The best microSD memory cards for GoPro 8 camera
One of the questions we often get asked is what MicroSD card we recommend for a GoPro and other action cameras. First of all we need to point out that not all microSD cards work well with the latest GoPro HERO 8 Black camera. If the card is too slow for example, you may end up with recording errors and lose all your footage. To avoid such scenario, here are some recommendations that will guide you towards choosing the right memory card for your GoPro camera.
There are plenty of considerations to take into account when choosing the best card to suit your needs. Memory card type, capacity, write speeds, reliability, and cost should all be considered when choosing a card.
Firstly, you need to check what kind of memory card do you need for your action camera. All GoPro and most other action cameras use microSD card for storage of photos and videos.
Second thing to consider is microSD card storage capacity. Capacity really falls into two relevant options: microSDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) and microSDXC (Secure Digital extended Capacity). The major difference is the 32GB threshold. SDHC are found in 32GB and lower capacity, and SDXC are typically 64GB and above.
The series of GoPro action cameras is able to handle certain specific size of microSD cards. The older versions were having smaller rating mostly up to 64GB, whereas the latest devices like Hero7 and Hero8 Black support MicroSD cards of up to 256GB capacity. You can also use 512GB and even 1TB cards as long as those cards properly conform to the microSDXC specifications, although these cards are not recommended.
Thirdly, you need to take write speed or speed class of a MicroSD card into account. For all action cameras, we recommend a minimum of Class 10, which really means that it writes data at a minimum speed of 10MB per second. Class 10 cards will have a C with a numeral 10 inside of it.
Additionally, newer cards may also have a secondary UHS (Ultra high Speed) or VSC (Video Speed Class) classification. UHS will have a U with a 1 or a 3 inside it. U1 icon writes at the same as Class 10…so 10MB/sec. U3 writes at 30MB/sec. Similarly, VSC will be annotated with V10, V30, V60, and V90, representing minimum sustained write speeds of 10MB, 30MB, 60MB and 90MB per second respectively.
Recommendations on SD Cards for the GoPro HERO 8 Black camera
GoPro Hero 8 Black has been released in the market alongside the new GoPro Max and it is fair to say that it is the most powerful action camera we’ve ever seen in the GoPro product line.
There’s a notable enhancement to the HyperSmooth, the HyperSmooth 2.0 now comes with various levels of image stabilization among all shooting modes and frame rates which means that not only your image quality would be better, it would be a lot smoother. Like we have already said, not all memory cards work well in the GoPro HERO8 Black. The main issue is that the card needs to be fast enough to keep up with the camera. Especially with the HERO8 Black’s new high-bitrate mode.
The HERO 8 Black, as well as Hero 7 Black, features some high-bitrate video recording. With certain Protune options enabled, you can get video bitrates of up to 100 Mbps. When using these modes, the camera needs to be able to write a lot of data to the card very quickly. If the card can’t keep up, it can unexpectedly stop the recording, drop frames, or even lock the camera up.
At this point, we need to stop and make a clarification. We have noticed that most people are confused with speed ratings. The data rate (bitrate) is the amount of data written, and is generally expressed in Mb/s or Mbps (Megabits per second), whereas memory cards have declared speeds in MB/s (MegaBytes per second). People often incorrectly assume that 100 Mbps is equal to 100 MB/s. This is not the case, because one byte contains eight bits, thus making a megabyte 8 times the size of a megabit. Why is this so important? The maximum video bitrate of GoPro Hero 8 Black camera is 100 Mbps, meaning that the camera writes data to the memory card at the speed of 12.5 MB/s. This means that you need to have a microSD memory card with a minimum write speed of more than 12.5 MB/s. Therefore, regular class 10 microSD cards are not guaranteed to work with GoPro 8 Black camera. Class 10 designation guarantees a minimum write speed of 10 MB/s, but we can not be sure if the card’s minimum is more than 12.5 MB/s. This implicates that you need a memory card with U3/V30 speed class, which has a guaranteed minimum write speed of 30 MB/s, which is at least 2.4 times faster than GoPro camera requires at maximum settings. Memory cards faster than U3/V30 will of course work with GoPro 8, but are not required and therefore not recommended by us since these cards are also more expensive, often significantly.
GoPro Hero 8 Black camera uses a single UHS-I micro SD memory card slot, so you don’t need to buy a more expensive UHS-II card. The UHS-I U3 microSD memory card is the one to get.
Detailed Recommendations on SD Cards for the GoPro HERO8 Black
SanDisk Extreme UHS-I, U3, V30
The SanDisk Extreme cards are very fast, cost-effective and reliable. Sandisk Extreme cards offer read speeds of up to 160 MB/s and write speeds of 60-90 MB/s depending on the card’s capacity. These cards are the ones that GoPro themselves recommend and often bundle with their cameras.
This model in specific is our top choice for microSD card to use with GoPro cameras. It’s compatible with every GoPro model, it’s fast and affordable. Comes with an SD adapter and there are plenty of capacity options: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 400GB, 512GB and 1TB capacity
SanDisk 256GB Extreme UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter is designed to provide plenty of storage for tablets, faster app boots for Android smartphones, capturing fast-action photos with action cameras, and recording 4K UHD video with drones. It quotes impressive performance figures up to 160MB/s reads and 90MB/s writes.
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I, U3, V30
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card is Sandisk’s top-of-the-line micro SD card and the best UHS-I microSDXC memory card on the market. It is labeled both with V30 for 4K video recording and A2 rating for app speed. It’s rated for 90 MB/s sequential write speed and 170 MB/s sequential read.
This card is the most expensive among UHS-I microSDXC memory cards and it is not necessary for GoPro, but if you’re going for the top of the line and want to be confident of being able to use the same card even if you upgrade your camera in the medium-term future, this is a good option.
SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter is Sandisk’s top-of-the-line micro SD card. It is labeled both with V30 for 4K video recording and A2 rating for app speed. It’s rated for 90 MB/s sequential write speed and 170 MB/s sequential read.
Samsung EVO Plus UHS-I, U3
Samsung makes several models of microSD cards, and more than one model will work well in the HERO8 Black. EVO Plus is one of their better cards but is also very cost-effective. The EVO+ cards have been rated for read and write speeds of up to 100/90 MB/s respectively
Samsung 256GB EVO Plus UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter isn’t just big on storage, it is also very fast. The EVO+ 256GB has been rated for read and write speeds of up to 100/90 MB/s respectively. With 256GB at your disposal, users can now record up to 12 hours of 4K UHD video or 33 hours of Full HD video or store up to 55,200 photos without needing to change or replace the memory card.
Lexar Professional 667x UHS-I U3
Lexar microSD cards are also recommended by GoPro and this one has been designed with the V30 Video Speed Class rating, which guarantees minimum write speeds of at least 30 MB/s. Its performance is rated at 100MB/s read and 90MB/s write speed and features the UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and V30 rating.
Lexar 128GB Professional 667x UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter is designed to provide plenty of storage for tablets and mobile phones, capturing fast-action photos and videos with action cameras, and recording 4K UHD video with drones. This card has also been designed with the V30 Video Speed Class rating, which guarantees minimum write speeds of at least 30 MB/s. All of this allows for users to immerse themselves in extreme sports videography and photography in 4K, Full HD, and 3D.
SanDisk Ultra UHS-I U1
Ultra is the most affordable line of Sandisk’s cards and although this card is only U1 certified, our tests showed that this card is able to achieve sequential write speeds of more than 60MB/s, much higher than expected given the card is rated V10 and U1 which only indicates the minimum write speed of 10MB/s.
SanDisk 128GB Ultra UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card is designed to provide plenty of storage for tablets and mobile phones, faster app boots for Android smartphones, capturing fast-action photos with action cameras, and recording Full HD and 4K video with drones. It features an impressive read speed of up to 100MB/s
GoPro Hero 8 Memory Card Size
The maximum recommended micro SD card size for the GoPro Hero 8 is 256GB. In most cases, we recommend 128GB cards, but if you plan to use the card in the next few years there is no reason not to go with 256GB model.
You’re going to burn through two batteries before you’ll burn through a 64GB memory card in a GoPro when recording at the max bitrate (100Mbps). Do you usually carry more than two batteries to keep the camera recording long enough to last through 64GB of data?
So why not just get a 64GB card?
Become sometimes you will forget to clear off the card from the day before going out again, so having the extra space allows for least another few hours of recording.
Should you get two 64GB or one 128GB card?
The memory cards are small and easy to lose. The fewer micro SD cards floating around the better. By having a 128GB card, you’ll likely never need to take your card out of your camera unless you use it in another or want to offload your footage from the card quicker with an external reader.
GoPro Hero 8 Video Bitrate Time Chart
Below is a calculation of record times in minutes based on the resolution and bitrate for the GoPro Hero8 Black. It can help you decide the right capacity of memory card for your needs.
|Resolution||FPS||Maximum bitrate (Mbps)||64GB (Minutes)||128GB (Minutes)||256GB (Minutes)|