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10 Best Memory Cards on the Market

Memory cards are a convenient way to store photos, videos, and more.

sd card
Staff, Courtesy of SanDisk

Memory cards, commonly in the form of SD and MicroSD formats, are essential parts of a photographer or videographer’s arsenal. Not only that, but they have a myriad of other uses, including smartphones, video game consoles, and more.

What to Consider

The specifications of memory cards can be pretty technical for the uninitiated. When you’re shopping for one, here are some important things you can keep in mind to help make the process easier:

Type of Card — First, and most importantly, you need to see what kind of card your device uses. An SD card slot is bigger and is typical of high-end cameras. However, MicroSD cards often come with adaptors for SD slots, so you can usually find something that works in any format. It’s best to check the manual for your device and see what kind of memory card is required.

Capacity — Depending on what you’re using your card for, you’ll want a good amount of memory. 4k videos and photos can quickly eat up space, so 64 GB and up is a fairly common choice. However, if you’re not needing a ton of space, less can sometimes suffice.

Speed — If you’re shooting HD video or using burst mode on a high-end camera, you’ll want your card to be able to keep up without lag. That’s where the speed comes in. This is measured in megabytes per second. Make sure the speed of your card is up to the task of what you need it for. Also, keep in mind, there are two speeds: read and write speed. Read speed determines how quickly your card can transfer data, and write speed is how quickly it can capture data.

How We Selected

For this roundup, we made sure to select a broad range of categories to fit the different needs you’d want a memory card for. We’ve selected a broad range of capacities, speed, card types, and budgets so there’s something for everyone. Once we narrowed down the categories, we made sure to check with reputable resources like TechRadar, Wirecutter by The New York Times, Digital Camera World, and more. We also made sure that each of the products listed has at least 4 stars or more on Amazon. With all of that already taken into consideration, all you have to do is select your category and you’ll get a great product! Scroll through to find the right flash memory card for you.

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Best All-Around
Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 Card
$17.69 (29% off)

Card Type: SD
: Up to 1 TB
Read Speed
: 170 MB/s
Write Speed
: 90 MB/s

The Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 Card does just about everything you need, making it our choice for the best all-around option. With capacities ranging from 32 GB to 1 TB, there’s sure to be one that works for your needs. Also, it comes in at a pretty affordable price. 

The 170 MB-per-second read speed makes it easy to transfer data. The 90 MB-per-second write speed makes it suitable for 4k video and burst-mode photography. Finally, the tough design makes it suitable for most situations you would need it for. 

  • Fast read and write speeds
  • Various capacity options
  • Tough design
  • Affordable

  • There are faster options out there
Best Budget Option
Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 Memory Card

Card Type: SD
: Up to 256 GB
Read Speed:
90 MB/s
Write Speed
: 40 MB/s

If you need a memory card on a budget, just take a step down from our best all-around option. The Sandisk Extreme has the same great quality, but the read speed is around half of what you get with the Pro version, clocking in at 90 MB per second. The write speed is also about half. That being said, you can also expect to pay around half the price.

  • Great performance for the price
  • Very affordable

  • Capacity options are lower
  • Read and write speeds aren’t the fastest
Best for Maximum Storage Capacity
PNY Pro Elite Class
$179.99 (10% off)

Card Type: SD
: Up to 1 TB
Read Speed: 100 MB/s
Write Speed
: 90 MB/s

If you’re seeking a ton of storage from a high-end flash memory card, the PNY Pro Elite Class card should be the one for you. Although this card is fairly pricey, the features justify it. 

With super-fast read and write speeds, 100 and 90 MB per second respectively, you can trust that this card can perform no matter what you throw at it. The 1 TB of storage ensures that you can keep tons of high-quality photos and videos on your card, ready to go.

  • Tons of storage

  • Expensive
Best for Durability
Sony Tough SF-G Card

Card Type: SD
: Up to 128 GB
Read Speed
: 300 MB/s
Write Speed
: 299 MB/s

If you’re someone who worries about losing their data, or if you’re just rough with your equipment sometimes, then the Sony Tough SF-G Card might be a good fit. This card was built to be as durable as possible. Its extra hard material is built to have bend strength 18 times stronger than the typical SD card. It's also built to the highest waterproof and dustproof standards. 

  • Super durable
  • Great read and write speeds

  • Capacity options are pretty low
Best for Blazing Speeds
Sandisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Card
$149.99 (40% off)

Card Type: CFexpress
: Up to 512 GB
Read Speed
: 1700 MB/s
Write Speed
: 1400 MB/s

CFexpress cards are some of the newest and best on the market, and they’re primarily used in high-end cameras that were built very recently. So, the number of devices this card is compatible with is limited. But, if you have a compatible camera, you’ll be rewarded with astounding read speeds of up to 1700 MB-per-second and write speeds of up to 1400 MB per second, depending on which capacity you get. This card can handle just about anything you throw its way.

  • Extremely fast read and write speeds

  • Very expensive
  • Not compatible with many devices yet
Most Versatile
MicroCenter MicroSDXC Card with Adaptor

Card Type: MicroSD
: Up to 128 GB
Read Speed
: 90 MB/s
Write Speed
: 10 MB/s

Flash memory cards are useful for a wide variety of devices, so it makes sense that you would want one that can easily switch between applications. This MicroSDXC card comes with an adaptor, allowing you to use it for smartphones, tablets, DSLRs, and more. The quick 90 MB-per-second read speed makes it easy to transfer content between devices. The 10 MB-per-second write speed isn’t the fastest but it can handle HD photos and videos without issue.

  • Adaptor makes it compatible with an array of devices
  • Good transfer speed

  • Write speed isn’t professional-grade by any means
  • Limited capacity options
Best MicroSD Overall
Samsung EVO Select MicroSDXC UHS-I Card

Card Type: MicroSD
: Up to 512 GB
Read Speed
: 100 MB/s
Write Speed
: 60 MB/s

For the best overall MicroSD card, we recommend the Samsung EVO Select MicroSDXC UHS-I Card. It has good read and write speeds, at 100 and 60 MB per second, respectively. It’s also compatible with a wide range of devices, especially when you add an adaptor. 

The wide range of capacities also allows you to get the amount of storage you want, and the price is pretty affordable as well. In short, if you need a solid, all-around MicroSD that gets the job done, then this should suit you just fine.

  • Versatile device compatibility
  • Multiple capacity options
  • Good read and write speeds

  • Not as fast as regular SD cards
Best Budget MicroSD
Kexin Multi-Pack MicroSD Card

Card Type: MicroSD
: Up to 64 GB
Read Speed
: 85 MB/s
Write Speed
: 20 MB/s

If you’re wanting more bang for your buck, or if you just want to stock up on MicroSD cards, the Kexin Multi-Packs are decent cards for a great price. With read speeds of up to 85 MB per second and write speeds of up to 20, they’re not breaking any records, but they get the job done for many uses. Like most MicroSD cards, they’re also compatible with a variety of devices, making them fairly versatile.

  • Multiple cards for super cheap prices
  • Decent read speeds
  • Device compatibility

  • Write speed is fairly low
Best for Professional Photographers
Lexar Professional SDXC UHS-II Card
$35.99 (28% off)

Card Type: SD
: Up to 256 GB
Read Speed
: 250 MB/s
Write Speed: 120 MB/s

For the professional photographer or videographer, you need something that performs up to the highest standards. The Lexar Professional SDXC UHS-II Card is more than up to the task, with read speeds of up to 250 MB per second, thanks to UHS-II technology. 

This card is also backward-compatible with UHS-I cameras, making it more versatile. Capacity options of up to 256 GB prevent you from having to change your cards often. With this card, you’ll have no issue capturing high-quality photos and 1080p, 4k, and even 3D video.

  • Several capacity options
  • Fast write and transfer speeds
  • Backward-compatible with UHS-I

  • Not as fast as the highest-end options
Best for Go-Pro Cameras
Teamgroup GO MicroSD Card

Card Type: MicroSD
: 265 GB
Read Speed
: 90 MB/s
Write Speed
: 45 MB/s

The Teamgroup GO MicroSD Card was specially designed for action cameras like GoPro. If you’re someone who likes capturing the action firsthand, then this will be a great card for you. 

Of course, it’s designed to withstand just about anything you can throw at it, including waterproofing, dustproofing, X-ray proofing, and cold resistance. The read speed is up to 90 MB per second, and the write speed is up to 45 MB per second, providing you with enough performance to handle the demands of GoPro video. 

  • Built for action cameras
  • Durable and element-resistant
  • Affordable

  • Write speed could be faster
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