A memory card is an essential accessory to make the camera work, but the Fujifilm X-T30 doesn’t come with a memory card as standard. Some retailers put together a deal bundle that might include some accessories, including a memory card, but chances are you’ll have to pick up a memory card 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.
But what type of memory card should you get for the X-T30? 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.
Quick Recommendations on SD Cards for the Fujifilm X-T30
If you just want some quick recommendations, here you go. Any of these will work well in the X-T30. These SD cards meet the needs of the X-T30’s feature, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.
Fujifilm X-T30 SD Card Requirements
The Fujifilm X-T30 is a 26-megapixel mirrorless camera with a cropped APS-C sensor. While sporting similar performance to the X-T3, it comes in a smaller, more portable body. It shoots 4K video at up to 30fps.
The video bitrate refers to the amount of data being written to the memory card when shooting video. When using the 4K modes on the X-T30, it’s up to a relatively high 200 Mbps. You’ll need a card that can keep up with that, but it’s still well below some higher-end models that can shoot at up to 400Mb/s (including the Fujifilm X-T3).
So the X-T30 needs a card that is relatively fast, but it doesn’t need the fastest SD card that money can buy.
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 X-T30 can’t use? By all means, if you already have a fast SD card on hand, you can use it in the X-T30, but it won’t get you any extra performance in the camera (it might when downloading the photos and videos to a computer).
That said, in the recommendations below, 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 X-T30 has a single UHS-I SD card slot.2 It’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards.
So which SD card should you get for your Fujifilm X-T30? Here’s the more detailed version.
If you go looking in the manual, you’ll find these recommendations in relation to compatible memory cards:
- The camera can be used with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards.
- The camera supports UHS-I memory cards.
- To record movies, use cards with a UHS speed class of 3 or better or a video speed class of V30 or better.
Fujifilm has also put together a separate page with an XT-30 compatibility chart, but it’s not very helpful either on the topic of which SD card to buy.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Fujifilm X-T30 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 X-T30–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 X-T30’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.
SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I
- Shot speeds up to 70MB/s, transfer speeds up to 150MB/s requires compatible devices capable of reaching...
- Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K...
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 1667x 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...
Like the SanDisk Extreme Pro, this one actually has UHS-II, which you don't need with this camera, but it's still a very good, reliable option. It's rated for video recording speed rating of V60. It comes in sizes up to 256GB.
PNY Elite Performance U3 UHS-I
- Sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s
- Class 10, U3 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. The packaging on this card hasn't been refreshed to include the newer V30/V60/V90 video speed rating system, but the real-world performance of the card is very good. It comes in sizes from 32GB up to 512GB.
Buy at Amazon
Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I
- Supports 4K & Full HD 1080p Video Recording at High Frame Rates
- RAW Continuous-Shooting Approved
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.
Canvas Select Plus V30 UHS-I
- Faster speeds — Class 10 UHS-I speeds up to 100MB/s. *
- Capture in full HD & 4K UHD video (1080P) — the advanced UHS-I interface makes the card ideal for...
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 SDS2 Canvas Select 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
Sony U3 UHS-I
- Up to 95 MBs transfer speed and up to 90 MBs write speed
- File Rescue downloadable software helps recover photos and videos that have been accidentally damaged or...
These Sony cards are quick, reliable, and fairly widely available. Sony also now has another much faster model that works well but is a bit overkill for this use.
SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 UHS-II
This is SanDisk's top-of-the-line range, and they work well in this camera. This latest version is somewhat overkill however, because they use UHS-II, which most cameras can't fully take advantage of. Older versions of the Extreme Pro cards are UHS-I and will still work well (ideally, stick to ones with the U3 rating on them).
Decoding the SD Card Codes
SDHC vs SDXC
Most of the cards you’ll see available have either SDHC or SDXC printed on them.
As a practical matter, the Fujifilm X-T30 is compatible with both SDXC and SDHC, so you don’t need to worry much about this.
These are categories assigned by the SD Association, which is the organization that oversees and develops the standards for SD and microSD cards.
Technically, SDHC and SDXC refer to the type of filesystem used on the SD cards. SDHC cards used FAT32. SDXC cards use exFAT.
In practice, though, it also helps distinguish cards by their storage capacity, at least broadly. The SD Association determined that cards up to 32GB would be SDHC, while cards 64GB and above are SDXC.
UHS-I vs UHS-II
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.
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 Fujifilm X-T30 has a UHS-I 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).
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.
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 Fujifilm X-T30, cards that have any of these on them should be fast enough:
V90 is also fine, but it’s overkill for the X-T30–you pay more for those high-end cards, and it’s not necessary for this camera.
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 Fujifilm X-T30
The X-T30 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.
The current sweet spot for a combination of convenience, being readily available, and being cost-effective is probably around the 128GB to 512GB range. But you can use larger or smaller ones if you prefer–it’s mostly a matter of convenience of how much video footage or photo data you can store on the card before it fills up, and you have to download to a computer or some other device.
Fujifilm has put together a chart with estimated memory card capacities in various shooting modes. It uses 8GB and 16GB cards as the basis, which aren’t very practical sizes–many of the newer fast SD cards don’t even come in those sizes. You can find the original chart here, but here’s an adapted version where I’ve simply multiplied Fujifilm’s estimates by the relevant amount for some of the key shooting settings.
|JPEG / Fine / L||4120||16,480|
|JPEG / Normal / M||12,160||48,640|
|JPEG / Fine / S||16,160||64,640|
|Video||4K 200Mbps||40 min.||160 min.|
|4K 100Mbps||80 min.||320 min.|
|1080p 200Mbps||40 min.||160 min.|
|1080p 50Mbps||156 min.||624 min.|
It’s worth noting that these are very much estimates. Because of the way that image compression works–both for still photos and video–the actual filesize can vary quite a bit based on the scene. Scenes with few colors, few tones, and few details will compress to smaller files than ones with complex colors and tones and a lot of detail. So take these numbers with a grain of salt–what you see in real-world shooting will likely vary from these to some extent. But it’s still useful as a very rough guide to what you can expect.
So Why Get a Good Memory Card?
A better memory card isn’t 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). Here’s some information on how to do that.
How to Format Memory Cards in the Fujifilm X-T30
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.
On the Fujifilm X-T30, you can find the format function under:
Setup (wrench icon) > User Setting (wrench icon) > Format
There’s also a shortcut on the X-T30. **Press and hold the trash can button and then press the center of the rear command dial. **
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.
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