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Best Memory Card for the Sony A7RIII

Best Memory Card for the Sony A7RIII

For years I have been very frugal with memory cards for my Sony A7RII. I have been using the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95mb/s 64gb and the PNY Elite Perforamnce 95mb/s 128gb because I was mainly shooting landscapes and cityscapes. As my kids grew older and became more active with club sports and along with my ever-growing business, I decided to upgrade and give these Sony SDXC UHS-II cards a try. 

Product: Sony SDXC- UHS-II SF G128, Read - 300mb/s Write 299mb/s

Sony SDXC UHS-II with the Sony MRW-S1 High Speed SD Memory Card Reader

Sony SDXC UHS-II with the Sony MRW-S1 High Speed SD Memory Card Reader

Build 

The build looks like any typical SD memory card from the outside. These cards are SDXC. Plain SD cards have a maximum capacity of 2GB, while SDHC cards max out at 32GB, and SDXC cards can support up to 2TB. The UHS-II cards also have a second row of pins which allows for faster file transfer. These are 128gb that were tested. Sony also offers 32gb, 64gb and 128gb.

Performance

The Sony SDXC- UHS-II 128GB card is marked U3 for UHS Speed Class 3 which means it can handle up to 30MB/s write speeds for HD and 4K video recording (U3 denotes minimum sustained write speeds of 30 MB/s).

Testing: For the test I want to fill up the buffer by holding down the trigger on the camera until it stops taking pictures. Next I will keep a close eye on the red light at the bottom of the right side of the camera to see when it stops processing. To track the time I used the stop watch app on my iPhone. The red light indicates the processing of the files to the memory card.

Settings: Sony A7RII, both set to Continuous Hi, AF, 1/640s shutter, Uncompressed RAW + JPEG.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 64gb SDXC (Class 10 - UHS-1; 95MB/s) 10 shots 22s to clear

PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128gb (Class 10 - UHS-I; 95MB/s write) - 10 shots - 22s to clear

Sony SDXC UHS-II 128gb (Class 10 - UHS-II; 299MB/s Write) 10 shots - 20s to clear


Additional Testing from Ben Manlove

Settings: Sony A7RII and A7RIII, both set to Continuous Hi (Hi+ on the A7RIII), MF, 1/640s shutter, Uncompressed RAW.

Sony A7RII

SanDisk 64 GB Pixtor (Class 10 - U1; 80 MB/s on label, actual write speed unknown) – 10 Shots; 42s to clear

Sony SF-64UX2 (Class 10 – U3; 94 MB/s on label, 70 MB/s write) – 10 Shots; 22.5s to clear

Sony SF-G64 (UHS-II, Class 10 – U3; 299 MB/s write) – 10 Shots, 20.5s to clear


Sony A7RIII

SanDisk 64 GB Pixtor (Class 10 - U1; 80 MB/s on label, actual write speed unknown) – 31 Shots; 2 minutes 32.8s to clear

Sony SF-64UX2 (Class 10 – U3; 94 MB/s on label, 70 MB/s write) – 31 Shots; 32.4s to clear

Sony SF-G64 (UHS-II, Class 10 – U3, 299 MB/s write) – 31 Shots; 16.5s to clear

Conclusion

Clearly by the tested results, its safe to say which cards were the winner. If you're a hybrid shooter then these cards are one of the best for video and stills. I would highly recommend these fast cards for portraits, sports, weddings or any situation where you might need a quick preview or show a client. I hated waiting for my pictures to write to the old cards, just to preview them. There were a few times where I would try to show a client the images and I had to wait. That split second can make a huge difference and save you the embarrassment. 

Products used:

Sony A7RIII 

Sony A7RII 

Sony 35mm f1.4 

Sony 85mm f1.4 GM

Sony SD Memory Card Reader

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