Getting the right SD card for your camera can be a daunting choice. In this list, we outline the best SD cards for various kinds of cameras and recording. For the most part, SD cards are universal, but if you are shooting at high frame rates or shooting 4K video, one can’t get away using just any SD card. On a whole, SD cards are extremely reliable, easy-to-use, and transfer data at quick enough rates for most cameras and use cases. For large amounts of data, however, there is a right SD card one needs to get the job done.
Here are the top 5 best SD cards sorted by their ideal use case.
1. For shooting 4K video (100mbps) – The PNY Elite Performance 64GB
If you have a camera that shoots high resolution video like an a7sii, this is the card to beat. It will allow one to use the highest encoding setting on of 100mbps. One can also step up to the 128GB version (slightly cheaper per GB). For those who want the utmost in reliability, the Sandisk Extreme Pro is praised as the best, but it comes at a significantly higher price tag of $97.91 for the 64gb SD card.
For most users who are not shooting professionally or who need the utmost in card reliability, the PNY card provides outstanding value, consistency, and durability. If you need something even faster, see the bottom of our list for the Lexar Professional.
Price: $34.99 (64GB model)
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Reliable, waterproof
- Works with SDHC and SDXC devices
- Can be used as additional hard-drive storage
- Not good for storing an OS (like Raspberry Pi)
2. For the Point & Shoot: The Dirt Cheap SanDisk SDXC
If shooting “RAW” or “4K” sounds like a foreign language to you (or is simply irrelevant to your needs), then this is a great card. It’s about as cheap as it gets for 64GB, has excellent durability, and is praised as being great for storage and in the Nintendo 3DS (video game system). While it can’t write data like other cards, for most people using non-professional cameras or other devices, this card should more than suffice. It’s got a huge capacity, great durability, comes with a great warranty, and is as affordable as it gets. It’s an excellent value.
- Cheapest price per gigabyte
- Compatible with all SDXC devices
- 5 year limited warranty
- Extremely durable cards
- Best for point and shoots, storage, and for use in 3DS (video game system)
- Speeds on the slow side
- Not good for RAW pictures, high speed shooting, or high res photographs
3. Samsung 32gb MicroSD (GoPro)
For those who need a MIcroSD for their GoPro or similar action camera, this Samsung model offers one a lot of bang for their buck. Boasting rapid write times, a 10 year warranty, and more than adequate durability (waterproof, temperature proof, weather proof, magnet proof), it also includes a full-size adapter, so it’s set to sub-in for anyone who needs to use it as a standard SD card. That said, the write speed isn’t all that fast, so it won’t do for advanced cameras like the a7sII shooting 100mbps or a camera shooting at a high frame rate.
Price: $12.99 (18 percent off MSRP)
- 10 year limited warranty
- 95MB per second read, 20MB per second write
- Full-size adapter included
- Waterproof, temperature proof, weather proof, magnet proof
- Not the fastest card, can cause issues if you need speed
4. SanDisk Extreme Pro (For high speed continuous shooting)
For taking raw photographs (or .jpeg) at very fast rates such as using a 7dMkII or similarly fast camera, the SanDisk Extreme Pro offers great write speeds, reliability, and durability. It boasts numerous features that guarantee your images will be safe, secure, and stored without corruption including an internal microcontroller. Users love it for its affordable price and outstanding reliability.
Price: $27.99 (28 percent off MSRP)
- Write up to 90MB/s, read 95MBps
- Extreme reliability and endurance , includes internal power controller
- Tested in harsh conditions: weather proof, temperature proof, shock proof, and waterproof
- Great price for speed and durability
- One user received a counterfeit card
5. Lexar 600x 64gb (For GH5 Future-Proofing)
If you need the fastest possible card, the Lexar 600x is a speed demon (particularly for the GH5 according to these tests). For those who are looking forward to the GH5’s upcoming upgrade which will allow it to shoot 400mbps 6K video, this card will future-proof you from such an upgrade. Large capacity options are also marginally more expensive, with a 128gb version that holds twice as much info, but doesn’t cost twice as much.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Should be capable of outputting full 400mbps when GH5 upgrades to have this capability
- Praised as fast and reliable
- Overkill for many use cases
- Not as durable as SanDisk cards
Still looking for the right SD card? Browse more top-rated SD cards on Amazon.