Comparison: 113 Different SD Cards in the Canon EOS R, Which is the fastest?

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
7,716
353
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
Camera Memory Speed has completed their exhaustive test of 113 SD cards in the brand new Canon EOS R. The UHS-II performance of the camera is quite good, with the max write speed hitting 182MB/s from the Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II Rev E 64GB.
The methodology behind the testing:
Write speed is determined using the buffer full condition. This begins when the buffer has reached capacity and the camera is unable to sustain the full continuous frame rate. In this condition shooting is limited to the rate at which the buffer is emptied. During the buffer full condition the total data written is known in addition to the time between shots. This method eliminates the need to use the card access light. Because the...
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Chaitanya

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 27, 2013
1,115
196
33
Pune
Not surprised to find those cheap cards at bottom of performance stack. I must say those Sony G series cards are certainly better deal than Lexar(Longsys) cards..
 

raptor3x

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 26, 2012
554
44
State College, PA
whumber.com
I'm impressed that the EOS R is not incredibly far off from the XQD card in the Z7, it's certainly the fastest UHS-II implementation we've seen so far, although it's somewhat wasted given the burst speed.
 

JonSnow

EOS 80D
Sep 10, 2018
148
100
lexar can be as fast as they want i would never buy them again.

i had 3 SD card failures since i can remember and all are lexar cards. i stopped buying them 5 years ago.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,575
677
Southeastern USA
lexar can be as fast as they want i would never buy them again.

i had 3 SD card failures since i can remember and all are lexar cards. i stopped buying them 5 years ago.
I also was wondering if Lexar is still reliable, now that it is Shenzhen based. I wonder what kind of spyware the cards embed when inserted into a PC...

But thanks to Camera Memory Speed! This is a great service to buyers of memory products looking for the flat out fastest available.
 
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aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
296
62
lexar can be as fast as they want i would never buy them again.

i had 3 SD card failures since i can remember and all are lexar cards. i stopped buying them 5 years ago.
It's blind luck. I've had between one and four memory cards fail on me every single year for the last ten years (bear in mind I go through about 2000-10000 frames per week for work, then add on whatever for personal/hobby shooting) and there's been no one brand or type of card which has lasted longer than others. SDs, CFs, CFast, XQD, Micro SD, they've all failed on me in a variety of ways. Lexar, SanDisk, Transcend, Sony, Samsung (yes, Samsung used to make more than just micro SDs and SSDs), they've all gone rogue.

For that matter, I've had two mechanical drives and one SSD fail me in the last year; two Seagates and one Samsung.

If we were going to go through every USB flash drive that's failed me then I'd be typing all night.

The only time I have ever experienced a consistent failure with a specific brand or format was a trio of Transcend SD cards back in 2011. One of them failed and around twelve hours later Transcend put out a statement that they had identified a faulty batch and users should send back any cards with a certain range of serial numbers, for free replacement. The card I had fail was one of those and there were two others which I hadn't even used yet but were also within that serial number range. I sent all three back and within the week Transcend had sent replacements. Of course, being just 16gb SD cards back in 2011, I had a truckload of them sitting around anyway so it didn't really affect anything, but still. That is the one and only time I can say I have come close to identifying poor reliability with a particular brand/form and even then, two of those we just assumed would follow suit.

There's cheap off-brand cards which don't reach their advertised speeds, don't have their advertised capacity, and do fail more often. Weird stuff with names you've never heard of sold at £10 for 2TB card. Those things will fail you more than others. But any of the brands that have big enough production that you've heard of them? They're all about the same in terms of reliability. No brand and no form factor is tougher than any other. If you think you have found some secret recipe for an extra-tough/weak memory card, I'm willing to bet that just means those are the only cards you've even tried and you've been uncommonly lucky/unlucky.

FWIW my 'default' kit bag contains, on purpose, a mixture of cards of different manufacturers and different speeds specifically so if there is ever a failure with more than one card at the same time, I can automatically rule out the possibility that it's down to a specific brand or type of unit. This comes from 2003-2006 1D cameras which had 1 CF card and 1 SD card slot, forcing you to use different cards so if one card was genuinely faulty, the second probably would not be affected. To this day I'd rather more cameras had a mixture of formats than matched pairs; still, even just mixing brands and production years of cards should minimise your risk.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
and I just purchased some Sandisk SD UHS-II cards. Oh well ... :censored:
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
540
522
It's blind luck. I've had between one and four memory cards fail on me every single year for the last ten years (bear in mind I go through about 2000-10000 frames per week for work, then add on whatever for personal/hobby shooting) and there's been no one brand or type of card which has lasted longer than others. SDs, CFs, CFast, XQD, Micro SD, they've all failed on me in a variety of ways. Lexar, SanDisk, Transcend, Sony, Samsung (yes, Samsung used to make more than just micro SDs and SSDs), they've all gone rogue.

For that matter, I've had two mechanical drives and one SSD fail me in the last year; two Seagates and one Samsung.

If we were going to go through every USB flash drive that's failed me then I'd be typing all night.

The only time I have ever experienced a consistent failure with a specific brand or format was a trio of Transcend SD cards back in 2011. One of them failed and around twelve hours later Transcend put out a statement that they had identified a faulty batch and users should send back any cards with a certain range of serial numbers, for free replacement. The card I had fail was one of those and there were two others which I hadn't even used yet but were also within that serial number range. I sent all three back and within the week Transcend had sent replacements. Of course, being just 16gb SD cards back in 2011, I had a truckload of them sitting around anyway so it didn't really affect anything, but still. That is the one and only time I can say I have come close to identifying poor reliability with a particular brand/form and even then, two of those we just assumed would follow suit.

There's cheap off-brand cards which don't reach their advertised speeds, don't have their advertised capacity, and do fail more often. Weird stuff with names you've never heard of sold at £10 for 2TB card. Those things will fail you more than others. But any of the brands that have big enough production that you've heard of them? They're all about the same in terms of reliability. No brand and no form factor is tougher than any other. If you think you have found some secret recipe for an extra-tough/weak memory card, I'm willing to bet that just means those are the only cards you've even tried and you've been uncommonly lucky/unlucky.

FWIW my 'default' kit bag contains, on purpose, a mixture of cards of different manufacturers and different speeds specifically so if there is ever a failure with more than one card at the same time, I can automatically rule out the possibility that it's down to a specific brand or type of unit. This comes from 2003-2006 1D cameras which had 1 CF card and 1 SD card slot, forcing you to use different cards so if one card was genuinely faulty, the second probably would not be affected. To this day I'd rather more cameras had a mixture of formats than matched pairs; still, even just mixing brands and production years of cards should minimise your risk.
A simple way to LIMIT the risk or to minimise the consequences is, of course, using exclusively cameras with dual card slots!
But I must confess, my favorite camera has only one slot...
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
You'll be fine. That bottom list was the cheapest of the cheap.
I check after I posted and my cards are only a few % slower. I doubt I would notice any difference.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,515
744
The write speeds are amazingly close to the card specs, I wonder if thats a sign that the camera can even write faster if a faster card came out. I bought a Delkin V60 100mb/sec write rated, it was not tested, but should be right there with the other V60 cards. Canon recommends a V60 to handle their fastest 4K codec. Since I don't do video or even fool with continuous shooting, a fast card is just for read speed.
 
Oct 18, 2018
2
2
I might be off here but card speed seems like an overrated issue for those of us that don't shoot a lot of continuous or full 4k...i would rather have a chart for reliability but I also realize that would be extremely difficult to document within a reasonable metric
 
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mirage

EOS RP
Jul 31, 2018
297
111
exactly. for stills shooting virtually any current SD card will suffice. at least for those of us who don't spray and oray and dont mash down shutter button for 200 RAW frames in hi-speed.

also nice thing about SD is low cost of cards. even the latest, biggest, fastest ones are far less expensive than XQD cr*p (stupid Nikon!). i really like how Canon stone-walls XQD.

SD (and next up SD Express) ideally in MicroSD form factor are the customer friendly way to go. they will be fast, cheap and ubiquitous thanks to all the mobile devices. no need for different/proprietary memory cards in my cameras. tellingly not even Sony themselves use their own XQD in A7/A9 series.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,515
744
I have a slow cheap 60mb/sec SD card that I put in my R to see how it worked. Its noticibly slow. Remember, that 60mb/sec is the read speed, you are lucky to get more than 10 mb/sec with a card like that, it does make a difference.

My new Delkin UHS II card downloads in about 1/2 the time of my old 90 mb/sec card, which is about right as far as speed specs go.
 

gbc

EOS M50
Oct 19, 2018
36
48
I might be off here but card speed seems like an overrated issue for those of us that don't shoot a lot of continuous or full 4k...i would rather have a chart for reliability but I also realize that would be extremely difficult to document within a reasonable metric
True, but for those of us who DO... This is EXACTLY the thing I have been looking for since buying the R. I stopped paying attention to SD cards years ago and just leave one in my 5D4 as a backup. But I do unfortunately have to do a lot of "spray and pray" so write speed is super important. I've been using a SanDisk card in the middle of this list and I am definitely pushing its limits, so this list comes at the perfect time for me.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
Wonder if this was based upon a single card, multiple cards from the same production lot, or different cards from different production lots.

In other words, how much variability is there between productions lots?
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
exactly. for stills shooting virtually any current SD card will suffice. at least for those of us who don't spray and oray and dont mash down shutter button for 200 RAW frames in hi-speed.

also nice thing about SD is low cost of cards. even the latest, biggest, fastest ones are far less expensive than XQD cr*p (stupid Nikon!). i really like how Canon stone-walls XQD.

SD (and next up SD Express) ideally in MicroSD form factor are the customer friendly way to go. they will be fast, cheap and ubiquitous thanks to all the mobile devices. no need for different/proprietary memory cards in my cameras. tellingly not even Sony themselves use their own XQD in A7/A9 series.

Where does CF Express fit into the picture?
 
Oct 26, 2018
1
1
I have found that ALL cheap memory cards MUST be speed tested. Recently I had my camera misbehaving which turned out being a counterfeit SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB (95MB/sec) SD card. It could barely transfer at about 15MB/sec! I now test all of my memory cards using a true USB 3.0 interface running a memory test program such as SpeedOut_0.5. Any quality memory card that I have tested was found to at least meet or slightly exceed the specified transfer rate. The marketplace is flooded with counterfeit cards, most of them sold by third party vendors through Amazon and like. Do not consider a certain brand card as poor quality unless it has been tested! I am curious as to how many counterfeit cards were in this test?
 
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mirage

EOS RP
Jul 31, 2018
297
111
Where does CF Express fit into the picture?
a few companies like Canon are pushing in that direction. it may make sense in "pro"-level video cams. for stills-centric and hybrid cameras i dont see it necessary. SD Express with up to 985 MB/s more than suffices. i hope it will win and become industry standard. ideally in MicroSD form factor. then we could have 4 card slots in even the smallest mirrorfree camera body. :)

https://www.dpreview.com/news/7847794311/sd-express-sduc-memory-cards-association.amp