Best Micro SD Card for 4K Video

So you bought a video camera and you’re wondering what is the best micro SD card for 4K videos. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to find the best micro SD card for your new camera.

You might think that any micro SD card, as long as it has enough storage, is good enough for 4K footage. But that’s not necessarily the case. To make the most of 4K footage, there are certain micro SD card features that you need to look for.

To save you time, we went ahead and did the research for you. We’ll cover topics such as SD card classes, what the icons mean, brands, read/write speed, storage, and other important features. When you’re done reading this post, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy the best micro SD card for 4K videos.

To start, let’s walk through some of our recommended micro SD cards:

Best Micro SD Cards:

1 - Integral 512GB microSDXC SD card

Integral 512GB microSDXC SD card

The Integral 512gb micro SD card is a decent option for 4K videos. Integral is a company that specializes in a wide variety of electronics and computer paraphernalia. These cards have a read rate of up to 100 MB/s and a write speed of 80MB/s, which is more than enough for stable 4K footage.

You can also choose from a variety of storage capacities, from 64GB to 512 GB. If you’re looking for a good budget-friendly micro SD card for 4K, Integral’s are worth a look. These are also great for increasing the storage capacity on your phone or tablet.

2 - SanDisk Extreme 256 GB microSDXC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme 256 GB microSDXC Memory Card

SanDisk is a very popular company that designs all kinds of storage and memory products, such as hard drives, USB sticks, and SD cards. The SanDisk Extreme 256 GB micro SD card is a favourite amongst photographers. This micro SD card boasts speeds of up to 160MB/s read, and 90 MB/s write.
It has a UHS Speed Class 3 rating and video class speed of V30 labelled as “4K UHD-ready” which makes it an ideal choice for 4K footage.

Interestingly enough, the sd card is waterproof, shockproof, and weatherproof. So it’s great for GoPros or other action cameras that are designed for bumpy rides and adventures. SanDisk is a very reliable company, so these cards are recommended. The box includes a micro to regular SD card adapter.

3 - Samsung EVO Plus 256 GB microSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus 256 GB microSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus is another great company for hard drives and other storage devices. The Samsung EVO Plus 256 GB microSD card clocks a read speed of up to 95MB/s and a write speed of 90 MB/s. It’s a class 10 SD card and U3 compatible. It’s awesome at recording reliable 4K footage with no frame drops or quality loss.

Another interesting feature is this micro SD card uses 4-proof technology that protects against water, temperature, magnets, and even x-ray machines. Samsung is one of the most popular electronics companies out there, so you can be their SD cards are top-of-the-line.

Micro SD Card Buyer Guide:

So now that you have an idea of what kind of micro SD cards to keep an eye out for, let’s dive a little deeper into the exact specifications, ratings, and labels.

What is SD, SDHC, and SDXC?

These represent the type of SD card capacities. Bear in mind, each one uses a different format, and they are not backwards compatible. SD is the standard, and oldest, the storage range is from 128 MB to 2GB and it uses the FAT16 format.

SDHC represents “High Capacity”, it has a range of 4GB to 32GB, with FAT32 format. SDXC is “Extended High Capacity” and the range is 64GB to 2TB using exFAT format. Most modern electronics will be compatible with SDXC cards, but it’s always best to check your camera or phone’s manual.

You might have also noticed another label on the card, a U with a number inside. This is called the UHS Speed Class (Ultra High Speed). The number represents the minimum read and write speed, meaning the card is rated to never drop below that speed. UHS 1 stands for 10 MB/s, UHS 2 is 20 MB/s, and UHS 3 is 30 MB/s. We recommend cards with a UHS of 3 or higher for 4K videos.

Understanding Megabytes and Megabits:

These numbers are often confused because they look so similar. 1 Megabyte (Mb) is equal to 8 megabits (Mbps). Therefore, if a camera has a record rate of 100 Mbps, divide that by 8 to find the megabyte value, which is 12.5 MB/s. It’s an easy mistake to make. Most SD cards advertise their read/write rates in Mbps.
How Much 4K Video can a Micro SD Hold?
The exact time it takes to fill up a Micro SD card with 4K footage varies depending on the camera’s bitrate, framerate, and compression technology. Nowadays, bitrates and framerates are always improving so it’s hard to get a very accurate number.

Using an average record rate of 60 Mbps, a 126 GB micro SD can hold around 2 hours of recording at 30 frames a second. The exact duration will vary depending on the camera, codec, and format. In most cases, people are able to get around 2 hrs of footage from a 126 GB SD card.

Let’s take the GoPro 8 as an example. It can record 4K footage at 60 frames a second which has a bitrate of 60-100 Mbps. Most cameras have a lower bitrate, but it’s important to realize these numbers will continue to increase.

Below are some quick answers, assuming a standard bitrate of 60 Mbps. It’s always best to figure out what your camera’s bitrate is before you buy an SD card.

How Many Hours of 4K Video can 128 GB Hold?

In most cases, a 128 GB SD card will be able to hold around 2 hours of 4K footage, and almost double that for regular 1080 footage, at 30 frames a second.

How Many Hours of 4K Video can 256 GB Hold?

A 256 GB micro SD card can hold anywhere between 10 – 12 hours of 4K footage at 30 frames a second.

How Many Hours of 4k Video can 512GB Hold?

The 512GB micro SD card can hold about four hours of 4K Ultra HD video or about a full day’s worth of 1080p video

About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

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