A speed comparison between all the most popular UHS-I and UHS-II SD memory cards in the Sony A7 II.
Use this guide to find the best memory card for your shooting style and budget.
With regards to memory card speeds, Sony has yet to join the rest of the world with USB 3.0 bus speeds. The Sony A7II still features slow 33MB/s memory card write speed caps which means you won’t really see any huge advantage to buy a really fast memory card for your camera.
Best Memory Card For The Sony A7II
I’ll list what cards work great for this camera but I also want to put in a few recommendations. If you’re thinking about adding on a Sony 4k camera in the future, (such as maybe the A7SII or even the A7rII) you might want to plan ahead and buy a memory card that will also work with 4k video. This means you should buy a XAVC memory card that is also U3 capable. More on this later.
Sony A7r II Memory Card Speed Tests
The USB speed tests were done using a MacBook Pro and the camera tests were done in camera. UHS-II USB 3.0 memory cards were done on PC since the current Macbook Pro USB slot is not compatible with UHS-II
*I’ve listed what cards are 4K capable even though the Sony A7II does not shoot internal 4k. I’m doing this just because you might want to consider buying a card that will work on future generation 4K cameras, since this seems to be the direction Sony is going with all their cameras.
|SD Memory Cards||USB 3.0 Read||USB 3.0 Write||4K Video||Sony A7 II Write||See Price|
|Lexar 64GB 2000x||280.9 MB/s||181.4 MB/s||Yes||32.17 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Toshiba 64GB||238.5 MB/s||199.7 MB/s||Yes||32.99 MB/s||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB||257.3 MB/s||109.9 MB/s||Yes||32.07 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Lexar 64GB 1000x||145.0 MB/s||60.7 MB/s||Yes||32.17 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3||89.0 MB/s||84.7 MB/s||Yes||33.51 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Kingston 64GB Class U3||88.1 MB/s||74.3 MB/s||Yes||33.44 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3||88.9 MB/s||62.0 MB/s||Yes||33.10 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3||71.3 MB/s||52.1 MB/s||Yes||33.02 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U1||86.8 MB/s||77.2 MB/s||No||32.54 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|PNY 64GB U1||86.1 MB/s||54.5 MB/s||No||32.32 MB/s||Amazon|
|PNY 64GB U3||87.9 MB/s||61.6 MB/s||Sometimes||32.20 MB/s||Amazon|
|Transcend 64GB U3||87.7 MB/s||64.1 MB/s||Yes||31.86 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Lexar 600x 64GB U1||85.6 MB/s||60.1 MB/s||No||31.70 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
|Sony 64GB U3||87.2 MB/s||71.9 MB/s||Yes||31.29 MB/s||Amazon|
|Samsung 64GB EVO U1||43.9 MB/s||22.7 MB/s||No||22.70 MB/s||Amazon, Adorama|
The UHS-II memory cards are the fastest, but only marginally. I wouldn’t recommend you spend the extra money on a UHS-II card unless you want faster transfer speeds from your card to your computer. In that case, you’ll want to make sure you have the Best UHS-II USB 3.0 Card Reader.
Why So Slow?
The reason the Sony A7II writes to memory cards so slow is because they are still using USB 2.0 bus speeds in their camera. However, because Sony includes such a large buffer, you won’t really notice it when you’re shooting in real world situations.
Best Sony A7II SD Cards
While I usually recommend PNY cards, many people on the Sony A7rII page have been reporting issues with that card. So I’m going to recommend people avoid them for now. It’s not because PNY doesn’t make great cards, it’s just Sony 4k video recording is still extremely fickle.
- Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC U3 UHS-I – Amazon / Adorama
- Transcend 64Gb SDXC U3 UHS-I – Amazon / Adorama
- Sony 64GB SDXC U3 UHS-I – Amazon
Sony A7II SD Card For Video
You need to use SDXC U1 memory card to shoot XAVC video on the Sony A7II.
A U1 card should let you shoot XAVC S HD, but I would recommend buying a U3 card just to be a little future proof.
If you’re not at all interested in shooting XAVC video, then here are some memory card specs that you’ll need for the other video codecs.
XAVC S HD – UHS-I SDXC U1 or U3
AVCHD – UHS-I SDHC U1 or better
MP4 – UHS-I SDHC U1 or better
Best SD Memory Card For The Sony A7rII Conclusions
Sandisk seems to always make the best SD cards. Hopefully that continues to be the trend now that they are owned by Western Digital. For less expensive cards, I’ve had great success with Sony, and Transcend as well as Lexar.
I haven’t found any Samsung U3 SD cards yet, but they do make Micro U3 cards that will work with an SD card adapter.
While the UHS-II memory cards are a tiny bit faster, it’s really not going to give you any benefit when shooting. The benefit comes from transfering files to your computer. If you shoot on huge cards 128GB and so on, it might take awhile to transfer that data from your card to your computer. In that case a UHS-II card will benefit you as long as you have a faster UHS-II card reader.
I also keep these pages updated when information I get from readers. If your experiencing any problems with any particular brand, let me know and I’ll make a note of it.
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