The best memory cards for your camera

Finding the best memory card for your camera is a confusing process. Memory cards are the backbone of any photographic or video-based project. These tiny devices are the common standard media that cameras use to store what they record, and you’re going to want to have plenty of them about your person at all times when you’re shooting.

To make things confusing, there are loads of brands and types of SD memory card out there, available at a wide range of different prices. How do you know which is the best memory card for your needs, and how can you be sure you’re getting the best deal on it?

That’s where we come in. Read on for our top recommendations of all different types of memory card for your camera.

Which is the best SD card?

Most photographers will be aware that the postage stamp-sized SD (secure digital) card, also available in SDHC and SDXC iterations, is the memory card most commonly supported by today’s digital cameras. Within that context, we think that the SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-I is one of the best SD format memory cards currently available.

But there’s also the fingernail-sized microSD utilised by smartphones and tablets, the older but still popular CompactFlash (‘CF’), utilised by many DSLRs, plus what has been termed CF’s successor in the newer XQD format memory card.

Eyebrows were raised when the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras were introduced with a single XQD card slot. While they may be currently less common (and pricier), the good news is that the XQD memory card has been specifically designed to keep up with the shooting speeds that these latest generation cameras offer; a blazing fast read and write time a particular advantage when capturing Raw files or 4K video.

So when choosing your own best memory card it’s very much a case of horses for courses. You’ll need to consider what you’ll be shooting on, how fast you’ll be shooting, whether you mostly shoot Raw or JPEG, Full HD or 4K video – as well as what your budget is – and choose a memory card with a capacity and performance to match accordingly. 

For an in-depth look at the best memory cards for a range of different needs, read on. 

Best memory cards: SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-I

01. SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-I

The best all-round SD memory card

Card type: SDXC | Capacity: Up to 512GB | Read Speed: Up to 90MB/s | Write Speed: Up to 95MB/s | Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty | Suitable for: Both photography and/or video (including 4K)

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