What SD Cards to Use for Taking Video? Look for UHS-I or UHS-II
SD cards come in all shapes, memory sizes, but other than price, it's hard for the average person to differentiate one SD card from another. SD cards do have descriptive markings, but even the most tech savvy of us have difficulty understanding them and how they relate to real world applications.
In the past, most people used SD cards with their cameras or mobile phones and the only thing they needed to care about was the size, storage capacity, and price.
However, many devices now support 4K resolution or fast action videos, both of which put additional performance demands on the SD cards storing the video. Now more than ever it's important to know the right SD cards to use, or else your video won't record properly.
One easy way to determine if your SD card is fast enough to keep up with fast action or 4K video is to identity if the card is UHS-I or UHS-II. UHS-I cards have a Roman numeral 'I' marking while UHS-II cards have a Roman numeral 'II' marking.
The SD 3.0 spec introduced UHS-I that could support interface speeds of 50-104 MB/s. The SD 4.0 spec then introduced UHS-II which could support interface speeds of 156-312 MB/s. There is also a recently announced SD 5.0 which supports even higher speeds for 8K video.
UHS-I is generally good enough for high frame rate action cameras like the Sony HDR-AS30V Action Cam. Both SanDisk value oriented Ultra line and the faster Extreme line of UHS-I cards like the are a good fit or you can use Sony's 32GB microSDHC Memory Card.
GoPro action cameras, however, require even more performance and only the highest performance UHS-I cards can be used (Click here to see what SD cards are right for your GoPro camera). For example, with the latest GoPro HERO4 Session, you need SanDisk Extreme UHS-I cards like the Sandisk 32GB Extreme MicroSDHC UHS-I Card or SanDisk Extreme PLUS 64GB microSDXC UHS-IU3 Card, as well as Lexar's High-Performance MicroSDHC 633x 32GB UHS-I.
Once you start going to 4K capable cameras like the Samsung NX-1 or even non-4K high performance cameras like the FujiFilm X-T1 and Olympus E-M5 mark II, it's best to invest in the faster UHS-II cards like the SanDisk Extreme Pro SanDisk Extreme Pro series.
Also, for the Apple iPad Pro's first USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s) based card reader, use UHS-I cards like SanDisk's Ultra or Extreme line to make better use of the faster transfer speeds now possible over USB 3.1 Gen 1. The more expensive UHS-II cards can be used but they will only operate at UHS-I speeds.
SD cards continue the meet the demands of devices recording 4K high performance video and in the future will support 8K video with the SD 5.0 spec. Not all SD cards are the same so make sure you use the right SD card that is fast enough and has enough storage capacity for your application.