As digital cameras evolve, so do the related accessories. An important piece of equipment every photographer must own is an SD card. In most instances, it is beneficial to have two or three SD cards as backup. SDXC cards are going to be the best fit for only needing one memory card.
The latest iteration of SD memory card is the SDXC – this stands for Secure Digital Extended Capacity. Originally announced in 2009, the SDXC specification allows cards to support up to 2TB of storage. This far outperforms SDHC which has a maximum capacity of 32GB.
For the professional photographer, SDXC cards are an excellent choice. As a minimum, these cards usually have 64GB or more of storage – 128GB is common. This provides superb flexibility and allows photographers to store much more on their cameras.
When choosing SDXC cards, you must consider the following – storage capacity, brand, read speed, class rating, and price. Read speed and class ratings are particularly important as this affects how quickly photos are transferred to external devices.
Choosing the Right Sized SDXC Cards
SanDisk is working on 1TB SDXC cards. If you are asking yourself what size SDXC card you need, here are some guidelines:
- 64GB is the smallest size of SDXC cards that are currently manufactured.
- Chances are that you should buy a larger card if you are going to be shooting video or high resolution images.
- Beginning photographers will get by just fine with the entry-level 64MB card
- SDXC cards tend to become pricier with larger sizes.
- If you are planning on shooting hours of video, the largest size SDXC card you can get will have 256GB of storage space.
We have researched six of the best SDXC cards from popular manufacturers including SanDisk and Lexar for your benefit.
1. SanDisk Extreme SD UHS-I (Overall Winner)
The SanDisk Extreme SDXC card is hugely popular and provides excellent transferal rates and performance. This card is available in five variants – 16GB SDHC, and 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB SDXC.
As a UHS Speed Class three model, you can expect outstanding performance. This is complemented by the 70MB/s shot speed, and 150MB/s transfer speeds.
SanDisk offers a fantastic lifetime manufacturer warranty on this item and it has been tested to meet high-quality standards. Moreover, the card is resistant to adverse temperatures and is waterproof and shockproof.
The Lexar Professional 2000x range is one of the best SDXC cards available. This particular model is available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage options – all of which are reasonably priced.
This card has some of the best transfer speeds available at 300MB/s, which greatly improves your workflow and photo transferal times.
In addition to this, the card uses UHS U3 technology for brilliant performance. Due to its excellent specifications, this card is suitable for 4K HD video and high-resolution photography of large volumes.
Each Lexar SDXC card has also been vigorously tested to ensure the highest quality standards are met.
This is our second SanDisk entry, and indeed we could include a handful of different SanDisk models. The SanDisk Extreme range is dubbed as their most powerful series to date. The SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-1 128GB card is one of the best choices available.
It offers a camera shot speed of 90MB/s and an excellent transfer rate of 170MB/s. You must have a compatible device that can achieve these transfer speeds too, however.
This SDXC card is also a Class 10 card that is both U3 for photography and V30 for video. This means it is suitable for recording 4K UHD video as well as high-resolution images.
Finally, the external material is robust and is temperature-, shock-, and waterproof.
Sony has an excellent range of digital cameras and lenses, but they also make a reliable range of SD cards too. The Sony SF-G Series TOUGH is a range of high-performance SDXC cards like the SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II SD model.
This is actually the world’s first one-piece molded SD card and has a fantastic level of durability. Moreover, it has an outstanding transfer speed of 300mb/s.
In addition to this, it is a Class 10, U3 compliant SD card which makes it a great choice for 4K video and HD photography. The exterior casing is also waterproof which provides additional protection.
PNY is a lesser-known manufacturer of SD cards. Nonetheless, their PNY Higher Performance Class 10 U1 SDXC card is a great budget option. This storage card is suitable for use on DSLRs, point-and-shoots, and HD video cameras.
The read speed of this card is 100mb/s which is more than adequate. In addition to this, the card is Class 10, U1 which means excellent transfer performance.
Aside from the featured 128GB storage option, this card is also available in 16GB & 32GB SDHC, and 64GB SDXC.
6. Transcend High Speed 10 UHS-3 Flash Memory Card (Budget Winner)
Transcend is another top producer of SDXC cards. The Transcend High Speed 10 UHS-3 Flash Memory Card is available in three sizes – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. This offers ample storage for both high-resolution photography and HD videos.
It has a decent shoot speed of 90MB/s and a top transferal rate of 60MB/s. For video, the transfer rate is an average of 30MB/s.
This is a Class 10, U3 specification card and compatible with both the SD 4.20 and SD 3.0 standards. Moreover, you can benefit from the available RecoverRx software which helps you recover corrupt and damaged photos.
Improve Your Camera Storage Capacity with an SDXC Card
These cards are the best available on the market. There is an SDUC variant too which has storage over 2TB, but unless you are recording hours of HD video, an SDXC card should be sufficient for most photographers’ needs.
We advise purchasing two to three SDXC cards for redundancy and as a safeguard. This ensures that if one is damaged or misplaced, you still have spares to use. Also, don’t forget to regularly transfer and back up your photos from your SDXC cards.
Finally, it is beneficial to format your SDXC cards occasionally to ensure they remain faultless and have a smooth operation.