Best Memory Cards for Sony a7 III, a7R III & a9 Cameras

Memory Cards for Sony a7 III, a7R III & a9 Cameras

Sony a7 III, a7R III & a9 cameras are compatible with ultra-fast UHS-II SD memory cards in Card Slot 1. But not all UHS-II cars are created equal. Don’t be fooled by the Read Speed – it’s the Write Speed that matters. Memory Cards with faster Write Speeds will clear the buffer more quickly that slower ones.

Which memory cards will give you the best performance?

1ST PLACE

Sony SF-G cards are currently the world’s fastest SD memory cards featuring blistering fast 299MB/s Write Speed & 300MB/s Read Speed perfect for Sony a9’s 20 FPS burst shooting and a7R III’s 42.4mp 10 FPS bursts, 4K video, and other buffer-busting uses. If you plan to shoot video, you’ll want to stick to 64GB (or larger) SDXC cards for the best video codex.

Sony SF-G UHS-II SD cards
Sony SF-G UHS-II SD cards available in 32GB, 64GB & 128GB (Stick to 64 or 128 GB SDXC cards for video)

Sony 32GB SF-G UHS-II SDHC Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 64GB SF-G UHS-II SDXC Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 128GB SF-G UHS-II SDHC Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)

Sony SF-G ‘Tough’ cards offer the same best in class Write/Read Speeds coupled with greater durability.

Sony SFG Tough Memory Cards
Sony SF-G Series Tough UHS-II SD Memory Cards are available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

2ND PLACE

Hoodman Steel 2000x SDXC UHS-II Memory Cards fall short of Sony SF-G speed, but their 260 MB/s a Max Write Speed ties the speed of third place SanDisk cards – but with better construction and a lower price.

Hoodman Steel SDXC cards
Hoodman Steel 2000x SDXC UHS-II Memory Card available in 64GB & 128GB

Hoodman 64GB Steel 2000x SDXC UHS-II Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Hoodman 128GB Steel 2000x SDXC UHS-II Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)

3RD PLACE

SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDHC, 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC or 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards also offer 260 MB/s Max Write Speeds. Once again, stick to 64 or 128 GB SDXC cards for video.


SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-II Memory Cards are available in 32GB, 64GB & 128GB (Stick to 64 or 128 GB SDXC cards for video)

SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDHC Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)

OTHERS OF NOTE…


Toshiba Exceria Pro N501 UHS-II U3 Class 10 SD Memory Cards offer 270 MB/s Read & 250 MB/s Write Speeds at a good price.

Toshiba Exceria Pro 256GB N501 SD Memory Card UHS-II U3 Class 10 (Order from Amazon)
Toshiba Exceria Pro 128GB N501 SD Memory Card UHS-II U3 Class 10 (Order from Amazon)
Toshiba Exceria Pro 64GB N501 SD Memory Card UHS-II U3 Class 10 (Order from Amazon)
Toshiba Exceria Pro 32GB N501 SD Memory Card UHS-II U3 Class 10 (Order from Amazon)

Lexar Professional 2000X SD Memory Cards
(Discontinued) Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II Memory Cards available in 32GB, 64 GB & 128 GB also offer 260 MB/s Max Write Speeds….however Lexar is now out of business, I’d only recommend them if you get an INCREDIBLE deal on close-outs and you can overlook the need for support in the future.

Lexar Professional 2000x 32 GB SDHC UHS-II Memory Card (Order from Amazon)
Lexar Professional 2000x 64 GB SDXC UHS-II Memory Card (Order from Amazon)
Lexar Professional 2000x 128 GB SDXC UHS-II Memory Card (Order from Amazon)

[Please Note: All of these UHS-II memory cards will work in other Sony cameras – however only Sony a9 & a7R III can take advantage of UHS-II blazing fast write speed]

UHS-I Memory Cards for Card Slot 2

Sony a7R III & a9 Card Slot 2 is compatible with UHS-I memory cards. Sony SDXC UZ UHS-I memory cards with 90 MB/s Write Speed & 95 MB/s read Speed are an excellent choice. Though they don’t offer the same write speeds as UHS-II cards, these cards are also fully compatible in card slot 1.

Sony SD UHS-I Class 3 memory cards
Sony SDHC UHS-I Class 10 U3 memory cards available in 32GB, 64GB & 128GB

Sony 32GB SDHC UZ UHS-I Class 10 U3 Memory Card(Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 64GB SDXC UZ UHS-I Class 10 U3 Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)
Sony 128GB SDXC UZ UHS-I Class 10 U3 Memory Card (Order from B&H | Amazon)

Order Sony a7R III from B&H Photo | Amazon

Apply for B&H Photo Payboo Card

Sony Announces FX30 4K Super 35 Cinema Line Camera for Future Filmmakers

Sony FX30 ($1,798) leverages the power of a newly-developed 26MP APS-C Exmor R CMOS sensor to provide content creators and aspiring filmmakers with a powerful,

Read More »

Today Only! Save $200 on Gitzo Series 1 Carbon Fiber Traveler Tripod for Sony

Save $200 Today on Gitzo Series 1 Carbon Fiber Traveler Tripod designed for Sony a1, a7 and a9 series cameras. Gitzo GK1545TA Series 1 Traveler

Read More »
Sony-A1-Firmware-1-31

Sony Releases a1 & a7S III Firmware Updates

Alpha 1 Firmware 1.31 Sony releases Alpha 1 Firmware Update 1.31 which improves accuracy of Eye AF and improves overall stability. Applicable Model: This information

Read More »

53 thoughts on “Best Memory Cards for Sony a7 III, a7R III & a9 Cameras”

  1. Hello, I understand it is never possible to do a comprehensive test of all memory cards available, especially when new ones pop up here and there, however I was wondering if the Toshiba Exceria Pro N101 are as close to the Sony as I ve read. I would quote the site but I would not want to overstep.
    Thank you.

  2. You will have to forgive me but maybe we are reading different specs or I might have missunderstood something, which is totally possible as English is not my first language.
    I went on Toshiba’s website where I found reported read and write speeds of 260 MB/s and 240 MB/s respectively for the 101 model and 10MB/s faster speeds for the 501 models. Those are quite faster than the ones you were quoting.However, since synthetical benchmarks don’t always find a real counterpart in actual day to day use I often disregard the nominal speeds that manufacturers quote and look for more realistic reviews. As I understand from the link I posted the Toshiba lose in write speeds to the Lexar and the Sony by a small amount but have faster read speeds and in both cases perform better than the Sandisk cards. I am just trying to figure out if that is actually the case.

  3. I plan to use 2 slots at the same time, Is there any use in going beyond the speed of the 95Mb/s cards?
    Do you know if I can use 256GB cards now?

    1. I am talking about the A7Riii here. just to clarify.
      I also want to thank you for this page and website. I have used it many times in the past. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for your efforts in compiling this info! Regarding the A7RIII, correct me if I’m wrong…

    SLOT 1, lower slot uses the faster Sony 128GB SF-G, UHS-II SDXC card.

    SLOT 2, upper slot uses the slower Sony 128GB High Speed Class 10 UHS-I SDXC card.

    Shooting stills, camera can read to the faster slot; backup to the slower slot? Will the UHS-1 card slow down the total write time; i.e. should I get the same UHS-II card for both slots, or is that wasting $$ when shooting stills.

    Shooting video, only the faster (lower) slot using the UHS-II card will benefit from the speed? Camera does not backup video from slot to slot?

  5. Brian what is the fastest speed you can get from UHS-I cards in the A7R III? For the A7R II was about 35 MB/s even for 90MB/s cards.

  6. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for all of your work on which cards to buy. I own both the A9 and A7RIII. I was just wondering how the Sony 128GB SDXC UHS-II Series M vs. G performs in slot 2 on either /both of these. Says it has 100MB/s write speeds and is half the price of the 300/299 card. Is the 260/100 MB/s card a good choice for slot 2?

  7. Hi Brian,
    My question is a little different than write speeds, clearing buffer, ect. I hear people talk about cards failing. And Sony needs to have a second card slot on their cameras just in case there is a failure.
    Do cards fail ? I have used SanDisk and never had a card fail.Speed means nothing if the card fails.
    So my question is how dependable are the Sony cards ?
    I ‘am using a Sony 64SDXC UHS-II now but want to purchase more cards.
    Thanks for all of the good content on your site.

    1. The second card slot was added beginning with Sony a9 (and continued on a7 III & a7R III) based on user-requests.

      I use the Sony cards listed in this post and have never had one fail.

  8. I read somewhere that the max write speed of the a7 III is 100Mb/s. Is that correct? If so, wouldn’t cards with lower write speeds be the better buy?

    Or are the SD drives in the a7 III the same as the a7R III and a9 and thus the approach philosophy you outline above would be applicable.

  9. I am shopping for SD’s for my Sony A7RIII and have just read a review on B&H stating that the Sony 64GB SF-G Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card does not support Pixel Shift.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    Makes me think, should I stick with Sandisk?

    1. The person who posted that comment does not understand how pixel shift works.

      Pixel Shift shoots four consecutive Raw images which must be combined in Pixel-Shift-compatible post-processing software such as Imaging Edge to create the final image.

      You can shoot these to any SD card – but NONE will combine the images “in-camera”

  10. Hi, is the use of only UHS-1 cards can be a problem for 4K recording with HDR HLG on Sony A7 III ?
    To be more general, with an UHS-I can we do everythings with a A7 III ? There is somethings that absolutely need an UHS-II card ?
    Regards

    1. Think of faster UHS- II cards like a bigger straw and 4K as an extremely thick milkshake. While you “can” drink a milkshake with a thin straw. Do you really want to???

      Faster cards mean the processor doesn’t have to work so hard to transfer the images with results in less heat so you can also shoot longer without overheating the camera.

  11. Jacob Pritchard

    If someone plans to always shoot data (both video and raw files) simultaneously to both cards (for backup purposes) will the performance between 2 fast UHS-I cards and a 2 UHS-II cards essentially be identical?

    1. If you use both slots for simultaneous capture (backup) the buffer write speed will be bottlenecked by the slower card. So in this mode, you’ll see UHS-I speeds.

  12. Hi, thank you for the article. I have a question about this comment you made:

    “If you plan to shoot video, you’ll want to stick to 64GB (or larger) SDXC cards for the best video codex.”

    Can you explain what you mean by this? Since the cards, regardless of their size, offer the same speeds, I would expect them to perform the same, no matter the size. But apparently they don’t?

      1. Alright, thank you. Then I will go for a 64gb card.

        (I also sent you a message with the same question since I thought my comment on here didn’t work because It didn’t appear after I pressed ‘post comment’.

        But all is good, that message can be ignored. Thank you for the reply.

  13. Hey Brian! I found this article when I was searching for a card for my A7rIII and I took your #1 recommendation of the Sony SF-G card. I purchased it and then went on a trip to shoot for a client. I shot a full day on the card (LOVED it), uploaded to my computer and formatted it for the next day. After a half day of shooting, my camera suddenly couldn’t read the card (neither could my computer). Luckily I had a backup card but I have not been able to retrieve the footage or get the card to work since. I sent it into Sony and they are currently working on recovering the footage, but my question is has this ever happened to you with this card? I am hesitant to use the replacement card they are sending me because I don’t want it to happen again. Any insight for me as a veteran of this art-form?

    1. YIKES! Nope, I’ve had zero issues with Sony SF-G and SF-G Tough cards in fact that’s all I’ve used for the last 2 years+ which equals somewhere in the neighborhood of a million exposures.

      I only format in-camera. Did you format in camera or using a computer?

  14. Hello Brian,
    Just wondering if anyone knows what is the max write speed of the Sony A7R3/A9/A73 camera? If the camera can only write 150MB getting a card with 300MB wouldn’t make any difference.

      1. Hi thank you for the response. But, my question is what is the max write of the camera itself. Is the Sony A7Riii even capable of writing to an sdxc UHS ii card @ 218MBs

        1. 218 Mb/s is the write speed of a7R IV with SF-G cards. That likely corresponds to the UHS-II write speed of a7R III Card slot 1.

  15. I’m disappointed in the Sony SF-G Series Tough UHS-II SD Memory Cards. I bought a 64 gb and from the first day when it was a bit tough to slide into slot 1, it has been problematic. Now, 9 out of 10 times it won’t read, with pics and video going to slot 2. The A7 iii is brand new. I can stick the Lexar in slot 1 and it reads just fine. Just ranting. No reply needed.

    1. Sorry to hear that, Ed. Those are my cards of choice and I’ve never had a single problem – but that doesn’t help with your issue. I’d suggest contacting Sony. It’s possible that your card is damaged and under the circumstances they might offer a replacement card.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.