Olympus TG-5 SD Card Recommendations

The Olympus tough TG-5 doesn’t come with an SD card as standard. So which should you get? Here are some practical recommendations for cards that are fast enough to take advantage of all the TG-5’s features.

Olympus TG-5
Olympus TG-5
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Filed Under: Memory Cards

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The Olympus TG-5 doesn’t come with a memory card as standard. Some retailers sometimes put together bundles that might include one, but chances are you’ll have to pick up a memory card separately. So what’s the best SD card for the Olympus TG-5?

Olympus is now OM System

In 2020-21, the photography business of iconic camera brand Olympus was spun off and sold. The core remaining Olympus brand is focusing on medical and scientific products. The camera and photography side was then rebranded as OM System, with the first cameras and lenses under that brand coming out at the end of 2021.

If you want to make sure you get an SD card that can take full advantage of all the Olympus TG-5’s features, the most important criteria to be looking for is one that’s fast enough. Specifically, you want one with a sequential write speed that’s fast enough to handle the TG-5’s high-bitrate video recording mode (Super Fine) and its high-speed burst photo modes. If the card isn’t fast enough to keep up with those, you can end up with recordings that stop prematurely, missed photos, and maybe even camera lockups or other errors. So it’s worth getting the right card from the get-go.

Top Picks for the Olympus TG-5

If you just want some quick recommendations, here you go:

  1. SanDisk Extreme
  2. Lexar Professional 1066x
  3. Kingston Canvas Go Plus
SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card - C10, U3, V30, 4K UHD, SD Card -...
  • Shot speeds up to 70MB/s, transfer speeds up to 150MB/s requires compatible devices capable of reaching...
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video (1) and sequential burst mode photography. (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and...
Lexar Professional 1066x 256GB SDXC UHS-I Card Silver Series, Up to 160MB/s...
  • High-speed performance – rated UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30) for your DSLR or...
  • Leverages UHS-I technology to deliver read speeds up to 160MB/s (1066x)
Kingston 256GB SDXC Canvas Go Plus 170MB/s Read UHS-I, C10, U3, V30 Memory...
  • Superior speeds — Transfer and capture content faster with read/write speeds up to 170/90MB/s.
  • Ideal for shooting 4K UHD video and burst mode photography on your DSLR — High-speeds and improved...

Detailed Version

So which SD card should you get for your TG-5? If you go looking for the answer in the manual, you’ll come up pretty empty-handed. On page 5, you’ll find this:

Cards compatible with this camera: SD/SDHC/SDXC/Eye-Fi (with Wireless LAN function) card (commercially available) (for compatibility card details, visit the Olympus website.)

OK, then… If you go to the website, you’ll find a compatibility table that includes some SanDisk and Toshiba cards, but it hasn’t been updated since mid-2017 and doesn’t take into consideration the newer models that are actually available today.

So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the TG-5 so you can spend less time searching online and more time out shooting. I’m not trying to list every SD card that works in the TG-5—there are others that will work just fine as well. I’m focusing here on ones that offer a good combination of meeting the requirements of all of the TG-5’s features, are readily available at major retailers, are cost-effective, and come from major manufacturers with track records for good-quality cards. And in putting these recommendations together, I’m combining Olympus’s guidance (such as it is), my testing of a large number of SD cards, and my own shooting with my TG-5.

The good news is that SD cards that work well in the TG-5 are readily available and relatively inexpensive. The two functions on the TG-5 that are most demanding of the memory card are the burst photo modes and high-bitrate video recording. And while the TG-5’s Super Fine video mode produces videos with a bitrate of up to 102 Mb/s, which is quite high, it’s nowhere near as demanding as some other cameras like the Panasonic GH5 or Fujifilm X-T3 that shoot up to 400 Mb/s and require the very fastest SD cards available.

So here are some more specific recommendations:

SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I

SanDisk 256GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card -...
  • Shot speeds up to 70MB/s, transfer speeds up to 150MB/s requires compatible devices capable of reaching...
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K...

SanDisk's Extreme range are good bets for many cameras, and that's true here too. SanDisk has faster ranges like the Plus and Pro lines, but the Extreme line is both quick enough for most cameras and usually less expensive than those faster lines.

One thing to note with SanDisk cards is that they recycle their model names. So you can find Extreme cards that are older and slower. You'll probably find those older versions work just fine--it really depends how far back you go--but you can tell the latest version because it's labeled with both U3 and V30, both of which are speed ratings specifically related to recording video. These cards are often good value, and you can sometimes find them sold in 2-packs.

Buy at: Amazon or B&H Photo

Lexar Professional 1066x V30 UHS-I

Lexar Professional 1066x 256GB SDXC...
  • High-speed performance – rated UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30) for your DSLR or...
  • Leverages UHS-I technology to deliver read speeds up to 160MB/s (1066x)

This card from Lexar, one of the leading makers of memory cards, is a fast, reliable option. It's rated for video recording speed rating of V30. It comes in sizes up to 512GB.

Buy at: Amazon

Canvas Go Plus V30 UHS-I

Kingston 256GB SDXC Canvas Go Plus...
  • Superior speeds — Transfer and capture content faster with read/write speeds up to 170/90MB/s.
  • Ideal for shooting 4K UHD video and burst mode photography on your DSLR — High-speeds and improved...

Kingston is another brand that isn't as well known as some of the others, but they've been making reliable memory cards for a very long time. As a brand, they don't tend to focus on the cutting edge speeds but rather on reliable and good-value memory cards.

This particular card (model SDG3 Canvas Go Plus) isn't the fastest in Kingston's range, but it's fast enough to work well in this camera. It's available in sizes from 16GB through 512GB.

Buy at: Amazon

PNY Elite Performance U3 UHS-I

PNY 256GB Elite Performance Class 10 U3...
  • Sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s
  • Class 10, U3 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD...

PNY aren't as well known as some of the other brands, but they've been around for quite some time and make reliable, cost-effective memory cards. The packaging on this card hasn't been refreshed to include the newer V30/V60/V90 video speed rating system, but the real-world performance of the card is very good. It comes in sizes from 32GB up to 512GB.

Buy at Amazon

Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I

Delkin Devices 256GB Advantage SDXC...
  • Supports 4K & Full HD 1080p Video Recording at High Frame Rates
  • RAW Continuous-Shooting Approved

Delkin Devices have recently come out with a range of new SD cards of varying speeds and specs. This is one of their mid-range cards that is rated for V30 video recording speeds.

Find them at Amazon and B&H Photo

Sony TOUGH SF-M V60 UHS-II

Sony TOUGH-M series SDXC UHS-II Card...
  • Waterproof (IPX8)/ Dustproof (ipx6)4
  • Up to 277MB/s read speed and 150MB/s write speed

These Sony cards are quick, reliable, and fairly widely available. Sony also has another, faster model, the SF-G that works well but is a bit overkill for this use.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

What Size SD Card to Use in the Olympus TG-5

The TG-5 is compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards. That means you can use cards from 4GB all the way to the largest cards currently available, which are 256GB or even 512GB cards. The current sweet spot for a combination of convenience, being readily available, and being cost-effective is probably around the 64GB to 128GB cards. But you can use larger or smaller ones if you prefer—it’s mostly a matter of convenience of how much video footage or photo data you can store on the card before it fills up, and you have to download to a computer or some other device.

How to Format Memory Cards in the Olympus TG-5

This is something I’ve covered in detail separately here. The TG-5 has both an “All Erase” and a “Format” function. If you’re completely wiping a memory card for use, you want the “Format” option. The “All Erase” function deletes everything except for photos and video clips that you’ve tagged as protected.

How to Format SD Cards with a Computer

It’s always best practice to format memory cards in the camera you’re planning to use them in, but if that’s not practical or not what you want to do, it is possible to format them with a computer. But there are some things to watch out for, particularly when it comes to choosing which filesystem to use. So I’ve put together guides on how to format SD cards on Mac and how to use the free SD Card Formatter app for Windows or Mac.

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by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

5 thoughts on “Olympus TG-5 SD Card Recommendations”

    • Yes. The new features and tweaks haven’t increase the video bitrate, which is the main thing that places speed demands on the memory card.

      Reply
    • Great cards, although getting one specifically for this camera is overkill–the camera won’t take advantage of anywhere near the card’s available speed. But if you already have one on hand, by all means.

      Reply

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