A comparison and speed tests between all the most popular memory cards and how they perform in various cameras and devices.
Table Of Contents
- Fastest SD Memory Cards
- Memory Card Benchmarks By Camera Brand
- Memory Card Types And Performance
- Potential Memory Card Problems
Fastest SD Memory Cards
This chart shows how each memory card performs with Windows 10 with Crystal Disk and a UHS-II Sandisk USB-C memory card reader.
You can sort by speed or class to find the fastest SD memory card or the slowest. Speeds will vary slightly depending on the different readers.
|Memory Card||Speed Class||USB Read MB/s||USB Write MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s||UHS-I||99.2 MB/s||88.3 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus||UHS-I||99.3 MB/s||88.2 MB/s|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||UHS-I||99.3 MB/s||56.8 MB/s|
|Sandisk Ultra U1 - old||UHS-I||99.5 MB/s||34.3 MB/s|
|Kingston CanvasGo! U3||UHS-I||99.6 MB/s||82.5 MB/s|
|Kingston Select U3||UHS-I||99.6 MB/s||74.0 MB/s|
|Lexar 633x U3||UHS-I||92.9 MB/s||35.5 MB/s|
|Sony U3 94MB/s||UHS-I||96.7 MB/s||57.5 MB/s|
|Sony U3 95MB/s||UHS-I||96.6 MB/s||85.4 MB/s|
|Transcend U3||UHS-I||96.7 MB/s||87.8 MB/s|
|PNY Pro Elite||UHS-I||--||--|
|PNY Elite-X U3||UHS-I||--||--|
|PNY Elite Performance U3||UHS-I||96.7 MB/s||66.9 MB/s|
|Delkin Black U3||UHS-I||94.8 MB/s||87.5 MB/s|
|Delkin Advantage U3||UHS-I||99.6 MB/s||78.8 MB/s|
|Verbatim Pro+ U3||UHS-I||98.5 MB/s||83.7 MB/s|
|Verbatim Pro U3||UHS-I||96.6 MB/s||68.0 MB/s|
|Ritz Gear A1 U3 V30||UHS-I||--||--|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s||UHS-II||293.7 MB/s||242.2 MB/s|
|Lexar 2000x||UHS-II||274.3 MB/s||224.0 MB/s|
|Lexar 1667x||UHS-II||265.8 MB/s||104.2 MB/s|
|Lexar 1000x||UHS-II||166.8 MB/s||108.3 MB/s|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro||UHS-II||259.6 MB/s||218.1 MB/s|
|Transcend v90||UHS-II||282.2 MB/s||192.8 MB/s|
|Sony G Tough||UHS-II||270.6 MB/s||229.1 MB/s|
|Sony M||UHS-II||282.4 MB/s||129.5 MB/s|
|Sony E v60 128GB||UHS-II||251.1 MB/s||134.9 MB/s|
|Sony E v30 64GB||UHS-II||282.3 MB/s||103.8 MB/s|
|Delkin Black v90||UHS-II||259.9 MB/s||225.4 MB/s|
|Delkin Power v90||UHS-II||280.2 MB/s||221.6 MB/s|
|Fujifilm Elite II||UHS-II||290.3 MB/s||173.2 MB/s|
|Adata v90||UHS-II||290.1 MB/s||241.0 MB/s|
|Hoodman Steel 2000x||UHS-II||280.7 MB/s||169.1 MB/s|
|Hoodman Steel 1500x||UHS-II||289.2 MB/s||105.8 MB/s|
|ProGrade V90||UHS-II||290.5 MB/s||218.4 MB/s|
|ProGrade V60||UHS-II||167.6 MB/s||92.14 MB/s|
|Amplim 2000x v60||UHS-II||--||--|
|Amplim 1900x V60||UHS-II||289.3 MB/s||104.2 MB/s|
|Angel Bird V90 II||UHS-II||265.4 MB/s||239.2 MB/s|
|Angel Bird V60 II||UHS-II||251.0 MB/s||136.4 MB/s|
|FreeTail Evoke Pro V60||UHS-II||275.2 MB/s||95.4 MB/s|
|Kingston Canvas React Plus V90||UHS-II||271.7 MB/s||241.4 MB/s|
Memory Card Benchmarks By Camera Brand
A list of memory card speed tests on 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
I’ve moved all the Canon tests to their own page. There are always new memory cards and it becomes difficult to test old cameras with new cards. Having a dedicated page allows me to give some general recommendations if you’re looking for new cards in an older Canon camera.
Sony Memory Cards
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 A9II and the A7rIV have improved memory card performance with speeds that can even match CFexpress cards in the Nikon Z cameras.
When shooting video in Sony cameras you will not be able to use Samsung memory cards, they are not compatible.
Fujifilm Memory Cards
To find the best memory card for Fuji cameras, check out this guide where each camera has been benchmarked with most of the big brands of cards.
Leica Memory Cards
Nikon Memory Cards
A guide to finding the best memory cards for Nikon cameras.
Panasonic Memory Cards
Like many of the Sony cameras, Panasonic typically has poor memory card performance when dealing with their micro four-thirds system. They have a similar 35MB/s bottleneck bus speed as Sony. The GH5 gets around this by using UHS-II memory cards that have dual lanes, so you get around 36Mb/s + 36Mb/s with a combined speed of around 70MB/s. However, the new full-frame system has incredible UHS-II and UHS-I memory card performance.
|Full Frame||M43||Fixed Lens|
|Panasonic S1H||Panasonic GH6||Panasonic G100|
|Panasonic S5||Panasonic GH5 II||Panasonic FZ2500|
|Panasonic G9||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic GH5s||Panasonic LX100|
Olympus Memory Cards
Some of Olympus’s older cameras have bus speed bottlenecks which restrict 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 Mark III|
|Olympus E-M1 Mark II|
|Olympus E-M10 Mark IV|
|Olympus E-M10 Mark III|
|Olympus E-M3 Mark III|
|Olympus E-M5 Mark III|
|Olympus E-M5 Mark II|
Pentax Memory Cards
I haven’t tested too many Pentax cameras but the Pentax K-1 performs very similarly to the Sony A7r. It has a bus speed bottleneck so memory card write speeds are limited to about 30MB/s.
|Pentax K-3 III|
Ricoh Memory Cards
|Ricoh GR III|
Memory Cards For Sigma
Sigma has a few cameras geared for a few different things, but their new L mount fp camera is loaded with some interesting specs that will make having the right memory card crucial.
Memory Cards For Action Cameras
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 and Hero 7 uses all new hardware and most of the memory card issues seen in older cameras have disappeared.
DJI Osmo Action and Osmo Pocket have had very good memory card performance even with the slightly her bitrate than what GoPro offers.
Check out this guide for the latest on the best SD cards for GoPro.
|GoPro Hero 9 SD Cards||Osmo Pocket 2|
|GoPro Hero 8 SD Cards||Osmo Pocket|
|GoPro Hero 7 SD Cards||Osmo Action|
|GoPro Hero 6 SD Cards|
|GoPro Hero 5 & Session Memory Cards|
Micro SD Memory Cards For Drones
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 3 / Cine|
|DJI Air 2s|
|DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom|
Memory Micro SD Memory Cards For SmartPhones
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are one of the few popular smartphones to allow memory cards. I’ve tested most of the Micro SD memory cards in this smartphone to see which performs the best. The results are very surprising as performance between cards varies wildly.
Samsung no longer offers phones with micro SD memory cards.
|Samsung Galaxy S20 & S20+, S20 Ultra SD Cards|
|Samsung Galaxy S10 & S10+ SD Cards|
|Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8+ SD Cards|
Memory Card Types And Performance
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 used 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 a 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 differently. 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.
Potential Memory Card Problems
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 a 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, those are a few examples. If you’re having issues with a certain card in a camera, try a different brand. Sandisk cards work perfectly 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.
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