*Review of the best according to the editorial board. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, it is not an advertisement and does not serve as a buying guide. Consultation with a specialist is required before purchase.
Here are the top reliable, time-tested brands that create the highest quality, durable and advanced memory cards.
How to choose the right card
SD drives come in three forms, varying in size:
SD – the largest option (32 x 24 mm);
miniSD -20 x 21.5 mm. Currently no longer available;
microSD – the most popular form factor (11 x 15 mm). Such storage devices are used in all kinds of gadgets – smartphones, cameras, camcorders, etc.
The key characteristic that determines the speed of writing/reading data. Every memory card is labeled with the Speed Class symbol. Please note:
- SC 2 write speeds of just over 2 MB/s. Rarely used nowadays.
- SC 4 – Write speed 4 MB/s or faster. It’s good enough for HD movies.
- SC 6 – more than 6 MB/s. The minimum class of cards that are suitable for capturing F-format video
- l HD. Suitable for budget class gadgets.
- SC 10 is a common class with speeds above 10 MB/s. Used in DVRs, Android devices, SLRs, etc.
Separate attention should be paid to drives that support UHS – standard ultra-high-speed data processing. In this case, the memory card has a speed measured in tens of MB/s. All UHS enabled models are categorized as Speed Class 10. There are several versions of the standard UHS:
- U1 (UHS SC 1) – Similar in speed to Class 10 drives, but higher in demand.
- U3 (UHS SC 3) – often used in devices capable of producing 4K video. Speed – from 30 MB/s.
- UHS I – supported by most devices. Bus speed (max) – 104MB/s or faster.
- UHS II – this class of card is used on the highest-end models of devices, as it has several additional pins and requires a non-standard connector. The bus speed is theoretically 3 times faster than its predecessor, about 312 MB/s.
- UHS-III cards are the latest in bus technology, offering an incredible speed boost of up to 624MB/s. Suitable for recording at 8K resolution and shooting 360-degree video.
The standard answer of managers at specialized points of sale will be “the more the better,” but in fact it is not quite so. For starters, many devices have limitations on how much storage they can support. Besides, why pay for gigabytes that you won’t be able to use at all. So, let’s look at the most popular memory cards on the market:
- 32GB – holds just over 30 minutes of video F
- l HD. Appropriate for handheld gadgets, compact cameras, but on the condition that the drive will not be used for filming above the specified resolution and RAW format.
- At 64 GB – holds about 90 minutes of F video
- l HD. Relevant to smartphones, any photo equipment and DVRs.
- 128GB – holds about 180 minutes of video F
- HD. Relevant for laptops, as well as photo and video equipment. Perfect for capturing RAW images.
- 256GB and up – suitable for professional use and as an intermediate storage device.
How to use
For a smartphone
If we’re talking about a budget model, you may not feel the difference between a simple and advanced memory card. But for flagships that shoot 4K video, a low speed indicator is contraindicated. For capturing video in F
- l HD we recommend a Class 4 or higher model. For top-of-the-line smartphones, capable of shooting 4K UHD video, you need a much “faster” storage device – U3 class product with speed from 30 MB/s is optimal.
- con Power
- con Power
For camera/action camcorder
For high quality photography Class 6 is optimal: files will be saved in 1-1.5 seconds in RAW format. But for continuous shooting it is better to pay attention to a higher speed class – U3 or V30. Your personal needs will determine how much storage you have: Amateurs need 64GB, while professionals are better off with 128GB or more.
High speed class is required for quality video recording. Take a closer look at cards in the V30 class or higher. For an easier variant (like V10), this card is capable of F-format video
- HD – better quality video will be slow and jerky.
DVRs often shoot pretty average quality video of no higher resolution than F
- l HD, which means the Class 10 is good enough. It is also worth considering that the DVR writes data for hours, day after day, saving information cyclically, regularly replacing the old file with the new one. Such a load significantly accelerates the consumption of the resource of the drive. So it is better to refuse low-capacity model.
Tip. You can find on sale special cards for surveillance cameras and video recorders. These have a longer lifespan. Our experts recommend paying attention to such models as Kingston MLPMR2 (very fast), SmartBuy Professional microSDHC Class 10 UHS-I U3 + SD adapter (optimal for DVRs with card support up to 32 GB), ADATA Premier microSDHC UHS-I U1 V10 A1 Class 10 + SD adapter (inexpensive option for regular DVRs).
For the drone
There is no certain standard for this kind of device, as different variants of drones have different parameters. And yet, a number of manufacturers set specific specs relevant to their drones. The DJI drone, for example, requires up to 128GB of Class 3 speed. The Kingston brand has a product that matches those characteristics – the Canvas React microSD card.
Top Memory Card Manufacturers
|Top Memory Card Manufacturers||1||SanDisk||5.0|
Web site: /sandisk
One of the few brands in its niche that continually innovates and develops new solutions to stay at the forefront of the best. SanDisk, a subsidiary of global giant WDC, often tops independent international rankings (both foreign and domestic).
The American company was one of the first manufacturers of compact data carriers (namely SanDisk together with Motorola has developed and introduced the well-known to all microSD) and has introduced many modern world standards in computer electronics.
SanDisk memory cards come in a wide range of several dozen variations at many price points. Today the American brand is one of the monopolists of the world market in its industry. As for the most popular memory cards, SanDisk is especially popular on the Russian market
- traSDHC, corresponding to Class 10 speed class – an inexpensive, durable, fast, and also SanDisk Extreme microSDXC (also in Class 10 speed class) with the SD adapter in the kit.
Country: South Korea
Thanks to a strong scientific and technological base, the South Korean giant has been able to make huge strides in electronics. Today, Samsung is a recognized global leader in its industry, ranking among the top 10 leading brands. Samsung makes some of the fastest and most reliable cards that rarely fail before the company’s stated service life.
For over 30 years the brand has been successfully operating in Russia, selling high-quality memory cards that meet modern international standards. It is the best solution for advanced smartphones and professional cameras. But there is a little nuance – a small range of models. Although for some this is a plus – easy and fast to choose the best product in this or that category. On the domestic market is particularly in demand memory card microSDXC EVO Plus – high-capacity, fast, reliable.
Kingston – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of quality solutions for data storage and recording, which are widely in demand among consumers. Last but not least we can mention the adequate price policy and a very wide model range with a minimum of defects. The company has several dozen modern lines for the production of memory chips, each of which is 100% tested.
The brand is the winner of numerous awards for technological developments in the field of data storage, and in the domestic market it is considered one of the best manufacturers of SD and microSD-cards, which prove themselves perfectly in operation on cameras, smartphones and video recorders. Among the top models in Russia, the inexpensive and “hard-working” card Kingston SDCS2 for 32/64 GB – a practical and fast model.
This relatively young manufacturer can’t yet boast of a significant “piece” of the market in its niche, but it steadily adds to the quality of its products, as well as to their relevance among consumers. Our experts recommend the manufacturer A-Data – it’s a great alternative to global brands: inexpensive, practical, high-quality product.
Winner of dozens of international awards for technological innovation. The choice of memory cards is not huge, but all the drives in the catalog have balanced characteristics and a reasonable price. By the way, consumers noticed that often with similar performance characteristics, the price of A-Data products is slightly lower than that of the world’s top manufacturers. A-Data Premier microSDHC speed class 10 among the most popular inexpensive and efficient cards.
One of the top brands, though less popular than the world’s giants, but boasts a consistently wide consumer segment – the products of
The peculiarity of the brand’s products – an emphasis on wide variability: the company’s catalog presents flash memory types SD, microSD, MLC, Compact Flash and expandable memory cards for mac. The Taiwanese company is one of the top brands in the compact flash segment, and its microSD are widely demanded in the domestic market.
The microSD 300S and microSDXC 300S are in high demand. Both have a speed class of 10. If you need a high-speed, high-performance, heat- and waterproof card, the microSDXC 340S is the best choice: Perfect even for GoPro recordings like the GoPro10.
Japanese corporation is known as one of the brightest representatives of the segment of high-tech products, electronics (including professional) and game consoles. Sony is also one of the biggest media conglomerates: owns two film studios, a recording company and even provides financial services.
The company does not offer the most varied assortment of memory cards, but that is not necessary in this case. Sony products are one of the best in the segment of superfast XQD drives with an incredible reading speed – up to 440 MB / s. Devices of this kind are indispensable for intensive 4K shooting, burst-mode shooting with digital SLR – Sony products are in high demand among professionals. Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo camcorder cards with tamper-proof data protection and 10-year warranty are worth special attention.
Remarkable fact: The brand not only offers high quality technological products, but also works to achieve a zero ecological footprint during their development.
The brand began its activities with the production of optical discs and gradually expanded its range to one of the world’s largest developers of data carriers, accessories for computers, electrics, LED lighting, etc. The company focuses on creating a product of decent quality at an affordable price. Consumers reviews note the acceptable “performance” of memory cards SmartBuy at a low cost.
SmartBuy sells a wide range of models, including classic micro SD variants, as well as many SDHC models, and high-capacity high-speed SDXC. For those who are interested in high speed and 4K shooting quality, we recommend to pay attention to the models of SmartBuy Class 10 U3 High Speed series. But most SmartBuy brand products are more for inexpensive smartphones, simple cameras and DVRs.