Best SD Memory Cards for Sony a6000

The Sony a6000 is world’s best selling mirrorless cameras. If you have already bought the a6000, here are the recommended memory cards for Sony a6000, see the detail below:

Quick Recommendations on Memory Cards for the Sony a6000

If you’d like to cut to the chase, here are some quick recommendations for good memory cards for the Sony a6000. You can find more detailed explanations and more options below.

  1. SanDisk Extreme U3 V30 UHS-I
  2. SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 UHS-II
  3. Lexar Professional 1000x U3 UHS-II
  4. Toshiba Exceria Pro U3 UHS-II
It’s Not as Simple as it Seems

TheĀ manualĀ is pretty unhelpful on the topic of memory cards. If you go looking for it, this is what you’ll find (on page 19):

 

So get an SD card that’s faster than Class 4, correct? These days, pretty much all the SD cards you can buy are Class 10 or faster, so that’s not particularly hard. So you’re all set, right? If you’re only shooting still images, then yes. Any SD card of any size that’s Class 4 or above will work fine. There are advantages to having a faster one if you’re shooting in burst mode or trying to speed up the process of downloading photos from the memory card, but for the most part, the a6000 is not especially picky about memory cards in the photo modes.

Which Memory Cards Work with XAVC S Video Mode on the Sony a6000?

The catch is if you’re trying to record video. If you’ve tried to record video in the high-quality XAVC S mode, you might have come across this error message:

This memory card does not support recording of XAVC S movies. Change the file format or change the memory card. Refer to the instruction manual for details.

 

Except that you won’t find any information in the instruction manual. So far as I can tell, there’s no mention of this error in the instruction manual or any information about how to fix it.

It turns out there are two parts to solving this. The first is having a card that’s fast enough for the high-bitrate recording that XAVC S uses. If you try to use a Class 4 card, you still won’t be able to record in XAVC S mode.

The second part is that you’ll need to use a card that’s at least 64GB. Technically, it’s not the size of the card that matters but the formatting system it uses. And because of the specifications set by the SD Association, SD cards that are 64GB and larger use a system known as exFAT that allows for larger file sizes. You’ll also notice that SD cards 64GB and larger also have an SDXC marking on them–that’s referring to the same specification. So you can look at it either way–use a card that’s 64GB or larger or use one that’s marked as SDXC–it’s two ways of saying the same thing.1

Recommended SD Cards for the Sony a6000

The Sony a6000 is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards, so you can use any card with those marks on them. Most of the cards available these days are either SDHC and SDXC. In practice, you’ll find SDHC on cards from 8GB through 32GB and SDXC on cards 64GB and larger.

But if you want to take full advantage of the a6000’s features, here are some cards that work well. My emphasis here is on ones that meet the requirements, are from manufactures of high-quality cards, are readily available at retail, and are cost effective. There are faster, fancier, and more expensive cards that also work well, but those aren’t the ones I’m focusing on here, and many of them will be overkill for the a6000.

And a reminder to be sure to get one that’s 64GB or larger if you want to record in the a6000’s XAVC S mode.