A comparison and speed tests between all the most popular memory cards and how they perform in various cameras and computers.
Table Of Contents
- Best Memory Cards By Camera
- Memory Card Types And Performance
- Memory Card FAQ
- Memory Card Trouble Shooting
Best Memory Cards By Camera
A list of memory card speed tests in each camera. Over the last several years I’ve been testing the most popular memory cards in each camera to find which memory cards work the best in each camera. Use this guide to find the best memory cards for your camera.
I’ve broken the list down between camera brands.
Canon Memory Card Tests
Canon cameras in general have always had the best memory card performance. Their processors and bus speeds seem to be superior to a lot of the competition with the way memory cards work and how consistent they are between all their cameras.
Most memory cards work for Canon but they do not official support Sony memory cards.
|Canon 1Dx II||Canon 7D II||Canon M50||Canon G7X II|
|Canon 5D IV||Canon 80D||Canon M6||Canon G1X III|
|Canon 6D II||Canon SL2||Canon M5|
|Canon 6DS R||Canon 77D|
|Canon EOS R||Canon T7i|
Sony Memory Card Tests
Sony cameras until recently have been plagued by a bus speed bottleneck. Most of their cameras are only capable of write to memory cards at a speed of about 30MB/s. New cameras like the Sony A9 and the A7rIII finally have improved memory card performance.
When shooting video in Sony cameras you will not be able to use Samsung memory cards, they are not compatible.
|Full Frame||APS-C||Fixed Lens|
|Sony A9||Sony A6500||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A7rIII||Sony A6300||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A7III||Sony A6000||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony A7rII||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony A7sII||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A7II||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony A7r, A7s, A7|
Fujifilm Memory Card Tests
Second to Canon Fujifilm has always has incredible memory card performance between all their cameras.
|Fujifilm X-T3||Fujifilm X-T100||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-H1||Fujifilm X-E3||Fujifilm X100T|
|Fujifilm X-T2||Fujifilm X-T20||Fujifilm X70|
|Fujifilm X-Pro 2||Fujifilm X-T10|
|Fujifilm X-T1||Fujifilm X-E2s|
Nikon Memory Card Tests
Nikon is somewhere between Canon and Fujifilm. Some of their cameras have the 30MB/s bottleneck some don’t.
|Full Frame – FX||APS-C – DX|
|Nikon D850||Nikon D500|
|Nikon D810||Nikon D7500|
Panasonic Memory Card Tests
Like Sony cameras Panasonic typically has poor memory card performance. They have the a similar 35MB/s bottleneck bus speed as Sony. The GH5 gets around this by using UHS-II memory cards which have dual lanes, so you get around 36Mb/s + 36Mb/s with a combined speed of around 70MB/s. Many Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon cameras get these same speeds with only UHS-I cards.
|Panasonic G9||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic GH5s||Panasonic LX100|
Olympus Memory Card Tests
Some of Olympus’s older cameras have bus speed bottlenecks which restricted memory card write speeds. The new Pen-F however is much quicker. I still have a few more Olympus cameras to test out.
|Olympus E-M1 II|
|Olympus E-M5 II|
Pentax Memory Card Tests
I haven’t tested to many Pentax cameras but the Pentax K-1 performs very similar to the Sony A7r. It has a bus speed bottleneck so memory card write speeds are limited to about 30MB/s.
GoPro Memory Card Tests
The GoPro Hero 5 was notorious for having issues with memory cards. A lot of great memory cards like the Sandisk Extreme Pro just wouldn’t work properly. However, the Hero 6 uses all new hardware and most of the memory card issues seen in older cameras have disappeared.
|GoPro Hero7 Memory Cards|
|GoPro Hero6 Memory Cards|
|GoPro Hero5 & Session Memory Cards|
Drones Memory Card Tests
Every memory card I’ve tested in the DJI spark worked great. The camera on the Spark doesn’t really have great performance and it doesn’t require very fast memory card write speeds.
|DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom|
SmartPhones Memory Card Tests
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ is one of the few popular smart phones to allow memory cards. I’ve tested most of the Micro SD memory cards in this smart phone to see which perform the best. The results are very surprising as performance between cards varies wildly.
|Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8+|
Memory Card Types And Performance
SD Memory Card USB 3.0 Speed Chart
SD memory cards are the most popular type of memory card.
This list contains both UHS-II and UHS-I memory cards. To obtain the read and write speeds I use the Lexar SR2 in Windows 10 via USB 3.0.
|Memory Cards||USB 3.0 Read||USB 3.0 Write|
|Sony G||269.3 MB/s||234.5 MB/s|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro||258.8 MB/s||226.5 MB/s|
|Lexar 2000x||272.7 MB/s||244.5 MB/s|
|Delkin 250||271.4 MB/s||231.3 MB/s|
|Adata V90||256.5 MB/s||231.7 MB/s|
|Transcend||290.2 MB/s||182.1 MB/s|
|Hoodman Steel 2000x||268.7 MB/s||183.9 MB/s|
|Fujifilm Elite II||294.0 MB/s||181.6 MB/s|
|Sony M||253.2 MB/s||91.62 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 300||273.9 MB/s||238.9 MB/s|
|Delkin 1900X||273.3 MB/s||97.3 MB/s|
|Lexar 1000x||153.4 MB/s||84.30 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 280||260.5 MB/s||214.8 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro U3||98.6 MB/s||90.8 MB/s|
|Kingston U3||98.1 MB/s||90.4 MB/s|
|Delkin 633x U3||98.3 MB/s||88.7 MB/s|
|Samsung Pro+ U3||97.5 MB/s||87.3 MB/s|
|Sony U3 – Old Model||96.5 MB/s||84.5 MB/s|
|Transcend U3||96.7 MB/s||84.9 MB/s|
|Samsung Pro U3||97.7 MB/s||78.6 MB/s|
|Samsung Pro U1||96.3 MB/s||82.2 MB/s|
|PNY Elite Performance U1||96.5 MB/s||66.5 MB/s|
|Lexar 633x U3||93.3 MB/s||67.3 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus U3||99.0 MB/s||64.4 MB/s|
|PNY Elite Performance U3||96.5 MB/s||66.1 MB/s|
|Sony U3 – New Model||96.7 MB/s||56.2 MB/s|
|Lexar 600x U1||95.4 MB/s||64.8 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||72.43 MB/s||54.1 MB/s|
|Samsung U1 EVO||47.7 MB/s||27.3 MB/s|
|Sandisk Ultra U1||99.3 MB/s||36.1 MB/s|
Micro SD Memory Card Speed Charts
Micro SD memory cards are now extremely popular in smaller electronic devices, drones and action cameras. They usually match the performance of the larger SD memory cards, but are much smaller. I don’t recommend using micro SD memory cards in cameras that require regular SD cards because you have to adapt the card and sometimes various adapters can cause connection issues between the card and camera.
|Micro SD Memory Card||Read Speeds||Write Speeds|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3||99.38 MB/s||90.33 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3||99.45 MB/s||89.85 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3||99.49 MB/s||70.29 MB/s|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – Old Version U1||47.69 MB/s||36.23 MB/s|
|Sandisk Ultra C10 – New Version||99.46 MB/s||79.64 MB/s|
|Lexar 1000x 64GB U3 UHS-II||151.7 MB/s||53.18 MB/s|
|Lexar 633x 64GB U1||96.89 MB/s||33.29 MB/s|
|Lexar 300x 64GB U1||47.37 MB/s||31.17 MB/s|
|Transcend Ultimate 633x 64GB U3||96.67 MB/s||79.62 MB/s|
|Transcend Premium 400x 64GB U1||96.87 MB/s||32.58 MB/s|
|Transcend Premium 300x 64GB U1||96.88 MB/s||33.29 MB/s|
|Transcend High Endurance||22.88 MB/s||21.84 MB/s|
|PNY Pro Elite 64GB U3||98.44 MB/s||64.43 MB/s|
|PNY Elite U1||96.88 MB/s||41.18 MB/s|
|Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3||97.72 MB/s||87.23 MB/s|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U3||97.42 MB/s||79.51 MB/s|
|Samsung Pro Select 64GB U3||97.84 MB/s||86.80 MB/s|
|Samsung Evo+ 64GB U1||96.81 MB/s||28.31 MB/s|
|Samsung Evo Select 64GB U1||97.65 MB/s||29.52 MB/s|
|Samsung Evo 64GB U1||47.65 MB/s||26.48 MB/s|
|Patriot 64GB U1||82.76 MB/s||14.92 MB/s|
|Netac Pro 64GB U3||77.70 MB/s||49.70 MB/s|
XQD Memory Card Speed Charts
Currently Sony the only company manufacturing XQD memory cards. Lexar was but they’ve since have been discontinued.
I want to retest some of these cards in a new computer using Windows 10 as I don’t get great performance on a Mac or on my older MacPro 2009 with bootcamp.
These tests here were done with my old MacPro 2009 in bootcamp using Crystal Disk. On my Macbook Pro (Mid 2014) using AJA System Test, the cards run slightly slower. Although I think the the slower speeds is because I’m testing via USB XQD memory card readers rather than Thunderbolt.
|Memory Cards||USB 3.0 Read||USB 3.0 Write|
|Lexar 2933x||344 MB/s||202 MB/s|
|Sony G 400MB/s||330 MB/s||188 MB/s|
|Sony M 150MB/s||347 MB/s||111 MB/s|
|Sony M 80MB/s||276 MB/s||30 MB/s|
CFast Memory Cards
CFast Memory cards seem to be a lot faster then XQD memory cards. Albeit, XQD memory cards are rated with some great specs, I just don’t see that in the real world compared to CFast memory cards. It also could be that I was using a Thunderbolt memory card reader when testing CFast. I haven’t been able to find any Thunderbolt reader for XQD.
When looking at in-camera comparisons, for example Sony A9 to the Canon 1DX II, the CFast memory cards are about 110MB/s faster.
Very few still cameras actually use CFast memory cards today and they are mostly seen in video cameras.
|CFast 1.0 / 2.0 Cards||Thunderbolt – Read||Thunderbolt – Write|
|Lexar 64GB 3500x||475.4 MB/s||364.7 MB/s|
|Lexar 128GB 3600x||478.9 MB/s||364.6 MB/s|
|Transcend 128GB||534.7 MB/s||395.3 MB/s|
|Delkin 128GB CFast 1.0||447.9 MB/s||196.8 MB/s|
|Sandisk Pro 64GB||513.6 MB/s||180.1 MB/s|
|Atomos 64GB CFast 1.0||239.5 MB/s||91.4 MB/s|
|Super Talent 64GB CFast 1.0||463.9 MB/s||83.5 MB/s|
CF Memory Cards
CF memory cards are starting to show their age. Canon still uses them in some of their full frame cameras but I imagine they’ll be completely gone with the next generation of cameras and replaced by either CFast or XQD.
|CF ( Compact Flash )||USB 3.0 Read Speed||USB 3.0 Write Speed|
|Lexar 1066x 32GB||155.50 MB/s||138.40 MB/s|
|KomputerBay 1066x 32GB||153.34 MB/s||135.90 MB/s|
|Transcend 1000x 32GB||155.30 MB/s||132.80 MB/s|
|KomputerBay 1000x 32GB||147.80 MB/s||134.90 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB||154.90 MB/s||135.20 MB/s|
|Toshiba 1066x 32GB||158.00 MB/s||134.30 MB/s|
|PixelFlash 1106x 32GB||154.34 MB/s||90.71 MB/s|
|Kingston 600x 32GB||114.90 MB/s||101.70 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme 32GB||118.10 MB/s||68.43 MB/s|
|Lexar 800x 32GB||152.70 MB/s||44.72 MB/s|
|Transcend 800x 32GB||152.30 MB/s||40.25 MB/s|
|Transcend 400x 32GB||152.50 MB/s||39.55 MB/s|
|KomputerBay 600x 32GB||85.77 MB/s||51.16 MB/s|
|KomputerBay 800x 32GB||86.42 MB/s||50.83 MB/s|
Memory Card FAQ
What Do All The Numbers And Letters On Memory Cards Mean?
SDHC – SDHC indicates that a card is going to use the 32-bit Fat32 file structure. This can have some performance limitations on cards. Some of the new Speed Classes like V30, V60 aren’t available on these fat32 cards. Also, you’ll see a file size limit of around 4GB.
SDXC – SDXC indicates that the card is going to be 64-bit using the exFat file structure. This means you get all the of what technology memory cards have to offer. The V30, v60 speed classes and larger file sizes.
Class 10 – This is an older designation that they still put on memory cards. There use to be other classes written on memory cards, typically it would be a number inside a circle. Now every card is pretty much Class 10 and new Speed Classes have come around like U1 / U3 and V30 / V60 etc. So it’s all getting a little cluttered. Class 10 will give you a minimum guaranteed write speed of 10MB/s.
U1 / U3 – These are speed classes like Class 10 that indicate the minimum write speed a card is capable of. U1 is 10MB/s and U3 is 30MB/s. Typically if you’re shooting high bitrate video, you’ll want the U3 cards. Some cameras like Sony’s won’t even let you use their advanced video codecs without a U3 memory card.
V30 / V60 / V90 – This is the latest speed class. Just like Class 10 and U1 / U3, this speed class has to do with guaranteed minimum write speeds. V30 = 30MB/s, V60 = 60MB/s and so forth.
UHS-I / UHS-II – UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards are built completely different. UHS-II memory cards have a second set of pins that basically give the memory cards dual lanes to read and write data to and from. This makes these memory cards potentially twice as fasted when used in UHS-II devices.
Memory Card Trouble Shooting
Memory Card Not Working
There are several reasons a memory card may not work and I’ll list a few that I’ve seen or have personally dealt with.
1. Bad Memory Card – Every so often you can get a bad memory card, either they are DOA or they are just defective and die after a short time. Most memory card brands offer a 10-year to lifetime warranty. Sony cards usually only offer a 1-year warranty. So you can always send your card back and try a new one.
2. Brand Incompatibility – Some camera brands don’t like some memory cards. For example Sony cards do not like Samsung memory cards and they will not work for video. Canon says their cameras don’t like Sony cards, although I’ve yet to have problems with Sony cards in Canon cameras, but those are a few example. If you’re having issues with a certain card in a camera, try a different brand. Sandisk cards work perfect in most cameras.
3. Memory Card Is Slow – Again you could have a defective memory card, or, you could have a counterfeit memory card. If you bought your memory card off of Ebay and you didn’t buy it from the manufacturer or trusted camera store, chances are, you could have a counterfeit memory card. Always make sure you buy your memory cards from a trusted source. BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama etc.