Best SD Card for Canon Rebel T7 – Practical Recommendations

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 doesn’t come with a memory card as standard. Here are some practical recommendations for SD cards that will work well in the T7.

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Quick Recommendations on SD Cards for the Canon EOS Rebel T7

If you just want some quick recommendations on the best SD card for Canon Rebel T7 cameras, here you go. Any of these will work well in the Canon EOS Rebel T7. These SD cards meet the needs of the Rebel T7’s features, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.

SanDisk 256GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Memory Card - 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, SD...
  • Fast for better pictures and Full HD video(2) | (2)Full HD (1920x1080) video support may vary based upon...
  • Great choice for compact to mid-range point-and-shoot cameras
Lexar Professional 633x 256GB SDXC UHS-I Card, Up To 95MB/s Read, for...
  • High-speed, Class 10 performance leverages UHS-I (U1 or U3 depends on capacity) technology for a read...
  • Capture high quality images of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video

Either of these SD cards makes for a good choice. If you’re after more detail, you can find it below.

Confusingly, the EOS Rebel T7 goes by several different names. It’s known as the Rebel T7 in the Americas, the Kiss X90 in Japan, and the EOS 1500D in Southeast Asia. In other regions, it’s known as the EOS 2000D. They refer to the same camera–they’re just marketing distinctions.

What Type of Memory Card Does the Canon EOS Rebel T7 Take?

A memory card is an essential accessory for the Canon EOS Rebel T7. Without it, you’re not going to be able to take many photos or shoot much video. But the Rebel T7 doesn’t come with one by default. As they helpfully put it in the manual: “The camera does not come with a card for recording images/movies. Please purchase it separately.”

There are some bundles that retailers put together that might include a memory card, but chances are it’s something you’re going to have to pick up separately. Or maybe you 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 where this post comes in—hopefully, to help you 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, separately, more information about the different SD card types.

Canon EOS Rebel T7 SD Card Requirements

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an entry-level DSLR with a cropped APS-C 24-megapixel sensor. It shoots 1080p HD video at up to 30 frames per second video with a maximum video bitrate of around 45 Mbps. It’s an especially good choice for photographers wanting to upgrade into the DSLR world for more control and better image quality.

The T7 has a single SD card slot. In other words, it uses one SD card at a time. And it’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards.

Crucially, the Rebel T7 doesn’t have a UHS-I slot, so you’ll get no benefit from using one of the newer, faster cards in it. So there’s no need to splurge on a top-end SD card for the Rebel T7. Because of the way that cameras interface with memory cards, once you have a card that meets the requirements of the camera, you don’t get any extra benefit by inserting a card with high specs and performance that exceeds the camera’s capabilities.1 And, naturally, high-performance cards are more expensive. So why pay extra for high performance that your Rebel T7 can’t use? By all means, if you already have a fast SD card on hand, you can use it in the Rebel T7, but it won’t get you any extra performance in the camera (it might when downloading the photos and videos to a computer). But if you’re looking to buy a new SD card, you’re better off getting a card with more storage capacity than one that’s faster than the camera needs–at least that way you get the benefit of extra convenience.

That said, in the recommendations below, most of the SD cards available today are at least UHS-I. And there’s no need to go to extra lengths to find one that’s not. The SD Association has designed the specs so that they fall back gracefully, meaning that you can use a UHS-I card–or even a UHS-II card–in the Rebel T7, and it will work just fine. It’s just that you won’t get any extra speed benefit if the card is faster than the camera can make use of.

And in these recommendations, I’m factoring in cost-effectiveness as well. And because memory card manufacturers are coming out with newer, faster models all the time, it’s quite possible that the most cost-effective cards are faster than your camera needs. But that’s a case where it makes sense to go with the cost-effective option even if its performance exceeds the requirements of the camera.

The Rebel T7’s instruction manual is pretty unhelpful on the topic of which SD card to get. If you go looking, this is what you’ll find on page 5.

The following cards can be used with the camera regardless of capacity:
– SD memory cards
– SDHC memory cards
– SDXC memory cards

And, further down the page:

When shooting movies, use a large-capacity SD card rated SD Speed Class 6 or higher.
– If you use a slow-writing card when shooting movies, the movie may not be recorded properly. Also, if you playback a movie on a card with a slow reading speed, the movie may not playback properly.
– To check the card’s writing/reading speed, refer to the card manufacturer’s Web site.

There’s also an important note in a callout box:

The camera can use UHS-I cards, but since it is not compatible with the UHS-I standard, writing/reading speeds will be equivalent to SD Speed Class 10 at most.

And if you look at the official specs, you’ll see information that seems to contradict part of that: “Compatible with SD speed class cards. Not compatible with UHS speed class cards.”

In fact, the T7 is compatible with UHS speed class cards (i.e., cards with a UHS-I or UHS-II on them) in the sense that they will work just fine. The SD Association has designed the specs in such a way that they’re backwards compatible. What the manual actually means is that the camera can’t take advantage of the extra speed benefits that UHS-I and UHS-II cards offer. So even if you put in the fastest UHS-II SD card on the market, the camera is going to give you the same speeds as if it was a much older and slower Class 10 card.

Confused yet?

Detailed Version

So which SD card should you get for your Canon EOS Rebel T7?

What I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Canon EOS Rebel T7 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 Rebel T7–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 Rebel T7’s features, are readily available at major retailers, are cost-effective, and come from major manufacturers with track records for making good-quality SD cards. I’m also basing this on my own SD speed tests.

SanDisk 128GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Memory Card - 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, SD...
  • Fast for better pictures and Full HD video. Full HD (1920x1080) video support may vary based upon host...
  • Great choice for compact to mid-range point-and-shoot cameras
Lexar Professional 633x 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card, Up To 95MB/s Read, for...
  • High-speed, Class 10 performance leverages UHS-I (U1 or U3 depends on capacity) technology for a read...
  • Capture high quality images of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video

Making Sense of SD Card Specifications

You’ll find a range of different acronyms and codes on SD cards. Here’s a quick overview of which ones 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 Rebel T7 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.

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 Rebel T7 doesn’t have a UHS-I or UHS-II interface, so, as a practical matter, there’s no benefit to using UHS-I or UHS-II cards in it (but it’s perfectly fine to do so–the system is designed to fall back gracefully). But I use UHS-I cards in my T7 without any issue at all.

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 Rebel T7, cards that have Class 10 on them will work well. The cards might also have V30 or U1 or U3 on them–they’ll also work but are just rated higher than the camera needs.

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.

What Size SD Card to Use in the Canon EOS Rebel T7

The Rebel T7 is compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards. That means you can use cards from 4GB all the way to the largest cards currently available, which are 512GB and 1TB cards.

There’s really no right answer when it comes to what size, or storage capacity, to get–it’s mostly a matter of convenience so that you don’t keep running out of space. As is probably obvious, you can fit twice as many photos on a 64GB card as on a 32GB card. And with a 128GB card, you can fit four times as many photos as on a 32GB. And so on. And that’s especially handy when you’re traveling; even more so if you’re shooting any video. The most logical sizes for this camera in terms of convenience and price are probably the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB sizes. But if you want to use a larger or smaller one, say 64GB or even 1TB, go right ahead–they’ll work just fine because of the way that the SDXC spec is designed.

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, dropped 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 Rebel T7

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 Rebel T7, you can find the format function under:

Settings 1 (first of the wrench icons) > Format card

The T7 has two levels of formatting for memory cards. The standard format is the quickest and most basic. It’s the type that most cameras use. It wipes the file management system, but it doesn’t actually erase all the data off the card. For a more secure wipe that will erase all the data, you can enable the Low-Level Formatting option. It’s more thorough and also takes a bit longer.

How to Format SD Cards with a Computer

While it’s best to format the memory card in the camera, 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.

Backing Up Images & Videos

While memory cards are remarkably resilient, just like any electronic product, they can and do fail. So regular backups are highly recommended. Ideally, that should include a mix of local backups and off-site or cloud backups.


  1. Depending on your computer and memory card reader setup, you might get some speed benefit when putting a faster memory card into your card reader and downloading images to your computer. 

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by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

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