Canon EOS 850D Memory Card Quick Recommendations
You’re going to need a memory card for your Canon EOS 850D to get out shooting, and if you just want to cut to the chase with some quick recommendations on which SD cards will work well in this camera, here you go:
- SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I SD Card
- Lexar Professional 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I SD Card
- Kingston Canvas Go Plus V30 UHS-I SD Card
- Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I SD Card
- Type: SDXC
- Video Speed Class: V30
- UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Any of these will work well in the Canon EOS 850D. These SD cards meet the needs of the 850D’s features, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.
You can’t go wrong with any of these, and you should be able to find at least one of them available for a decent price. If you’re after more detail, you can find it below.
Canon EOS 850D Memory Card Requirements
A memory card is an essential accessory for the Canon 850D. Without it, you’re not going to be able to take many photos or shoot much video.
But the Canon 850D doesn’t come with an SD card as standard. Some retailers put together bundles of the camera with some accessories. But unless you get one of those, you’re probably going to have to pick up a memory card separately. Or maybe the memory card it came with is too small, and you find it’s filling up too quickly. You don’t want to run out of space when you’re on a trip, so you may want something bigger with larger storage capacity—the cards that are included in bundles are often on the small side and might fill up quickly, especially if you’re on a trip.
So which card should you get?
That’s why I’ve put this post together. Hopefully, it’ll save you some time searching, so you can get out shooting sooner and taking full advantage of all the features of your new camera rather than spending your time searching the web and trying to make sense of cryptic technical codes. I’ve been buying and testing numerous SD cards for several years and have put many of the most popular SD cards on the market through their paces. You can find my main SD card tests here, and I have a lot more information on this site about SD cards and other memory cards.
The Canon EOS 850D is a DSLR camera with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, with images coming out at 6000 x 4000 pixels (when using the Large setting). And it shoots 4K24 video.
The EOS 850D has a single UHS-I SD card slot, and it’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards.
Canon EOS 850D Instruction Manual Guidance
The Canon 850D’s instruction manual is even less helpful than usual when it comes to providing guidance on what memory cards work well. The manuals for many other Canon cameras go to more effort than this one. In the Compatible Cards section, it simply says:
The following cards can be used with the camera regardless of capacity. If the card is new or was previous formatted (initialized) by another camera or computer, format the card with this camera.
– SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
UHS-I cards support.
That’s not particularly enlightening.
But then, buried way in the back in the technical notes, there are some more specific requirements laid out for recording in the various video and time-lapse modes. This is what it says on page 764:
That is a step in the right direction, but it’s still not all that practical.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Canon EOS 850D so that you can spend less time searching online and more time out shooting.
I’m not trying to list every SD card that works in the Canon EOS 850D–there are others that will work just fine as well. I’m focusing here on ones that offer a good combination of meeting the requirements of all of the 850D’s features, are readily available at major retailers, are cost-effective, and come from major manufacturers with track records for good-quality cards. I’m also basing this on my own SD speed tests.
So here’s more detailed information on these cards, along with some others. Any of these make for a good choice for the Canon EOS 850D.
SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I
SanDisk's Extreme range are good bets for many cameras, and that's true here too. SanDisk has faster ranges like the Plus and Pro lines, but the Extreme line is both quick enough for most cameras and usually less expensive than those faster lines.
One thing to note with SanDisk cards is that they recycle their model names. So you can find Extreme cards that are older and slower. You'll probably find those older versions work just fine--it really depends how far back you go--but you can tell the latest version because it's labeled with both U3 and V30, both of which are speed ratings specifically related to recording video. These cards are often good value, and you can sometimes find them sold in 2-packs.
Lexar Professional 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I
This card from Lexar, one of the leading makers of memory cards, is a fast, reliable option. It's rated for video recording speed rating of V30. It comes in sizes up to 512GB.
Buy at: Amazon
Kingston Canvas Go Plus V30 UHS-I
- Type: SDXC
- Video Speed Class: V30
- UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Kingston is another brand that isn't as well known as some of the others, but they've been making reliable memory cards for a very long time. As a brand, they don't tend to focus on the cutting edge speeds but rather on reliable and good-value memory cards.
This particular card (model SDG3 Canvas Go Plus) isn't the fastest in Kingston's range, but it's fast enough to work well in this camera. It's available in sizes from 16GB through 512GB.
Buy at: Amazon
PNY Elite-X V30 UHS-I
- Class 10 U3 V30 speed rating with read speeds up to 100MB/s
- Class 10 U3 V30 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD...
PNY aren't as well known as some of the other brands, but they've been around for quite some time and make reliable, cost-effective memory cards. It comes in sizes from 64GB up to 512GB.
Buy at Amazon
Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I
Delkin Devices have recently come out with a range of new SD cards of varying speeds and specs. This is one of their mid-range cards that is rated for V30 video recording speeds.
Making Sense of SD Card Specifications
There are several types of SD card, and you’ll find a range of different acronyms and codes on them. Here’s a quick overview of what to look for.
What is the Difference Between SDXC and SDHC
Most of the cards you’ll see available now have either SDHC or SDXC printed on them. The Canon EOS 850D will work with both SDHC and SDXC cards (and, for that matter, just plain SD cards, but they’re hard to find these days and have impractically small storage capacities).
These aren’t performance categories, as such. An SDXC card isn’t necessarily any faster than an SDHC card, and vice versa. But they’re important for compatibility with the camera and also in terms of storage capacity.
They’re categories assigned by the SD Association, which is the organization that oversees and develops the standards for SD and microSD cards. The difference between those two specifications is in the filesystem they’re formatted with–the SDHC specification uses FAT32 formatting, while the SDXC specification uses exFAT–but when it comes to buying memory cards, the practical difference is that cards 32GB and smaller will be labeled SDHC and cards 64GB and larger will be labeled SDXC.
And in the Canon 850D, there is one important practical consideration beyond the obvious one of storage size. The 850D detects whether the card is exFAT or FAT32. For cards that are formatted with FAT32, it will break up long videos and save them into 4GB chunks–4GB is the largest file size supported by FAT32. You’ll then need to join them back together in post-processing. But exFAT can support files exponentially larger. 1 So when using an SDXC card formatted with exFAT, the camera won’t need to break up the files and will instead save it as a single uninterrupted file.
UHS-I vs. UHS-II
The current generations of SD cards also have UHS-I or UHS-II on them (or often just an I or II). This refers to the type of interface that’s used to connect to the cards. It stands for ultra-high-speed bus.
Aside from whatever is printed on the card or packaging, you can tell UHS-I and UHS-II cards apart just by looking at them. UHS-I cards have a single row of contacts on the back. UHS-II cards have a second row of contacts.
UHS-I is the older, simpler bus interface. UHS-II is newer and potentially faster. The catch is that you only get the extra benefit of UHS-II if the device is also UHS-II. But the spec is designed to be backward compatible, so you can use UHS-II cards in UHS-I devices, but you will only get the speed of UHS-I.
The Canon EOS 850D doesn’t have a UHS-II interface, so, as a practical matter, there’s no benefit to using UHS-II cards in it (but it’s perfectly fine to do so if you already have a UHS-II card on hand).
Video Speed Classes
The SD Association has come out with various rating systems over the years to help buyers choose a card that’s suitable for use in cameras. Because recording high-resolution video (or, more specifically, high-bitrate video) is often the most demanding operation in terms of a camera and its memory card, it’s known as a video speed class rating system.
As a technical matter, the first system was known Speed Classes (these were Class 2, 4, 6, and 10). The second system was known as UHS Speed Classes (U1 and U3). The third system is known as Video Speed Classes (V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90).
Most cards available now have a mix of old and new speed class codes printed on them. And while it’s helpful, it’s still an imperfect system for judging the speed of an SD card.
As a practical matter in the Canon EOS 850D, cards that have any of these on them should be fast enough:
SD cards with a V90 rating will also work–the system is designed to be backward compatible like that–but they’re overkill for the Canon 850D.
There’s a separate rating system that you might also see on some cards. They might have an A1 or A2 on them. You can ignore that when choosing an SD card for a camera. It’s designed for the kinds of operations that gaming devices and smartphones do.
So Why Get a Good Memory Card?
A better memory card is not going to help you take better photos or improve image quality. But it can let you take advantage of all of the camera’s features. A card that’s not fast enough to keep up with the camera can cause issues like locking up, dropping frames, and overheating.
There’s also the issue of reliability. There are plenty of junk memory cards on the market. Not only do they have flaky performance, but they’re also more likely to fail. And that means the risk of losing your photos and videos.
At the same time, you don’t want to pay extra for a high-performance SD card that’s overkill for the camera.
How to Format SD Cards
When you buy a new SD card, you should format it before use and then regularly after that. If you’re formatting a card that you’ve already been using, make sure that you’ve downloaded any photos and videos you want to keep, because formatting deletes everything on the card.
Here’s some information on how to format the memory card.
How to Format SD Cards in the Canon EOS 850D
It is best practice to always format memory cards in the camera that you’ll be using them in. That sets the card up with the filesystem, folder hierarchy, and, in some cameras, a database file, so that the card is just how the camera expects. That greatly reduces the risk of unexpected errors and unpleasant surprises.
Always be sure you’ve backed up everything you want from the card, because formatting it will wipe everything. (If you’ve formatted accidentally, it still might be possible to recover data from the memory card, but it’s not always guaranteed, and it can incur the expense of buying recovery software; more on that below.)
On the Canon EOS 850D, you can find the format function under:
Wrench icon 1 > Format Card > Set
The 850D also has a low-level format function. That’s a more thorough and secure process, but it also takes significantly longer. If you’re disposing of the SD card or lending the camera to someone else, it provides a safer option that vastly reduces the chances that anyone could recovery anything from it (at least with the normal data recovery tools available to consumers).
How to Format SD Cards with a Computer
Having said that, it is still possible to format memory cards using a card reader and computer. You get a lot more flexibility that way, but also some extra risk if things aren’t set up just how the camera wants them. It’s also sometimes a good troubleshooting step if you’re having issues with a memory card.
There are some things to watch out for, particularly when it comes to choosing which filesystem to use. So I’ve put together guides on how to format SD cards on Mac and how to use the free SD Card Formatter app for Windows or Mac.
FAQs About Canon EOS 850D SD Cards
What SD card does the Canon EOS 850D use?
The Canon EOS 850D DSLR is compatible with SDXC and SDHC memory cards. It’s compatible with SD cards with storage capacities ranging from 4GB up to 1TB (the maximum currently available in consumer SD cards). For best performance, an SD card that is fast enough to handle the 850D’s high-bitrate video recording is recommended.
Does the Canon 850D come with a memory card?
The Canon EOS 850D doesn’t come with a memory card as standard. Some retailers might put together a special deal bundle that includes some accessories, but in general, you’ll have to buy the memory card separately.
- The practical maximum file size supported by exFAT is 128 petabytes. In theory, it can go up to 16 exabytes, but that exceeds the maximum partition size, so it’s not possible to do in practice.
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