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What is the best Micro SD Card for 4k Video? For 4k video storage, speed class is what determines the best MicroSD card for 4k is. Understand the various speed classes of SD cards is critical when finding the proper card for your 4k video use:
- When you are recording 4k video you’ll value the higher speed cards with class: C10, V30, class ‘A2’.
- If you are simply transferring 4k video or storing movies and films shot in RAW, then class: C10, V30 with class ‘A1’ performance will perform well.
Don’t get overwhelmed: if you simply need a safe, reliable SD Card for 4k Video recording, then the SANDISK Extremee 512 & 1 TB is your safest bet because it has the ideal specs, storage, and performance at an affordable price point.
- Requirements: MicroSD Cards for 4k Video & Video recording
- Best micro SD Cards for 4k Video & Video recording
- 1. Sandisk Extreme: Best micro SD card for 4k Video (128GB – 1TB)
- 2. Gigastone: Best budget Micro SD Card for 4k Video (256GB)
- 3. SanDisk Ultra: Best budget 1TB micro SD 4k Video transfer (512Gb, 1TB)
- 4. Kingston Canvas React Plus: Best Premium memory card for 4k Video recording (512GB)
- 5. Samsung Evo: Best 64GB SD Card for 4k video
- Alternatives to Micro SD cards
- Troubleshooting a Micro SD card that won't work
- How to use a Micro SD for 4K Video recording
- How we chose and ranked the best Micro SD 4K Video cards
For reliable 4k MicroSD Card Video performance & speed: it is highly advised to consider brand names such as: Sandisk, Samsung, and Kingston.
Cheaper, lesser-known brands often advertise burst speed rather than sustained speed and can be deceiving. This is why considering a name-brand MicroSD is ideal.
In this article, I’ll be covering the necessary requirements when choosing the proper micro SD Card and the best memory cards for 4K video in addition to 4k video recording. Important factors are read & write speed, video class, and application performance. I’ll also be listing the best Micro SD Card for 4k Video.
Requirements: MicroSD Cards for 4k Video & Video recording
If you plan on purchasing a cheaper brand for 4k video, ensure that it has the proper read/write speed and speed classes as outlined below in this article.
Required read/write speeds for 4k Video & Video recording
It’s important to ensure you have the proper read/write speeds for 4k video when choosing a SD Card:
When choosing a microSD card for 4k Video the recommended write speed will have a sustained write speed with ‘A1’ performance, which means it has 1500 IOPS, 500 IOPS, and 10mb/s minimum sustained write speed.
Sandisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Pro MicroSD cards are recogmmended for 4k video & video recording. If you’re on a budget and okay with a subtle drop in performance you can go with the less expensive option.
90MB/s write speeds will be adequate in most scenarios for 4k video recording at 60FPS. For example the Sony A7 III maxes out at 100 Mbits/s (or 12.5MB/s)
Cheaper MicroSD Cards may advertise a high read speed and its’ minimum “random read”, but they can deceiving by not highlighting’ it’s ‘sustained writing speed.
It’s for this reason that a reliable name-brand is important when purchasing an SD Card; especially if you don’t want to figure out the speed classes.
If you can’t find the sustained write speed on the SD Card, you’ll need to check it’s speed class or choose a reliable SD Card name-brand, such as the following:
If you’re using an iPhone and want to add a SD Card slot, then see our post: Does iPhone have an SD Card slot? (How to add one)
Recommended Speed Class for 4k Video
There are many different speed classes for SD Cards & MicroSD Cards. The necessary speed for 4k video relies on each recording and it’s device playback condition, whether it’s in the same format or not.
When investing in a Micro SD Card, you’ll be required to determine for the UHS speed class and video class in order to find the proper 4k Video storage option.
If you are shooting/filming in 4k, then it’s recommended to get a high speed Micro SD card by going with a Class 10 speed or “C10” and a Video speed class of V30 or higher.
The best 4k memory card (Micro SD) require these following classes:
- Video Speed class: V30 or higher (30/mb/sec write speed)
- UHS Speed class: UHS-1, UHS-3, or higher
- Speed Class
|Min write speed (sequential)||Speed class||4k Speed class||Video Speed class|
|90MB/sec||N/A||N/A||V90 (4k, 8K)|
|30MB/sec (recommended for 4k Video)||N/A||UHS-3||V30 (4k, 8)|
If you’re shooting 1080p video or smaller, then a Micro SD Card with minimum Speed Class of UHS-1 and video class of V10 will perform quite quickly at 10Mb/sec. Knowing these classes will allow you to choose the best memory cards for 4k video.
This is particularly important if you’re recording in high res or RAW. (source) Alternatively, you can simply choose a trusted brand if you don’t intend to memorize all the SD Card speed classes. (or use our provided chart)
Best micro SD Cards for 4k Video & Video recording
1. Sandisk Extreme: Best micro SD card for 4k Video (128GB – 1TB)
Who this is for: This is a reliable an affordable option for those who want the best micro SD card for 4k video with 128GB. Also good for fast file transferring of these video files.
Why it’s so good for 4k video: The Sandisk Extreme will capture 4k UHD without skipping any frames (uninterrupted). It allows for up to 90MB/s write speed and is a SDXC memory card format and is microSD Card name-brand leader.
Speed & storage: For more storage, the sandisk also provides similar larger cards of this same model at 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
Reliability: Unlike cheaper cards, the Sandisk is built and tested for weather conditions such as water, shock, xray, etc. (that’s one tough card).The manufacturer also has a warranty, which budget, alternative cards often don’t include.
Faster SD Card alternative: There is also the SanDisk Extreme Pro MicroSD Card; which has faster transfer rate (170mb/s), ideal 4k video class (V30) and sustained video capture of 30Mb/s (solid rate for 4k).
The enhanced speed of the Sandisk Extreme Pro helps record burst mode shots and is great if your utilizing higher-end devices, such as the Sony mirrorless camera models or the new Canon/Nikon models.
How many hours of 4k video can 128gb hold?
A standard 128 GB microSD card can hold 4 hours of 4k video. This can be extended or decreased by changing your bitrate on your recording device
If you’re not video recording and you are simply transferring video, film, or movie, between devices, then you’ll need to determine the size of the movie. For example, 4k movies are typically between 60gb – 120gb depending on how compressed they are. Compare this to 1080p which is around 6Gb on average. When recording video the files are typically much larger since 4k films and movies are compressed.
2. Gigastone: Best budget Micro SD Card for 4k Video (256GB)
Who this is for: The Gigastone is a cheaper priced SD Card that meets the minimum required specs for recording 4k video on a memory card. The Gigastone is best for those transferring photos and video, but is functional for 4k video recording.
Why it’s a good budget pick for 4k video: The Gigastone is a micro SDXC with a A1, class 10 speed, V30, UHS-I. A1 class is known to work well for transferring photos and files.
What’s the difference between the affordable Gigastone and the more expensive Sandisk extreme cards? The gigastone has an A1 class, instead of A2; which means a bit lower performance for 4k due to a lack of command queuing and cache. For the price difference from A1 to A2.
The Gigastone will still shoot 4k Video quite well, but it excels on basic sports camera, GoPro’s, Smartphones and will transfer video and files very well on Android tablets; making it one of the best budget microSD cards for Android. It has a 5-year warranty which is satisfying for sport conditions and those shooting outdoors often.
Experts recommend the class A2 for recording 4k since it’s much faster and essentially built for 4k spec-wise. However, if you’re really on a budget the gigastone class A1 will be functional and work well for 4k video.
How many hours of 4k video can 256gb hold?
A standard 256 GB microSD card can hold 6 hours of 4k video on average. This is increased (or decreased) by adjusting the bitrate on your camera. Higher frame rates (60FPs, 120FPS) can means lesser hours of 4k video on a 256gb sd card if its a low quality card.
3. SanDisk Ultra: Best budget 1TB micro SD 4k Video transfer (512Gb, 1TB)
Why this memory card is good for 4k video: While functional for 4k Video it’s ideal for 4k video transfering. Has class ‘A1’ performance, instead of ‘A2’. This SD Card is for those who need a 4k memory card for transferring files and record 4k on their GoPro or digital camera.
Professional video creators may want to stick with an A2 SD Card with class U1, C10 for maximum speed and quality.
Pro Videographers will prefer class A2 Sd Cards, which was designed for pro-level 4k performance. However, for most a class A1 is functional and does the job if it has class U1, C10.
Related: How to Download GoPro Videos to Mac (6 Ways to transfer) – a large Micro SD works wonders for tasks like this.
How many hours of 4k video recording can 1TB hold
1TB can hold 8 hours of 4k RAW Video when a low-bitrate and frame rate is used. A higher bit-rate is determined by the recording device and factors such as a higher frame rate can decrease the amount of hours that 4k video can be held by 1TB of storage.
4. Kingston Canvas React Plus: Best Premium memory card for 4k Video recording (512GB)
Who it’s for: The Kingston is for those who create content or record video professionally (videography) and need the fastest Micro SD card for Pro-level work.
What makes it the fastest Micro SD card: Can transfer speed up to 285MB/s and record up to 165MB/s, which is extremely fast and typically ideal for top-tier level work for photography/video professionals.
You’ll have absolutely no issues recording 4k and 8k video with the Kingston Canvas react plus micro SD card as it is created with videographers and professionals in mind. If you’re device can handle read and write speeds this high then this card will be ideal for you.
Some of these models also comes with a UHS-II SD Reader, which will increase the speeds you transfer 4k video significantly when paired with this card. I use this Prograde microSD card reader to transfer 4k & 8k video faster.
This SD Card is hard to beat for 4k Video editing when it comes to speed and quality. Unfortunately, it does have a higher-price point, Limiting it’s appeal to only professionals and those that truly want to get the most out of their 4k camera.
5. Samsung Evo: Best 64GB SD Card for 4k video
Who it’s for: Those looking for a smaller 4k memory card and don’t require high writer speeds. This includes a full size adapter for laptops, PC, and cameras.
Why it’s good for 4k: The samsung evo is great for gaming, drones, smartphones ,tablets (especially android). It has slightly slower write speeds of 20Mb/s and is above average casual 4k video use.
The Samsung Evo really shines when you are transferring files between laptops and smartphones and tablets, like on an Android device. IT holds up to 3 hours of 4k UHD Video, 10 hours of full HD Video and 18,800 photos. The Samsung Sd card is highly compatible and provides a great range of performance and speed for a lower priced, smaller storage, Micro SD card.
How many hours of 4k Video can a 64GB SD Card hold
A 64GB sd card can hold up to 3 hours of 4k UHD video on average. The Bitrate changes based on the quality of video your device produces. For example, higher frame rates will cause the memory card to hold less hours of 4k video.
The bigger you’re SD Card, the longer 4k video it will hold; but there’s a caveat- you’ll need to know what bitrate your shooting at as this will change the amount of 4k video your memory card can hold.
The best SD memory card for you will be the one that fits what you need to record and knowing your bitrate and frame rate you’re shooting at matters for this.
Alternatives to Micro SD cards
Micro SD cards have been a popular choice for extended storage, but there are several other options to consider – it really depends on what you are using the storage for.
Here are some alternatives to Micro SD cards:
USB-c or Lightning Flash Drives
These are not just your regular flash drives. USB-c or Lightning flash drives are specifically designed to be compatible with phones. Not only can they easily hold up to 128 GB (or even more) of your files, but their compact size makes them effortlessly pocketable.
A portable SSD
Imagine having a storage device that’s almost as powerful as your computer’s internal drive, but portable. That’s what a portable SSD offers, these devices can store vast amounts of data.
The beauty of cloud storage is its intangibility. It’s there, but it’s not. It provides a seamless way to back up and access your data without any physical limitations. With both free and paid options available, it’s flexible for every budget.
In conclusion, while Micro SD cards offer convenience and portability, there’s an array of storage solutions available in the market. Each comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. With this knowledge in hand, you can make a more informed decision based on your unique storage needs.
Troubleshooting a Micro SD card that won’t work
Micro SD cards, while compact and incredibly useful, can sometimes pose challenges for users when they malfunction. A common issue faced is the ‘SD card won’t read’ error. Before you panic or consider discarding your SD card, there are several troubleshooting steps you can undertake to possibly revive your card and access the stored data.
- Examine your SD card reader for any visible damage.
- Try a different USB port.
- Ensure the SD card isn’t write-protected.
- Simply restart your device.
- Formatting the SD card (after backing up data).
- Seek a professional SD card data recovery tool.
By following the aforementioned steps, you’ll be better equipped to diagnose the problem and take appropriate action. Always remember, when in doubt, it’s best to seek expert advice before making any major decisions.
How to use a Micro SD for 4K Video recording
Here are specific considerations to keep in mind when using a Micro SD for 4K video recording:
Formatting the Card
Before using the Micro SD card, format it in the camera or device you plan to record with. This ensures the file system is compatible and optimized for that specific device.
4K recording can cause your camera to heat up. Continuous recording combined with a lesser quality Micro SD card can make this worse. Ensure your camera is in a well-ventilated area and take breaks between long recording sessions.
Ensure your camera’s settings match the card’s capabilities. For example, if your Micro SD card supports a maximum write speed of 90MB/s, don’t set your camera to a bitrate that exceeds this.
Remember, while the Micro SD card is a crucial component for 4K video recording, the device’s capabilities—whether it’s a smartphone, action camera, drone, or DSLR—are equally important. Always check your device’s requirements and recommendations, and pair it with a Micro SD card that meets or exceeds those specifications.
How we chose and ranked the best Micro SD 4K Video cards
The backbone of our ranking is primarily based on speed class. Understanding various speed classes is necessary for determining a card’s suitability for 4K video. When recording 4K, superior speed classes such as C10, V30, and A2 emerge as the prime choices.
While speed classes dictate performance, the reliability of a Micro SD card cannot be overlooked. Not all cards are created equal, and this is where brand reputation steps in. Renowned brands like Sandisk, Samsung, and Kingston have consistently proven their mettle in the realm of 4K video storage. Opting for an established name safeguards you from hidden pitfalls like misleading ‘sustained writing speed’ metrics, which some cheaper brands might gloss over.
In conclusion, when seeking the best MicroSD Card for 4k video, it’s important to understand the different brands, their performance, how well their read and write speeds perform in addition to the sustained write speeds; which is hidden on many SD card descriptions. Brand names are ideal when choosing the best MicroSD Card for 4k since cheaper SD Cards don’t always mention the sustained write speed.
Knowing these details (that is explained in this article) are required when purchasing the proper fit for the best memory card for 4k Video. In addition to this, we’ve covered everything you need to know regarding the bitrate you’re recording 4k video at as well as frame rate (60FPS, 120FPS).
Cheaper 4k ready Micro SD cards may have slower write speeds; so ensure that it has 90/mbs amount of write speeds as a minimum and ideally 30mb/s sustained write speed for 4k video recording. Extremely fast write speeds onan SD have over 100mb/s. They’re more expensive but worth it if you use videography, photography or just video creation in general as a profession.