Best SD Cards: Top 5 Memory Chips Most Recommended By Experts

SD cards are small, chip-like devices that are used in smartphones and cameras to store data. They are easily removable to transfer content from your portable electronics to a computer for safekeeping. How much you can store on your SD card depends on the space available on it, which varies for each one. Reliability, extensive storage, and quality are staple traits among the best SD cards on the market.

Americans say if digital files on their phones and computers were real, they would take up their entire house. That’s according to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, which finds that entertainment-related items — such as photos, videos, and video games — take up the bulk of space in people’s digital lives. Plus, nearly 60 percent say they never delete photos or videos from their digital devices. With an SD card, holding onto pictures and files from your phone or camera is much easier.

Your data isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Servers around the world could soon face a massive data storage crunch, thanks to the “mind-blowing amount” of information people store digitally every day. Researchers from Aston University say the global datasphere — the total amount of data worldwide — will increase by 300 percent within the next three years.

With the impending boom in data approaching, it is even more crucial to have your digital storage devices squared away. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. StudyFinds listed the five best SD cards for digital cameras and other devices from expert websites for keeping your information stored securely. Let us know if you have any other recommendations in the comments below.

Hand pulling SD card out of camera
(Photo by Manuel Chinchila on Unsplash)

The List: Best SD Cards, According to Experts 


1. Transcend 32 GB Uhs-II Class 3 Flash Memory Card

Tech Radar says, “The Transcend did superbly in its speed tests, excelling the claimed write speed (180MB/s) with a whopping 224MB/s, but falling slightly short on the read speed with 224MB/s. Overall, that makes this card an impressive buy at a reasonable cost. This card is ideal for high resolution, rapid-fire stills photography and 8K video, with 4K and HD video being recorded comfortably, too.”

Transcend 32 GB Uhs-II Class 3 V90 SDHC Flash Memory Card
Transcend 32 GB Uhs-II Class 3 V90 SDHC Flash Memory Card

“The Transcend SDXC UHS-II U3 is a belter that delivers whether you’re shooting raw files or high-resolution video. While the 64GB maximum capacity (the alternative being 32GB) may appear a little modest at first compared with other options here, the performance is anything but, with blisteringly swift read and write times,” adds Digital Camera World. “Capable of working with a UHS-II compatible DSLR or camcorder, speeds are up to 3x faster than standard UHS-I SD memory cards This card is also shock and X-ray-proof, giving enthusiasts and pros added peace of mind.”

“If you’re in the market for a UHS-II memory card but have a limited budget, we highly recommend the Transcend UHS-II. During our assessment, this model recorded a large file write speed that is on par with cards that cost quite a bit more. Regarding read speeds, the Transcend outperformed a couple of models that are more expensive. It may be a rather small detail, but we appreciate that this version includes a clear plastic carrying case — an extra that many manufacturers choose not to include with your purchase,” writes Tech Gear Lab.

2. SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I

Tech Radar mentions, “Next on our list is the Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-1 from renowned SD card manufacturer SanDisk. As part of a team of manufacturers that came together to introduce standardization of the SD card market, we’re getting a good, reliable card at a decent price.”

SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I

“Previous generations of the SanDisk Extreme Pro have come out on top in our past testing, and the most recent version of this model is no different. This SD card’s quick read speeds minimize the time it takes to transfer photos and videos from the card to a computer, and the Extreme Pro’s equally fast write speeds ensure that images are captured quickly,” points out Wirecutter. “SanDisk, a subsidiary of Western Digital, remains a particularly reliable source in the narrowing field of external storage manufacturing and guarantees the Extreme Pro with a limited lifetime warranty. You should keep an eye out for counterfeit SD cards, which are still found at some retailers.”

“Among the competition, the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I is the best option for most memory card users. It offers impressive write speeds, logging a high speed of 96 MBps (megabytes per second) in our tests. This speed is enough for serious photography hobbyists who like to capture RAW images or record 4K videos. You can also rest easy knowing that the Extreme PRO is sufficient for devices like camera drones that require higher-speed cards to function. Notably, it achieves these speeds while avoiding the high price tags of the fancier UHS-II cards,” adds Tech Gear Lab

3. Samsung Pro Endurance

Rolling Stone likes this memory card. Why? “Most people will choose an outdoor security camera that can withstand all seasons, guard against rain and snow, and hold up in intense heat. But what about the SD card inside? Samsung’s Endurance keeps this in mind, as it’s able to perform in extreme temperatures, wetness, physical damage, even under X-rays and magnets. All while still able to store 140,000 hours of recording re-writing over a 16 year period.”

Samsung Pro Endurance
Samsung Pro Endurance

“Samsung PRO Endurance SD memory cards cost a shade more than standard microSD cards, but they’re designed to be the best microSD cards for harsh environments and are longer lasting – hence the ‘Endurance’ moniker – with an industry-best of 43,800 hours of continuous video recording is promised by the highest capacity card,” says Digital Camera World. “They can continually record at high read/write speeds. Warranties on the cards vary between two years for the lower capacity cards, to five years for maximum capacity.”

“While they are touted to be able to withstand harsh environments, last longer, and best suited to be used in action cameras, the PRO Endurance MicroSDHC card from Samsung is the best MicroSD card you can get right now. The claims that the manufacturer makes are backed up by the fact that they can record at reading/write speeds of 100MB/s and 300MB/s respectively,” notes Just Creative

4. Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC

According to Popular Photography, “The Evo Plus has fast transfer speeds at a reasonable price. In addition, Samsung cards are renowned for their exceptional build quality, offering peace of mind for the hardiest of adventurers.”

Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC
Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC

“The smallest-capacity 32GB types won’t break the bank, despite managing read speeds of 100MB/s, although a write speed of 30MB/s is a little more modest. The bright red design also ensures Samsung’s general use offering won’t be easily lost, despite it being the size of a fingernail,” adds Digital Camera World. “Complete with a 10-year limited warranty for peace of mind, the cards are also waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof and magnetic proof. You really can’t go wrong with this card.”

“The Samsung PRO Endurance is our pick for the best MicroSD card around right now. It does cost a little more to get a microSD card with larger SD card-sized adapters, although this series is still very reasonably priced. The draw here includes the fact that the cards are claimed to be able to withstand harsh environments, are longer lasting and are particularly suited to use in action cameras,” says Creative Bloq

5. Lexar Professional 1667x SDXC UHS-II

Shutter Release raves, “Capture the highest quality images and extending 1080p Full-HD, 3D, and 4K video. There are even large capacity options at up to 256GB, which means you can shoot longer without having to change cards. And high-speed file transfer to the computer means an accelerated workflow. Also, it’s backward compatible with UHS-I devices as well as backed by limited lifetime support.”

Lexar Professional 1667x SDXC UHS-II
Lexar Professional 1667x SDXC UHS-II

“The smallest capacity version of the 1667X SDXC UHS-II is 64GB. That might be a problem for some photographers and videographers who are still shooting slightly lower resolution content or want to grab a small backup card such as a 32GB,” adds Tech Radar. “It’s no wonder there’s no 32GB version. Even if you don’t need as much storage space, just think of it as futureproofing your setup.”

“The Lexar Professional 1667x UHS-II is similar to our previous two picks but features slightly slower maximum read speeds of 250 MB/s. It also supports a video speed class of V60, which means the highest resolution it can record in 4K. For most people, 4K video is more than enough, but if you absolutely must own an SD card with a speed class of V90, you’ll want to look elsewhere,” mentions Reviewed

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

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About the Author

Saloni Ordia

Saloni is a freelance B2B SaaS writer who excels at creating in-depth product-focused content. When she is not writing, you can find her in the kitchen whipping up new recipes or curled up with a rom-com novel.

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  1. Heck no…

    These all suck

    No way you can do 4k60 or 6K recording on these cards.

    How did you do the research for this.
    These capacities are incredibly small. Not fit for long shoots.

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