Best SD Card For GoPro Hero 9

  • Dream Cheeky

The GoPro Hero 9 is a great camera that can be mounted to many different surfaces for many different views, but the SD card it comes with may not be good enough for all of your filming needs. If you’re looking for the best SD Card for GoPro Hero 9, please read at Dreamcheeky.

Best SD Card For GoPro Hero 9

Contents

Best SD Card For GoPro Hero 9

1. SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSD Card

Brand: SanDisk
Speed Class: UHS-I (U3), Class 10, V30
Maximum Read Speed: 160MB/s
Maximum Write Speed: 90MB/s
Storage Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 400GB, 512GB, 1TB

The SanDisk Extreme cards are fast, cost-effective, reliable, and widely available. They’re also safe bets for many cameras, including the GoPro HERO10 and HERO9 Black. Extreme cards are the ones that GoPro themselves often bundle with their cameras and sell on GoPro.com. It’s one of the few they officially recommend in their “Works with GoPro” certification program.

My speed tests are fast enough for the high-bitrate video settings on the HERO10 Black and HERO9 Black.

The latest version of the SanDisk Extreme comes in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 400GB, 512GB, and even new 1TB versions. The most suitable sizes for the HERO10/9 Black are probably the 128GB and larger sizes.

As with most of its product names, SanDisk recycles them with newer, faster cards. So you can find “Extreme” cards that are several years old. It’s therefore worth checking the model number, although, in practice, even a number of the older versions of the Extreme cards will support the kinds of speeds that the HERO8 needs.

SanDisk uses a three-part model numbering system in the format SDSQXA1-256G-GN6MA. In this example, SDSQXA1 is the model number, the 256G refers to the amount of memory, and SanDisk’s marketing department uses the last five characters for different parts of the world, but the cards are otherwise the same. So the first part is crucial if you’re looking to see which model the card is, and you don’t have to take much notice of the last five characters.

The basic version includes a microSD-to-SD adapter. You can also find it bundled with a USB microSD card reader.

2. Samsung EVO Select UHS-I microSD Card

Samsung is one of the famous brands out there that makes several models of microSD cards. But Samsung EVO Select UHS-I microSD Card is one of their better cards that’s also very cost-effective. The latest version of the EVO Select is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB sizes. This card is one of the best-selling MicroSD cards on Amazon owing to its stunning speed, reliability, and price that it comes for.

Samsung EVO Select is shockproof, waterproof, temperature proof, X-Ray proof, and magnetic proof. So, you can be assured that your data is safe. Its read speeds of up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to B00VBNQJLYare also pretty impressive, making it ideal for capturing 4K UHD videos and high-resolution photos with your GoPro Hero 9.

3. Lexar Professional 633x UHS-I microSD Card

Brand: Lexar
Speed Class: UHS-I (U3), Class 10, V30
Maximum Read Speed: 95MB/s
Maximum Write Speed: 90MB/s
Storage Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Designed for DSLRs, action cameras, and drones, the Lexar Professional 633x can provide fantastic read speeds of up to 95 MB/s. Its writing speed is also pretty decent at around 90 MB/s. To top it up, Lexar also gives you the code to download their Imaging Rescue software; so, you don’t need to worry about accidentally losing the precious clicks you captured with your GoPro Hero 9.

The card comes in multiple sized variants: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. It’s again a great choice for capturing 1080p Full-HD, 3D, and 4K videos with your Hero 9 camera.

4. Delkin Select V30 UHS-I microSD Card

Brand: Delkin Devices
Speed Class: UHS-I (U3), Class 10, V30
Maximum Read Speed: 100MB/s
Maximum Write Speed: 80MB/s
Storage Capacity: 16 GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Although the Delkin Select V30 UHS-I microSD Card isn’t the brand’s fastest card, it’s still rated V30, which means that it provides a great combination of being fast enough for the Hero 9 Black and being very cost-effective. The read speeds of up to 100 MB/s and write speeds of up to 80 MB/s are pretty great if you want to shoot 4K videos or burst pictures of your action with GoPro Hero 9.

This card is available in sizes ranging from 16GB to 512GB. We recommend anything between 64GB to 512GB for your Hero 9 (depending on your usage). Rest assured, your data will be safe with this card as it is Water/Shock/X-Ray Proof.

5. PNY Elite-X V30 UHS-I microSD Card

Brand: PNY
Speed Class: UHS-I (U3), Class 10, V30
Maximum Read Speed: 100MB/s
Maximum Write Speed: 80MB/s
Storage Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Although the PNY Elite-X V30 UHS-I microSD Card isn’t as well-known as others in this list, that doesn’t mean it’s behind when it comes to quality and reliability. This card succeeds in striking a good balance of speed and affordability. With 100MB/s read speeds and write speeds at around 80MB/s, it gives superb performance while recording 4k ultra HD videos with your GoPro Hero 9.

This card is specifically designed for action cameras, 360-degree cameras, and drones; this card comes in storage capacity variants of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. We recommend that you go for sizes 128GB or 256GB, as the lower capacity versions are slower.

6. Kingston Canvas Go! Plus UHS-I microSD Card

Brand: Kingston
Speed Class: UHS-I (U3), Class 10, V30
Maximum Read Speed: 170MB/s
Maximum Write Speed: 90MB/s
Storage Capacity: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Kingston Canvas, Go! Plus, the UHS-I microSD Card is a super-fast microSD card that we highly recommend. Built for on-the-go users who use action cameras, drones, and Android devices, the Canvas Go! Plus offers very impressive read speeds of up to 170 MB/s and write speeds of up to 90 MB/s. Since this card supports the V30 speed class, a minimum report of the rate of 30 MB/s is guaranteed while using it on your GoPro Hero 9.

With its amazing capabilities, you can shoot stunning 4K Ultra-HD videos and burst-mode photos without worrying about slow speeds or dropped frames. Another plus: this card is protected against water, shock, vibration, x-rays, and temperature extremes. Its available in storage capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB.

7. SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I Card

Brand: SanDisk
Speed Class: UHS-I (U3), Class 10, V30
Maximum Read Speed: 170MB/s
Maximum Write Speed: 90MB/s
Storage Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

The SanDisk Extreme Pro provides top-notch read (up to 170 MB/s) and writes speeds (up to 90MB/s), making it one of the fastest on our list. That’s more than enough for burst mode photography, 4K video recording, and many other great features of your Hero 9 camera. It comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1 TB variants.

This SD card isn’t worth it if you’re using it for your GoPro Hero 9 because you won’t be able to take full advantage of its speed. However, many people like to use their cards on multiple devices, giving you excellent performance in other cameras or drones.

Buying Guide For GoPro Hero 9 SD Card

Buying Guide For GoPro Hero 9 SD Card

About these GoPro SD Card Recommendations

I’m not aiming to create a comprehensive list of every card that works with the GoPro HERO9 Black. Some other cards also work well; I’ll update this list as I have a chance to test them or as new models come out. Other fast cards aren’t easy to find or aren’t cost-effective when you do. I’m most interested in ones that are readily available and reasonably priced. I am trying to present some options to choose a card and be confident that it’s compatible.

GoPro does have its official list, and I’ve consulted that in compiling these recommendations, but it doesn’t always stay up to date with the latest versions of the memory cards. I’ll do my best to keep the suggestions above up to date with the latest versions of the memory cards.

So this list is a combination of GoPro’s official recommendations and my real-world testing in the cameras, not on card manufacturers’ speed claims. I do my own independent microSD speed tests. To make it onto this list, the cards have to have demonstrated that they can handle the video and photo modes that generate the most data—particularly high-bitrate modes like 5K30, 4K60, and 1080p240.

Formats, Speed Rating & Types of microSD Cards Explained.

A few different types of cards fall under the general “SD card” umbrella, and they all have cryptic ratings and codes on them.

For the HERO9 Black, you’ll want a microSD card. Those are physically smaller than SD cards that you might be used to with larger cameras. Smartphones also use microSD cards, which is commonplace. You might have come across them.

In terms of storage capacity, measured in gigabytes, you can safely use any currently available sizes. So if you want to use a 16GB card, you can (although you’ll run out of space pretty quickly). Or if you’re going to use a 1TB card, knock yourself out. The current sweet spot in terms of convenience, availability, and price tends to be around the 256GB, 400GB, and 512GB sizes.

You can use either microSDXC or microSDHC cards in the HERO9 Black. As a practical matter, you’ll almost certainly be using a microSDXC card. This isn’t a performance rating. It refers to the formatting system used on the card. The cards you buy will be microSDHC if they’re in the 16GB to 32GB range, and they’ll be microSDXC if they’re 64GB or more significant. Those are specs assigned by the SD Association, and it applies to all SD and microSD cards you’ll find for sale. You can find a more detailed explanation below.

You’ll see the current generation of cards marked with either UHS-I or UHS-II (or sometimes UHS-1, which is technically incorrect). This is labeled with either a small I or II on the card. The HERO 9 Black uses the UHS-I host specification, so you won’t get added benefits if you put a UHS-II card in it. But it will still work because the specification is designed to roll back gracefully to UHS-I.

SD and microSD cards also have a speed rating system that refers specifically to recording video. Confusingly, there are three different generations of ratings. Older cards used a rating such as Class 10 or Class 4. They’re generally too slow to work well in the HERO 9 Black. A newer speed rating system uses either a U1 or U3. U3 is faster than U1 and is generally a safer bet, especially if you’re using it the Black or Silver (although several U1 cards are plenty fast enough).

Finally, there’s an even newer scale, which you’ll see written as something like V30 or V30. Those refer to even faster ratings. So the short version is that if the card has at least a “V30” rating, it’s fast enough. If it has a U3 rating, it’s fast enough. It might be fast enough if it has a U1 rating, but there’s some risk that probably isn’t worth it because V30-rated cards are so easy to find now. And if it only has a “Class 10” rating, it’s almost certainly too slow.

Adding to the confusion, cards can have all of these three rating systems on the label. So a card might have Class 10, U3, and V60. In those cases, you only need to take notice of the highest rating system, which in this example would be V60.

And, finally, you’ll also come across cards that have an A1 or A2 rating on them. You can ignore that for these purposes. That’s a different kind of speed rating that refers to random write speed and is relevant to devices that run apps, such as smartphones or gaming devices.

Speed Measures Explained

A common source of confusion with the speed of memory cards is the Difference between Mb/s and MB/s (or Mbps and MBps). Whether or not that “b” is capitalized is a little thing, but it matters.

Video bitrates are conventionally measured in megabits per second, which is sometimes written as Mbps or Mb/s. The speed of memory cards is conventionally measured in data transfer in terms of megabytes per second, which is registered as MBps or MB/s. There are eight megabits in 1 megabyte. So 60Mb/s (megabits per second) is equivalent to 7.5 MB/s (megabytes per second).

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. It would be friendly and accessible if that meant that you could make sure your card had a write speed faster than 7.5 MB/s. Still, other factors come into play, including inflated manufacturer speed ratings, sustained rates vs. peak speeds, and the role of host devices and connections. All of this means that it’s best to stick to cards that are known to work rather than try to cut it too fine with measurements.

Another common source of confusion is that not all memory card manufacturers use the same speed measure. Some manufacturers use a more cryptic “x” rating in place of MB/s. Lexar, in particular, has long used this system. It comes from the old way of measuring the speed of CD-ROM drives when the standard rate of a CD-ROM drive was 150KB/s. Each x, therefore, equals 150KB/s. But that’s not particularly useful today, and thankfully more and more manufacturers are adopting the more conventional of using raw MB/s numbers.

GoPro SD Card FAQs

 

Why Do You Need a Fast SD Card for the HERO9 Black, Anyway?

A faster SD card won’t give you better video quality or help you take better pictures, but a card that’s fast enough will allow you to use all of the camera’s features without running into problems.

For the past several generations of GoPros, I’ve been recommending which SD cards work best in these cameras. I started doing them when I first got burned with a too slow card for the HERO 3 Black. Since then, GoPro models’ capabilities (and, importantly, the video bitrates) have only increased. In turn, that has required better and faster SD cards to keep up.

Thankfully, memory card manufacturers have come through, and it’s easy to find cards that work well in the HERO 9 Black without paying an arm and a leg. But that’s not to say that you can choose any old SD card and expect it to work well—there are some minimum requirements.

So not every SD card will work well in the HERO 9 Black. You won’t break your camera if you use an SD card that’s too slow, but you can end up with some pretty unfortunate side effects. You might have already found this out the hard way if your recordings have stopped unexpectedly, or you’ve been getting SD card errors. Those are the most common issues you can run into with a slower SD card, but you can also get the camera overheating or shutting down.

You might see an error message, you might lose footage or frames, or the camera might lock up. Or maybe you’ll get all of the above. Some memory cards can also provoke write error messages and cause excessive battery drain, although those issues tend to be less common. But the upshot is that if your GoPro is behaving strangely, one of the first things to check is the microSD card.

The most important requirement that an SD card needs to work well in the HERO 9 Black is fast enough. But it has to be a specific type of prompt. The speed ratings you see on SD card packaging and marketing materials often refer to characteristics that aren’t directly relevant to the camera’s requirements.

Usually, the speed rating you see in memory card marketings materials refers to a “transfer speed.” That’s only a very vague term that isn’t very helpful in working out the card’s capabilities. It typically means sequential read speed. That’s the speed at which data can be downloaded from the card. But when choosing an SD card for the HERO 9 Black, we want to look for the rate at which information can be transferred or written to the card.

And even then, it’s a specific type of writing: sequential write speed. Some cards are designed to be fast at a different kind of writing: random write speed. Those are well-suited to use in a gaming or mobile computing device, but that particular measure is not directly relevant to shooting video with a GoPro.

How to Format SD Cards in the HERO9 Black?

It’s always good practice to format the memory card in the camera rather than with a computer. And to do it regularly (once you’ve safely downloaded and backed up your photos and video, of course). That makes sure that the card is prepped so that the camera needs it, and it reduces the risk of something getting messed up.

Formatting the SD card in the GoPro HERO9 models isn’t complicated, but the menu item isn’t necessarily in the most intuitive place.

You can now find the option under Preferences > Reset > Format SD Card. The Reset bit is the part that made me pause the first time because when I see that, I think of a factory reset of the camera. But in this case, it’s a subcategory title option, not resetting the camera (those other reset options are under the same subcategory screen).

If you’re using the GoPro mobile app, it’s still in the same place as with previous models, although, confusingly, the wording is different than it is on the camera. You find it under Settings > Delete > Delete All Files from SD Card.

What’s the Difference Between microSDHC and microSDXC Cards?

What's the Difference Between microSDHC and microSDXC Cards?

As I said above, microSDHC and microSDXC don’t refer to a performance rating. They refer to the storage formatting they use (microSDHC cards use FAT32; microSDXC cards use exFAT). These are specifications adopted by the SD Association.

More specifically:

microSDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) is a design specification that refers to SD cards between 4GB and 32GB in capacity and formatted with the FAT32 filesystem. FAT32 supports individual files up to a maximum of 4GB.

microSDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) refers to SD cards with a capacity larger than 32GB and a maximum theoretical limit of 2TB. They’re formatted in the exFAT filesystem.

In practice, you’ll see minimal, if any, the difference in terms of performance. But there is one aspect where you will see a big difference: microSDHC cards are 32GB or more minor while microSDXC cards are 64GB or more significant.

The HERO 9 Black is compatible with both the microSDHC and microSDXC formats so that you can use either. But it’s more likely that you’ll be using a microSDXC card simply because that covers the larger-capacity cards that are so readily available today and so convenient to use in cameras like the HERO 9 Black.

The SD Association has also created a newer specification known as SDUC. It has its host technology, but in terms of storage capacity, it’s designed to cover cards ranging from 2TB up to 128TB. SDUC cards will only work with devices that have SDUC compatibility specifically included. The good news, for now, though, is that it’s doubtful you’ll accidentally get one of these cards—they’re not yet readily available at consumer retailers.

Technically, it’s possible to use a computer to format, say, a 32GB microSD card with exFAT or a 128GB card with FAT32.

But doing so goes against the SD Association specifications. Some cameras can cause problems, and they’ll be overwritten to the appropriate standard next time you format the card in the camera. In general, I don’t recommend it. That said, if you want to do it, I’ve put together a guide to using the official SD card formatted.

Conclusion

Hero 9 is the most recent release of the best action camera on the market with unparalleled capabilities. Be sure to invest in an excellent memory card to capture all of the movies and photos. While this is my suggestion, it’s not by far the cheapest or most expensive. Your GoPro HERO 9 is entirely dependent on the card inside of it to allow you to make sure that your images and videos are saved. In a reliable way.

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