Are you looking for the best SD cards for your camera? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this regularly updated guide, we’ve speed-tested, reviewed, and ranked all the best stills and video cameras on the market.
SD cards (short for Secure Digital) have been the most popular form of flash memory for digital files for some time now, and are mainly associated with cameras and audio equipment. Since they were introduced back in 1999, there have been major changes to the way they’re manufactured – and new performance ratings have also been introduced.
Top 5 Bestseller SD Card
However, what does all this numbering, classifying, and lettering mean? The technical jargon can be confusing, but this guide will help you understand what to look for when choosing the right SD card for your camera. The first thing to consider is how much memory you’ll need, but after that there are some other factors to consider.
The Top 10 Best SD Card Reviews
Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 Card
This Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 Card does just about everything you need, making it our pick for the best all-around solution. There’s sure to be one that fits your needs from capacities ranging from 32 GB to 1 TB. It also comes at an affordable price.
Data can be transferred easily thanks to the 170 MB/second read speed. Writing speeds of 90 MB/s make it suitable for 4k videos and burst-mode photography. The tough design makes it suitable for the majority of situations you may encounter.
- Fast read and write speeds
- Various capacity options
- Tough design
- There are faster options out there
Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 Memory Card
Take a step down from our best all-around option if you need a memory card on a budget. Even though the Sandisk Extreme has the same great quality, the read speed is about half as fast as the Sandisk Pro version, clocking in at 90 MB per second. The write speed is also about half as fast. As a result, you will also pay around half as much.
- Great performance for the price
- Very affordable
- Capacity options are lower
- Read and write speeds aren’t the fastest
PNY Pro Elite Class
When it comes to high-end flash memory cards, the PNY Pro Elite Class card is the one to get. It is quite expensive, but the features make it worth it.
This card performs well no matter what you throw at it, thanks to its super-fast read and write speeds of 100 and 90 MB per second respectively. With 1 TB of storage space, you can keep tons of high-quality photos and videos on your card.
- Tons of storage
Sony Tough SF-G Card
If you’re worried about losing your data, or if you’re rough on your equipment at times, then the Sony Tough SF-G Card might be a good fit for you. We built this card to be as durable as possible.
The card’s extra hard material is built to have 18 times stronger bend resistance than the typical SD card. It’s also waterproof and dustproof to the highest standards.
- Super durable
- Great read and write speeds
- Capacity options are pretty low
Sandisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Card
The CFexpress cards are some of the newest and best on the market, and they’re mostly used in high-end cameras that were built just a few years ago. As a result, this card is only compatible with a limited number of devices.
Nonetheless, if you have a compatible camera, you’ll be rewarded with astounding read speeds of up to 1700 MB per second, and write speeds of up to 1400 MB per second, depending on which capacity you choose. It can handle just about anything you throw at it.
- Extremely fast read and write speeds
- Very expensive
- Not compatible with many devices yet
MicroCenter MicroSDXC Card with Adaptor
Memory cards are useful for a wide variety of devices, so it makes sense that you would want one that can switch easily between applications. With an adaptor included, you can use this MicroSDXC card with smartphones, tablets, DSLRs, and more.
Transferring content between devices is easy with its 90 MB-per-second read speed. Even though the 10 MB-per-second write speed isn’t the fastest, HD photos and videos can be handled with ease.
- Adaptor makes it compatible with an array of devices
- Good transfer speed
- Write speed isn’t professional-grade by any means
- Limited capacity options
Samsung EVO Select MicroSDXC UHS-I Card
The Samsung EVO Select MicroSDXC UHS-I Card is the best MicroSD card overall. With a speed of 100 and 60 MB per second, it has good read and write speeds. It’s also compatible with a wide range of devices, especially with an adapter.
Furthermore, the wide range of capacities allows you to get the amount of storage you need, and the price is also reasonable. In short, if you need a solid, all-around MicroSD that does its job well, then this should be just right for you.
- Versatile device compatibility
- Multiple capacity options
- Good read and write speeds
- Not as fast as regular SD cards
Kexin Multi-Pack MicroSD Card
If you’re looking for more value for your money, or just want to stock up on MicroSD cards, the Kexin Multi-Packs are decent cards at a great price.
With read speeds of up to 85 MB per second and write speeds of up to 20, they don’t break any records, but they do the job for many purposes. In addition to being compatible with a variety of devices, MicroSD cards are also very versatile.
- Multiple cards for super cheap prices
- Decent read speeds
- Device compatibility
- Write speed is fairly low
Lexar Professional SDXC UHS-II Card
Photographers and videographers need equipment that performs at the highest level. Lexar’s Professional SDXC UHS-II Card delivers read speeds of up to 250 MB per second, thanks to its UHS-II technology.
Furthermore, it is backward-compatible with UHS-I cameras, making it more versatile. Up to 256 GB of storage capacity eliminates the need to change your cards frequently. With this card, you’ll be able to capture high-quality photos and even 1080p, 4k, and 3D videos.
- Several capacity options
- Fast write and transfer speeds
- Backward-compatible with UHS-I
- Not as fast as the highest-end options
Teamgroup GO MicroSD Card
The Teamgroup GO MicroSD Card was designed specifically for action cameras like the GoPro. This is a good card if you’re someone who enjoys capturing action first-hand.
Besides being waterproof, dustproof, X-ray proof, and cold resistant, it’s also designed to handle just about anything you can throw at it. Providing enough performance to handle the demands of GoPro video, the read speed is 90 MB per second, and the write speed is 45 MB per second.
- Built for action cameras
- Durable and element-resistant
- Write speed could be faster
What to Consider When Choosing SD Card
For the uninitiated, the specifications of memory cards can be complicated. You can make the process easier by keeping these important things in mind when shopping for one.
Type of Card
As a first step, you should find out what kind of card your device uses. For example, a high-end camera usually uses a SD card slot. As MicroSD cards often come with adapters for SD slots, you can usually find something that works with any format. It is best to check the manual of your device to see what kind of memory card you need.
The amount of memory you need on your card depends on what you plan to use it for. Videos and photos in 4K can quickly fill up storage, so 64 GB and higher is a fairly common choice. Nonetheless, if you don’t need tons of space, less is sometimes sufficient.
A high-end camera that shoots HD video or is capable of burst mode needs a card that can keep up without lag. That’s where speed comes into play. Mbytes per second is the measurement used. Make sure your card is fast enough for the task you need it to perform.
You should also keep in mind that there is a read speed and a write speed. The reading speed determines how quickly your card can transfer data, while the writing speed determines how quickly it can capture data.
How We Selected
For this roundup, we chose a broad range of categories to cover the different needs you might have. There are a variety of capacities, speeds, types of cards, and budgets available. After narrowing down the categories, we checked with reputable sources such as TechRadar, Wirecutter, Digital Camera World, and more.
We also made sure that each product listed on Amazon had at least four stars. Since all of that has already been taken into account, all you have to do is select your category and you’ll get a great product! Browse through to find the right flash memory card for you.
SD Card FAQs
How long can I keep my data on an SD memory card? Do SD memory cards ever deteriorate?
Generally, SD memory cards can store most data for up to 10 years from the date of purchase. SD memory cards do, however, degrade over time, so it is best to make backup copies of your content frequently.
An SD memory card can be extended by reformatting it on a computer. In essence, formatting resets the clock on decay, but it will also erase everything on the card, so you should make sure you have a backup.
How do I get data off an SD memory card?
An SD memory card reader is needed to transfer files from an SD memory card to a computer. In most laptops, SD memory card readers are built-in, so you can simply insert the card, and the operating system will recognize it as local storage.
A USB card reader converts any existing USB port into an SD memory card reader if your computer does not include a built-in reader. For a WiFi-enabled SD memory card, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for transferring content from the memory card to a device over your WiFi network.
Is an SD memory card the same thing as an xD-Picture Card?
No. XD-Picture Cards are a unique type of memory card that only works in certain Fujifilm and Olympus cameras. Before buying any additional storage for your Fujifilm or Olympus camera, check if it accepts xD-Picture Cards or SD cards.