Fujifilm X-T3 SD Card Recommendations

To take full advantage of the power the Fujifilm X-T3 has to offer you’ll need SD cards that are fast enough. Here are some practical recommendations.

FujiFilm X-T3
FujiFilm X-T3
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The Fujifilm X-T3 doesn’t come with memory cards included as standard. So unless you’ve picked up a bundle that a retailer has put together that includes accessories like memory cards, chances are you’ll have to pick them up separately.

But just putting any old SD card in an X-T3 might lead to disappointment if you find you can’t take full advantage of the camera’s powerful features. The X-T3 has very high bitrate video capabilities—up to 400 Mbps—as well as high-speed burst photo modes of up to 30 frames per second. If you don’t use SD cards that are fast enough, you run the risk of not being able to use those features or even losing footage or photos.

While it’s not hard to find memory cards that are fast enough, there are so many cards on the market and so much marketing material that it’s not always clear which cards will work. Which is why I’ve put together this page: to provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to buy for the X-T3 so that you can get out shooting sooner and use all the capture features the camera has to offer.

Top Picks for the X-T3

If you’d just like to cut to the chase with some quick recommendations, here are some good options:

  1. Angelbird AV Pro SD MK2 V90 UHS-II
  2. ProGrade Digital V90 UHS-II
  3. Sony SF-G U3 UHS-II
  4. Lexar 2000x U3 UHS-II
  5. SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 UHS-II
Prograde Digital SD UHS-II 256GB Card V90 –Up to 250MB/s Write Speed and...
  • TURN YOUR PASSION INTO PROFIT – CALLING ALL VLOGGERS, INFLUENCERS, FILMMAKERS, PHOTOGRAPHERS &...
  • LIGHTING FAST 250MB/s WRITE SPEED – INSTANTLY SAVE high resolution recordings to your device, ALL WHILE...
Sony SF-G128/T1 High Performance 128GB SDXC Uhs-II Class 10 U3 Memory Card...
  • In UHS-II devices, up to 300MB/s transfer speed and up to 299MB/s write speed
  • Uhs-ii reader (mrw-s1) is needed to realize transfer speed

And don’t forget that the X-T3 has two SD card slots. You don’t have to fill them both—the camera will still work with only one SD card in it—but if you want to take advantage of the full power of the X-T3’s file storage options, use two cards.

I have a lot more detail below, but the upshot is that any of these are fast enough, are readily available, and are generally good value for money.

Fujifilm’s Official Recommendations on Memory Cards for the X-T3

I have to commend Fujifilm for providing guidance in the instruction manual that is actually more specific and practical than some other camera manufacturers provide. It says:

  • – The camera can be used with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. Both the UHS-I and UHS-II bus interfaces are supported.
    – UHS-II cards are recommended for high-speed burst photography.
    – Use cards with a video speed class of V60 or better to record movies at a bit rate of 400 Mbps. To record movies with lower bit rates, use cards with a UHS speed class of 3 or better or a video speed class of V30 or better.

And Fujifilm has gone the extra step of providing a webpage that lists a handful of specific memory card models that are officially supported. But that list is somewhat outdated now for the simple reason that memory card manufacturers tend to release new models fairly often and some have come out since that page was last updated. And it also doesn’t factor in things like availability and value for money—some of the cards on their list are surprisingly hard to find, especially at reasonable prices. And a final issue is that there are very fast cards where the manufacturers haven’t yet gone through the processes of certifying and updating the packaging and marketing materials to add the new V60 or V90 ratings. Cards like the Sony and Lexar cards, for example, are fast enough to meet the demands of the X-T3, but at least at the time I’m writing this they still only carry the U3 speed rating on their packaging rather than V60 or V90.

So what I’m trying to do is take the information provided by Fujifilm and combine it with both my own tests actually shooting with an X-T3 with these cards and also the findings from my own SD card speed tests. The objective is to provide some practical recommendations for which memory cards to get to be confident that they’ll work well with all of the X-T3’s advanced features.

My emphasis here is on memory cards that offer a good combination of meeting the camera’s technical requirements, are from well-known and reputable manufacturers, are readily available at major retailers, and provide good value for money. This is not designed as a definitive listing of every SD card that will work well in the X-T3—there are others that can also work well—but I’ll do my best to keep it updated as new memory card models are released and I have a chance to use them.

Detailed Recommendations

Here’s more detailed information on these SD card recommendations for the Fujifilm X-T3.

SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I

SanDisk 256GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card -...
  • 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.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

Lexar Professional 1667x V60 UHS-II

Lexar Professional 1667x 256GB SDXC...
  • 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.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

PNY Elite Performance U3 UHS-I

PNY 256GB Elite Performance Class 10 U3...
  • 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

Delkin Devices 256GB Advantage SDXC...
  • 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.

Find them at Amazon and B&H Photo

Canvas Select Plus V30 UHS-I

Kingston 128GB SDXC Canvas Select Plus...
  • 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

Sony 64GB High Performance Class 10...
  • 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.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 UHS-II

SanDisk SDSDXPK-064G-ANCIN Sandisk...
  • Designed for professionals
  • High read and write speeds

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).

Find them at Amazon and B&H Photo

Why Use a Fast Memory Card in the Fujifilm X-T3?

You can use slower SD cards in the X-T3. Many of the basic camera functions like standard single-shot stills photography or the low-bitrate video recording will work with slower cards for the simple reason that in those modes it’s not as crucial for the card to be able to keep up with a large stream of data being thrown at it in a short period of time.

The modes where you’ll run into trouble are the high-bitrate recording (eg. 4K at 400 Mbps) or the high-speed photo burst modes that take sequences of still images in rapid succession. If the card is too slow to keep up with those, you can get unwanted side effects like the recording stopping unexpectedly or the burst sequence being interrupted.

That’s why I’m focusing here on cards that allow you to use all of the X-T3’s capture modes: because I’m assuming that most people who shoot with an X-T3 probably want to have the option available of using the camera to its full potential. But if you never plan to use the high-bitrate video modes or the very high-speed burst photo modes, then you can get away with slower cards and ones that are UHS-I.

Using Two SD Card Slots on the Fujifilm X-T3

If you want to throw in a single memory card and head out shooting, you can. But the X-T3 has two SD card slots. And there are different ways to configure them.

Fujifilm X-T3 memory card slots

My rule of thumb is that if a camera has two memory card slots, then I want to fill both of them. It’s not because the camera won’t work with only one slot filled—it will—but there are advantages to using two slots. They include having more raw storage space, being able to create backups on separate cards, and being able to separate different types of files (e.g. RAW and JPG or photos and video) onto separate cards as a way to streamline the rest of the workflow.

There are different ways to configure how the camera treats the two slots.

Sequential. This is the default setting. When the card in slot 1 fills up, it automatically rolls over to slot 2 (or the other way around, if you’ve set it that way in the options).

Backup. This creates two copies of each photo. One copy is recorded on each card.

RAW/JPG. This is a special mode that’s available only if you’ve selected one of the RAW+JPG options that saves both a RAW file and a JPG version of the same image. It splits up each file type, recording the RAW version on one card and the JPG on the other.

You find these options under the Settings (wrench icon) > Save Data Setting > Card Slot Setting menu item.

Fujifilm X-T3 dual memory card slots

Do Both Cards Have to be the Same?

You don’t need to use exactly the same kind of memory card in each slot. They can be different brands, storage capacities, and speed ratings. To avoid complications, it makes sense to have them both fast enough, though.

In short: You can use the same kind of card in both slots, but it’s not a requirement.

How to Format the Memory Cards in the Fujifilm X-T3

The formatting process in the X-T3 is pretty straightforward. There’s no need to decode the differences between “deleting” and “formatting” as there is in some other cameras. On the X-T3 there’s just one process, and it does exactly what you’d expect: format the card to start fresh.

If you haven’t used a camera with two memory card slots before, the only difference in doing it here is that you have to do each card individually.

You find the option under the Settings menu tab (the wrench icon) and then the User Setting item.

The first option is Format.

Then specify which card slot you want to format.

And finally, confirm that you want to erase all the data from the card.

How to Format SD Cards on a Computer

It’s always best practice to format memory cards in the camera you’re going to use them in, but if that’s not possible or not what you want to do, you can also format cards using a computer. But there are some things to know when formatting SD cards to minimize the risks of your camera having problems with them. 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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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 »

7 thoughts on “Fujifilm X-T3 SD Card Recommendations”

  1. You failed to mention the shortcut for easily formatting your cards on an X-T3 without having to go through the menu.

    When in shooting mode (=not reviewing pics), just hold the delete button (the one with the recycle bin) for three of four seconds, and then – with that button still pressed – push the rear dial. You’ll then then chose which memory card you want to format.

    Far more convenient than going through the menu or doing it on your PC.

    Reply
  2. You’re right–the math doesn’t directly correspond. There are a bunch of places for inefficiency (or overhead) in the various parts of the hardware that get the data from the camera onto the card. And those can vary from card to card. You don’t necessarily need the fastest cards available, but in practice it’s much less risky to use a faster card that the direct math would suggest.

    Reply
  3. This may be a dumb question — but 400 Mb/s is just 50 MB/s — why do we need an SD card with anything over that? It says so that it can handle all the functions, but the math doesn’t work out specifically like that. I don’t understand where the discrepancy lies in using a card that is 300 MB/s and a function in camera (such as recording 4K at 400 Mb/s) that records (theoretically) at 50 MB/s?

    Reply
    • That was my question and observation as well. A bit confused why V30 or V60 would not easily handle the highest bit rate the camera can use? Perhaps the speed tests have the answer.

      Reply
  4. you mentioned taking fuji information (backed by actual test and Q&A with standards) and combining with your test. What tests? ? btw, using memory in a camera is not a test.

    Reply

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