Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to GoPro SD Cards, your comprehensive resource for selecting the perfect SD card to accompany your GoPro action camera. The importance of choosing the right GoPro SD card cannot be overstated, as it not only impacts your camera’s performance but also ensures the safe storage of your precious memories.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about SD card specifications, compatibility, tips for optimal performance, and even address common troubleshooting issues. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision when picking the best GoPro SD card for your action camera, so you can focus on capturing your adventures without any hiccups.
Let’s dive in!
Importance of Choosing the Right GoPro SD Card
GoPro action cameras are specifically designed to capture high-quality videos and images in a wide range of environments and conditions. However, the camera’s performance is directly impacted by the SD card it uses. Selecting the right GoPro SD card ensures smooth recording, quick file transfers, and reliable storage of your cherished moments.
On the other hand, using an incompatible or low-quality SD card can lead to dropped frames, slower recording, and even the loss of your valuable footage. In this guide, we will help you understand the key factors to consider when choosing an SD card for your GoPro, so you can enjoy seamless performance and safeguard your memories.
Understanding GoPro SD Card Specifications
When choosing the right SD card for your GoPro camera, it’s essential to understand the technical specifications that contribute to its performance. In this section, we will discuss storage capacity, card speed, and compatibility with GoPro cameras.
The storage capacity of an SD card determines how much data it can hold. There are two main types of cards for GoPro cameras: SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) and SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity).
SDHC cards range from 4 GB to 32 GB, while SDXC cards offer a capacity between 64 GB and 2 TB. The ideal storage capacity for your needs will depend on the amount of footage you intend to capture, the video resolution, and how often you plan to transfer files.
The speed of an SD card plays a crucial role in ensuring smooth video recording and quick file transfer. There are three main speed classifications you should be aware of: Speed Class, UHS (Ultra High Speed) Class, and Video Speed Class (V30, V60, V90).
- Speed Class is indicated by a number inside a “C” symbol (e.g., Class 10) and represents the minimum write speed of the card in MB/s.
- UHS Class is denoted by a number inside a “U” symbol (e.g., UHS-I, UHS-II, UHS-III) and signifies the card’s bus interface speed.
- Video Speed Class, indicated by a “V” followed by a number (e.g., V30, V60, V90), refers to the minimum sustained write speed required for specific video resolutions and frame rates.
Compatibility with GoPro Cameras
It’s vital to choose an SD card that is compatible with your GoPro model. Most GoPro cameras support microSD cards with a minimum of Class 10 or UHS-I ratings. However, higher-end models that record in 4K or high frame rates may require UHS-II or UHS-III cards and specific Video Speed Class ratings (V30, V60, or V90).
Always check your camera’s user manual or the GoPro website for the recommended SD cards to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.
GoPro Camera Models and Recommended SD Card Sizes
With numerous GoPro camera models on the market, each with its unique features and capabilities, it’s essential to select an SD card that complements your camera’s performance.
|SD Card Size for||Maximum Storage Size||Minimum Requirements|
|GoPro HERO11 Black||1TB||V30 or UHS-3|
|GoPro HERO10 Black||512GB||V30 or UHS-3|
|GoPro HERO9 Black||512GB|
|GoPro HERO8 Black||256GB|
|GoPro HERO7 Black, Silver, White||256GB|
|GoPro HERO MAX||256GB|
|GoPro HERO Fusion||128GB|
|GoPro HERO 2018||128GB|
|GoPro HERO6 Black||128GB|
|GoPro HERO5 Black||128GB|
|GoPro HERO Session||128GB|
|GoPro HERO 4||128GB|
|GoPro HERO 3||64GB|
|GoPro HERO (2014)||32GB|
GoPro Recommended SD Card Brands and Models
When it comes to selecting the ideal SD card for your GoPro camera, it’s crucial to choose a reputable brand that guarantees reliability, durability, and top-notch performance.
As a global leader in flash memory solutions, SanDisk has been delivering high-quality storage devices for over three decades. Their microSD cards are renowned for their reliability and performance, making them a popular choice among GoPro users. The SanDisk Extreme and Extreme PRO microSDXC UHS-I cards, for example, are specifically designed for high-resolution video recording and offer fast read and write speeds to ensure smooth performance.
Known for their cutting-edge technology and innovation, Samsung offers a range of microSD cards that cater to various needs. The Samsung EVO Select and EVO Plus microSDXC UHS-I cards are among their flagship products, providing excellent performance and capacity options for GoPro cameras. These cards are designed to handle 4K UHD video recording and high-resolution photography, making them a solid choice for action camera enthusiasts.
With a long-standing reputation for producing high-performance memory solutions, Lexar offers a variety of SD cards suitable for GoPro cameras. Their Lexar Professional 1000x and 1800x microSDXC UHS-II cards are designed to handle high-speed data transfers and support 4K and full HD video recording, ensuring that you can capture your adventures without any hiccups.
As a well-established name in the memory market, Kingston is known for its reliability and value for money. The Kingston Canvas Go! and Canvas React Plus microSDXC UHS-I and UHS-II cards are specifically designed for action cameras like GoPro, providing excellent performance and durability in various shooting conditions. These cards offer fast read and write speeds and are capable of handling 4K video recording.
PNY is a respected brand in the memory and storage industry, offering a range of SD cards that cater to different performance needs. The PNY Elite-X and Pro Elite microSDXC UHS-I cards are ideal for GoPro cameras, as they provide fast transfer speeds and support 4K UHD video recording. These cards are built to withstand extreme conditions and are a reliable choice for action camera users.
Delkin Devices is a trusted name in the world of memory cards, producing high-quality storage solutions for photographers and videographers. Their Delkin Select and Power microSDXC UHS-I and UHS-II cards are specifically designed for action cameras, offering fast transfer speeds and the ability to handle high-resolution video recording. With a focus on durability and performance, these cards are a great option for GoPro users seeking reliable storage solutions.
Tips for Maximizing SD Card Performance and Lifespan
To ensure that your GoPro SD card remains in optimal condition and delivers the best performance, it’s essential to follow some basic care and maintenance practices.
Formatting your SD Card
Regularly formatting your SD card within your GoPro camera helps maintain its performance and prevents file corruption. It is recommended to format the card before its first use and after transferring files to a computer or other storage device. Always use the format option in your camera’s settings, as this ensures the correct file system is used and minimizes potential compatibility issues.
Pro Tip: To make the process of formatting your SD cards for your GoPro action camera more efficient and personalized, try giving each card a custom label. This will help you easily identify and keep track of your cards, especially if you’re frequently swapping them out during your adventures.
Here’s how to do it:
- Insert the SD card into your computer using an SD card reader.
- Open “My Computer” (Windows) or “Finder” (Mac).
- Right-click on the SD card’s icon and select “Rename” (Windows) or “Get Info” (Mac).
- Assign a unique and meaningful name to your SD card, such as “GoPro_SD1,” “GoPro_Adventure,” or “GoPro_Surfing.” Make sure to choose a name that resonates with the type of footage you plan to store on the card or its order in your collection.
- Safely eject the SD card from your computer.
Now, when you format your SD card using your GoPro camera, it will retain the custom label, making it easier for you to manage your collection and quickly locate the desired card. This simple yet creative tip can save you time and help you stay organized during your action-packed excursions.
Properly ejecting the SD Card
When removing the SD card from your GoPro camera or computer, it’s crucial to follow proper ejection procedures. For computers, always use the “Safely Remove Hardware” or “Eject” function before physically removing the card. This helps prevent data corruption or loss. In the case of your GoPro camera, power it off completely before removing the SD card.
Storage and handling
To protect your SD card from damage and data loss, it’s essential to store and handle it with care. Keep the card in a protective case when not in use, and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, humidity, or direct sunlight. Additionally, be cautious of static electricity and avoid touching the card’s contact points directly, as this can cause damage.
Regularly backing up your files to a computer or external storage device is a good practice to ensure the safety of your precious memories. It also helps free up space on your SD card for new footage. When deleting files from the SD card, it’s best to do so using your camera’s delete function, as this reduces the risk of file corruption and ensures the card remains properly formatted for your GoPro camera.
Troubleshooting Common GoPro SD Card Issues
Despite taking all necessary precautions, you may still encounter issues with your GoPro SD card from time to time. In this section, we will discuss some common problems and provide troubleshooting tips to help you resolve these issues, ensuring that your GoPro camera and SD card continue to function seamlessly.
“SD Card Error” Messages
If you encounter an error message such as “SD Card Error,” “No SD Card,” or “SD Card Full,” there are a few potential solutions. First, ensure that the SD card is properly inserted and seated in the camera. If the issue persists, try formatting the card using your GoPro camera’s format option. Should the problem continue, test the card using a computer or another device to determine if it’s an issue with the card itself or your GoPro camera. In some cases, you may need to replace the SD card or contact GoPro support for further assistance.
Lost or corrupted files
If you discover that files are missing or corrupted on your SD card, it’s essential to stop using the card immediately to avoid further data loss. You can attempt to recover the lost files using recovery software such as Recuva, PhotoRec, or Disk Drill. These programs can scan the card and often restore lost or corrupted files. Remember to regularly back up your files to prevent future data loss.
Slow recording or playback
If you experience slow recording or playback with your GoPro SD card, it could be due to an insufficient card speed or capacity. Ensure that you are using a card with the recommended speed class and capacity for your GoPro model. Additionally, try formatting the card within your camera or transferring files to free up storage space, as these actions can improve performance.
Incompatible SD cards
If your GoPro camera does not recognize your SD card or you experience frequent issues, it may be due to an incompatible card. Ensure that you are using a card with the appropriate speed class, UHS class, and capacity for your camera model. Always consult your GoPro user manual or the GoPro website for the recommended SD card specifications. In some cases, you may need to upgrade to a different SD card to resolve compatibility issues.
Number of Shots / Footage Length With Different SD Card Sizes
When it comes to choosing an SD card for your GoPro camera, storage capacity is a crucial factor to consider. Different SD card sizes can offer varying amounts of storage space, which affects the number of shots or footage length you can capture.
Understanding the approximate number of photos or recording time you can expect from different SD card sizes can help you plan your shooting sessions and ensure you have enough storage capacity to capture all your favorite moments.
How long can a 16gb SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||4,000-6,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||1 hour|
|4K (60fps) Video||1.5 hours|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||2 hours|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||4 hours|
|1080p (120fps) Video||4 hours|
|1080p (60fps) Video||4.5 hours|
|720p (60fps) Video||8 hours|
|720p (50fps) Video||9 hours|
How long can a 32gb SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||12,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||48 min|
|4K (60fps) Video||48 min|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||48 min|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||1 hour|
|1080p (120fps) Video||1 hour|
|1080p (60fps) Video||1 hour 20 minutes|
|720p (60fps) Video||1 hour 20 minutes|
|720p (50fps) Video||1 hour 55 minutes|
How long can a 64gb SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||24,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||1 hour 40 minutes|
|4K (60fps) Video||1 hour 40 minutes|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||1 hour 40 minutes|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||2 hours 10 minutes|
|1080p (120fps) Video||2 hours 10 minutes|
|1080p (60fps) Video||2 hours 40 minutes|
|720p (60fps) Video||2 hours 40 minutes|
|720p (50fps) Video||3 hours 50 minutes|
How long can a 128gb SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||49,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||3 hours 15 minutes|
|4K (60fps) Video||3 hours 15 minutes|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||3 hours 15 minutes|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||4 hours|
|1080p (120fps) Video||4 hours|
|1080p (60fps) Video||5 hours 20 minutes|
|720p (60fps) Video||5 hours 20 minutes|
|720p (50fps) Video||7 hours 45 minutes|
How long can a 256gb SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||98,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||6 hours 30 minutes|
|4K (60fps) Video||6 hours 30 minutes|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||6 hours 30 minutes|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||8 hours|
|1080p (120fps) Video||8 hours|
|1080p (60fps) Video||10 hours 40 minutes|
|720p (60fps) Video||10 hours 40 minutes|
|720p (50fps) Video||15 hours 30 minutes|
How long can a 512gb SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||195,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||13 hours|
|4K (60fps) Video||13 hours|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||13 hours|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||16 hours|
|1080p (120fps) Video||16 hours|
|1080p (60fps) Video||21 hours 15 minutes|
|720p (60fps) Video||21 hours 15 minutes|
|720p (50fps) Video||31 hours|
How long can a 1TB SD card record?
|Number of Pictures||392,000|
|5K (30fps) Video||26 hours|
|4K (60fps) Video||26 hours|
|2.7K (120fps) Video||26 hours|
|2.7K (60fps) Video||32 hours|
|1080p (120fps) Video||32 hours|
|1080p (60fps) Video||42 hours|
|720p (60fps) Video||42 hours|
|720p (50fps) Video||1 hour|
*Keep in mind that these estimates are approximate and can vary based on factors such as codec, compression settings, and the complexity of the footage. To ensure you have enough storage capacity, it’s always a good idea to carry extra SD cards or opt for a higher-capacity card.
Can I use a microSD card with an adapter in my GoPro camera?
Yes, you can use a microSD card with an adapter in your GoPro camera, as long as the microSD card meets the required specifications for your specific GoPro model. Most GoPro cameras are designed to work with microSD cards, and using an adapter allows you to utilize the microSD card in devices that require a standard SD card size.
Ensure that the microSD card, along with the adapter, is compatible with your GoPro camera, adhering to the recommended speed class, UHS class, and capacity guidelines provided by GoPro to ensure optimal performance and reliability.
What is the difference between SDHC and SDXC cards?
The primary difference between SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) and SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) cards lies in their storage capacity and file system. SDHC cards have a storage capacity ranging from 4GB to 32GB, while SDXC cards offer a higher storage capacity, ranging from 64GB up to 2TB.
SDHC cards use the FAT32 file system, whereas SDXC cards utilize the exFAT file system, allowing for larger file sizes and improved performance. Both card types are physically the same size and shape, but their varying storage capacities and file systems can impact compatibility with different devices, so it is essential to check your device’s requirements before choosing between an SDHC or SDXC card.
Can I use a lower speed class SD card in my GoPro camera?
While it is technically possible to use a lower speed class SD card in your GoPro camera, it is not recommended, as it can lead to performance issues and recording limitations. GoPro cameras require SD cards with specific speed classes to handle the high-resolution video recording and high data rates, especially in 4K and higher resolutions.
Using a lower speed class SD card can result in dropped frames, stuttering video, and slower write speeds, which could cause the camera to stop recording or generate error messages. To ensure optimal performance and reliability, it is essential to use an SD card with the recommended speed class, UHS class, and capacity guidelines provided by GoPro for your specific camera model.
Is it safe to use third-party or off-brand SD cards in my GoPro?
Using third-party or off-brand SD cards in your GoPro can be risky, as these cards may not meet the stringent quality standards and performance requirements necessary for smooth functioning with your GoPro camera. Low-quality SD cards may have slower write speeds, inconsistent performance, and higher chances of data loss or corruption, which can adversely affect your recordings and user experience.
To ensure optimal performance, reliability, and longevity of your GoPro camera, it is highly recommended to use SD cards from reputable, well-known brands that meet the recommended speed class, UHS class, and capacity guidelines provided by GoPro for your specific camera model.
What should I do if my GoPro camera doesn’t recognize my SD card?
If your GoPro camera doesn’t recognize your SD card, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve the issue. Firstly, ensure that the SD card is inserted correctly, and the card slot is clean and free of dust or debris. Try inserting the card into another device to confirm that it is working correctly.
If the card works in another device, try formatting it on your computer before reinserting it into the GoPro camera. If the issue persists, try using a different SD card that meets the recommended specifications for your GoPro camera model. If none of these steps work, contact the GoPro support team for further assistance.
How can I recover lost or corrupted files from my SD card?
If you have lost or corrupted files on your SD card, there are several data recovery software available online that can help recover your files. Before attempting any data recovery, stop using the SD card to avoid overwriting any lost data.
Connect the SD card to your computer using a card reader, then download and install a data recovery software, such as EaseUS, Recuva, or Disk Drill. Follow the instructions provided by the software to scan the SD card and recover any lost files. Note that there is no guarantee that all files can be recovered, and some may be damaged beyond repair.
The right SD card is essential for any adventurer or photographer using a GoPro camera. By understanding the different specifications, speed classes, and brands, you can choose an SD card that best fits your camera and your adventurous lifestyle.
Whether you’re skiing down a mountain, surfing the waves, or hiking a rugged trail, your GoPro camera and SD card are your partners in capturing the excitement and beauty of the great outdoors. With proper care, handling, and storage, you can ensure that your SD card performs at its best, allowing you to capture every breathtaking moment of your adventure.
So, get out there, push your limits, and let your GoPro camera and SD card capture the unforgettable experiences that make life worth living!