Recently we’ve seen a number of cameras (Sony A7SIII, FX3, FX6, Canon C70, etc) shooting high data rates and high-speed footage onto SD cards. One question we are often asked is “what specific type of SD card should be used to safely capture high-speed footage and which brands should I trust?”
Before we get into which cards you should buy, lets go over some of the nomenclature around SD cards starting with what the ‘V’ you see on certain SD cards means. To put it simply, the ‘V’ rating on an SD card indicates that video footage can be written to the card in ‘x’ MB/s (megabytes per second). So, a V90 SD card can have video written to the card at a rate of 90MB/s. This is important because when you’re shooting at high frame rates you want to avoid the possibility of dropped frames or buffer issues. We don’t want to gets too in the technical weeds, for more on that check out Jose Antunes’s article from earlier this year.
Now for the main show, what cards should you trust and how much do they cost? Below is a list of our Good, Better & Best for V90 SD cards:
Good: Lexar 128GB Professional 2000x UHS-II SDXC Memory Card ($189.99)
Lexar is a flash storage company founded in San Jose, CA in 1996. Interestingly, they announced their departure from the removable storage game in 2017 but in recent years have made a strong comeback under new ownership. The most popular offering among our client base is this 128GB V90, priced well below some of the top-tier competition. It has proven to be reliable, and we haven’t heard of any complaints from our end-users.
Better: Angelbird 256GB AV Pro Mk 2 UHS-II SDXC Memory Card ($399.99)
One of the strongest selling brands for memory cards is AngelBird. They are a purpose built brand dedicated to “CAMERA-SPECIFIC MEDIA FOR CREATIVE PRODUCTION” as claimed on their website. It has become a favorite, especially with RED users. It a proven brand and is certainly one that you can count on for top quality media.
Best: SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC Memory Card ($207.37)
When it comes to removable media, Sandisk is synonymous with SD cards. They are the standard for storage media and the most trusted brand in the eyes of consumers. The QC for SanDisk is second to none and we seldom hear of failures with this brand. We personally use this card with the Canon C70 we shoot all of our content on and have found it to be extremely reliable. While you might find other brands at lower price points you can never know if they will fail on you or if you can get support to help troubleshoot. With the Sandisk brand you are buying the peace of mind that your capture card won’t fail you at the worst possible time.
All of the brands we talk about here are reliable and popular with our customer base. We hope that this is helpful in your decision process when it comes to getting media for your camera. As always feel free to reach out to us (through this article, on our website or on social) with any questions.