Canon R7 Memory Card Quick Recommendations
If you just want some quick recommendations on which SD cards will work well in your Canon EOS R7, here you go.
These SD cards meet the needs of the R7’s features, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and can often be found reasonably priced at major retailers. In other words, they’re good choices.
- Type: SDXC / SDHC
- Video Speed Class: V90
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
- Storage Capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
- Type: SDXC
- Video Speed Class: V60
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
- Storage Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
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 about these cards, the R7’s memory card requirements, and why I’ve chosen these cards, you can find it below.
The Canon R7 has two memory card slots. And while it’s not technically required that you fill both of the R7’s SD card slots, there are advantages to doing so (more on that below).
Table of Contents
Canon R7 SD Card Recommendations in Detail
Now, for the more detailed version.
Not especially helpfully, Canon buries this advice in the manual: “A card is not included. Please purchase it separately.”
Which is somewhat understating it. A memory card is an essential accessory for the Canon EOS R7. Without it, you’re not going to be able to take many photos or shoot much video; the R7 doesn’t have any user-accessible internal memory on the R7. 
OK, so which SD cards should you get?
While Canon does offer a little guidance on what types of cards to get, the information could, frankly, be more helpful.
This is where I hope this post helps. 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 R7 Memory Card Compatibility & Requirements
My recommendation: Get an SDXC card with a UHS-II interface that’s rated at V60 or V90.
The Canon EOS R7 is a mirrorless camera with a 32-megapixel APS-C sensor. It handles photos and video equally well rather than leaning heavily toward one or the other.
The Canon R7’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 specific guidance in terms of speed requirements when shooting video. And which that is definitely useful, it’s still not as specific and practical as it could be.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Canon EOS R7 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 R7; there are also others that will work just fine as well.
As a technical matter, you can use a slower SD card in your R7 if you only stick to lower-bitrate video modes and don’t max out the still photo burst buffer. But that doesn’t make much sense to me. If you don’t plan to use all of the camera’s features, why not save some money and buy a cheaper model like the R100. 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 that’s what I’m focusing on here.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of why I’m recommending these particular SD cards and the type and performance specs they meet.
Dual Memory Cards
The R7 has two SD card slots. Both are UHS-II compatible. While it’s not technically required to fill both slots–the camera will function just fine with only one memory card–there are advantages to filling both slots.
For instance, it allows you to record photos to one card and video to the other. Or use both cards in sequence to maximize storage space. Or to save different image sizes to each card. Or you can have the peace of mind or recording a copy of each photo to each card (great for wedding and event photographers, for example).
You can find more on the specific options and how to set them here.
V60 or V90 Speed Rating
The R7’s maximum video mode is 4K60 10-bit. And while that might not sound all that demanding, with some other newer cameras shooting 8K these days, it’s the video bitrate where the need for a fast SD card comes into play.
Canon recommends a card that’s at least V60. If you happen to find a good deal on a V90 card, go for it—they’ll also work well. You can, technically, use a slower card in the camera, but that means that some of the camera’s features won’t be available to you (or at least will be risky to use). It makes much more sense to me to get a memory card that lets you to use all of the camera’s features.
This refers to the type of interface between the memory card and the camera. Most current SD cards are either UHS-I or UHS-II.  UHS-II is the faster of the two, with two rows of pins rather than one. Any of the V60 or V90 cards you come across will be UHS-II.
I recommend sticking with SDXC rather than SDHC in this camera.
There are two good reasons for that. One is fairly obvious; the other is less so.
- Larger storage capacities. By definition, any SD cards that can store 64GB or more are SDXC cards. And with the high-bitrate and burst shooting modes of the R7, you’ll fill up a smaller card quickly.
- Smoother when working with video. By smoother, I don’t mean visually of the type that a gimbal or stabilizer offers. I mean smoother in terms of the editing workflow. The reason for that takes a little explaining, but the gist is that when the R7 saves video to an SDHC card, it breaks the footage into chunks that are smaller than 4GB. When it saves video to an SDXC card, it keeps it as one large and continuous file.
Most current SD cards are marked as either SDHC or SDXC. This isn’t a performance indicator, as such. The SD Association, which is the organization that governs the SD card spec, has assigned SDHC for cards 32GB and smaller and SDXC for cards 64GB and larger. But the important part for the R7 isn’t so much about the storage capacity—although that’s obviously important. It’s to do with the file system used on each type. SDHC is formatted with the FAT32 file system, while SDXC is formatted with the exFAT file system.
The key thing to know about that in relation to the R7 is that FAT32 only supports individual files up to a maximum of 4GB. With exFAT, the maximum file size is so large that for all intents and purposes there is no maximum. 
That matters, because the R7 will adjust how it records video. If you use an SDHC card, the camera will save the video in chunks of 4GB or smaller. It’s a process known as chaptering. While it’s possible to rejoin those segments later in video editing software, it’s inconvenient, and the camera won’t play back the segments seamlessly in the camera.
If you use an SDXC card, however, the R7 won’t break up the video, and will save the movie file as one long continuous stream.
Specific Practical Recommendations
So here’s more detailed information on these cards, along with some others. Any of these make for a good choice for the R7.
Lexar Professional 1667x Silver V60 UHS-II
- Get high-speed performance with UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed up to 250MB/s (1667x)
- Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080P full-HD, 3D, and 4K video with a DSLR...
Lexar's Silver line is for their V60 cards, and they I've come across them quite often for reasonable prices. Over many years of using Lexar memory cards, I've found them to be good, reliable performers.
This card is rated for V60 and is UHS-II. It comes in sizes up to 256GB, and you can often find good deals on 2-packs.
Lexar has also recently reintroduced Gold series 1800x. They're a bit faster, but in practical terms, it's not a difference that you'll really notice in this camera. They're also V60 UHS-II cards, and they perform well. They do tend to be priced a bit higher, too. But a reason they might make a good alternative is that they come in larger storage capacities, up to 512GB.
- TURN YOUR PASSION INTO PROFIT – CALLING ALL VLOGGERS, INFLUENCERS, FILMMAKERS, PHOTOGRAPHERS &...
- LIGHTING FAST 130MB/s WRITE SPEED – INSTANTLY SAVE high resolution recordings to your device, ALL WHILE...
ProGrade Digital was born out of some corporate upheaval at Lexar a while back. While the brand might not yet have the same kind of name recognition yet, I can speak from personal experience that they make very good memory cards (and other accessories). I routinely use ProGrade CFexpress and SD cards in several of my cameras, as well as their top-notch memory card readers. I've been impressed.
This is their V60 line (they also a V90 card). It's available up to 512GB, and you can often find good deals on 2-packs.
SanDisk Extreme Pro V90 UHS-II
- Tap into pro performance designed for professional and advanced photographers and videographers.
- Super-fast write speeds of up to 260MB/s* help rapidly clear buffer time to support continuous burst mode...
SanDisk's Extreme Pro range is their top model. It's technically faster than this camera needs, but it's still a good, solid choice.
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. And, even more confusingly, you can also find another version of this card widely available—there are Extreme Pro UHS-I and UHS-II versions. The one I'm listing here is the one is the UHS-II version that is rated for 300 MB/s and V90. There are also UHS-I Extreme Pro cards that are rated for 170 MB/s and 200 MB/s. They'll work fine in this camera, although they won't take full advantage of UHS-II.
Delkin Devices PRIME V60 UHS-II
- Optimized for 8K, 4K & RAW Burst
- Specialized for Simultaneous Recording
Delkin Devices have actually been around for years, but not too long ago they refreshed their SD card lineup to make it both clearer and more competitive. The PRIME is their V60 line, which is a good fit for this camera. This card is rated at V60 and has UHS-II.
It's available in versions up to 1TB, and you can also find good deals on multi-packs.
Kingston Canvas React Plus V90 UHS-II
- Ultimate speeds to support professional camera use — Transfer speeds up to 300MB/s and recording speeds...
- UHS-II standard for reliable high-resolution photography and video recording — Capture 4K and 8K...
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.
But this card is an exception to that. It's Kingston's fastest model in their SD card lineup, and it's very quick indeed. It's available in sizes from 16GB through 512GB.
Things Worth Knowing
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 R7
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 R7, you can find the format function under:
Wrench icon > Format Card
It will then give you the choice of slot 1 or slot 2.
The R7 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.
- Like most digital cameras, the R7 does, technically, have internal memory; it’s the buffer that’s used for queuing data for writing to the card and internal processing. But that memory is not user accessible in the sense that you can use it to save photos and then retrieve them, in the way that you can from a memory card. While relatively rare, some cameras do have at least some user-accessible internal memory.
- The R7 actually has a higher bitrate that’s used for time lapse video (up to 470 Mbps). But because of the nature of time-lapse capture, that’s not a real-time capture bitrate. So the SD card doesn’t need to record at 470 Mbps, which is why I’m not factoring that in for write speed, but it does mean you’ll need a card with a fast read speed if you plan to play that footage back directly from the SD card.
- Technically, there is also a UHS-III spec, but it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll run into any of those in stores, and they won’t work in the R7 even if you do.
- 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 hit that maximum in practice.
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