October 29, 2018

The Best SD Cards for the Canon EOS R Have Been Tested and Confirmed

Canon EOS R SD Cards
113 different SD cards have been tested to reveal the top options for the Canon EOS R.

Canon’s new EOS R mirrorless full frame camera has hit the market and early purchasers are starting to look to gear up. While details on the Canon EOS R have been known for some time, the single SD memory card slot might take some owners by surprise. Luckily, an exhaustive test has already been completed by the team at Camera Memory Speed of 113 different SD cards to evaluate write speed.

Let’s look at the results, including some top recommendations, and some lowlights to avoid.

UHS-II Protocol Support for 4K

Canon EOS R SD Card

The Canon EOS R is built to support UHS-II SD cards for optimal performance. However, if you’re looking to use your old cards, or cheaper ones on the market, the EOS R also supports UHS-I and standard SD cards as well. For this test, 113 SD cards from all brands and price points were used. Here’s Camera Memory Speed’s write up on their scientific procedure for the test.

“The Canon EOS R is mounted on a stable tripod and actuated by a remote release timer. The image subject is a detailed test scene illuminated by controlled lighting. A manual lens is mounted on the EOS R using the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and all manual settings are used to provide shot-to-shot consistency.”

You can read the full rundown of the camera settings on their site here.

Highest Average Write Speed

Let’s start with the best of the best. The top three SD card performers topped out at average write speeds (MB/s) 182.7, 181.7 and 181.3 respectively. Two of the top three performers were made by Lexar, and all three were the 64GB offerings. (Which shouldn’t be much of a surprise with some of the ridiculous work Lexar has been doing in the memory card arena - with their recently announced 512GB microSD.) Here are the top three with prices included:

Best Value SD Cards

However, with only one SD card slot and the Canon EOS R recording UHD 4K at 30fps through its 30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, you may have to invest in not one, but several SD cards to make it through some more intensive shoots. 64GBs appears to be the sweet spot for performance speed, but having some quality 128GB and 256GB card options might help you best on bigger projects. Here are three of the best value SD cards, along with their average write speeds and price points.

SD Cards to Avoid

Finally, our analysis wouldn’t be complete without highlighting some SD cards that you should probably avoid based on their performance in this test. Not surprisingly, some of the lowest speeds on the test came from some microSD contenders, but here are some of the lowest speed rates in relation to size and price points that you might want to avoid.

  • SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 64GB64 - 15.0 MB/s - $16.40
  • Kingston Canvas Select 64GB - 22.3 MB/s - $18.18
  • PNY Elite Performance U1 32GB - 34.9 MB/s - $42.49

Those are the results of the test, but your shoots and workflow may be different. As firmware updates undoubtedly come along the way, and SD card technology continues to advance, your best options may change over time. Stay posted here on NFS for updates on the Canon EOS R as the develop.     

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