The best SD Card: benchmark, fastest, top 10

Best SD card

Intro: best SD card

Which is the best SD card of 2022? And the fastest? Which is the most reliable? Which is more suited to the latest generation reflex or a full frame and what is the cheapest? Which is the best SD card for the 2022 SLR cameras or fullhd/ultra hd 4k camcorders, according to various needs? Which one has the longest warranty? Below you’ll find a list of the best SD cards by comparing performance and evaluating them, considering price and performances. (updated: June 2022)

When we’re buying a new SD card,we must consider the price and the writing speed , as it is important the card is as fast as possible in writing picture’s or video’s data we are recording from the device in order not to fill the buffer causing loss of data or slowing the sequential burst.
Please note that all SD cards in this article are Class 10 and UHS-I or II (the parameters that are used to classify the speed of SD cards, as we can see in the table below ).

What is 'Class' and what UHS-I U1 or U3 means

What “class 10” and “UHS-I U1 or U3” mean

Let’s take a look into Speed Classes and UHS-I class

  • Class 10 indicates that the card provides write speed of at least 10MB/s.
  • UHS-I U1 indicates that the card is fast enough to shoot Full HD 1080p. (> 10 MB/s constant write)
  • UHS-I U3 means that the card can support shooting 4K Ultra HD videos with UHS-I enabled devices (> 30 MB/s constant write)

Features of the best SD cards

The factors to take into account when choosing the best SD card are essentially 3:

  1. the size of the card:
    depending on the intended use it is necessary to have more or less storage space:
    – photograph: a 32GB card may be sufficient but I always suggest at least 64GB
    – video requires at least 64GB for FullHD video and 128GB for 4K
    – archiving: if you need to archive documents, songs, music, it is better to have at least 64GB available
  2. the minimum guaranteed writing speed: usually on SD cards various abbreviations are printed that indicate this value. In the table below we indicate what the symbols correspond to and which card may be suitable depending on the use
  3. the maximum achievable write speed: the faster the SD card, the more you can use it for operations that require high speeds, such as recording videos in 4K or a burst of photos in RAW format.

1. Size of the SD card in GB

Depending on the use to be made of the card, it is necessary to purchase more or less capacious micro SD cards. Obviously, the larger this value, the more space we will have available to record videos and photos or store data. The size of the card is expressed in GB or GigaByte (1 billion Byte), or TB (= 1024GB) and is indicated on the card itself. Cards range from 16GB to 2TB, but above 128GB are often not compatible with many devices, so make sure your device supports them before buying cards that are too large.

In the video field, a 32GB card may be sufficient to record in FullHD, while in 4K it is better to have 64GB in order not to run out of space in less than an hour. Better to avoid 8 or 16GB cards, if not for use in photography or to expand the memory of not exactly new phones. For recent phones it is good to take at least 32GB, although the most purchased size by users is 64GB.

Depending on the size, the cards take on a different nomenclature:

  • SD: up to 2GB
  • SDHC: 4 to 32GB
  • SDXC: 64GB to 2TB

2.1 What are the classes C and the abbreviations UHS, U1 and U3

  • Class 10 – or C10 – indicates that the card guarantees a write speed of at least 10MB / s.
  • U1 indicates that the card is fast enough to record Full HD video at 1080p (> 10MB / s constant writing) with devices that support the UHS-I standard.
  • The U3 speed class indicates that the card is fast enough for shooting 4K Ultra HD video (> 30MB / s constant writing) with devices that support the UHS-I standard.
  • The UHS-I cards have bus speed (data transmission channel, not to be confused with the write speed) of at least 50MB / s up to 104MB / s.
  • The UHS-II cards have bus speed (data transmission channel, not to be confused with the write speed) of at least 156MB / s up to 312MB / sec.

2.2 What are Video Speed ​​Classes

The Video speed Class is a specific speed class for those who use cards to record video. It is indicated with a V followed by a number ranging from V6 to V90. It is not always indicated in the cards, also because it is a fairly new standard, and these are the values ​​that can be found:

  • V6 enough to record video in 720p resolution
  • V10 enough to record Full HD videos
  • V30 suitable for 4K video recording
  • V60 and V90 suitable for recording 4k @ 60fps, 8K and 360 ° videos

3. Maximum read / write speed

Each card reaches a maximum reading and writing value, which can differ greatly even with the same class or standard of minimum guaranteed speed. If we use the SD card to record photos and videos, the most important data to take into account is the writing speed, as we care that the card is fast to write the data of the photo or video we are recording, while if we use it for archives or to listen to music we may be interested mainly in the reading speed.

This data is not marked on the card, but is usually written on the package or in the description of the card. In our article we will indicate the maximum speeds indicated by the manufacturer and those detected by us with special programs.

How to choose the best SD cards

The most important data that we must take into account in choosing the best SD card, in addition to the price, are the minimum and maximum writing speed, as it is important that the card is fast to write the data of the photo or video we are recording. in order not to risk losing data or filling the buffer of our reflex by slowing down the sequential shooting speed, for example.

So let’s see, depending on the use, what type of SD card you need to look for:

  • record videos: for 4K resolutions or higher, cards that meet at least V30 and U3 standards or better still V60 are required, moreover it is good that the card reaches writing speeds higher than 60MB / s, while for 2K and full HD they are sufficient 30MB / s in writing and the V10 and U1 standards. Our tip if you need to record 4K movies is to buy a UHS-II and V60 SD card, or at least U3.
  • take pictures: a good write speed is important for multiple shots and bursts, such as in sports and hunting photography, for which you should buy a card with standard U3. For other uses this data is not very important, look for a class 10 and standard U1 card.
  • listening to music and MP3: in this case the reading speed is relatively important, while the writing speed is only used to speed up the transfer process from the PC to the card. A Class 10 card is sufficient.
  • Store data and documents: Any SD card is fine, just be aware that the slower the speed, the longer the file transfer time will be.

The best sd cards

So let’s see a list of the best sd cards of 2022, starting from the fastest, ending with the cheapest:

1. SanDisk Extreme PRO, UHS-II U3, 300MB/s

Best sd card sandisk– Reported read / write speed: 300MB/s – 250MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: n.a. – n.a.
– Class: 10, UHS-II U3
– Supports 4K Ultra HD recording, UHS-II U3 class.

This SD card is suitable for those seeking the best without compromise, the fastest and most performing card at the moment, and of course you do pay it. Suitable for those who make use of many continuous shots and needs extreme speed to avoid losing even a single frame (sport photography, hunting, safary, those who make use of high resolution video at FullHD and who need to record video in 4K Ultra HD or even 8k as it is in class UHS-II U3. Card for professional and very demanding photographers. Sandisk stands for speed and reliability. Also these cards are water resistant, vibration, X-rays present in airports proof. The card is ultra fast, read and write speed is very fast, reaching 250MB/s that allows any type of operation with cameras and video cameras that currently exist, including 4k. It is ‘wasted’ if the device in which it will be used doesn’t support UHS-II, it will work the same but not at full speed. Suitable for Nikon D800 in continuous shooting, Fuji XT 1, cameras that record in 4K as the Panasonic Lumix GH4.

32GB:    USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
64GB:    USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
128GB USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain


2. ProGrade – UHS-II, U3, V60, 250MB/s

best-sd-card– Reported read / write speed: 300MB/s – 250MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: n.a. – n.a.
– Class: 10, UHS-II U3
– Supports 4K Ultra HD recording, UHS-II U3 class.

This SD card is an excellent compromise between the super performing but very expensive top of the Sandisk range, and the less expensive but slower Lexar. It is in UHS-2 U3 class and reaches 250MB / s in reading when used with UHS-II devices, while it reaches 130MB / s in writing. It is suitable for any type of photography, for those who use continuous shots especially using Reflex or Mirrorless Fullframe. It is certified in V60 class and therefore suitable for recording very high resolution videos such as 4k @ 60fps even with a bitrate of 400Mbps (400 Mega BIT per second = 50 Mega BYTE per second or MB / s).

UHS-II cards have a slightly different pinout, with a few extra pins, so to take full advantage of them you need a compatible SLR, such as the Panasonic GH4 and Fuji XT4 (and many others), but the card can be used on any SLR or camera also UHS-I, obviously the speed will be reduced proportionally to the capabilities of the device used. Even when used with UHS-I cameras, the card is among the fastest in its category, and it is one of those that costs less, giving the possibility to use it with UHS-II cameras in the future.

The price is really good, less than 40$ for a 64GB card more performing than its direct competitors, which in some cases are more expensive. Absolutely recommended.

64GB:    USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
128GB:  USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
256GB:  USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain


3. Lexar Professional 1667x UHS-II U3 V60

Best sd card Lexar– Reported read / write speed: 250MB/s – ?MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 242MB/s – 91MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-II U3, V60
Supports 4K ultra HD recording
– Warranty: lifetime limited
– Recover files with Image Rescue software
Backwards compatible with UHS-I devices

This brand new SD Card is the fastest among those sold by Lexar, it is in UHS-2 U3 class and reaches 250MB / s in reading when used with UHS-II devices, while it reaches 90MB / s in writing. It is suitable for demanding photographers, for those who use continuous shots especially using Reflex Fullframe. It is certified in V60 class and therefore suitable for recording very high resolution videos such as 4k @ 60fps with a bitrate up to 480mbps. It is recommended for use with FullFrame Reflex cameras, such as Nikon D800, or Canon 6D and 5D (which however does not support UHS-I), Nikon D610, D750 and D800, Panasonic GH4, Fuji XT4, Nikon Z5 and all APS-C reflex.

UHS-II cards have a slightly different pinout, with a few extra pins, so to take full advantage of them you need a compatible SLR, like the Panasonic GH4 and Fuji XT1, but the card can be used on any SLR or video camera even UHS-I , obviously the speed will be reduced in proportion to the capabilities of the device used. Even when used with UHS-I cameras, the card is among the fastest in its category, and it is one of those that costs less, giving the possibility to use it with UHS-II cameras in the future.

The price is really good, less than 40$ / € for a more performing card than many direct competitors, that in some cases are even more expensive. Absolutely recommended, I use it constantly with the Fujifilm XT4.

64GB:    USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
128GB:  USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
256GB:  USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain


4. SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I U3 170MB/s

– Reported read / write speed: 170MB/s – 90MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 95.02MB/s – 84.48MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-I U1-U3
Supports 4K ultra HD recording
Warranty: lifetime limited

SD card suitable for demanding photographers, for those who make use of continuous shots and need extreme speed, and can’t lose a single frame, those who make use of high resolution videos in FullHD and videos in 4K Ultra HD resolution, since the card is UHS-I U3 class. The card is very fast in reading – 95MB/s – allowing file transfers to PC very fast, and has a fast writing speed, reaching 84,5MB/s that allow any type of operation with any cameras and camcorders, including Ultra HD 4K cameras. Exellent if used with SLR cameras, fullframe cameras, like the Nikon D800 that records files of over 50MB size. Excellent for Canon 6D, 5D (but does not support UHS-I), Nikon D610 and D800, Panasonic GH4, Fuji XT1 and all full frame reflex and APS-C.
Besides,  Sandisk guarantees this article for life . Sandisk stands for speed and reliability. Also this card is waterproof, vibration and X-rays proof.

64GB:    USA | UK | Canada | GermanyItaly | France | Spain
128GB:  USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain
256GB:  USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain


5. Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II U3

– Reported read / write speed: 150MB/s – ?MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 142MB/s – 75MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-II U3
Supports 4K ultra HD recording
– Warranty: lifetime limited
– Recover files with Image Rescue software
Backwards compatible with UHS-I devices

This SD card is one of the first to be in class UHS-2 U3 and this upgraded version reaches 150MB/s read when used with UHS-II devices.
We have made measurements with a UHS-I card reader detecting 82MB/s read and 75MB/s write. With a UHS-II device you can easily reach the stated specifications. This fast SD card is suitable for demanding photographers, those who make use of continuous shots mainly using Fullframe Reflex or to record higher resolution videos such as 4K Ultra HD or 2K videos.
Recommended with Fullframe SLR cameras, like Nikon D800,e Canon 6D and 5D (but does not support UHS-II), Nikon D610, D750 and D800, Panasonic GH4, Fuji XT1 and all APS-C.
Works very fast in UHS-II devices, such as Panasonic and Fuji GH4 XT1, but the card can be used on any SLR camera or even UHS-I of course the speed will be reduced in proportion to the capacity of the device used. Even when used with cameras UHS-I this card is one of the fastest in its class, and it is one of the cheapest.

These high-speed cards leverage UHS-II technology (UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)) and provide a read transfer speed up to 1000x (150MB/s) when used with an SD UHS-II reader. For versatility, the cards also work with UHS-I devices at UHS-I speeds, and they’re backwards compatible with older cameras and readers, performing at Class 10 speeds when used with non-UHS devices.

Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards include the latest version of Image Rescue software. Image Rescue recovers most photo and select video files, even if they’ve been erased or the card has been corrupted. The software is available for free download with purchase of the card. Using a DSLR, HD camcorder, or 3D camera, you’ll be able to leverage the latest photo and video features available for shooting high-quality images and stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video.
The price is really good, 27$ for a card better performing than direct competitors, which in some cases are more expensive. Absolutely recommended.

32GB:    USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain
128GB:  USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain
256GB:  USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain


6. SanDisk Extreme UHS-I U3 V30 150MB/s

– Reported read / write speed: 150MB/s – 70MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 145.02MB/s – 68.48MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-I U1-U3
Supports 4K ultra HD recording
Warranty: lifetime limited

This is a new card, which replaces the Extreme but with better performance. This SD card is UHS-I U3 class and is therefore also suitable for those who use very high resolution videos, allowing you to record videos in 4k Ultra HD.
The card is very fast, reaching 150MB / s in reading and 70MB / s in writing which allow any type of operation with currently existing cameras and video cameras, including 4k. The 128GB version has superior features, 150MB / s read, and 70MB / s write. Card suitable for FullFrame Reflex cameras, such as Nikon D610 or Canon 6D, even in continuous shooting mode up to 5-6 photos and maybe more. Excellent for APS-C DSLRs and high-resolution video cameras. It has performance slightly lower than the Extreme PRO but a lower price of 10-12 €.
Sandisk cards stand for speed and reliability. They are also resistant to water, vibrations and X-rays present in airports. Furthermore, Sandisk guarantees this card for life

64GB:    USA | UK | Canada | Germany Italy | France | Spain
128GB:  USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain
256GB:  USA | UK | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain


7. Kingston SDA3/32 GB UHS-I U3

– Reported read / write speed: 90MB/s – 80MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: n.d. – n.d.
– Class: 10, UHS-I U3
Supports 4K ultra HD
– Lifetime warranty

Another SD card class U3, which certifies the ability to record video in 4K UltraHD. This card is also suitable for making continuous shots and for those who need a good writing speed, to avoid the risk of missing some frame frame filling the buffer of the camera. Recommended for DSLR or mirrorless cameras, aps-c or fullframe, for those who record FullHD videos even at 60p. The card is very fast, read speed is 90MB/s, allowing file tranfers from the card to the PC very rapidly, and write speed is fast too, reaching 80MB/s allowing any type of operation with cameras and video cameras currently existing, including 2K and 4K. It is good for SLR cameras, fullframe cameras, like the Nikon D610, Canon 6D, GH4 Panasonic, Fuji XT1 and all APS-C.
The warranty is for life with free technical support service.


8. Samsung SD PRO Plus

– Reported read / write speed: 100MB/s – 90MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 96.4MB/s – 86.8MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-I U3 V30

This card is a brand new concept, having been released in April 2014, it uses the MLC NAND-type unlike other cards using TLC, with advantages in performance and durability. Slightly faster than the SandiskPro in writing, and slower in reading. Theoretically, with 75MB/s write speed, it can be used to record 4K Ultra HD videos, as the card is classified UHS-I U3 and V30 , which certifies it as fast enough for 4k video. Great for SLR cameras, fullframe, as the Nikon D800 or Canon 6D.
The coating ensures water, shock and vibration, X-ray resistance. This is a upper class SDHC, suitable for demanding photographers and professionals, with a price 15% lower than the Sandisk but similar or superior performance. The price recently dropped a lot.


9. SanDisk Extreme PLUS, Class U3 UHS-I 80MB/s

– Reported read / write speed: 80MB/s – 60MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 82.7MB/s – 60.8MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-1 U3
Supports 4K ultra HD
– Warranty: lifetime limited

This card replaces the old Sandisk Extreme, but with better performance. This SD card is UHS-I U3 class and is therefore also suitable for those who record high resolution videos such as 4K Ultra HD or fullhd 60p.
This card is very fast, reaching 83MB/s read and 61MB/s write, that allow any type of operation with cameras and video cameras now on sale, including 4k cameras. This card is suitable for SLR cameras, fullframe, like the Nikon D610 or Canon 6D, even in continuous shooting up to 10-15 pictures and maybe more depending on the camera. Excellent for Reflex, APS-C and high resolution videocameras. Performs slightly below the Extreme PRO but has a lower price.
Sandisk cards are synonymous with speed and reliability. They are also resistant to water, vibrations, to X-rays present in airports. Also Sandisk guarantees this item to life.


10. Lexar Professional 633x

– Reported read / write speed: 99MB/s – 45MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 89.4MB/s – 45.8MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-I U1

This SD card is placed in between the PRO and PLUS cards. The read speed is indeed comparable to the first two PRO, but the writing speed is slower: 45MB/s. The advantage over competitors is that the Lexar is really cheap, and it reaches up to 256GB capacity. In addition, the brand is known for its reliability.


11. Sony SF 32UX SDHC UHS-I

Sony_SD_Card

– Reported read / write speed: 94MB/s – 45MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 92.4MB/s – 44.8MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-I U3 (UK) or U1 (US and IT)
– Warranty: 5 years

This card also stands over 90MB/s reading, but the write speed is no more than 45MB/s . The price is fair, but with a few euro more you get a card that reches 80MB/s (sandisk extreme pro, samsung pro, Kingston and Transcend). This card is great for those who have to make a photographic use of APS-C or fullframe cameras, in single-shot or continuous shooting of up to 5-6 shots. It’s okay for making videos in Full HD at 60fps too. The UK version is U3, so it’s easy to assume that it supports video recording in 4K. The quality of course is very good since it is a Sony product.

Where: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon IT


12. SanDisk Extreme SDHC 32 GB, Classe U3 UHS-I 60MB/s

– Reported read / write speed: 60MB/s – 40MB/s
– Measured* read / write speed: 56.7MB/s – 38.8MB/s
– Class: 10, UHS-I U3
Can register 4K ultra HD videos

This is a brand new SD card, on the market since August 2014 has characteristics in between the PRO and PLUS but belongs to the U3 UHS-I class . This means that you can use it to record video in 4K UltraHD . It is not as fast as the PROs, having a read speed of 60MB/s and write speed of 40mb/s, but it can guarantee a continuous and constant flow near its maximum speed so it is class U3 certified.
Therefore it is suitable to shoot video in 4K, in FullHD at 60fps (or lower), on Reflex also fullframe (except the D800 that records huge file of over 50MB), and cameras of all kinds.


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