’re actually just using counterfeit cards without knowing it.
How to check if your card is counterfeit?
Easy, whenever you buy a new card, always max its capacity. It should get very close to the rated capacity without any issues.
You can do this by copying files from your computer, or by recording video. Not a problem since the Sony A7r IV no longer has a record limit.
Best Memory Cards Sony A7rIV Conclusions
The Sony A7rIV is an incredible camera and finally has all the best hardware to fully maximize the potential of UHS-II memory cards.
If you’re shooting a lot of burst photography where you need that buffer cleared as quickly as possible, stick with the fast UHS-II memory cards.
64GB cards are fine for most people that aren’t shooting uncompressed, but if you do shoot a lot of uncompressed with this 61MP sensor, it might be time to upgrade to those 128GB cards.
If you’re shooting mostly video, I would stick with v60 UHS-II cards. You still want UHS-II because it will allow you to transfer your footage off of the cards quickly with a UHS-II memory card reader.