Best Sony A6500 Memory Card For 4k Video

Best SD Memory Card Sony A6500

A speed comparison between all the most popular SD memory cards in the Sony A6500.

Use this guide to help you find the best memory cards for 4k video or for your shooting style.

 

Camera Specs

Sensor: APS-C 24.2 MP / Processor: Exmor Cmos Sensor

Sensor SD Memory Card Type: UHS-I

Continuous Burst: 11fps

Est. Size of Buffer: 2.5GB

Shots To Fill Buffer (RAW): 107

Time To Clear Buffer: 1 minute 11 seconds

Video: 4k 100M

 

Sony A6500 – Amazon / Adorama / BHphoto

Sony A6500 Accessories

Sony Lenses For The A6500

 

Best Memory Card For The Sony A6500

The Sony A6500 was one of the most time consuming cameras to test because of its massive buffer. The reason for this huge buffer is that Sony seems to be stuck using some old UHS-I memory card interface that bottlenecks write speeds around 32MB/s. We see this in all their cameras even the flagship A99II. 

I’m not sure the reason behind this bottleneck, but Sony seems to be the only company that is crippled by it across their product line. Because of this, we don’t ever really see competitive memory card write speeds which means there really isn’t a “fastest memory card” for the A6500. 

Check out the test.

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

SD Memory CardsUSB 3.0 ReadUSB 3.0 WriteA6500 WriteSee Price
UHS-II    
Delkin 250MB 64GB271.6 MB/s235.3 MB/s32.62 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 64GB 2000x272.7 MB/s244.5 MB/s32.47 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Pro 300MB 64GB263.2 MB/s233.4 MB/s32.47 MB/sAmazon
Delkin 100MB 64GB273.3 MB/s97.3 MB/s32.20 MB/sAmazon
Sony 64GB253.2 MB/s91.6 MB/s32.17 MB/sAmazon
Toshiba 64GB258.8 MB/s226.5 MB/s31.88 MB/sAmazon
Transcend 64GB290.2 MB/s182.1 MB/s31.75 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Pro 280MB 64GB260.5 MB/s214.8 MB/s31.43 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 64GB 1000x147.4 MB/s78.4 MB/s31.06 MB/sAmazon
UHS-I    
Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U398.6 MB/s90.8 MB/s32.23 MB/sAmazon
Kingston 64GB U398.1 MB/s90.4 MB/s32.23 MB/sAmazon
Samsung Pro 64GB U397.7 MB/s78.6 MB/s32.18 MB/sAmazon
Samsung Pro+ 64GB U397.5 MB/s87.3 MB/s32.17 MB/sAmazon
Delkin 633x 64GB U398.3 MB/s88.7 MB/s32.11 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U399.0 MB/s64.4 MB/s32.01 MB/sAmazon
Sandisk Extreme 64GB U372.43 MB/s54.1 MB/s31.93 MB/sAmazon
Samsung Pro 64GB U196.3 MB/s82.2 MB/s31.30 MB/sAmazon
Transcend 64GB U396.7 MB/s68.4 MB/s31.01 MB/sAmazon
PNY 64GB U396.5 MB/s66.1 MB/s30.92 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 633x 64GB U393.3 MB/s67.3 MB/s30.82 MB/sAmazon
Lexar 600x 64GB U195.4 MB/s64.8 MB/s30.66 MB/sAmazon
Sony 64GB U3 (Old Version)96.5 MB/s84.5 MB/s30.53 MB/sAmazon
Sony 64GB U3 (New Version)96.7 MB/s56.2 MB/s29.81 MB/sAmazon
PNY 64GB U196.5 MB/s66.5 MB/s29.06 MB/sAmazon
Samsung 64GB U1 EVO47.7 MB/s27.3 MB/s18.11 MB/sAmazon

 

 

Recommended SD Memory Cards For The Sony A6500

 

Best UHS-II Memory Cards

The Sony A6500 does not gain any speed benefits from using a UHS-II memory card. However I find them useful when you want to transfer data quickly to your computer when using a UHS-II memory card reader.

Lexar x2000 UHS-II 64GB – Amazon / Adorama

Toshiba UHS-II 64GB – Amazon

Transcend UHS-II 64GB – Amazon

 

 

Best UHS-I Memory Cards

All the UHS-I memory cards perform close enough to the same that you won’t really notice any speed difference. Except for really old cards or specialty cards like the Samsung EVO. However, the Sony A6500 doesn’t seem to like every type of card for 4k video. I’ll get into this in a moment. 

For now here are my recommended UHS-I cards. 

Sony 64GB U3 (Old Model) – Amazon

Sandisk Extreme Pro U3 64GB – Amazon / Adorama

Lexar 633x 64GB SDXC U3 UHS-I – Amazon

 

 

4k 100M Recording With Sony A6500

A lot of Sony shooters have a lot of trouble getting their memory cards to work properly when trying to shoot with the XAVC S codec with 4k 100M.

Why?

I believe this is because Sony cameras will aggressively check each card after it is inserted into the camera to determine if it’s U3 capable or not. As I’ve found, it’s often not the cards that are failing, but the cameras interface with the card. One camera will work fine with some of my cards, then another camera won’t. This is possibly due to production cycles of the camera and the hardware that goes into them.

 

4k 100M Requirements

SDHC memory cards as well as SDXC memory cards all now work for 4k video on the Sony A6500 but you will still need U3 memory cards to consistently record 4K 100M video. Although some of my U1 cards still work fine.

 

SD Cards To Avoid

The only cards I personally had trouble with were my Samsung cards. So 4k shooters should avoid the Samsung cards for now, my camera just rejects most of them.

Everything else worked fine for me but that’s not the case for all cameras or all cards. I have the least amount of trouble with Sony cards and Sandisk cards, However, if you want to almost guarantee your new card will work, you should stick with Sony brand.

 

Best Memory Cards For 4k Video

Although most of my cards work great for 4k, these cards will almost certainly give you no trouble. 

Sony 64GB UHS-II – Amazon

Sony 64GB U3 (Old Model) – Amazon

Sony 64GB U3 (New Model) – Amazon

 

 

Best SD Memory Card Sony A6500 Conclusions

It’s a little frustrating that Sony does not upgrade their camera to have faster memory card performances. You can do so much more with faster write speeds as seen with cameras like the Fujifilm X-T2. They brag about how fast this camera can shoot and how good the auto focus is, but then you have to wait an eternity for the buffer to clear compared to the competition, in the case of the A6500, it’s slightly over a minute. 

The good news is the buffer can fit 107 shots, so you’ll likely not ever really hit your buffer limit.

Let’s hope in the future Sony upgrades some of their cameras to support UHS-II or XQD cards so they can continue to compete with Fujifilm. 

UHS-II cards with a 2GB buffer would be a game changer for the sports shooter.

Comments(14)

  • Brian Daniel
    February 12, 2017, 5:13 pm  Reply

    SF-M128

  • 4REEE
    March 10, 2017, 11:32 pm  Reply

    I purchased a Samsung microSDXC Pro Plus 64GB card in anticipation of getting a Panasonic FZ1000. But when the Sony a6500 came out I got that instead. The card wouldn’t run in 4K, 100MB/sec. I thought I had a defective card. When I saw this article, I reluctantly decided to get a 64GB SanDisk ExtremePro, 95MB/s card through Amazon. Lo and behold, my a6500 accepted it and runs great!

    Thanks for posting this extremely, important article!!!

  • March 12, 2017, 11:40 pm  Reply

    For whatever reason, those Samsung cards give me problems with Sony cameras across the board. I use to love the cards but they just don’t work in Sony cameras, it’s too bad.

  • March 12, 2017, 11:42 pm  Reply

    The SF-M64 is on the list. They are UHS-II cards.

  • Allen Bourne
    June 1, 2017, 2:05 pm  Reply

    My a6500 indicates (in the menu selection) that I need a UHS-I U3 in order to shoot slo-mo at 120p, so wouldn’t that be the better choice for 4K as well?

  • June 3, 2017, 10:44 pm  Reply

    You do need UHS-I U3 to shoot 4k as well. But the camera can be picky and UHS-I U3 doesn’t always work with some brands like Samsung.

  • nomar95111
    July 20, 2017, 5:46 pm  Reply

    How well will a SanDisk Ultra SDHC UHS-1 Card work for both pics/video on the A6500?

  • July 23, 2017, 2:42 pm  Reply

    I haven’t tested the Ultras in this camera, but they don’t perform well typically. I tested them on an A9 which doesn’t have the same memory card bottleneck as this camera and it still doesn’t perform well. On the A9 I got 26.69 MB/S which isn’t great.

  • Marcos Dean
    December 5, 2017, 7:22 pm  Reply

    I took my new A6500 on a 3-week trip to Asia. Writing to a SanDisk Extreme 90, I started seeing a delay when taking a single shot of up to a half second while the camera wrote to the disk. This can’t be right–it means the image is stuck in the viewfinder for half a second while the subject moves. Even my old Canon 60D has virtually instant write on single shooting. Do I have a lemon?

  • December 5, 2017, 9:08 pm  Reply

    Possibly the card is a lemon. I was a similar problem with a few cards while testing an Olympus this weekend.

    Make sure you have the latest firmware for your camera, and if that doesn’t fix it, format your card, If that doesn’t fix it try to get your hands on a different card. I’ve had cards go corrupt before then formatting fixed them. Just the other day my Fujifilm X-Pro2 corrupted both cards in both slots for no reason and I could not get them initialized after that. I formatted them in a different camera then it was fine from there on out.

  • Marcos Dean
    December 6, 2017, 7:18 am  Reply

    Hey Alik, ya I did all those things, including reverting back to factory settings, trying 2 other cards, re-formatting one of them. I have a feeling the buffer isn’t working prop, so each picture has to be individually written, instead of using the buffer. Anyway, since it’s still under warranty I’ll think I’ll send it to Sony for analysis.

  • December 6, 2017, 11:32 am  Reply

    Sounds like a good idea. Sony repair services are pretty good, I’ve sent cameras to them before. It just takes a few weeks sometimes months, so make sure you send it during a window where you won’t need the camera for awhile.

  • Marcos Dean
    December 7, 2017, 8:03 am  Reply

    Well I do have a backup camera (or two), but I might have to wait months?? Yikes, that’s my travel camera!

  • December 7, 2017, 11:09 am  Reply

    I think when I sent my Sony A7r in, it took about a month. But that could just be random. I’ve sent two things into Fujifilm in the past, one took like two months, the other took two weeks. Maybe see if you can call them to get an estimate. In your case it might just be a camera swap and it would go quicker.

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