Hi, today we are to going to run through how to choose your memory cards and some of the best Micro-SD cards for GoPro or any action cameras!

What Type of Memory Card Action Cameras Use

If you didn’t already know, the action camera you are using is most likely using a Micro-SD card which looks something like the picture from above. This is because it is the only memory card by far that is small enough to fit into an action camera.

In the past, if you have previously owned any handheld camera maybe about 5 years back, you would have noticed that it uses a slightly bigger version which is called the normal or standard SD card.

Uses of Micro-SD Cards

Oh and your smartphone, especially if it is running on Android, uses a Micro-SD card for external storage to store to your photos and videos, especially if you were wondering what that slot is for. Some other uses of Micro-SD card would include things like tablets, CCTVs, etc.

Micro-SD card up till now at least is the smallest memory card that can be bought and use widely and it is about the size of your fingernail.

History of Storage Devices
Left: A 250 MB hard disk drive from 1979. right: The IBM 3380 from 1980, first that could hold a gigabyte.

If you see this picture on the right, it was the first hard drive that was capable of storing 1 GB, but it is quite fascinating to know now that you easily find a storage device (Micro-SD card) which is as small as your fingernail and still store 100 times more than that!

Enough about Micro-SD cards let’s move on.

What To Look Out For When Getting One

There are 3 categories I would consider when looking for one to buy. Speed Class, Capacity and Size.

Also, if you own one already but are facing lagging especially after you take a photo or video or simply have corrupted videos and images frequently, you should probably consider getting a new one.

Speed Class

What does the labels in Micro-SD mean? MicroSD Cards review, best memory card for action camera gopro

Speed class is defined as the minimum speed based on a worst case scenario. In the field of SD cards, we usually take the minimum speed as it is the best indicator of the card to work with.

There are two types of speed you should know, read speed and write speed. 

It is fairly intuitive, write speed means the speed that data can be written onto the card from your device and read speed means the speed that it can browse or read the data on the card.

There are actually 2 main types of speed class and is really simple to understand.

Speed Class Comparison Table

Different Micro-SD Speed Classes, best sd card for GoproNormal Speed Class and Ultra High speed (UHS) Speed Class. As you see from the table, there are multiple speed classes and each row correspond to the following minimum write speed of the card.

Class 10

If you film most of your footages on 1080p of FULL HD, Class 10 is definitely enough to support that resolution. However, if you film it at a high frame rate such as 60fps or 120fps, or at a higher resolution, you might want to consider the USH-I Speed Class 3 which can support 4K and 1080p at 120fps.

UHS-I Speed Class 1 or 3 (U1/U3)

UHS-I Speed Class 1 has a minimum write speed of 10MB/s while UHS-I Speed Class 3 has a minimum write speed of 30MB/s.

However, for UHS-I speed class, it can only be ‘activated’ if you are using a UHS-I friendly or compatible device, which you would have to check on your action camera specs page if you wish to know whether it is.

If you have bought a UHS speed class card, it is still perfectly fine to use it with a non-UHS-I Speed Class compatible device because it will just use the normal speed class speed.

Video Speed Class

This is another type of classification and for eg. for V30, the minimum write speed is 30MB/s and so on. However, this still depends whether the device is UHS compatible and if not, it will still run on the normal speed class speed. So there is no such thing as VSC compatible because it is the same as UHS

For GoPro users

Another thing is that if you own a GoPro, it needs a minimum speed class of Class 10. However, it is best to go on the safe side and purchase something better, a Class 3 UHS Speed Class which I am recommending below.

On the other hand, if you own other brands of camera like SJCAM, ThiEYE, Eken, Yi, a class 10 card is generally usable as I have personally tried before and nothing went wrong.

If you want to know more about speed classes, you can head over to SD Association here to find out more.

Physical Size

So as I have mentioned above in the intro, there are 2 main types of SD cards, standard and micro. All action cameras that I know so far use a Micro-SD card.

The pros of micro-sd card are that it is much smaller and compact and thus allows the manufacturer of the camera more flexibility to produce their cameras.

Best microsd cards for action cameras, kingston digital Best sd card for gopro, best sd card gopro <alt tag> , best memory cards for GoPro, best memory cards for action camera/sOn the flip side, I feel that it is less compatible with other devices as it often needs an external adapter to be able to be read by other devices such as PCs, TVs, etc because most of them use a standard SD card slot, thus adapter is required.

Some of the Micro-SD cards come with an adapter already, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Also, if you were wondering, a micro-sd card with an adapter works exactly the same as a standard SD card, thus it is very versatile and useful to have.


Lastly, I will cover the SD card’s capacity, which is the most important aspect in my opinion because it controls how much data can be stored.

To give you a general idea, this is a chart of the duration of videos or a number of photos for a typical action camera at 12MP and recording at 1080p at 30fps.

How much can you store in an Micro-SD Card? Best Micro-SD cards for GoPro or action cameras

If you have also realised, there are also types of capacity which is SD, SDHC and SDXC. The main difference is that SD is below 4GB, SDHC is from 4GB to 32GB and SDXC cards are above 32GB. It has nothing to do with the speed of the card and this is just to label the type of capacity of the card.

Although quite rarely, some devices may support only SDXC and not support SDHC or vice versa so please check your device specs before buying. If you have any problems or enquiries, please feel free to drop a comment down below.

Another thing to note is that many action cameras are that all of them have a maximum capacity and this has to be strictly adhered meaning to say if they say maximum is 64GB, it has to be that anything higher will not work at all.

Most of the cameras I have seen has a maximum capacity of 64GB like the Eken H9R, ThiEYE T5, Yi Action camera, GoPro Hero 3 Silver, etc.

Also, if you were to buy 128 GB and think it is cheaper than 2 x 64GB cards, its not. That is because 128GB cards are catered and targetted for professionals who are looking for the fastest memory card and thus those don’t usually come cheap.

6 Best, Most Worth, Micro-SD Cards For All Action Cams

Something I’d like to tell you is that these cards below are based on the price vs quality or the value of the Micro-SD cards and not only the overall quality.

1. Sandisk Extreme 32GB/64GB Micro-SDXC

I feel Sandisk is the most popular brand among micro-SD cards and have been very reliable brand and hence it offers a very high speed along with reliability.  Its speed is definitely suitable to film 4K videos with ease and not mentioning the lifetime warranty too. It also comes with an adapter to connect and view on your other devices. Hence, if you are looking to buy a reliable option, go for this here.

Unique Features:

  • USH Speed Class 3 (U3)
  • Class 10
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Adapter Included

Cheapest Place to Buy:


2. Kingston Digital MicroSDXC 32GB/64GB


Next up is the Kingston Digital. Kingston has a very long track record in storage devices in case you were wondering.

It is capable in filming 4K at 1080p at 120fps and has a 90MB/s and 80 MB/s maximum read and write speed respectively, hence, if you are really into taking 4K videos or 1080p videos at high frame rate, you should consider getting this.

Unique Features:

  • UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)
  • Class 10
  • Lifetime Warranty

Cheapest places to buy:

3. Toshiba Exceria M302 Micro-SDXC 32GB/64GB


This card is meant for people who want a cheap alternative to more expensive cards. Despite the price, it still has a very good quality and is ideal for people who want to take 1080p FHD videos, although it has no problem taking 4K as well. Its read-write speed is 95MB/s and 60MB/s (maximum), which is very fast in my opinion.


  • UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)
  • Class 10
  • Comes with SD Adapter
  • 5 Years Warranty

Best Buy

4. Samsung Evo Select Micro-SDHC 32GB/64GB


Perfect if you want to find a cheap yet reliable option. Although slightly slower than the counterparts here, it is a good and reliable option since Samsung is a big brand and you can ask for help easily in the event that you face problems with the card.

Also, this is the most worth micro-sd card in the whole market as of right now in terms of speed and pricing as of the time of writing.


  • Class 10
  • UHS-I Speed Class 1 (U3)
  • 4 Proof (Temperature, X-Ray, Magnet and Water)
  • SD Card Adapter Included

Best Buy

5. Lexar Professional 1000x Micro-SDXC USH-II 64GB

This brand isn’t very popular and hence I’d reckon you heard of this before. Anyways, it comes with a flash reader memory that is capable of transferring at a 150MB/s if used together! Hence, even 4K at 60fps is no problem!

It is the only one on this list which has a UHS-II compatibility, which in turn mean higher write and read speed if you have a UHS-II compatible device.

However, action cameras even the GoPro aren’t UHS-II compatible, hence I feel the extra speed will be mainly used for file transfer to your computer or TV. It is also officially recommended by GoPro that can be used for the Hero 5 Black and Session.


  • UHS-II Compatible
  • UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)
  • Class 10
  • Flash Memory Included

Best Buy:

Summary and Tips

I would like to say that all the above is best in terms of the value you are getting for the price and is not the best memory cards in the market.

On top of that, you should really buy storage devices especially Micro-SD cards from reputable retailers either online or in a local shop because there are many cases where fake ones have been fabricated and that few dollars that you save aren’t worth it when you find your card being corrupted after using it a few times. I personally have been a victim of that and hence I wish to inform all of you readers out there.

Another thing, please take good care of your Micro-sd card as it is a very delicate thing. To find out more about how you can protect your memory card, click here.

Lastly, upon purchasing your memory card, please format the memory card directly on your camera and refrain from formatting on your computer because I have seen people in forums facing some problems after doing that so just to play safe don’t do that.

That is all for this post.

If you think I have left out any micro-SD cards worth commending or have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply ASAP! Thanks for reading and have a nice day! =)

–> Click here to see my other guides and tips to getting the most out of your action camera!<–

–> If you are unsure what cameras to buy, check out my reviews here<–

Similar Posts
Latest Posts from Action Camera Guides & Reviews


  1. Hey!

    First of all, thank you for the great article! This is definitely something that I wish I had come across before purchasing my GoPro, but will definitely come back to reference before my next purchase.

    I’m also glad you included which memory cards are best supporting 1080p and 4kHD, I had always assumed they weren’t too different from each memory card, but now I know lol.

    Once again, thank you for the awesome article! 🙂

    1. Thanks Mitchell for leaving a comment. Glad you liked it. 🙂

  2. Wow I had no idea there was so much to know about Micro SD cards, so the review helped me learn a lot, especially about the differences in speed classes. I liked how you discussed what memory is best for the action cameras, recommended your favorite and also reviewed other cards. Best of all you wrapped the review ip with an excellent summary,

    1. Thanks for commenting. Glad you liked and found it useful!

  3. I have been looking for a decent memory card for my GoPro camera for a while now. This article helped me out a lot. Do you suggest one type of SD card over another. Or do all of them generally provide the same level of quality? I will be sure to save and bookmark this post for future references.

    1. Thanks for dropping by James! If you want a cost effective card, I would really go for the Samsung Evo Select, as that in my opinion that is the best bang for your buck. Otherwise, the other cards quality are all more than good enough for whatever device you a using!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *