Given the large size of each frame, 4K and extra memory space go hand in hand. Most of the time, the memory space of a single device won’t cut it. You will need extra space and the SD card will provide that space.
When looking for the best sd card for 4k video, you will come across a lot of memory cards. I have compiled a list with the best of bests memory cards so that you won’t have to spend your time looking for one.
The list below is my honest pick from the bunch. Let’s keep it short and take a look that they bring to the table.
- SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO SDXC – Most Well-Rounded Performer
- SanDisk 256GB Extreme – Popular For Its Micro Size
- Samsung Evo Plus Class 10 – Excellent Choice for Tight Budget
- Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC – Tough in Nature and Fast Speed
- Lexar Professional 633x – Popular Among Professionals
Why You Need An SD Card To Store 4k Video?
The sheer size of 4K videos alone is enough to overwhelm the internal memory space of the most device. In case you need to film hours of 4K footage, it won’t be long before the internal memory gets full. That is when you need an SD card to keep going.
SD card variants offer from 4GB to 1TB of extra space on the device. That means you can keep recording for hours till the memory gets full. On top of that, there won’t be any pressure on the internal memory. These SD cards give you the freedom to film so that you can make the best clip possible.
These cards give you virtually unlimited portability. You no longer have to carry the whole device with you all the time. Then comes the safety, as in case the device gets damaged, the clips will be safe in the memory card in most cases.
5 Best Sd Cards For 4k Video: The Review
Now it is time to check what makes these memory cards the best of the bunch. Let’s see what they offer and how they do it.
SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO SDXC – Most Well-Rounded Performer
Capacity: 1TB | Reading speed: 170MB/s | Writing Speed: 30-90MB/s | Form factor: SD | Toughness: Water, shock, temperature & x-ray resistant | Warranty: Limited life time
This SanDisk SDXC memory card has excellent speed, toughness, and capacity. SanDisk hit all the possible right spots when designing this card. For these reasons, I placed it on top of my list.
Large capacity and solid performance are the best benefits you will enjoy if you get this card. With its high writing speed, you can capture 4K videos quite comfortably with high-def devices. 1TB capacity will give you more than enough space to film whatever you want. Your battery probably gives out before you can fill up this memory card with recording.
Besides the excellent speed and capacity, the perfect build allows you to record uninterrupted 4K video. Thanks to the build quality, it generates error-free code, which means even the little details won’t fade away.
This memory card was built and tested for harsh conditions. It does not matter where you are traveling to capture the perfect footage. Be it a Saharan desert or on an antarctic ice-cap, you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t worry if you ever accidentally delete stuff from this memory. With the help of RescuePRO Delux data recovery software, you can restore valuable data from this memory card.
- More than enough speed to cover shooting and filming
- You can film full uncompressed video at 100MB/s
- Has specialized software for data recovery
- Very high capacity storage
- Shows great toughness
- Often shows an error if not formatted right
- Lacks compatibility
SanDisk 256GB Extreme – Popular For Its Micro Size
Capacity: 256GB | Reading speed: 160MB/s | Writing Speed: up to 90MB/s | Form factor: micro | Toughness: Temperature, shock, water, and x-ray resistant | Warranty: Limited lifetime
There are now many mobile devices that can record videos in 4K resolution. And, this 256GB microSD memory offers great storage space for smartphones and alike. That is why I put it on this list.
The best benefit of this microSD card is that it fits almost all devices. You can use it from your smartphone to tab and every mobile device in between. With a help of an adapter, you can use in-camera and camcorders too if you want to film 4K videos.
This microSD card is highly capable of capturing 4K video footage thanks to the writing speed that goes up to 90MB/s. It does so while being compatible with a wide range of devices. So, you will be capturing hi-def videos with ease.
You will also enjoy faster loading speed and in-app performance as it is graded A2 in the metric. With the help of the SanDisk zone app, you can easily manage and navigate the files system. That means you will have an overall very comfortable experience managing this memory card.
Besides the limited lifetime warranty, this card can endure the harshest of conditions. It is temperature, water, shock, and x-ray proof. Your data will be safe no matter how dire the situation gets.
- Blazing fast speed
- Easy to carry everywhere
- Very compact design and size
- Comes with excellent compatibility
- Very durable and weather-resistant
- Lower endurance than the predecessor
- Gets hot easily
Samsung Evo Plus Class 10 – Excellent Choice for Tight Budget
Capacity: 128GB | Reading speed: 100MB/s | Writing Speed: up to 90MB/s | Form factor: Micro | Toughness: Water, temperature, magnet, and x-ray resistant | Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
This Samsung Evo memory card is unbeatable for its price point and performance. There aren’t many that can rival this card on price and performance ratio. That is how this card made its place on the list.
You will get the best possible performance for a minimum price. This memory card will help you to complete your setup with a tight budget. Also, the capacity it offers is not negligible by any standard.
Compatibility with many devices will ease your adventures. All tabs and smartphones already support microSD memory cards. Also, You can hook it up in the camera with help of an adapter.
The speed it provides is enough to comfortably record on your phone. If you choose to use an adapter, there might be some deterioration in the details. That is because data has to pass through the adapter. Other than that, you won’t feel any discomfort.
It also has 4 proof protection that is water, temperature, x-ray, and magnet resistance. So, you can carry it everywhere without a second thought.
- Decent storage capacity
- Transfer data pretty fast
- Comes at a very affordable price
- Fast, accurate, and durable performance
- Excellent compatibility with other devices
- No very sturdy screen
- Not-so-good sound quality
Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC – Tough in Nature and Fast Speed
Capacity: 128GB | Reading speed: 300MB/s | Writing Speed: 299MB/s | Form factor: SD | Toughness: waterproof, dustproof, completely sealed | Warranty: Limited 5 year warranty
This Sony TOUGH-G series memory is one of a kind. It has both a tough build and blazing fast speed. That is why I decided to give it a place on my top list.
It beats most other cards with 300MB/s reading speed and 299MB/s writing speed. Not only you will be able to record at 4K with comfort but also transfer data with very high speed. Not to mention the tough build that will support you through the whole adventure.
This water and dust resistant memory card was designed in a different way that improves durability. Sony ditched the write protection switch and chose a ribless design.
Having no ribs improves its toughness as they can easily crack. Also, it can withstand 180-newton force thanks to high-quality materials. An interesting thing is that it is a once piece molded construction. The sealed case keeps the materials inside very intact.
Sony’s SD scan utility regularly scans the memory card. It will let you know before the card reaches its limits. So, you won’t have to worry about crossing the storage limit and losing out on data.
- Comes a durable build and design
- Very fast reading and writing speed
- IP68 rated water resistance, dustproof
- It can withstand a 180-newton force
- Has ribless design
- Tight fit in some card readers
- Gets stuck to the camera sometimes
Lexar Professional 633x – Popular Among Professionals
Capacity: 1TB | Reading speed: 95MB/s | Writing Speed: ~50MB/s | Form factor: SD | Toughness: Regular | Warranty: Limited Lifetime
If stability was molded into a memory card then that would be Lexar Professional 633x memory card. It does not offer fancy features, yet the stability of its performance is second to none.
This Lexar memory card comes with a reputation for stable performance. When recording in 4K resolution you won’t miss even the littlest bits. If used carefully this card will last for a long time.
This memory card was specifically designed for HD camcorders, DSLRs, and 3D cameras. You can enjoy the latest features available to shoot videos in 4K resolution. It captures and saves images quite fast on the memory.
With the high-speed transfer to the computer, your workflow will gain new momentum. Thanks to the huge capacity it will be long before you can fill up the card. Also, you would not need to manage multiple small-sized memory cards.
When used with caution as you do with other professional gears, this card with last for a long time. It is very little to no chance you will ever face data corruption if used properly.
- An excellent choice for camcorders and cameras
- Very durable and stable performance
- Decent compatibility with other devices
- Specially made for video and photos
- High-speed computer transfer
- Might not work with older devices
- Not tough and rugged
Buying Guide For The Best SD Card For Camera 2021
Let us now take a look at the features you will need in the best sd card for 4k video recording.
Type: There are three types of cards that are mainstream. They are SD, SDHC, and SDXC. You might also stumble upon memory cards like CFast cards. The SD stands for ‘Secure Digital’. They were the pioneer who set the standards for modern memory cards. You can still use them but you won’t get the performance of modern devices as use old technologies.
The term SDHC stands for ‘Secure Digital High Capacity’ and SDXC stands for ‘Secure Digital Extended Capacity’. These memory cards utilize modern technologies and offer a capacity between 4GB to 1TB. The microSDHC and microSDXC offer the same performance on a much smaller form factor to use on smartphones. The CFast cards offer better speed than SD variants but only a handful of devices support these types of cards. I would recommend using SDXC variants with more than 64GB capacity.
Capacity: Though the capacity range depends on the card variants, there are enough variations within those ranges. Depending on frame rates, compression, and device configurations the size of videos also varies. For example, one minute 4K footage taken from an iPhone won’t be equal in size when compared to a camera.
An one minute of 4K video can be from 80MB to more than 350MB. For this reason, it would be best if you check out first how much space your device needs when recording footage of a single minute. It will give you a rough estimate of the optimal size that would suit you. My recommendation in this regard would be to pick the card of the largest size supported by your device.
Form-factor: As more devices are now supporting 4K resolution, choosing the right form factor has become more important than ever. There are no alternatives to a microSDXC card if you are going to shoot videos with your phone. Due to the size of 4K video data, go with as big a capacity as possible.
On the other hand, camcorders and cameras sometimes support multiple types of cards. If your device supports cards like CFast, Cfexpress or XQD then go for those. You will get to enjoy superior performance than regular SD cards, but their support is limited and the cost is much higher. In case those cards are not supported, then the obvious choice would be SD card variants.
Speed: Speed is a big factor when copying stuff on and off the device. As 4K video recordings tend to be rather large, you should pay attention to this trait of a memory card. Speed is also essential when recording the footage at a super high quality. If the card can not keep up with the device’s writing rate, you might get broken clips.
As most cards today can handle the recording speed of a device pretty well, it is the moving speed of data that matters most. A writing speed of ~90MB/sec would be decent enough to provide you a smooth experience.
ECC: The term ECC stands for ‘Error Correcting Code’. It is an advanced feature that is available on some memory cards. When converting the footage to binary bits many factors can cause little too big effects. Enough altered bits might ruin the little details.
I would heavily suggest picking a memory card that offers this feature if you are using it for professional work. These cards might cost a bit more, but you will have the peace of mind knowing every bit of detail will be placed on the card in a precise manner.
Durability: Durability is often the most forgotten factor when buying a memory card. The way life would much easier if the card can resist magnet, x-ray, water, shock, and whatnot. Because once they are out of the device these cards might have to face all kinds of day to day situations. And, there is no point in losing data on a minor accident.
A Few Maintenance Tips For SD Memory Cards
There are a few things to keep in mind to make the memory card last long. Follow these steps closely and you won’t need another card for a long time.
- Format the memory card from within the camera. So, it will be fully prepared to work with your device.
- Don’t switch the card between several devices, especially if they are the camera. It might cause malfunction.
- Check the remaining capacity frequently. Going beyond the capacity might corrupt the data that’s already there.
- Take extra care of the card from water, magnetic field, and shock. If it gets wet, just let it dry for a few days and check if it works properly.
Determining Which Size Fits You Best
If you ever got confused that what size SD card for 4k video would be the best, let me explain. As the proverb goes ‘waste not, want not’, there is no point overcompensating for a memory card if you don’t plan to reach its full potential. If you are a casual user you probably would not need more than 128GB.
For professional works, you will need to take a lot of clips. I would suggest getting at least 128GB. There are options for 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB if you need more.
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs):
What are the best micro sd card brands?
What is the best SD card for 4k video?
How much 4k video on a 128GB card?
Is UHS 1 enough for 4k?
How much 4k video can a 32GB SD card hold?
How big is a 1-hour 4k video?
Corrupt data is a new nightmare in the modern age. Especially, if it is video clips of 4K resolution. That’s the reason you will the best sd card for 4k videos. The memory cards I chose will not only keep your data safe but also offer optimal performance. So that you can express your creative ideas with full peace of mind.