My Favorite Memory Card

Sony Tough

My Favorite Memory Card

When it comes to memory cards, I used to tell people I generally use any name-brand card with high data transfer rates. I never found much advantage to one over the other. Then came the Lexar debacle and bankruptcy. I had problems (apparently I am not alone) with Lexar cards failing and even breaking and that, combined with the company’s financial problems convinced me that it was time to look more closely at this topic.

I tested all the big name brands and to make a very long and tedious story short, I determined that the cards from Sony – particularly the Sony Tough series, were the best choice.

Before I go on let me say that it pains me to make this recommendation. I am not a fan of Sony anything. I am not a fan of how they do business or their approach to the industry. They dissed Photofocus pretty hard when I launched it nearly 21 years ago and that solidified a mutual disdain between us. But now I must admit my bias. Consider it disclosed and now consider that it makes my pick even more remarkable. If I pick a Sony product, knowing how I feel about Sony, it must be good.

Sony (like it or not) is now a major player in the photo industry and regardless of how they treated me or treat me now, I feel duty bound to recommend the best product here. And it turns out it is the Sony Tough. When someone does a good job, I have to tip my hat. In my opinion, right now, Sony are making the best memory cards for photographers. I have been using these cards for months and found them to be fast, sturdy and reliable. I usually carry about 10 of the 64GB cards in my bag on any job.

Sony Tough

I specifically use the Sony 64GB SF-G Tough Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards. (Available at B&H and on Amazon.) I prefer the 64GB size because the larger the card, the larger the potential failure if there is a problem. 128GB cards scare me. 32GB is a good choice too, depending on how much you shoot in any given setting.

The specs for this card are:

  • 64GB Storage Capacity
  • UHS-II / V90 / U3 / Class 10
  • Max Read Speed: 300 MB/s
  • Max Write Speed: 299 MB/s

The feature I like most is that they really are pretty much impossible to break. I have torture tested a few of these cards, leaving them in a pocket in the wash, running over them with my truck, dropping them on concrete and no matter what, they still work fine. They are fast and sturdy. They aren’t the cheapest cards you can buy but they are a good value.

No memory card is 100% fool proof, but this one comes as close as any I have tested.


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6 Responses

  1. I like that they have removed the write protect switch – always a point of weakness. I’ve seen reports of these cards being thicker and sticking in slots. Any thoughts on that?

  2. Thanks Scott, Just FYI – I find another disadvantage of large capacity cards is the time LR takes to sort thru a large number of images and decide which are new. (I haven’t used the Luminar system). If you are shooting several sessions on a card and already have a few thousand images on it, it can take awhile.  I find it better to use a new card for each session.  The lower capacity cards tend to be cheaper.

    Sent from my iPad Mini Tom Barnwell

    1. That is true however for me a moot point because my workflow is that I copy the images from my card to a destination drive and then import. Import is faster and the images are already where I want them to be. And yes lower capacity cards save you money.

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