The GoPro HERO works with a wide variety of microSD cards that are on the market today, but there are still things you need to watch out for when buying one. And not every card is good value for use in a HERO; you don’t necessarily need to fork out the big bucks for the latest, greatest, and fastest memory card out there because once you meet the HERO’s minimum write speed requirements you’re not going to get any benefit in the camera.
The short version is that the GoPro HERO will work with memory cards up to 32GB with a minimum speed rating of Class 10. 64GB cards will not work in the GoPro HERO (but will work in the HERO4 models).
Recommended Memory Cards
If you’re looking to buy a new card for your GoPro HERO, these offer good value combinations of speed, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. It’s by no means an exhaustive list of all microSD cards that are compatible with this camera.
You can find 32GB versions of all of the memory cards listed here for under $25. Many of them are half that, especially for the 16GB versions. If you prefer to go with a faster, more expensive card, by all means do, but you’re not going to get any benefit of it in-camera in the HERO.
In general, it’s best to go with a brand name and to purchase from a reputable retailer to avoid getting stuck with an underperforming counterfeit card.
SanDisk Extreme 32GB/16GB
The SanDisk Extreme is faster than the HERO needs, but it presents excellent value because of the way memory card flash memory technology keeps improving and prices falling. It comes with an SD adapter.
SanDisk Ultra 32GB/16GB
The SanDisk Ultra line is one of the most popular of the Class 10 cards. While its write speed is not fast enough for the high-end video modes available on the HERO4 cameras, it is fast enough for use in a HERO. The card is available in 32GB and 16GB. One thing to watch out for is that SanDisk has had some confusing branding changes recently, and there are two versions of the Ultra available. The newer, faster, and better one is red and gray as in the picture here. The older version is entirely dark gray. The newer version comes with an SD adapter (the older version usually doesn’t).
Lexar 300X 32GB/16GB
Lexar is another big player in the memory card game and makes excellent cards. This model meets the speed requirements of the HERO and is significantly less expensive than the faster offerings by Lexar. It comes with a USB adapter.
Samsung EVO 32GB/16GB
Available at: Amazon
Transcend is another company that often flies beneath the radar and yet makes very good flash memory cards. This is their mid-range card that meets the speed requirements of the GoPro HERO and presents excellent value. It comes with an SD adapter.
Available at: Amazon
64GB cards or larger will not work in the GoPro HERO. So make sure your card is 32GB or 16GB.
The limitation is because cards that are 64GB and above use a different disk format (exFAT) than those that are 32GB or below (FAT32).
- It’s always a good idea to format the card regularly in your camera rather than with a computer. Here’s how to do it in a GoPro.
- Memory cards are pretty reliable these days, but they are still sophisticated electronic devices and a small percentage of them do fail. Always test the card before filming that once-in-a-lifetime footage.