Short for Secure Digital, SD cards are a reliable flash memory used in many different digital products. From cameras and smartphones to tablets, audio/video players, and video game consoles, SD cards have multiple applications. The best SD card for business use will depend on what you need it for, but it is fair to say there is a card out there for your use case. And this is because the technology of SD cards keeps evolving.
Since they were first introduced in 1999, the technology has evolved to now have terabyte capabilities. This is a huge leap from the 32 and 64 MB SD cards first available in the first quarter of 2000. New manufacturing processes and performance classifications now make SD cards one of the best portable storage solutions.
- Top Pick: SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Card
- Runner Up: Transcend 64GB SDHC 700S Memory Card
- Best Value: Kingston Canvas Go! Plus 512 GB
1. SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Card
Top Pick: SanDisk is the top-rated manufacturer of SD cards. The Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card has shot speeds up to 90MB/s and transfer speeds up to 170MB/s. This allows it to shoot sequential burst mode photography, Full HD (1920×1080), and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video.
This also includes capturing uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30). And with 1TB of storage capacity, this card is robust enough for many jobs.
When it comes to the CFexpress Type B Card form factor, it uses two PCIe lanes with a maximum data transfer rate of 2GB/sec. On the other hand, the SD Express standard uses one PCIe lane at maximum data transfer rate of 1GB/sec.
If you have a minimum write speed requirement, make sure to always look for this specification with Sandisk extreme SD line of memory cards. This is especially important when you start capturing 4K and higher definition videos.
The card is temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof. The card is 0.09 x 0.94 x 1.26 inches, weighs 0.059 ounces, and comes with a lifetime limited manufacturer warranty.
2. Transcend 64GB SDHC 700S Memory Card
Runner Up: Transcend manufactures its cards with top-tier MLC NAND flash memory. This makes the brand one of the most durable and reliable SD cards in the industry. The 700S memory cards meet both the UHS-II Speed Class 3 (U3) and the UHS Video Speed Class 90 (V90) standards. This allows it to make 4K Ultra HD video recordings, with read speeds of up to 285MB/s and write speeds of up to 180MB/s.
Transcend cards are waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water. Additionally, they are temperature, static, X-ray, and shockproof. The company also offers exclusive RecoveRx software, a free data recovery utility.
This card is 0.94 x 0.08 x 1.26 inches, weighs 0.42 ounces, and comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
3. Kingston Canvas Go! Plus 512 GB
Best Value: This MicroSD card from Kingston is one of the most robust MicroSD cards for action content. It has been designed and tested to continue working for action cameras and drones. It has been proven to be waterproof, temperature proof, shock and vibration proof, and x-ray proof.
When it comes to performance, the Canvas Go! Plus has fast transfer speeds of up to 170MB/s. So, it can transfer and capture Full HD & 4K UHD with relative ease. Furthermore, it supports A2, to expedite your workflow.
The standout performance includes high speeds with UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30) ratings.
4. ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II V90 300R Memory Card (256GB)
ProGrade is known by photographers and cinematographers for addressing their recording and workflow needs. This card has a blazing 300 MB/s read speed and 250MB/s write speed rating along with UHS-II, U3 Speed Class.
The controller and firmware are optimized and designed for cinematic cameras shooting video of 4K, 8K, RAW, and RAW HD. And it is compatible with Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, and Samsung.
ProGrade carries out rigorous 100% card testing, resulting in the highest quality assurance. This includes serialized tracking of key components and manufacturing data to ensure quality control, which is why the company offers a three-year warranty. This card is X-ray-proof, temperature-proof, and waterproof.
5. SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card
The second entry from SanDisk is this 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-IISD memory card. The performance this card delivers is designed for professional and advanced photographers and videographers.
It provides super-fast write speeds of up to 260MB/s along with sustained V90 video speeds and UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) delivering 8K, 4K and Full HD video recording. As for the transfer rate speed, you can get up to 300MB/s.
The card is rugged enough for action shooting without having to worry bout location because it is shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and X-ray-proof design.
6. Lexar Professional 2000x 256GB SDXC UHS-II Card
This Lexar card offers a high-speed performance by using UHS-II technology. This allows it to deliver a read transfer speed of up to 300MB/s along with write speeds of up to 260MB/s. With this speed, you can make Full HD, 3D, 4K UHD, and 8K video recordings.
This card is also backward compatible at the highest UHS-I speeds and works with older, non-UHS-I devices, performing at Class 10 speeds.
The card is X-ray proof, temperature proof, shockproof, and vibration proof and it has limited lifetime product support.
7. PNY 512GB Elite Performance Memory Card
The price per GB of this PNY SD card delivers value. At 512GB, the card has a sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s with a Class 10, U3 rating. This is enough speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD videography.
According to PNY, it is compatible with point-and-shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, standard and advanced HD-enabled video cameras, and more. The card is also magnet, shock, temperature, and waterproof.
The card is 0.08 x 1.25 x 0.94 inches and weighs 0.05 ounces.
8. Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card 128GB
The 128GB TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II from Sony is 18X stronger than standard SD cards. In addition to its ruggedness, you get fast file transfer up to 300 MB/s and up to 299MB/s write speed. It is also UHS-II, Class 10, and U3 compliant with support for the V90 video speed class.
This card has the highest level of waterproofing and dust proofing because of its completely sealed monolithic structure. Another great feature is the Sony SD Scan Utility. It regularly and automatically scans your SD memory cards so you know before it reaches its limit.
This card is 1.26 x 0.94 x 0.08 inches and weighs 0,071 ounces.
9. SanDisk 1TB Extreme MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card
If you want a MicroSD, the SanDisk 1TB Extreme MicroSDXC UHS-I is a solid option. You get up to 160MB/s read speeds and write speeds up to 90MB/s for transferring high-res images and 4K UHD videos. The UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30) lets you shoot 4K UHD and Full HD videos. It is waterproof as well as temperature, shock, and X-ray proof.
This card is 0.04 x 0.59 x 0.43 inches and weighs 0.16 ounces
10. SAMSUNG EVO Select 512GB microSDXC UHS-I U3
The EVO Select 512GB microSDXC UHS-I U3 from Samsung delivers up to 100MB/S read and 90MB/S write speeds. This includes UHS Speed Class U3 and Speed Class 10 for capturing 4K UHD and Full HD video as well as photos.
The card is also waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray-proof, and magnetic-proof, and it comes with a full-size adapter for use in cameras, laptops, and desktop computers.
This card is 0.59 x 0.04 x 0.43 inches, weighs 0.352 ounces, and comes with a 10-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY.
How to Choose the Best SD Card
When you shop for an SD card you will see many specifications with acronyms and jargon to describe them. Here is a breakdown of the features and technical lingo so you can get the right SD card for your business.
The storage capacities of SD cards now start from 16GBs all the way to terabytes. It is also worth mentioning devices such as cameras and smartphones have storage space limitations. This means they will not accept cards over the specified amount on the device.
As most content now starts at HD and moves all the up to 8K, you will need cards with high capacity. Beyond the storage capacity, make to also look for high read and write speeds.
Read Speed and Write Speeds
Beyond capacity, the reading and writing speed of a card is extremely important. Especially if you are recording 4K or even 8K videos. It is worth mentioning the actual read speed/write speeds labels on a card are not always the case. Real-world results will vary greatly depending on your device, content, and other factors.
Fast transfer speeds are essential because of all the HD, 4K, 5K, 6K and 8K videos being recorded. The fastest speed currently offers read speeds of up to 300MB/s and write speeds of 260MB/s. Before you get your card, make sure to look into the minimum speed for writing and reading.
If you want to optimize the functionality of your SD card you have to use a camera, card reader, or other devices with the same format. This will ensure the most optimal outcome.
Whether it is an adapter with a micro SD card slot or a device with multiple card reading capabilities, you have many options when it comes to compatibility. The key is to use the best card possible for your work, and have devices that can read different cards if you need to share with your colleagues. This way you will always be ready to keep your workflow moving smoothly.
While SD cards use proven technology, the discrepancy comes from the brand or manufacturer. Make sure to choose the most recognized and well-reviewed brands to ensure the safety of your data.
A reliable card means it will ensure the safety of your data. You want to be able to store and transfer your data quickly and efficiently without compromising the integrity of the content on your card.
If you get a card from a reputable brand, your SD card should come with a long warranty. According to the SD Card Association, you will get a 10-year lifespan with most SD cards under normal use.
This of course will greatly depend on the brand you get. The higher cost of the more reputable brands pays off when it comes to durability.
Types of SD Cards
A quick look at an SD card and you will see different acronyms and ratings. This information is crucial to get the most out of your SD memory cards.
- SD or SDSC – Secure Digital Standard Capacity: maximum of 2 GB storage
- SDHC – Secure Digital High Capacity: from 2 to 32 GB of storage
- SDXC – Secure Digital Extended Capacity: from 32 GB to 2 TB of storage
- SDUC – Secure Digital Ultra Capacity: from 2 to 128 TB of storage
There is one more standard or type called SDIO or Secure Digital Input Output. These cards have more functionality including wireless networking such as Bluetooth or GPS receiver, television tuning, and even fingerprint recognition.
SD Card Class Rating
The SD Association has put a system in place to standardize the speed ratings for different cards. The speed class is the absolute minimum sustained write speed. The rating of the cards is as follows: Class 2 (minimum write speed of 2MB/s), Class 4 (4MB/s), Class 6 (6MB/s), and Class 10 (10MB/s). These are the minimum speeds or the least you can expect from each class rating.
There is also a video speed class with ratings that guarantee minimum levels of performance when you are recording video. This rating denotes the write speeds for video in MB/s. The rating is as follows: V6 – 6MB/s, V10 – 10MB/s, V30 – 30MB/s, V60 – 60MB/s, and V90 – 90MB/s.
Counterfeit Memory Cards
There is a huge problem when it comes to counterfeit SD cards. And most of the complaints that come from consumers are because of counterfeit cards. Issues such as speed, capacity, and durability are the biggest indicators of counterfeit cards.
If you want to avoid counterfeit cards, only buy from reputable sellers. This will save you money and a lot of frustration down the road most of which come when you lose your data.
How Much Storage Do You Need?
When it comes to digital storage, it is good to have as much storage space as possible. At the end of the day, it is better to have more than to need more. If your small business is not taking HD-quality images and 4K or 8K videos, a 32GB SD card is more than enough. But if you are creating those types of content, you should start with 256GB and go higher. And don’t forget to get cards with the highest transfer speeds possible so you can quickly transfer your files.
Which brand of SD card is the most reliable?
SanDisk Extreme Pro is the most reliable SD card on the market. The company has a solid reputation in terms of quality, reliability, longevity, and functionality.
Which type of SD card is best for mobile?
The Kingston CANVAS Go! Plus is one of the best cards for mobile, especially for action shots such as drones and Android devices.
Which SD card is best for video recording?
Once you find your favorite brand, look for SDXC UHS-II V90 or CFast 2.0 memory cards which are suitable even for 8K recording.
Does a better SD card improve video quality?
That is a definite yes. The quality of your SD card will not only show in the output but also in reliability.
What is the fastest SD card type?
Currently, the fastest SD card type is UHS-II, with read speeds of up to 300MB/s and write speeds of 260MB/s.
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