Quick Recommendations on Which SD Cards to Get for the Fujifilm X-S20
If you want to just cut to the chase, here you go. Any of these is a good choice for the Fujifilm X-S20.
These SD cards meet the speed requirements of the X-S20’s most demanding features, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.
So any of them makes for a good choice for the X-S20. If you’re after more detail or more options from other brands, you can more information below.
- 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
Table of Contents
Fujifilm X-S20 Memory Cards
Fujifilm rather unhelpfully refers to the SD card as “optional” in the manual. But what they mean is that one doesn’t normally come included with the camera—it’s an “optional extra,” but it’s not really optional. The reality is that you’re not going to get far without a memory card. And, like most cameras, the X-S20 doesn’t come with one as standard.
There are some bundles that retailers put together that might include a memory card, and if you pick up one of those, you might already be all set. But chances are it’s something you’re going to have to pick up separately. Or maybe you want something bigger with a 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 speed tests here.
Fujifilm X-S20 SD Card Requirements
The Fujifilm X-S20 is a small interchangeable mirrorless lens camera with a 26-megapixel APS-C sensor.
It has a single SD card slot. It’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards. And the SD card slot is compatible with UHS-II cards.
The X-S20 has a continuous photo mode of up to 30 frames per second (that’s with the electronic shutter—it’s up to 8 frames per second with the mechanical shutter) and can handle large sequences of lossless compressed RAW files.
The X-S20’s core feature that is most demanding on the speed of the memory card is its high-resolution video recording. It can shoot 6.2K video at up to 30fps (or 4K at up to 60fps). The produces video a video data stream at a bitrate of up to 360 Mbps. That is quite high, which in turns requires a fast SD card to keep up.
So what does all that mean when choosing which SD card to get for your Fujifilm X-S20?
If you go digging further, to page 62, you’ll find something more specific: for the highest video modes, choose a memory card that’s rated for at least V60.
But, to their credit, Fujifilm has put together a compatibility chart for the X-S20 on their website. And it’s actually very useful, which is not all that common. It also includes a lot of memory cards that don’t tend to be widely available in the US. So I’m certainly drawing on Fujifilm’s list with these recommendations, but factoring in local availability and cost-effectiveness.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Fujifilm X-S20 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-S20—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-S20’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.
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 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.
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 cards you’ll see now have SDHC or SDXC printed on them. The Fujifilm X-S20 will work with both SDHC and SDXC cards (and also plain SD cards, but they’re rare and have small storage capacities).
These aren’t performance categories, really. An SDXC card isn’t necessarily faster than an SDHC card, and vice versa. But they matter for compatibility with the camera and also 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 SD cards also have UHS-I or UHS-II (sometimes just I or II) written on them. This indicates the type of interface used to connect to the cards. UHS 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 interface. UHS-II is newer and may be faster. However, you’ll only enjoy the extra speed of UHS-II if your device also supports UHS-II. The good news is that UHS-II cards can still be used in UHS-I devices, but you’ll only get the speed of UHS-I.
The Fujifilm X-S20 SD card slot has a UHS-II interface, so you can take advantage of the extra speed benefits. And, as a practical matter, you’ll find that the cards that are rated at V60 or V90 have a UHS-II interface.
Video Speed Classes
The SD Association has created different rating systems to help buyers select suitable cards for cameras. One of these is the video speed class rating system, which is important for recording high-resolution or high-bitrate videos, as it puts the most demand on the camera and memory card.
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 Fujifilm X-S20, cards that have any of these on them should be fast enough:
V90 is also fine, but it’s overkill for the X-S20.
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-S20
The X-S20 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.
Fujifilm has put together some estimates on how many photos and how long video recordings you can fit on 16GB and 32GB cards. The numbers vary based on the shooting settings you’re using, but they estimate that on a 32GB SD card you can fit:
- approx. 550 uncompressed RAW files
- approx. 1400 compressed (lossy) RAW files
- 40 minutes of 4K video (at default bitrate)
You can find their tables here.
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 Fujifilm X-S20
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 Fujifilm X-S20, you can find the format function under:
Setup (wrench icon) > User Setting (wrench icon) > Format
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.
macOS Compatibility Bug
There was currently a bug in some Fujifilm X and GFX series cameras–including the X-S20–that shows up in a pretty specific set of circumstances: if you’re saving more than 4,000 files in the camera to a single folder on an SDXC card and then directly accessing the card using macOS. In that case, the extra files (i.e., after the first 4,000) might be inaccessible. You can find more information here.
As a workaround, Fujifilm has issued a firmware patch to address it. You can find the latest X-S20 firmware here.
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