DJI Osmo Action 4 SD Card Recommendations

Not all SD cards will work well in the DJI Osmo Action 4. Here are some practical recommendations for which microSD cards are fast enough to keep up with the Osmo Action 4’s high-bitrate 130 Mbps video recording and burst photo modes.

DJI Osmo Action 4 Action Camera. Photo by David Coleman " havecamerawilltravel.com
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:
Filed Under: Memory Cards

I MAY get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

DJI Osmo Action 4 Memory Card Quick Recommendations

Here are some quick recommendations for the best SD cards for the DJI Osmo Action 4. I have included much more detail on these further down this page. 

These cards have a proven track record of reliability and performance, are readily available at major retailers, and are cost-effective. Most importantly, they’re fast enough to let you use all of the Osmo Action 4’s features, including the 130 Mbps 4K video modes.

SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 UHS-I
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS-Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s
Lexar Professional 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS-Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s
Kingston Canvas Go! Plus V30 UHS-I
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS-Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s

My aim with these DJI Osmo Action 4 SD card recommendations is to make it easier to find a memory card that won’t limit the camera’s features you can use, and so that you can have confidence that you’re getting a card that works well in this specific camera.

Any of these memory cards makes for a good choice for the Osmo Action 4

There’s no particular benefit to choosing one over another—it comes down to price, availability, and personal preference between brands. These are fast enough for the Osmo Action 4‘s 130 Mbps top-end video modes, and choosing a card that is faster than the camera needs doesn’t provide any benefit when using it. 1

Some other brands and cards will also work well, and if you’re interested in some of those, you can find more details further down the page.

What Size SD Card to Get for the DJI Action 4?

DJI says that the Osmo Action 4 is compatible with microSD cards up to 512GB.

Because of the way that the microSDXC spec is crafted, 1TB cards should also work. But I haven’t yet personally tested them in this camera (but will update here when I’ve had a chance to do so). 

DJI Action 4’s SD Card Compatibility & Requirements

An SD card is an essential accessory for your camera, but the DJI Osmo Action 4 doesn’t come with an SD card as standard.

Some retailers might include one as part of an accessory bundle. But unless you buy a bundle like that, you’ll need to pick up the SD card separately.

But which one?

If the SD card isn’t fast enough to keep up, you can run into problems like the recording stopping unexpectedly, dropping frames, or even having the camera overheating or locking up.

DJI’s action cameras use a smaller variant of SD cards known as microSD cards. They’re available in a range of storage capacities, ranging from 16GB up to 1TB. 2

So not all SD cards work well in the Osmo Action 4. You don’t necessarily need the fastest microSD card for the Osmo Action 4, but you will need one that’s fast enough. Assuming you want to use all of the camera’s features and reduce the chance of problems and interruptions in your shooting. The main issue is that the card needs to be fast enough to keep up with the camera. While it’s not hard to find cards that will work well, it’s also quite possible to get the wrong card.

A faster SD card won’t give you better video quality or help you take better pictures. But a card that’s fast enough will allow you to use all of the camera’s features without running into problems.

This main issue comes down to the Osmo Action 4’s high-bitrate video recording, which tops out at 130 Mbps. 

While that’s not the bleeding edge in terms of video bitrate—several larger mirrorless cameras shoot at 400 Mbps or higher—it’s still high enough to be fairly demanding of the memory card.

When using the higher-end video modes of the Osmo Action 4—specifically the 4K modes—the camera needs to be able to write a large amount of data to the card very quickly. If the SD card isn’t fast enough to keep up, you can run into problems like the recording stopping unexpectedly, dropping frames, or even having the camera overheating or locking up.

DJI Osmo Action 4 SD Card Recommendations in Detail

So here is some more detail on my recommendations for which memory cards to use with the DJI Osmo Action 4.

I make a point of buying and testing as many SD and microSD cards for cameras as I can—you can see those test results separately. So I’m lucky enough to have on hand many of the major current memory cards available.

With the Osmo Action 4, DJI has maxed out the video bitrate at 130 Mbps. That highest bitrate is available in some of the resolution/framerate options, including 4K video modes.

SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 UHS-I microSD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 UHS-I
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s

The SanDisk Extreme Pro cards are fast, cost-effective, reliable, and widely available. They're also safe bets for many cameras, including many of the best acton cams.

From my own speed tests, it is plenty fast enough for the high-bitrate video settings on the Osmo Action 4.

As with most of their 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 higher bitrates.

SanDisk uses a three-part model numbering system in the format SDSQXA1-256G-GN6MA. In this example, SDSQXA1 is the model number, the 256G refers to the amount of memory, and the last five characters are used by SanDisk's 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 five characters.

Find them at:

Lexar 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I microSD Card

Lexar 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s

A few years ago, Lexar changed hands, and there was some disruption to the supplies of their cards at retailers. But things seem to have stabilized now, and this solid, general workhorse card is again widely available.

The 1066x card is rated for a write speed of up to 120MB/s (the 160MB/s you see in their marketing is the sequential read speed). It's available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512MB versions.

Find them at:

Kingston Canvas Go! Plus V30 UHS-I microSD Card

Kingston Canvas Go! Plus V30 UHS-I microSD Card
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s

You can be forgiven for not being as familiar with Kingston memory cards as some of the other brands here, but they've actually been around a long time and make very good cards. In recent years, they've streamlined their product offerings and targeted the faster end of the market.

The Kingston Canvas Go! Plus is one of the cards that DJI officially recommends for the Osmo Action 4, and they're usually competitively priced. Which makes them a very good option.

Find them at:

Delkin Select V30 UHS-I microSD Card

Delkin Select V30 UHS-I microSD Card
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s

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 of microsSD cards--that is the Power V90 line--but the Select series are rated for V30 and are a good combination of being fast enough for the Osmo Action 4 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 to 512GB. It comes with an SD adapter.

Find them at:

PNY Elite-X V30 UHS-I microSD Card

PNY Elite-X V30 UHS-I
  • Type: microSDXC / microSDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V30
  • UHS Speed Class: UHS-I
  • Write speed of at least 30 MB/s

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 to 256GB end of the range.

Find them at:

Things Worth Knowing

Tip: Don’t get a microSD Express or microSDUC card. While they look very much like recgular microSDXC cards, they’re emerging standards that aren’t compatible with the DJI Osmo Action cameras. I have more details on SDUC and microSD Express separately.

Why Do You Need a Fast SD Card for the DJI Osmo Action 4, Anyway?

A faster SD card won’t give you better video quality or help you take better pictures, but a card that’s fast enough will allow you to use all of the camera’s features without running into problems.

So you can just choose any old SD card and expect it to work well. You might luck out and choose one that’s fast enough, but there are some minimum speed requirements.

You won’t break your camera if you put an SD card that’s too slow in your Osmo Action 4, but you can end up with some pretty unfortunate side effects. You might have already found this out the hard way if your recordings have stopped unexpectedly or you’ve been getting SD card errors. Those are the most common issues you can run into with a slower SD card, but you can also get the camera overheating or shutting down. You might see an error message, you might lose footage or frames, or the camera might lock up. Or maybe you’ll get all of the above. Some memory cards can also provoke write error messages and cause excessive battery drain, although those issues tend to be less common. But the upshot is that if your camera is behaving strangely when recording video or shooting photos, one of the first things to check is the microSD card.

The most significant requirement that an SD card needs to meet to work well in the Osmo Action 4 is that it’s fast enough. But it has to be a specific type of fast, and often the speed ratings you see on SD card packaging and marketing materials refer to characteristics that aren’t directly relevant to the camera’s requirements.

Usually, the speed rating you see in memory card marketing materials refers to a “transfer speed.” That’s only a very vague term that really isn’t very helpful in trying to work out the card’s capabilities. It typically means sequential read speed. That’s the speed at which data can be downloaded from the card.

But when choosing an SD card for the Osmo Action 4, what we want to look for is the speed at which data can be transferred or written to the card. And even then, it’s a specific type of writing: sequential write speed. Some cards are designed to be fast at a different type of writing: random write speed. Those are well-suited to use in a device used for gaming or mobile computing, but that particular measure is not directly relevant to shooting video with an action cam.

How to Format SD Cards in the DJI Osmo Action 4

It’s always good practice to format the memory card in the camera rather than with a computer. And to do it regularly (once you’ve safely downloaded and backed up your photos and video, of course). That ensures the card is prepped in such a way that the camera needs it, and it reduces the risk of something getting messed up.

You can find the option under:

Settings (the nut icon) > Format

Another method is to use the DJI Mimo mobile app. I’ve have a detailed guide to both methods of formatting SD cards in the DJI Osmo Action 4 separately.

Formats, Speed Rating & Types of microSD Cards Explained

There are a few different types of cards that fall under the general “SD card” umbrella. For the DJI Osmo Action 4, you’ll want a microSD card. Those are physically smaller than SD cards that you might be used to with larger cameras. Smartphones also use microSD cards, which is a common place you might have come across them.

In terms of storage capacity, measured in gigabytes, DJI currently says you can use cards up to 512GB. It’s quite possible, even probable, that suitably fast 1TB cards will work just fine too, but I haven’t personally tested those yet. 

You can use either microSDXC or microSDHC cards in the Osmo Action 4. As a practical matter, you’ll almost certainly be using a microSDXC card. This isn’t a performance rating. It refers to the formatting system used on the card. The cards you buy will be microSDHC if they’re in the 16GB to 32GB range, and they’ll be microSDXC if they’re 64GB or larger. Those are specs assigned by the SD Association, and it applies to all SD and microSD cards you’ll find for sale. You can find a more detailed explanation below.

You’ll see the current generation of cards marked with either UHS-I or UHS-II (or sometimes UHS-1, which is technically incorrect). This is labeled with either a small I or II on the card. The Osmo Action 4 uses the UHS-I host specification, so you won’t get added benefits if you put a UHS-II card in it. But it will still work because of the way that the specification is designed to roll back gracefully to UHS-I.

SD and microSD cards also have a speed rating system that refers specifically to recording video. Confusingly, there are three different generations of ratings. Older cards used a rating such as Class 10 or Class 4. They’re too slow to work well in the Osmo Action 4.

A newer speed rating system uses either a U1 or U3. For the Osmo Action 4, you’ll want one with U3 (at least).

Better yet is a card with V30 or V60 on it. This is a newer speed rating system again.

Confusingly, many microSD cards have combinations of these rating systems on them. So you might find a card that has Class 10, U3, and V30 all on it. In those cases, focus on the newest and fastest rating—in that case, it would be the V30. And if it doesn’t have U3 or V30 or V60 (or V90) on it, it’s probably too slow, and you’ll be better off looking for a different card.

And, finally, you’ll also come across cards that have an A1 or A2 rating on them. You can ignore that for these purposes. That’s a separate kind of speed rating that refers to random write speed and is relevant to devices that run apps, such as smartphones or gaming devices.

Speed Measures Explained

A common source of confusion with the speed of memory cards is the difference between Mb/s and MB/s (or Mbps and MBps). Whether or not that “b” is capitalized is a little thing, but it matters.

Video bitrates are conventionally measured in megabits per second, which is sometimes written as Mbps or Mb/s. The speed of memory cards is conventionally measured in data transfer in terms of megabytes per second, which is written as MBps or MB/s. There are eight megabits in 1 megabyte. So 60Mb/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 and easy if that meant that you could just make sure your card had a write speed faster than 7.5 MB/s, but there are other factors that come into play, including inflated manufacturer speed ratings, sustained speeds vs. peak speeds, and the overhead that’s inherent in host devices and connections. All of this means that it’s best to stick to cards that are known to work rather than try to cut it too fine with measurements.

Another common source of confusion is that not all memory card manufacturers use the same speed measure. 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. But that’s obviously not particularly useful today, and thankfully more and more manufacturers are adopting the more conventional of using raw MB/s numbers.

What’s the Difference Between microSDHC and microSDXC Cards?

As I said above, microSDHC and microSDXC don’t refer to a performance rating. They refer to the storage capacity and the kind of storage formatting they use (microSDHC cards use FAT32; microSDXC cards use exFAT). These are specifications adopted by the SD Association.

More specifically:

microSDHC (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.

microSDXC (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.

In practice, you’ll see minimal, if any, difference in terms of performance. But there is one aspect where you will see a big difference: microSDHC cards are 32GB or smaller while microSDXC cards are 64GB or larger.

The Osmo Action 4 is compatible with both the microSDHC and microSDXC formats, so you can use either. But it’s more likely that you’ll be using a microSDXC card simply because that covers the larger-capacity cards that are so readily available today and so convenient to use in cameras like the Osmo Action 4.

The SD Association has also created a newer specification known as SDUC. It has its own host technology, but in terms of storage capacity, it’s designed to cover cards ranging from 2TB up to 128TB. SDUC cards will only work with devices that have SDUC compatibility specifically included. The good news, for now, though, is that it’s very unlikely you’ll accidentally get one of these cards—they’re not yet readily available at consumer retailers.

Technically, it’s possible to use a computer to format, say, a 32GB microSD card with exFAT or a 128GB card with FAT32. But doing so goes against the SD Association specifications, can cause problems in some cameras, and they’ll be overwritten to the appropriate standard next time you format the card in the camera. In general, I don’t recommend it. That said, if you really want to do it, I’ve put together a guide to using the official SD card formatter app.

microSD Speed Classes Explained

Just like SD cards, microSD cards are assigned a class rating that refers to their speed in writing data. Each category corresponds to a real-world video recording use. These apply the same to microSDHC and microSDXC cards. Where things get a little complicated, though, is that these speed ratings don’t necessarily reflect the absolute speed of the card. Put another way, a card that has a V30 rating isn’t necessarily faster than one that has a U3 rating. That’s because to display the rating on the card, the manufacturers must have their cards certified for that rating. It also involves revising packaging and marketing materials, which is an expensive process. So not every manufacturer will go to that trouble and expense right away. The upshot is that it’s not as simple as just looking at a card with a V30 or even V60 rating and knowing that it’s faster than one that only carries a U3 rating. It might be, but the rating system doesn’t work quite that way.

V90. The V-class is a new designation created to designate cards that are designed to work with the speeds required for 4K video and faster. The SD Association added some lower numbers to make them backward compatible with the older class designations (e.g., Class 10 and Class 6), but the most important ones are V30 and above.

Memory cards in the V90 class are rated to support a minimum sequential write speed of 90MB/sec. Their primary market is for cameras that shoot 8K video. There aren’t many V90 microSD cards available yet, and there aren’t many cameras that can use them (most of the cameras that can use those speeds use the larger SD format cards). But expect to see more of them as action cameras and other small cameras start incorporating UHS-II interfaces.

V60 is applied to cards that support a minimum sequential write speed of 60MB/sec.

V30 is applied to cards that support a minimum sequential write speed of 30MB/sec. These are designed to support at least full HD video and some 4K video cameras like GoPros and the Osmo Action 4.

U3 is designed to support 4K video recording at a sustained video capture rate of 30MB/s. This class overlaps with the newer V30 class.

U1 is designed to support real-time broadcasts and HD video (720p and 1080p) with a minimum serial write speed of 10 MB/sec. This overlaps with the newer V10 class.

Class 10 is designed to support 1080p recording at a minimum (but again, not at all framerates) with a minimum serial write speed of 10 MB/sec.

Classes 2, 4, and 6. Class 2 supports standard definition video recording with a minimum serial write speed of 2 MB/sec. Classes 4 and 6 are designed to support 720p and 1080p video (but not all framerates) with a minimum serial write speed of 4 MB/s and 6 MB/s, respectively. Most newer cameras need cards faster than these, so memory cards in these speed classes aren’t as commonly available now.

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 cameras. I have a more detailed explanation of the A1 and A2 ratings separately.

DJI Osmo Action 4 SD Card FAQs

What type of memory card does the DJI Osmo Action 4 use?

The DJI Osmo Action 4 uses microSD cards and is compatible with microSDHC and microSDXC cards.

Is the DJI Osmo Action 4 compatible with UHS-II microSD cards?

The DJI Osmo Action 4 has a UHS-I microSD card slot. So you can use UHS-II microSD cards in it and they will work because the system is designed to be backward compatible. But you won’t get the extra potential benefit of the UHS-II or be using it to its full potential.

What is the maximum video bitrate of the DJI Osmo Action 4?

The DJI Osmo Action 4 has a maximum video bitrate of 130 Mbps.

How many memory card slots does the DJI Osmo Action 4 have?

The DJI Osmo Action 4 has a single microSD card slot.

  1. I’m referring here to use in the camera. Depending on your computer and memory card reader setup, you might get faster performance from some cards over others when downloading the images to your computer with the right combination of memory card reader and computer USB.[]
  2. You might come across microSD cards with even lower storage capacities, but those aren’t practical options for the Osmo Action 4 and are rare now as the technology has improved. Most of the newer higher-end cards start at around 64GB.[]

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2024-03-02 at 14:13. 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.

Best SD Cards for GoPros

Since 2013, after running into trouble with an SD card that was too slow for the HERO3 Black, I've been putting together my recommendations on the best SD cards for GoPro cameras. Because some GoPro models have specific requirements, I've also put together detailed model-specific pages.

Text & Photos 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 just about every model since. More »

Leave a Comment