GoPro SD Card Recommendations for the GoPro HERO5 Black & HERO5 Session

Which microSD memory cards work best with the GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session? Here are some practical recommendations.

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GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session cameras don’t normally come with SD cards as standard. Some retailers offer bundles that include them, but unless you get one of those bundles, chances are you’ll have to pick up a microSD for the camera separately.

But you can’t just put in any memory card in the HERO5 models and hope for the best. Specifically, you’ll need one that’s fast enough to keep up with their high-bitrate video recording in 4K or high-framerate modes. If you use a card that’s too slow, you can end up with the recording stopping unexpectedly or the camera freezing up or shutting down. So the purpose of this page is to make it easy to find SD cards for the HERO5 with confidence that they’ll work well in these cameras.

GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session SD Cards – Quick Recommendations

If you just want to cut to the chase, here are some quick recommendations for some of the best SD cards to use in GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session cameras:

  1. SanDisk Extreme V30
  2. Samsung EVO Select U3
  3. Lexar 1000x U3
  4. Delkin 1900x V60

These microSD cards are fast and reliable, cost-effective, and readily available. Any of these make for a good choice. If you’d like more detailed recommendations or other brands and models, you can find them below. I also have a more general guide to the best SD card for GoPro cameras.

Best SD cards for the GoPro HERO5 Black & HERO5 Session – In Detail

Not every microSD memory card will work well in the GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session. If the card is too slow, you can end up with a number of show-stopping issues. The recording can stop unexpectedly, you can get an error message, you can lose footage because it can’t save properly, or the camera can lock up–and perhaps all of the above. So it’s a good idea to start with a card that is fast enough to keep up and prevent those kinds of problems bringing your shoot to a grinding halt.

You don’t necessarily need the fastest card with bleeding-edge technology–those cards can sometimes be ridiculously expensive. But you will need one that’s fast enough to keep up with the recording of the HERO5’s high-resolution 4K and fast framerate video, particularly if you plan to use the expert features included in the Protune settings.

This is not designed to be a comprehensive list of every card that works with the GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session. What I’m trying to do is present some options so you can choose a card and be confident that it’s compatible. There are other cards that also work well; I’ll update this list as I have a chance to test them or as new models come out. There are also other fast cards that simply aren’t easy to find or aren’t cost-effective when you do; I’m most interested in ones that are readily available and reasonably priced. There are also cards that I’ve had problems with, generating error messages like the one below, and I’m simply not including them.

To make it onto this list, the cards have to have demonstrated that they can handle the video and photo modes that generate the most data–particularly 4K30 with Protune.1 So this list is a combination of GoPro’s official recommendations and my own real-world testing in the cameras, not on card manufacturers’ speed claims or the microSD benchmark testing I conduct separately (although it won’t come as a surprise that the ones that top my list of fastest microSD cards work well in these cameras).

GoPro hasn’t increased the maximum bitrate of the high-end video modes–they top out at 60 megabits per second, just as they do with the HERO4 Black.

SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I

SanDisk 256GB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I...
  • Up to 160MB/s read speeds to save time transferring high res images and 4K UHD videos; Requires...
  • Up to 90MB/s write speeds for fast shooting; Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds

The SanDisk Extreme cards are fast, cost-effective, reliable, and widely available. They're also safe bets for a wide range of action cameras, including GoPros. Extreme cards are the ones that GoPro themselves often bundle with their cameras and sell on GoPro.com, and it's one of the few they officially recommend in their "Works with GoPro" certification program.

From my own speed tests, it is plenty fast enough for GoPro Black edition cameras.

The latest version of the SanDisk Extreme comes in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 400GB, 512GB, and even new 1TB versions.

As with most of its product names, SanDisk recycles them with newer, faster cards. So you can find "Extreme" cards that are actually several years old. It's therefore worth checking the model number, although in practice even a number of the older versions of the Extreme cards will support the kinds of speeds that GoPro's need with their high-bitrate video recording modes and rapid burst photo shooting.

SanDisk uses a three-part model numbering system in the format SDSQXA1-256G-AN6MA. In this example, SDSQXA1 is the model number, the 064G refers to the amount of memory, and the last 5 characters are used by the marketing department for different parts of the world but the cards are otherwise the same. So the first part is the crucial part if you're looking to see which model the card is, and you don't have to take much notice of the last 5 characters.

The basic version includes an SD adapter. You can also find it bundled with a USB microSD card reader.

You can find them at: Amazon | B&H Photo | GoPro.com

Samsung EVO Select V30 UHS-I

SAMSUNG EVO Select Plus Micro SD Memory...
  • All The Space You Need: Store tons of media on your phone, load games or download more apps on your...
  • Fast and Smooth: With superfast U3, class 10 rated transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s¹,²and UHS-I...

Samsung makes several models of microSD cards, and more than one model will work well in GoPro cameras. But they have a somewhat confusing naming system (they're not alone in that!) that doesn't always make clear what the difference between the models is. The EVO Select is one of their better cards but is also very cost-effective. Like SanDisk, Samsung recycles the series names.

This is the latest version of the EVO Select--it's a blue/teal color. It's a little faster than the previous model, but the older green/white/gold version still works well in any of the GoPro cameras released so far.

It's available in storage capacities from 64GB up through 512GB and includes an SD adapter.

Find them at: Amazon

Lexar 1066x V30 UHS-I

Lexar Professional 1066x 256GB MicroSDXC...
  • Professional-level performance for action cameras, drones, or Android smartphones
  • Leverages UHS-I technology to deliver read speeds up to 160MB/s (1066x)

Lexar has been one fo the leading flash memory card makers for years. They went through some corporate upheaval a few years ago, and their cards became hard to find. But now that they're under new ownership, and supplies of their memory cards seem to have stabilized. They've also made some logical changes to their lineups of microSD and SD cards.

When marketing their cards, Lexar has always to put more emphasis on marketing the read speeds of their cards--in this case, 1066x or up to 160MB/s (that's the read speed; the rated write speed is up to 120MB/s)--but several of their cards have write speeds fast enough for GoPros shooting 4K and 5K video.

Find them at: Amazon | B&H Photo

Delkin Select V30 UHS-I

Delkin Devices 256GB Select microSDXC...
  • Supports Full HD 1080p Video Recording
  • Time-Lapse, Photo-Burst, Protune & HDR Ready

Delkin Devices have been making memory cards for a long time, and good ones at that. But it's only recently that they simplified and streamlined their product lines to make it clearer what the differences are between cards. The Select line isn't their fastest line--that is the Power V90 line--but the Select series are rated for V30 and are good combination of being fast enough for GoPro cameras as well as cost-effective.

This card is rated for V30 and has a UHS-I interface. It's available in sizes ranging from 16GB up through 512GB and it comes with an SD adapter.

Find them at: Amazon | B&H Photo

PNY Elite-X

PNY 256GB Elite-X Class 10 U3 V30...
  • Up to 100MB/s read speed
  • Class 10, U3, V30 performance for recording of 4k ultra HD videos at 4096x3072 pix as well as 60 and 120...

PNY is another memory card brand that isn't as well known as some of the others, but in my experience they make very good cards. They have a few different ranges, but the Elite-X strikes a good balance of being fast enough and good value.

They're UHS-I cards and carry a V30 rating. The 32GB card is a tad slower than the larger capacities, but most users will probably prefer sizes more on the 128GB-256Gb end of the range anyway.

Find them at: Amazon | B&H Photo

What SD Card Size and Format for the HERO5?

Both the GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session are fully compatible with both the microSDXC and microSDHC specifications. Some of current crop of microSDXC cards go up to 1TB.

The cameras themselves use the UHS-I host specification. That means that you won’t see any added benefits if you put a UHS-II card in them. But UHS-II cards will still work because of the way that the specification is designed to roll back gracefully to UHS-I.

For the speed rating, the safest bet is to stick with one that’s rated with V30 or U3, although there are also U1 cards that work just fine.

What If I’ve Hacked the HERO (2018) Firmware

If you’ve hacked the HERO (2018) firmware to it into a HERO5 Black, these same recommendations apply. For all intents and purposes, it’s now a HERO5 Black, with the same bitrate recording and demands of the SD card. If you’re using your HERO (2018) as a HERO (2018), it doesn’t have the same high-bitrate recording available.

HERO5 Battery Drain and Memory Cards

If you’re finding that the battery of your GoPro HERO5 Black is draining even with the camera off, one of the possible culprits might be related to the way in which the camera is handling the memory card. In early versions of the HERO5 Black’s firmware, there was a bug when using some SanDisk cards where the camera was scanning the card even when powered off. That, in turn, drained the battery even with the camera switched off. GoPro issued a firmware update that addressed the issue, so updating the firmware is the first thing to try. You can also try switching memory cards to a different brand. If those things don’t fix the problem, here’s a checklist of things to try if you GoPro’s battery is draining even when the camera is switched off.

GoPro HERO5 Black Video Bitrates

ResolutionFPSFOVBitrate (megabits/s)
- Protune / + Protune
4K30Wide60 / 60
25Wide60 / 60
24Wide60 / 60
SuperView60 / 60
2.7K60Wide60 / 60
Medium60 / 60
Linear60 / 60
50Wide60 / 60
Medium60 / 60
Linear60 / 60
48Wide60 / 60
Medium60 / 60
Linear60 / 60
30SuperView45 / 45
Wide45 / 45
Medium45 / 45
Linear45 / 45
25SuperView45 / 45
Wide45 / 45
Medium45 / 45
Linear45 / 45
24Wide45 / 45
Medium45 / 45
Linear45 / 45
2.7K 4:330Wide45 / 60
25Wide45 /
1440p80Wide60 / 60
60Wide45 / 60
50Wide30 / 45
48Wide30 / 45
30Wide30 / 30
25Wide30 / 30
24Wide30 / 30
1080p120Wide60 / 60
Narrow60 / 60
90Wide60 / 60
80SuperView60 / 60
60SuperView30 / 45
Wide30 / 45
Medium30 / 45
Linear30 / 45
Narrow30 / 45
50SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Linear30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
48SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Linear30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
30SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Linear30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
25SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Linear30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
24SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Linear30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
960p120Wide30 / 45
60Wide30 / 30
50Wide30 / 30
720p240Narrow*60
120SuperView30 / 45
Wide30 / 45
Medium30 / 45
Narrow30 / 45
100SuperView30 / 30
60SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
50SuperView30 / 30
Wide30 / 30
Medium30 / 30
Narrow30 / 30
30Wide20 / 45
Medium20 / 45
Narrow20 / 45
25Wide20 / 45
Medium20 / 45
Narrow20 / 45
480p240Wide30 / 30

Speed Ratings Explained

Video bitrates are conventionally measured in megabits per second, or Mb/s (or Mbps, with a lowercase “b”). The speed of memory cards is conventionally measured in megabytes per second, or MB/s (or MBps, with and uppercase “B”). There are 8 megabits in 1 megabyte. So 60 Mb/s (megabits per second) is equivalent to 7.5 MB/s (megabytes per second). Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. It would be nice if that meant that you could just make sure your card had a write speed faster than 7.5 MB/s, but other factors come into play in practice, including inflated manufacturer speed ratings, sustained speeds vs peak speeds, and the role and overhead of host devices and connections. All of which means that it’s best to stick to cards that are known to work.

X Rating vs MB/s. Some manufacturers use a more cryptic x rating in place of MB/s. Lexar, in particular, has long used this system. It comes from the old way of measuring the speed of CD-ROM drives when the standard speed of a CD-ROM drive was 150KB/s. Each x therefore equals 150KB/s.

microSDHC vs microSDXC

The GoPro HERO5s are compatible with both the microSDHC and microSDXC formats, so you can use either. In practical terms, microSDHC refers to a card that has a storage capacity of 32GB or smaller and microSDXC refers to one that is 64GB or larger.

SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) is a design specification that refers to SD cards that are between 4GB and 32GB in capacity and formatted with the FAT32 filesystem. FAT32 supports individual files up to a maximum of 4GB.

SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) refers to SD cards with a capacity larger than 32GB and with a maximum theoretical limit of 2TB. They’re formatted in the exFAT filesystem.

SD Speed Classes & Specs

SD cards are given a speed class rating that refers to its category for writing data, with each category describing a real-world video recording use. The most relevant ones here are Class 10, U1, and U3. Look for either a U3 or U1. If the card says C10 but doesn’t include a U1 or U3, its write speed is most likely too slow.

V30 is a new video speed class put out by the SD Association that applies to cards that are rated for a minimum sequential write speed of at least 30MB/s. The specifications allow for faster and slower ratings—all the way up to V90 for 8K video—but V30 is the most relevant for the current generation of cards and the GoPro HERO5 Black. Being a new rating, only a handful of manufacturers have started displaying the rating on their cards, but expect more to as new models come out.

U3 is designed to support 4K video recording at a sustained video capture rate of 30MB/s.

U1 is designed to support real-time broadcasts and HD video (720p and 1080p) with a minimum serial write speed of 10 MB/s.

Class 10 is designed to support 1080p recording at minimum (but again, not at all framerates) with a minimum serial write speed of 10 MB/s. You’ll often see it marketed as “full HD”, but that’s pretty outdated now. What “full HD” means in this context is 1080HD video, which is no longer a cutting edge HD video mode.

A1 / A2. Finally, you might have noticed the speed ratings A1 starting to appear on some of the newer cards. That’s a different type of speed rating geared toward apps. Devices that run apps, like smartphones and gaming devices, don’t send a long stream of continuous data but rather lots of small chunks of data. So they need cards with fast random write speeds. And that’s where the A ratings come in–to help identify cards that are suitable for app devices. So it’s not really relevant for using SD cards in GoPros. I have a more detailed explanation of the A1 and A2 ratings separately.

UHS-I vs UHS-II

Newer microSDHC and microSDXC cards have a feature called ultra high-speed bus, which refers to the interface. So far, there is UHS-I and UHS-II. Both types of cards will work in the GoPro HERO5 Black, although you won’t get any benefit in using a UHS-II card over a UHS-I one.

The product labeling for cards with this technology will have either UHS-I or UHS-II, or sometimes just I or II. Technically, it should be Roman numerals, but you’ll sometimes see it list with a number 1, like UHS-1, even by some manufacturers.

Will 128GB and 256GB microSD Cards work in the HERO5?

So long as the card has a fast enough write speed and conforms properly to the microSDXC specs, I’ve not run into any issues using 128GB or 256GB versions. Several of the cards listed above have versions in those sizes that work, and some of the newer ones are even going up to 400GB.

Things Worth Knowing

  • It’s worth buying from a reputable retailer. There are a lot of fake memory cards out there, and buying from a reputable retailer minimizes the risk that you’ll be caught out with a fake card that doesn’t perform as you expect.
  • Before using it, format the SD card in the camera. It’s a safer option that formatting on your computer and can help prevent problems. And it’s a good idea to reformat in the camera fairly regularly as a way to prepare the card for use. I do it immediately after downloading all my footage/photos from the card to my computer so that it’s ready to go for next time. You can find the reformat function on the HERO5 Black under Settings > Delete All, or I’ve put together a more detailed guide to formatting an SD for GoPro cameras here.
  • Test your memory card before using it on your once-in-a-lifetime footage. Memory cards are pretty reliable, but it is possible to get a faulty one. And here are some steps to try if you need to recover photos from a memory card.
  • Don’t use the memory card for long-term storage. Download it to a computer or similar as soon as practicable (and back that up!).
  • I have a separate roundup of the fastest microSD cards that I’m updating regularly.

  1. In case you’re wondering how I’m recording for 2 hours at a stretch when the battery doesn’t last that long, I’m running it with external power. 

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2022-01-23 at 18:38. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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. I've been shooting with GoPros for years, starting with the HD HERO, and have owned and used every model since. More »

187 thoughts on “GoPro SD Card Recommendations for the GoPro HERO5 Black & HERO5 Session”

  1. Hello,
    I have a hero 5 black. I am considering purchasing a 1TB card (sandisk extreme). Will this work in my camera?
    Thanks
    Mark

    Reply
  2. Hello,
    Thanks for your quick reply! I bought the card you recommended but the company sent the wrong one so I had to return it. I’ve been looking at other ones but I haven’t bought yet as I have a question about speeds. Is there a maximum read or write speed for the HERO 5?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • The HERO5 Black has a maximum video bitrate of 60 Mbps, which is lower than the newer Black models. There’s no problem getting a card that’s faster than you need–it’ll still work because of the way that SD cards are designed to be backwards compatible–but you won’t get any extra benefit in the camera. Likewise, you can put a UHS-II card in it and it will work just fine, but you won’t get the extra benefit of the UHS-II part because the camera only has UHS-I (again, it’s backwards compatible, though). The SanDisk Extreme and Samsung EVO cards are good places to start.

      Reply
    • The Extreme Plus cards work fine. They’re faster than necessary–the normal Extreme cards work just as well, and you won’t get any extra benefit from the Plus–and SanDisk has discontinued the Extreme Plus line.

      Reply
  3. Hello,
    I recently got a GoPro HERO5 Black but unfortunately it can only record 14 seconds with my memory card before an error message appears saying “SD card error”. I think this is because it is a very old card so I’m looking to buy a new one. I’ve found GoPro’s recomendations very confusing but I eventually came up with this: https://flashmemo-business.co.uk/sandisk-extreme-plus-64gb-micro-sdxc-card-100mb-s-v30/#product-reviews . Do you think it will fully function with my GoPro in 4K?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Hi! I recently came across a “SanDisk microSDXC for Nintendo Switch”, 128GB. My research has indicated that these cards are more or less equivalent to the SanDisk Extreme. I was wondering if you have ever tried using these cards on the GoPro Hero 5 Session, and if so, did they work well together?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I suspect you’re right about them being the same card but with different marketing materials, but I haven’t tried one. I’ll order one to try it out.

      Reply
  5. Hi, David!

    Very educational article, so I believe you may be the best person to answer my query.

    I have a GoPro Hero 5 Session. The GoPro site lists recommended compatible cards for it, which includes the SanDisk Extreme/Extreme Plus/Extreme Pro model lines up to 128GB. This compatibility list was made, presumably, when the Hero 5 Session came out.

    I want to maximize the use of my Hero 5 Session, so I’ve been shopping for 128GB cards. However, the SanDisk Extreme variants currently available are the new ones with A2 ratings; it is getting harder to find ones with A1 or without A-ratings. From what I read, the A2 specification needs device-side drivers to work properly and using an A2 card on a non-A2-compliant device may result in performance worse than A1.

    So, my question is: Does the GoPro Hero 5 Session work well with A2-rated microSD cards?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yes. The A# ratings are measuring something that’s not relevant to GoPros or most cameras–a random write speed. That’s important for smartphones and gaming devices, but it’s not relevant to the way that cameras save video data to memory cards. For that, the relevant rating is the U# or V## parts, which is specifically for video (sequential write speed). I have more detail on it here.

      Reply
      • Perfect. Thanks! :)

        A follow-up question, if you don’t mind:

        Again, the GoPro site’s list of compatible SD cards for the GoPro Hero 5 Session was likely made based on the available SD cards at the time the camera came out. MicroSD cards back then rarely went beyond 128GB.

        In practice though, what’s the largest capacity you know of that works on a GoPro Hero 5 Session?

        Thanks!

        Reply
        • I’ve used 256GB cards in it without any issues before and have just now tested a 512GB card. It’s formatting the card and recording video as normal. I don’t have a 1TB card on hand right now to test.

  6. Hi i know this Q&A is really old now but i am getting the GoPro hero5 black very soon and was wondering if my Sandisk Ultra UHS-1 sd card will work when recording in 4K? the spec of my card is: 32GB A1 U1, speed up to 98MB/s 653X, i have done a speed test myself and it shows read speed of=85MB/s and Write speed of=15MB/s
    Am i right in thinking the GoPro hero5’s write speed is around 7.5MB/s so this card should be more than enough? please let me know as this is all confusing.

    Paul

    Reply
    • If you go by the raw numbers alone, then yes, you’re right that it should work fine, but in practice there are bottlenecks especially when sustaining the write speed over the course of a video stream. I’ve run into so many issues with Ultra-range cards in GoPros over the years that I can’t recommend using them, especially with the high-bitrate modes. If you already have it on hand, there’s no harm in testing it out. But if you’re looking to buy one, I’d generally recommend one of SanDisk’s Extreme cards or one of the Samsung cards–you can usually find them at prices very close to the Ultra-range cards these days.

      Reply
    • I haven’t run into any issues using a 256GB card in it. As usual, you have to make sure it’s fast enough (so not the 400GB SanDisk Ultra, for example).

      Reply
  7. Although GoPro Community squashes any response that says a card larger than 128 GB can be used, I am successfully using a Samsung 256GB EVO Plus Class 10 UHS-I microSDXC U3 (MB-MC256GA) in a GoPro Hero 5 Black that was delivered to me in May 2018 from GoPro. I am shooting 1080P, and have not tried it in 4K, but expect that it would work.

    Reply
  8. Hi David,

    Just purchased my first GoPro – Hero 5 black and I have 2 128gig micro SD cards on hand, that I believe should work with it:
    SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC UHS-I (SDSQUNC-128G-GN6MA) or
    Samsung 128GB EVO Select Micro SDXC Memory Card (MB-ME128DA/AM)
    Would you recommend one over the other and/or any issues with either working in the GoPro?

    Thanks,

    Reply
  9. Hey David, thanks for your informative article, but I think i still need a little help.
    I’ve found some SanDisk Extreme memory cards, but i’m not sure if both will go with my GoPro Hero 5

    The model numbers for the two are:
    SDSQXVF-064G-GN6MA ($54)
    SDSQXNE-064G-GN6MA ($50)

    Do they both work, and if so which one should i go for?

    Reply
    • They’re both in the Extreme line and both will work. The SDSQXNE version is an older card but is still fast enough for the HERO5 Black.

      Reply
  10. Hello
    I ve got a gopro hero 5 black and i ve seen that you recommended this SanDisk card: SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I

    I ve tried to find it here in my country but i ve found one that it does not have the same code as yours.
    Yours is SDSQXAF-064G-GN6MA and the one that i ve found it has SDSQXAF-064G-GN6AA.
    What s the difference between them? Can i buy it?
    Thank you !

    Reply
    • Yes, same card. The last group of characters simply refers to the regional marketing code. The most important part is the first group of letters–that’s the model.

      Reply
  11. Hi David,

    Very stupid question here as im new to cameras but ive got the Hero5 Black edition now and looking at SD cards as im going on a trip.. with these, say a 64gb card, on average how many photos would that hold off this camera or how much recording time roughly could i save?
    Sorry, thank you.

    Reply
    • I’ve put together some estimates that applies to the HERO6 Black on this about half way down this page under the “what size…” heading. The photo section applies to HERO5 Black. For video, it very much depends on what video mode you’re using, but that chart will still give a rough idea. Because many of the bitrates on the 5 is a little lower than the 6 you can get a bit longer on the card than that chart suggests.

      Reply
  12. What is the difference between these microSD cards. specifically “APC” “EU” “AM”?

    Samsung 128GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDXC with Adapter
    (MB-MC128GA/EU)
    (MB-MC128GA/APC)
    (MB-MC128GA/AM)

    Also curious, which Samsung 128GD MicroSD card is best for my GoPro Hero5 Black:
    Samsung 128GB EVO
    Samsung 128GB EVO Select
    Samsung 128GB EVO Plus

    Thank you for the help.

    Reply
    • They’re regional marketing codes: EU=Europe, APC=Asia/Pacific, and AM=Americas. The first four characters (ignoring hyphen) are the series/model numbers. All of those are fast enough for the HERO5 Black and you won’t see any performance difference between them in the camera because they all meet the the minimum threshold.

      Reply
  13. Hello!

    I’m searching for a good micro SD-card for my GoPro Hero 5 Black and already clarifies a lot for me, thanks! Now I wonder whether this SD-card will be sufficient to use all options of my GoPro without any problems:
    https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/memory-storage/memory-cards/microsdxc-evo-plus-memory-card-w–adapter-128gb–2017-model–mb-mc128ga-am/
    What’s the difference between the EVO and EVO plus, because in my opinion they have quite the same specs.

    Thanks for your answer!

    Reply
    • Yes, they work well. Samsung has several cards with similar names and overlapping specs. I’ve found the latest generations of EVO, EVO Plus, and EVO Select cards to work well.

      Reply
  14. Hi,

    I currently bought a hero 6 and a Sandisk ultra 64GB card. I think I am having problems with this card since my videos would split into two videos once they are longer than 11 minutes. Also the GPS data isn’t as smooth and sometimes isn’t working. Am I right in thinking that this problem could be because there is too much information to the Sandisk ultra 64GB card to handle?
    If yes, I am thinking on buying a new card. Which one would you recommend best for the hero 6 the Sandisk extreme or the Lexar 1000X? Also does the memory affect the videos as well? I was thinking either getting 32 or 64 GB

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • The splitting up of video files is normal behavior and not related to the memory card–well, at least not related to a problem with a memory cards. It’s called chaptering, and it’s deliberate and will happen with any memory card. I have more details on it here.

      I don’t generally recommend the Ultra line. While the reality is that the latest versions are much faster than the older versions, I’d still recommend sticking with either of the others you mention: the SanDisk Extreme or the Lexar 1000x (or Lexar 633x). I have a list of others that work well on the HERO6 Black here.

      Reply
  15. This is such a helpful and informative article. I have had my GoPro Hero 5 Black for 12 months… took it to Canada for a snow trip and had no issues with my 128gb SD card. But now, almost exactly 12 months since my trip, I am getting an SD Card Error almost daily even after reformatting th card inside the camera.
    Looks like I will need to buy a different card! Super frustrating that I had no issues when I first got the card. But you article has helped! Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Hi!
    I recently purchased a Gopro Hero 5 black.
    I have the 300x Lexar 64 GB (Reading up to 45 MB/s and writing up to 20 MB/s) Class 10 U1. (it is not listed in recommendations but I can see from this link: http://www.lexar.com/portfolio_page/high-performance-300x-microsdhcmicrosdxc-uhs-i-cards/ ) that it should fit.

    However the only issue I have which is strange and even Gopro support didnt figure out is that when I only start Gopro by clicking the SHUTTER button in an extreamly dark areas i.e dark room. it freezes and needs a reset! However this does not happen when I start Gopro by the MODE button then press record! also doesnt occure in areas with good lighting.

    So is it because of the memory card? or the Gopro piece that I got is damaged?

    Note: I tried recording 1080p 60 fps superview and lower quality videos and higher too!

    Reply
    • Sorry, I’ve not run into that issue before and don’t know what’s causing it. It’s certainly odd! Normally, I’d recommend getting in touch with GoPro support directly, but since you’ve already tried that, I’m at a loss, I’m afraid.

      Reply
  17. Hello David,

    I’m purchasing the new GoPro Fusion and I see they need 2 cards, recommending at least a V30. Can I purchase 2 V90’s? I want to exceed their recommendation to avoid having to purchase (more) faster cards for future updated cameras releases— will these work?

    Reply
    • Not sure I follow. You can use a large video code with either. The catch with the video is to have a fast card. That’s also useful for the photo burst modes and short-interval timelapse photo modes. Many of the ones here have 128GB or 256GB versions available.

      Reply
  18. GoPro virgin here. Why do I need an SD card if there’s a cloud app that the footage gets uploaded to? Does footage have to go from SD card to Cloud and not direct to cloud?

    Reply
    • Yes, correct. It needs to save to the memory card first. You can then upload from there to the cloud. Many of the video modes, in particular, generate enormous amounts of data, and recording to the cloud directly would be far too unreliable and slow. And that’s assuming you’re using it somewhere with a wifi/cell connection. The wireless function be busy with other things while filming, like the remote controls or controls through the smartphone app.

      Reply
  19. Just bought a go pro 5 Black but baffled by all your options as to which to but. I guess i’d like to buy the best possible that’ll give my the best outcome. Your suggestion?

    Reply
    • Once the card is fast enough to meet the camera’s requirements, they all give functionally the same performance in the camera. The SanDisk EXTREME or Lexar 1000x are good options that work, are easy to find, and are cost effective. If you want to, you can also go for one of the faster cards, although you won’t see any improved performance in the camera (although you might find them a bit faster when you put it in a card reader and are downloading from the card to the computer).

      Reply
  20. Hi, thank you for your recommendations I was completely lost on what to get! I see there is a link to Amazon for each of the recommended cards, are these links that you would trust as I’m finding it hard to find some of these memory cards from a local shop? Im a bit dubious about buying from Amazon as the cards could be fake? I’ve also seen the sandisk ultra are very common but I presume these will be too slow for the hero 5?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • I’ve bought many from Amazon and haven’t yet run into any issues with fakes. I tend to prefer the ones from Amazon itself rather than third party sellers, and when I add links I try to link to those. Otherwise, I also recommend other big retailers like B&H Photo, BestBuy, or Adorama. Those aren’t the only good retailers, but they’re the ones I tend to use myself.

      I don’t recommend the SanDisk Ultra cards for the HERO5s. In reality, their speeds have been improving in the latest versions of them, but the cost savings tend to minimal over the Extreme range, which is recommended by GoPro themselves and work well in my own experience.

      Reply
  21. Hello,

    I have purchased a GO PRO HERO Session, will a Sandisk 128GB Extreme microSD 90Mb/s Class 10 UHS-1 SD Card work?
    I have now noticed that it is not on the GOPRO list?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • That one’s too slow for the higher-end video modes of the HERO5 Black. I’d recommend one of the faster ones listed above.

      Reply
  22. Just bought a Hero5 Session while on vacation in Hawaii because the case on my old Hero3 broke and no replacements available. The Billibong store here had Delkin Devices Hyperspeed 32gb Micro SD cards stocked with the cameras so that’s what I bought. Two days in and two days of having my pictures erased and SD card error messages. Not going to try a 3rd day of this. Billibong won’t replace or return the card… hopefully it’s not the device itself… but I guess I have to buy another SD card (not from Billibong- EVER-) and hope for the best. Going to see if I can find one from your list.

    Reply
    • That’s odd–I’ve generally found Delkin cards to be very good. But unfortunately the nature of the beast is that some very small percentage of memory cards do fail. Sucks that you were on the receiving end–hope the new card solves it for you.

      Reply
    • Yes, that’s an Extreme card and will work well. SanDisk often makes the 128GB versions black, but so long as they’re in the same Extreme series they work well.

      Reply
      • Thanks for your reply. And this one is quite a bit cheaper. Will this do as well?

        TOSHIBA 128GB MICRO SD EXCERIA UHS-I U3 90 MB/S

        Reply
        • From my own tests I’ve found the write speeds of the standard Exceria range to be on the slow side–slower than I’d recommend for high-end video modes. I can’t say definitively that they won’t work, but I’d recommend testing quite well before going out on a critical shoot.

  23. Hi, thanks for the detailed guide, what about the Samsung 128 Evo plus UHS-1 U3, is it suitable for 4k video recording? It’s cheaper then the Evo sellect but it’s rated U3 how comes?

    Reply
    • The EVO+ cards I’ve tested so far have all been U1 and have been on the slow end. You might be looking at a new model, in which case I haven’t tried it yet.

      Reply
  24. Hello; I bought a Hero5 Session and have been reading on what SD to use. All the info is close to being overwhelming. I will pick one of your first five choices. I am writing to say thanks for the support – if not for me for all the folks who are unsure about their choice and simply want to record something very cool. You are doing a critical service. Thanks again.

    Reply
  25. Hi, I’m a newbie and skeptical to buy since its the only card available here in our city (*btw I live in the PH -_-) SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB model code: sdsqxvf-032g-gn6ma . Does this work well with Hero5? Thanks

    Reply
    • Yes. It’s faster than you need, but it will work well. I would add some caution about buying from a reputable retailer to reduce the risk of getting a counterfeit card.

      Reply
  26. Thanks so much for this explanation! I’m going on a trip and was so confused about what memory card to get.
    How long does the battery usually last on the hero 5? I’m climbing a mountain and will not have a charging source for 3 days unless I bring a fully charged external charger. Can you recommend a good external charger that will charge a go pro battery many times? I also have two batteries but I’m considering buying more. Any suggestions on this as well? Thank you!

    Reply
    • About two hours of shooting, give or take. So not long. I have a separate post on batteries and chargers for the HERO5 Black. Many of them can charge via the USB standard, in which case you can use a standard external USB powerbrick with them. You can also plug an external USB powerbrick directly into the camera without a charger, for that matter, although it’s a bit cumbersome when it comes to shooting while attached. I recently put together a post on some of my current favorite powerbricks that might be a good place to start. While it’s not specifically focused on GoPros, they will also work with GoPros. For a sense of how many times they’ll recharge a GoPro battery, a standard HERO5 Black battery is 1220mAh. So for a 10,000mAh powerbrick, you should be able to get roughly 7 or 8 full charges out of it (it’s rarely exact due to a number of different factors). So you’ll probably wanting something in the 10,000 to 25,000 range, even though they’re a bit bigger and heavier.

      Also, you may already know this, but lithium batteries don’t work well in the cold, so if the mountain involves cold conditions you might want to put the batteries/camera in an inside pocket of your jacket when not using it just so your body heat keeps them at a good working temperature.

      Have a safe climb!

      Reply
  27. Thanks David,

    Just found these Lexar 633x microSDXC 128gb cards as opposed to the recommended SDHC option. They are UHS1 and 95MB/s.

    Would these be suitable for GoPro Hero 5?

    Reply
  28. If we get an SD card with serial code SDSDQXP, but it is not the new one with V30 marked on it, will that work ok in the Hero 5 ?

    Reply
  29. Hi! I was wondering (since I’m a real rookie in these things I really have no clue) is an SD card mandatory in the GoPro hero5 black?

    Reply
    • Yes. There’s no internal memory available for it to save the photos and video to, so you’ll need a microSD card to save anything.

      Reply
  30. Hi. Is Sandisl Ultra 128gb sdxc compatible for Hero 5 black? On the other side is MMCGS08BCASH-TO LYXC20 1607. Sometimes I had sd card error. Thank you very much for your answer. Greetings from Czech republic ;)

    Reply
    • Two things. Firstly, in general, I’d recommend against using the SanDisk Ultra cards. The Extreme range is faster and is recommended by GoPro themselves and they’re generally not much more expensive, so I’d go with them if possible. Secondly, that model number you mention isn’t a SanDisk model number. The only thing I can find from a web search of that number is a reference to a counterfeit memory card. Either or both of those things could be causing the error message you’re seeing. If possible, I’d recommend both a faster card and making sure you’re purchasing from a reputable retailer.

      Reply
  31. Hello David,
    I have a Gopro 5 black and I would like to know if the following are compatible with my camera:
    1. SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC 90 MB/s, Class 10 SDSQXVF-064G-GN6AA
    2. Sandisk 64G Extreme microSDXC micro SD SDXC SDHC 64GB C10 90MB UHS U3 4K Video SDSDQXVF-064G

    Thanks

    Reply
  32. Hi,

    I just bought a GO PRO HERO 5 BLACK yesterday and also I purchase Sandisk Extreme 64 gb (model no: SDSQXAF-064G-GN6MA). Will the micro sd with that model no. work perfectly on my go pro? Hope for your reply.

    Thank you very much!

    -Karl

    Reply
  33. Hi David, after a few weeks trying to looking further which best card recommended for my GoPro Hero 5 Black, I think I should have heard your opinion.
    1.SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC Card UHS-I U3 Class 10 64GB
    2.SanDisk Extreme microSDXC Card UHS-I U3 V30 Class 10 64GB
    3.SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC Card UHS-I U3 Class 10 64GB
    It’s pretty hard to find authorized dealer of Lexar Memory in my country (Indonesia), though I’d prefer to buy Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

    Thankyou Dave,
    Glad to know you

    Best Regards

    Reply
    • All three of those SanDisk cards will work well. You won’t see any performance benefit in the GoPros in choosing one over the other–it’s down to whichever you can get for the best price. The Lexar cards are also very good.

      Reply
  34. Hi,
    I bought Hero5 session and chosed Samsung Pro Plus UHS-I 128GB (MB-MD128DA/EU) and Samsung Pro Plus UHS-I 64GB (MB-MD64DA/EU) for SD cards. there is nothing indicated for 64 GB version, but 128GB is recommended on the official site. You say its working!

    But, my problem is they dont work for my camera! I am quite new in this technology. So, I checked the above info. You said update and my camera seems to be up-to-date. I cant understand what is possibly wrong. Did I choose the wrong SD cards? It keeps on giving this “NO SD CARD” error. I am really sorry, please help me :(

    Reply
    • I just checked it again by putting one in a HERO5 Session and HERO5 Black and it’s working fine for me in both. You don’t mention whether you formatted the card in the camera. If the card isn’t properly formatted you’ll get that error. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it. With the HERO5 Session you’ll need to do it with the Capture mobile app. Through the app you can also see the camera’s firmware version–the latest version is 02.00.

      Reply
  35. Hi i bought Sandisk Extreme PRO micro SDHC UHS-I 32gb v30 does it work for gopro hero 5 product code is SDSQXXG-032G-GN6MA. If it works how to go about formatting. Please reply

    Reply
    • Yes, that model works well. To format:
      1. Insert the card into the camera and turn the camera on.
      2. Open the menu on the back screen (use side button).
      3. Go to Preferences.
      4. Scroll all the way to the bottom to “Format SD Card”. Tap on that.
      5. Choose Delete.

      You can also do this via the Capture mobile app if you prefer.

      Reply
  36. I bought the Gopro session 5 and a Kingston 64GB microSD XC and when i turn on the Gopro, it show me the message “SD ERROR”. I tried formating the card with the laptop using ntfs or exFAT and without any success and still receiving the message “SD ERROR”. The message prompts for 2 seconds and then the camera turns off. Tested the card on my PC and it works without any issues. Tried using an older SD card with 4 GB and the camera works. Since the Kingston SD card respects the manufacturer indications, what should I do? Please advise. Thank you!

    Reply
  37. I wanted to know if my SD card was good, or if I need to get a new one. I have the Lexar 300x 32GB for my GoPro Hero 5 Black. I haven’t had issues with it yet, but I also haven’t recorded for long periods of time either.

    Reply
    • It will work fine in most of the photo modes and slower video modes, but it’s too slow for the higher-end video modes. I’d recommend upgrading to at least the Lexar 633x (or 1000x) if you can.

      Reply
  38. Hi David,
    I have an option between the Sandisk extreme 32GB and the Samsung pro plus 32GB for the hero 5 session. The shop seems to recommend the samsung and considering the problems many people in the comments section have faced with the Sandisk, should i go for the Samsung. Your prompt response will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Both will work well. The recent firmware update seems to have fixed the issues with the SanDisk Extreme cards. Regardless of which card you go with, it’s a good idea to make sure the camera’s firmware is updated to the latest version.

      Reply
  39. I have a business in which I rent the GoPro’s and have used the Hero 3’s but upgrading to the Hero5 Session. I try to keep cost down as much as possible for the customer with the new cameras I will have to go to a more expensive card. Could I use the SanDisk Ultra Plus 32GB microSDHC UHS-I Card, with a U1, or do I need to use an “extreme”?

    Reply
    • I’d generally recommend starting at the Extreme level. That said, I’ve not run into problems in my tests using the Ultra Plus. I’d also recommend being open to the Lexar 633x and 1000x ranges–they’re can often be very competitively priced (especially the 633x), are very good cards, and are readily available.

      Reply
  40. Hi David,

    Have you heard anything about SanDisk- Pictor Advance 64 GB micro SDXC class 10 UHS-3 memory card?

    I did not see the Pixtor in your list.

    if you could let me know your thoughts that would be great!

    Reply
    • I just realized you did mention that one above as being approved by go pro….

      sorry!

      but do you have any personal experience with it?

      Reply
      • Thanks for the prompt–I’ve been meaning to elaborate that section above and have now updated it. “Pixtor” is a house brand for Best Buy (sometimes available elsewhere like Amazon too). The Pixtor Advanced is the equivalent of the Extreme and is the one you want (red and gold). There’s another one, which is red and gray, which is the equivalent of the Ultra and is too slow. So just be sure to get the Pixtor Advanced, which is the one you’ve mentioned that is U3.

        Reply
  41. I just bought a got-pro hero 5 black…. can I use a 128GB Lexar® microSDXC™ Memory Card, and still record in 4K without any lack or what ever ???

    if you can, I would be more than happy if you explain your answer more deeply when reply :)!!!

    Reply
    • I’m assuming you’re using either the 633x, 1000x, or 1800x models–the only ones in the current range that go up to 128GB–in which case, yes, they’re fast enough for the HERO5 Black’s video modes and work well.

      Reply
  42. I bought 3 Lexar 1000x 64GB Cards for my last trip. Used with the GoPro Hero 5 Black shooting 2.7k it locked up the Gopro , Card Failed. I did get it to work again later on but I’m wary of them now. On a side note, I also tried the Lexar 1000x 64GB in my DJI Phantom 4 PRO shooting 4k and locked up the drone as well. In my experience I have better luck with SanDisk.

    Reply
  43. Thank you for dimistifying the SD card coding.
    Question, you mentioned not to use SD card to use it as back up. Is there a reason? I have many SD cards with the original photos and video just in case both backups fail.

    Reply
    • What I mean by that is using it as a primary long-term archival backup. They’re not designed for that and over long periods of time there’s a risk of them becoming corrupted. That’s true of course to any digital media, but there are forms better suited to long-term archiving (hard drives, tapes, etc). For short-term duplication backup they’re of course very good.

      Reply
  44. Hello,

    Sorry, I’m a little late to the party. But, did you finish testing the Extreme Plus and Pro cards? If so, is there a considerable difference or Extreme cards work well enough? Ofcourse the download speeds to the computer will be a lot faster, but is it any uselful on the cam itself?

    Reply
    • Yes, they work well and have since been officially recommended by GoPro. And no, there’s no speed benefit in the camera itself.

      Reply
  45. Got a Gopro Hero5 black. and plan to pick up the SanDisk Ultra Plus mircoSDXC UHS-1 ( SDSQUSC-200G-AWCIA ) 200GB in Walmart USD$79. Want to know this SDXC work on Gopro 4k format

    Reply
  46. I am thinking of getting a Gopro 5 for a couple reasons, vacations and also as a compact video camera for my kids soccer games. Could you/would you recommend 1) the Go Pro 5 for recording soccer games? 2) If so, what size card for 1.5+ hrs of 1080 or higher video?

    Reply
    • Not really, no. And that’s primarily because of the wide-angle lens they have. If you’re standing on the sidelines of a soccer game, the players are going to be very small in the frame. Insofar as memory card, a 64GB will be a good compromise between cost and not spending much time worrying about whether the card’s going to be full.

      I have a separate post on pros and cons of using a GoPro as an everyday camera that you might find useful.

      Reply
  47. Hi David, I’ve recently upgraded from Hero4 Silver to Hero5 Black. My SD card from the Hero4 was SanDisk Extreme 64 U3 SDXC I.

    When I purchased the new Hero 5 I also grabbed the San Disk Extreme Plus 64 U3 SDXC I V30, but I haven’t opened it yet. Is there any real discernible benefit from the new card? From reading your article its just a 5MB/S download speed. Should I just return the new card?

    Reply
    • I don’t recommend the Ultra line for GoPros. Their write speed is too slow to keep up with the high-end video modes like 4K. I’d recommend one of the cards above.

      Reply
    • Hi,
      I bought this card for my GoPro 5 BE:
      SanDisk Extreme 32 GB microSDHC UHS-I V30 U3 (SDSQXVF-032G-GN6MA)
      It’s not working in the GoPro 5
      I tried everything: formating inside the camera, on a pc, uploading upgrade 1.55, resetting on factory settings.
      Just everything.
      Still SD error.
      GoPro recommends the card for the GoPro 5

      I tested the card in a GoPro 3 BE and a Xiaomi Yi. No problems at all. Works fine.

      My new GoPro 5 has been tested with some old cards, without problems.
      I tested it with: SanDisk Ultra 64 GB microSDXC Class 10 (SDSDQU-064G-U46A)
      About 21 min. filming in 4K Protune, no freeze or failure saving the file.

      Very disappointing that GoPro recommends a type of card at it’s not working with the new GoPro hero 5 BE.

      GoPro’s custom service adviced me to buy another microSD card or get the cam changed (which I think will not fix my SD card issue)

      Reply
      • I had similar problem with 128 Pro+ U3 Sandisk…using PC Windows Explorer, deleted all files on card and reformatted in PC (not quick format) and the card works fine

        Reply
      • GoPro has recently released a firmware update (v.01.57) with the release note: “Improves SD card stability.” It’s worth trying to see if that fixes the issue. You can find the update here.

        Reply
  48. This was really helpful, thank you so much. I was a bit surprised that I had to buy an SD card, as I was so excted to start using my new GoPro HERO 5 Black :D. I will go for the SanDisk Extreme, as it is the one you recommended. I’m not a very technical guy, so thank you very much :).

    Reply
  49. hi, thanks for your superb info. it really helpfull.
    question: i just bought hero 5 black and using 32gb Sandisk Extreme microSDHC UHS-I. the problem is it keep getting sd card error and my timelapse video cannot be transfered. maybe you can explain tome and suggest for a better one? really dissapointed. hopefully you can help me

    Reply
    • GoPro has recently released a firmware update (v.01.57) with the release note: “Improves SD card stability.” It’s worth trying to see if that fixes the issue. You can find the update here.

      Reply
  50. Hi, I Just bought the GOPRO Session 5 , and would like to put a ( 128gb ) memory card !
    What would be the best one for fast reading vidéo ( 4k ) and best picture without having any probleme ?

    Reply
  51. I purchased a Sandisk Extreme micro SDXC-I, V30 (Black with Red Writing) 128 GB and it doesn’t work. Every few videos i get SD-ERROR and it goes into repairing. Using an old 32GB Extreme Gold/Red worked fine… i don’t know if it’s a faulty card. I’ll try to have it replaced and see…

    Reply
    • You don’t mention a model number, so I can’t say for sure. Kingston does have microSD cards that are fast enough, but at least according to Kingston’s own site, those cards aren’t yet available in 128GB sizes. Some of their slower cards are available in 128GB. So my guess it that you might run into trouble with it if you try recording the higher video modes.

      Reply
  52. Dear David. As advised by your article I’ve bought the SanDisk Extreme UHC-3 128GB (SDSQXVF-128G-GN6AA) and it does not work with Hero5 Session. Keeps throwing “SD Card Error” and freezing. When it does not freeze it asks to format. Sometimes it even succeeds the formatting, but gives “sd card error” when you try to record something. Tried formatting it using different devices and tools, and even reinstalled the gopro’s firmware- no luck.
    I’ve tested the speed of the card- it’s performing even a bit faster than claimed, and I successfully wrote and read 120gb of data.

    Tested my Session 5 with other cards I could get my hands onto:
    SanDisk Ultra 32gb works fine up to 1080p30
    SanDisk Extreme 64gb (UHS-1 version) works fine on all resolutions.

    Reply
    • GoPro has recently released a firmware update (v.01.57) with the release note: “Improves SD card stability.” It’s worth trying to see if that fixes the issue. You can find the update here.

      Reply
  53. I recently purchased the hero 5 and a 64GB card from the same retailer… micro sd xc I U 1 class (10)?

    It’s telling me I can record for about 35 seconds and maybe 100 photos.

    It’s my first go pro and I’m very frustrated…

    I read above, one of your 64 cards ran for well over an hour after a bout in the freezer on 4K? does that mean you recorded for over an hour straight?

    Your article was helpful… I see I have definitely bought the wrong card for this… not to waste though, It will work great with my under water camera.

    Reply
    • Yes. I hit record, dumped it in the freezer, and pulled it out a couple of hours later. It went until the battery died. I’ve done something similar this morning as part of a test of battery life in cold conditions. It’s 21° F (-6 celsius) out and snowing. I’m running a HERO5 Black with a 128GB SanDisk Extreme card and a HERO5 Session with a SanDisk Extreme 64GB card, both at 4K30. Both have been going so far for an hour non-stop.

      Reply
    • And no, 35 seconds and 100 photos is definitely not right. You should be able to to fit far more than that on a 64GB card. Could be a faulty card. Also worth doing another format of the card in the camera.

      Reply
  54. Hi based on your review I purchased the SanDisk Extreme 64 and 32 GB version. Under snow conditions the 32 works well with session5 but the 64GB version in the hero5 states sd error and tries to repair parts of the clip. All 1080 so no recommendation for that card. And temp was -2 degrees batterie at 90%

    Reply
    • It sounds like a corrupted/faulty card. Assuming you’re referring to celsius, I’ve used them in much lower temperatures than that without any issues. And just to see if I could replicate the problem you’re seeing I’ve just today put in an Extreme 64GB and run it on 4K30 and put it all in the freezer. It ran for about 1 hr 15 min before the battery died, and the resulting video doesn’t have any issues. If you can, you might want to try to get the card exchanged–hopefully the new one will work better.

      Reply
  55. I bought the Extreme MicroSdHc uhs-1 32GB with GoPro Hero 5 Black for my husband for this Xmas thru Amazon. He had Same SD error as has been reported here and on Amazon. So disappointing. So he formatted in camera and still SD error. Numerous times. However now he can’t get the card out. Could the ejector spring be broken? This is really a pain. Thank you. If we get it out, we will try Lexar 1000x.

    Reply
  56. Hi!
    Thank you VERY MUCH for your very complete article on the subject. I have a brand new GoPro hero 5 black, with a brand new Sandisk extreme SDSQXVF. I’ve tried everything, like formating the SD card, but I keep getting the same “error sd” message when the vidéo is recording (at the end actually). Have you really tried it on yours? Any idea where that can come from (it’s happening even with medium resolution and medium ips)
    thanks a lot for your answer

    Reply
    • I’ve used several Extreme cards in my GoPros and haven’t run into that issue. It’s possible the card is faulty. If you have another handy, it would be worth trying that.

      Reply
  57. Hi, thanks for the in depth review. You mentioned you have also used a 200GB card, is it SanDisk Ultra MicroSDXC 200GB card? Do you recommend it for Hero5?

    Reply
    • I don’t recommend the Ultra range for the HERO5 models. It works in many of the video modes, but there have been too many instances of it stopping unexpectedly when using the high-end video modes. I’d recommend the Extreme range or higher with SanDisk or something like this one.

      Reply
  58. Hello and thank you for your in depth review… I feel that it will help me immensely with my Hero 5 Black that I got for Christmas.
    My question is will the PNY 128GB microSD Memory Card work with the GoPro?
    The specs all look good but I have not seen anything yet on this brand of memory card…
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • It depends which model. As a brand, PNY makes very good memory cards, and I’ve tested several of them here. But not every model in their range meets the write speed requirements of the HERO5 Black’s high-end video modes.

      Reply
  59. Afternoon,

    I just purchased a new GoPro Hero5 and I was wondering if this would be a good SD card to use from these:

    SanDisk – Pixtor Advanced 64GB microSDXC Class 10 UHS-3 Memory Card – Red/Gold (SDSQXSG-064G-ABCCA)
    SanDisk – Ultra Plus 128GB microSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card – Black
    (SDSQUSC-128G-AN6TN)
    SanDisk – Extreme PLUS 128GB microSDXC UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card
    (SDSQXWG-128G-ANCMA)
    Samsung – PRO+ 128GB microSDXC Class 10 Memory Card/White – Black/White
    (MB-MD128DA/AM)

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • The last two are the fastest (SanDisk Extreme Plus and Samsung Pro+). The other two should also work fine, but out of those choices the last two are the best ones.

      Reply
  60. I just received a GoPro Hero 5 for Christmas. I race cars professionally and I need to get an SD card that will work for the 4 hour plus races. Doesn’t have to be the best quality but I want it to be clear and last a long time. I don’t have to worry about battery because there will be power hooked up. What brand of memory card should I buy and what size? I have a SanDisk Ultra 128GB that I’ve used in my Hero 4 Black at 30 FPS and haven’t had any issues. Should I just buy another SanDisk Ultra128GB card or get the SanDish Extreme, SanDisk Extreme Plus or the SanDisk Extreme Pro?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • I’d recommend the Extreme to reduce the risk of it stopping recording. As you point out, the Ultras do work under some conditions, but they can also fail in these cameras under other conditions. The Extreme Plus and Extreme Pro are also good, but you won’t get any benefit over the Extreme and they’re usually more expensive.

      Reply
  61. Hi David, first of all thank you for a great in depth review on GoPro Hero 5. Can i know does the Sandisk Extreme Micro SD Card 90MB/s 64GB (SQXNE) works well with the Hero 5?

    Reply
    • If you’re using the Black and the high end framerates like 120, 90, or 80, then no, not really. If you stick to framerates that write at a bitrate of 30 (see chart below), then it will probably be okay, although I can’t guarantee that. But there’s no harm in testing it, which I’d definitely recommend before a critical shoot.

      Reply
      • Just to let you know, I tested the black at 1080p with a few different framerates, and it worked well. It seems even at 120. 4K stuttered, even on framerate 24. Did a 4K time lapse which worked wonderfully – obviously since it’s basically an ultra-slow frame rate. I’ve got a 200GB, 128GB and 64GB Ultra cards from old smartphones. I just don’t want to fork over more money for a faster card if 1080p works. Maybe when I want to do slow-motion in 4K I’ll get some new ones….

        Reply
        • That’s great–thanks for letting us know. And yes, the 4K timelapse isn’t writing to the card as fast as 4K video, so it should work better.

  62. I just purchased the SanDisk Extreme Plus microSDXC UHS-1 U3 V30 at 128GB with a claimed speed 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write. It was on sale at Best Buy on Black Friday for $50 so I grabbed it and another 64GB Extreme Plus (same specs as 128GB) for $25.

    My question is before I open these will the 128GB work in my old GoPro Hero 4 Black without any problems? I couldn’t find anywhere if the Hero 4 Black had a max capacity of 64GB or 128GB or higher? I know it should work fine in my Hero 5 Black, but I would prefer to have a card that works in both cameras, not just one. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Yes, it’ll work fine. The HERO4 Black also works with microSDXC cards, which means ones that are 64GB or higher. I’ve used 128GB cards without any issues. More on that here.

      Reply
  63. Hi
    Excellent and detailed review on Hero 5 and very informative on SD cards and Bitrates, Thanks.
    However before I can purchase and use the above I need to know the following from an expert like yourself or any other Hero5 owner and unable to get from GoPro site.
    I need very long period continuous recordings for work and currently use Drift Ghosts to give me 12 hours plus at 720p, 1080p for short periods but no need for 4K!
    With a 128GB card on 720p and 1080p recordings, what would the recording capacity be please.
    Also, I need a continuous onscreen time display that includes seconds, i.e hh:mm:ss, will the hero 5 display this please.
    My Drift Ghosts and Replay Prime X do.
    Any information would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Konrad

    Reply
    • Just ran a test, and at 1080p30 with standard (ie. non-Protune) settings you’ll get nearly 8 1/2 hours, give or take, on a 128GB card.

      For times under an hour, the display on the front and back screens display in minutes and seconds (MM:SS). Over an hour and it changes to hours and minutes (HH:MM). By default, the small screen on the front stays on, displaying the time, and you can set the back screen to stay on by choosing “Never” in the screen saver settings.

      Reply
  64. 1.SanDisk – Extreme PLUS 32GB microSDHC UHS-3 Memory Card – Red/Gold
    2.SanDisk – Extreme PLUS 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Class U-1 Memory Card – Red/Gold
    3.SanDisk – Ultra PLUS 128GB microSDXC Class 10 Memory Card – Gray/Red
    Hi I want to know which of these will work on hero5 and which one should i buy.. Any difference which I need to know

    Reply
        • It’s not theoretical. The Extreme PLUS cards are plenty fast enough for the HERO5, and I’ve used them extensively myself without any issues. Where are you buying them? There are counterfeit cards around, so perhaps you have gotten caught with those from a retailer with dodgy sources.

    • I’ve had too many problems with the Ultra line in GoPros to recommend them. Their write speed class is only C10, so they’re not really designed for high-resolution video. In the SanDisk range, I’d recommend sticking with at least the Ultra Plus line, or Extreme, Extreme Plus, or Extreme Pro.

      Reply
  65. Hi, Good Day..

    Recently I have ordered one memory card for my GoPro Hero5 .. But instead of what I ordered which is SanDisk 64GB Extreme 90MB/s U3 MicroSD Card Micro SDHC (SDSQXNE-064G-GN6AA), but I received the one with the different serial number which is (SDSQXVF-064G-GN6MA).

    My concern is, what is the different between those two and can it be used and compatible with my GoPro?

    Thank you in advance..

    Reply
    • Yes, it will work. While SanDisk doesn’t have that specific number listed for the 64GB on its own website, it does use the SDSQXVF side by side with SDSQXNE with the same series of Extreme cards. The SDSQXVF versions appear to have the newer packaging with the V30 rating on them but are otherwise the same card.

      Reply
  66. Hello, do you have to purchase a 4k MicroSD card to use with the new Go Pro Hero5 session? That’s what the guy told me at the store. Or could you just purchased a regular one?

    Reply
    • Many of the newer, faster cards have “4K” printed on the packaging. All it means is that it should be fast enough to use with a 4K video camera–there’s nothing else special about the 4K designation on the memory cards. So it’s useful for selecting a fast one, but having that on the packaging is not essential in itself. I would recommend using one of the ones listed above, though, since I know they’re fast enough–there are a lot of cards on the market that aren’t fast enough. Several of them are very reasonably priced.

      Reply
  67. Hi, I want to thank you for testing a lot of memory cards for the new GoPro. I just recently ordered one and now I am looking to buy a memory card for it. And since I am going to buy one, I might as well buy one with 128GB as opposed to 64GB so when I travel, I don’t have to worry about transferring and make space.
    You mentioned SanDisk Extreme 64GB will work. I was wondering if SanDisk Extreme 128GB microSDXC UHS-I Card would work? The reason is that I have read somewhere a larger capacity card uses a different file format and worry if it may not compatible with Hero5. In this case, both 64GB and 128GB have same file format or Hero5 can suuport 128BG Extreme? Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    • Yes, the 128GB version works fine–I’ve used it without issues. The change in file format comes in the 32GB to 64GB jump. 32GB and below are microSDHC, which is formatted as FAT32. 64GB and above are microSDXC, which is formatted as exFAT.

      Reply
      • Thank you for your quick reply! I much appreciate it. I haven’t seen anyone making on memory cards on Hero5 this thoroughly. Cheers!

        Reply
      • I had the exact same question. Thanks for asking, Landon.

        And thank you, David, for the thorough research and attention to detail. This information is super useful!

        Reply
  68. Hello,

    A week ago I bought GoPro Hero 5 with 64 GB Sandisk Extreme MiroSDXC card. I installed GoPro Quik but strangely when I took almost 15000 timelapse photos, the Quik only show and download a portion (2300) of the images and I have to remove the card from the device and insert it into iMac and manually drag the whole 15000 photos from the card to folder on iMac. I had formatted the card on both camera and imac but it still showing portion of the photos in the card on every project and I have to go through manual process to download the photos. I had contacted GoPro supoort but have not replied back. Could you have any idea what to do to solve the problem because it is very tedious to manually download the photos every time which may corrupt or destroy either the card or camera in long/short run?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • From what you describe, it sounds like an arbitrary limitation in the Quik app rather than anything related to the card per se. But I haven’t used Quik enough yet to run into that problem myself–I prefer the old-fashioned (and often quicker) method of putting the card in a card reader.

      Reply

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