You’re going to need a memory card for your Canon EOS R100 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
Any of these will work well in the Canon EOS R100. These SD cards meet the needs of the R100’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 R100 Memory Cards
A memory card is an essential accessory for the Canon EOS R100. Without it, you’re not going to be able to take many photos or shoot much video. Somewhat unhelpfully, Canon buries this advice in the manual: “A card is not included. Please purchase it separately.”
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.
Canon R100 SD Card Requirements
The Canon EOS R100 has a single UHS-I SD card slot, and it’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards.
The Canon EOS R100 is a mirrorless camera with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor. It uses a CMOS Sensor, runs the data through a DIGIC 8 processor, and when shooting at the largest setting, the images come out at 6000 x 4000 pixels.
The R100’s emphasis is on still images. It can shoot 4K video, but not at an especially high framerate (24 fps) and not at an especially high bitrate (122 Mbps max).
The implications of that is that you don’t need the fastest and most expensive memory card. Canon does provide some guidance on memory card speeds, but it’s quite out of date now and refers to an older speed rating.
In general, to be able to use all of the camera’s features, including 4K video recording, look for an SD card carrying the UHS-I and V30 codes.
These refer to two different things. The UHS-I refers to the type of interface. Most SD cards on the market currently are either UHS-I or UHS-II. The system is designed to roll back gracefully, so it’s possible to use a UHS-II card in the R100 and it will work just fine. But because the R100 has a UHS-I slot, you won’t get the extra speed benefits of UHS-II. But you will pay more for a UHS-II SD card. In short, it’s just not necessary to pay the higher price for a UHS-II card when the R100 can only take advantage of UHS-I.
The V30 refers to the speed of the memory card. More specifically, it refers to how quickly it can write the type of data stream that is relevant to shooting video. If you never plan to record with the 4K setting, you can actually get away with a slower SD card. But if your card is too slow for the shooting mode, you can end up with dropped frames, errors, or even lockups.
So it makes more sense to me to get an SD card that lets you use all of your camera’s features, not just some. And V30 cards are readily available and cost-effective now, so you won’t have any trouble finding one at a good price.
The R100 shoots 4K video with a maximum video bitrate of around 120Mbps.
Canon EOS R100 Instruction Manual Guidance
The Canon R100’s instruction manual isn’t all that helpful in providing guidance on what memory cards work well.
There is a section titled “Compatible Cards,” but it doesn’t really help much. This is it:
Elsewhere, it does provide more granular guidance in terms of speed requirements when shooting video. But it’s refering to an older rating system.
That doesn’t clear much up at all. And it’s certainly not very practical.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Canon EOS R100 so 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 R100–there are others that will work just fine as well.
So here’s more detailed information on these cards, along with some others. Any of these make for a good choice for the R100.
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 Bus Interface Type: 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
- Type: SDXC / SDHC
- Video Speed Class: V30
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
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.
SDHC vs. SDXC
Most of the cards you’ll see available now have either SDHC or SDXC printed on them. The Canon EOS R100 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 R100, that has one important practical consideration beyond the obvious one of storage size. The R100 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 filesize 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 R100 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 R100, 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 R100, and it’s really not worth paying the higher prices for them in this case.
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 R100
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 R100, you can find the format function under:
Wrench icon > Format Card
The R100 also has a low-level format function. It’s sometimes known as a full format, and it’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).
I have more details in a separate post on quick format vs full format, but the gist is that for day-to-day use, quick format is the more suitable option. Full format is better for occasional use in instances where you’re running into performance glitches with the memory card or you really need the data on the card gone.
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.
- 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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