Choosing an SD card for your drone can be a tough task because there are so many options. To further complicate matters, some DJI drones can handle significantly higher capacity SD cards than others. We took a close look at some of the most popular DJI drones and recommended SD cards to help you make the most informed decision.
Our Top Picks
In a hurry? We've listed our top picks for each DJI drone model below. Below our top picks is information on what you should be looking for when in the market for a new SD card.
Phantom 4 Pro
Mavic 2 Pro
Mavic 2 Zoom
DJI Drones and SD Cards
Made by the Chinese company SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd, DJI Drones are the leading drone brand on the market. Their drones are known for their digital capabilities, including aerial photography and videography, making them incredibly useful in the music, film, K-POP, and all other modern industries.
Furthermore, DJI Drones have even been used on popular TV shows, including American Ninja Warrior, Better Call Saul, and Game of Thrones.
Aside from the wildly popular Mavic 2 series and the Mavic Air, which have an internal memory of 8gb, to save and store as many photos and videos they can take, most DJI Drones need an SD Card inside them at all times.
If you’re unfamiliar with them, SD cards, or Secure Digital cards, are reliable for storing camera memory because there are no moving parts within them, nor any kind of magnet, producing a stable, non-volatile storage location.
Even more, it’s important to keep in mind that while some of the drones in the Mavic series have an internal memory of 8gb, the Spark, Phantom, and Inspire series have no internal memory and therefore require the use of an SD card.
Does Size Matter When it Comes to SD Cards and My DJI Drone?
The most important thing to remember about DJI Drones is that you have to get a Micro SD card. These are the smallest version of the SD card, and they are just small enough to fit into your drone. The current SD storage capacity standards are as follows:
- Standard Capacity (SDSC) has 1MB-2GB
- SD High Capacity (SDHC) has 2GB-32GB
- Extended Capacity (SDXC) has 32GB-2TB
Because of the SDXC's recent creation, its usage is not as ubiquitous as the SDHC and SDSC. Ultimately, the only real difference between the three types is the storage capacity. The maximum storage capacity of DJI lines are as follows:
- Mavic Pro and Platinum: max storage capacity of 64GB
- Mavic Air: max storage capacity of 128GB
- Mavic 2: max storage capacity of 128GB
- Phantom 4 Pro: max storage capacity of 128GB
- Inspire 1: max storage capacity of 64GB
- Inspire 2: max storage capacity of 128GB
- Spark: max storage capacity of 64GB
While each of the drones has a recommended SD capacity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all the drone can handle. There have been reports of individuals using 128GB Micro SD cards on the DJI Spark, Inspire 1, and Mavic Pro.
How is Speed Related to SD Cards and My DJI Drone?
When considering speed, there are two things that matter in an SD card: the reading speed, and the writing speed. The writing speed is how fast the SD card is able to save what the camera captures, while the reading speed is how fast the SD card can playback your video. In brief, speedier SD cards prevent dropped frames and ensure smooth playback when filming in higher resolutions.
Since most of the Mavic series, the Inspire series, and the Phantom 4 Pro can all take 4K video, the Video or UHS classes are what is recommended. Because its highest quality video is Full HD, the Spark can use the standard Speed Class, UHS Speed Class, or Video Speed Class without incurring an issue.
While faster is typically better, once you meet the minimum requirement per drone, speed won’t make much of a difference aside from personal preference. But, if you’re a Spark user trying to save a buck, FHD doesn’t require a lot of speed support so you don’t need to buy the most expensive SD card.
Does Brand Matter?
Over the past few years, a lot of complaints have emerged regarding the ability of certain SD card brands to function when used with DJI Drones. For the most part, these have been limited to off-brand, cheaper-than-usual SD cards or fakes. DJI specifically encourages consumers to stay away from using the Patriot EPPRO 64GB Micro SDXC.
For optimal functionally for your drone, it’s best to use a well-known brand such as Sandisk, Samsung, and Kingston–all which come recommended by DJI. While the list is not limited to these three brands, they’re the most well known in the industry.
The Best SD Cards for Each DJI Drone
Although there are specific brands that work with every DJI Drone, not all SD cards from each of those brands work. Again, it’s typically because of folly purchases and bad or fake brands, so it’s important to buy your Micro SD from a trusted source.
Now that you know a little about SD card speeds and capacity, and the DJI’s needs, let’s dive in and find out the best SD cards for your DJI Drone.
The DJI Spark is the most accessible of the DJI products and at a cost-effective price. While it’s not as advanced as the Mavic line or Phantom 4 Pro, it’s a good way to get a taste of what DJI’s Drones have to offer.
SanDisk Extreme 64GB Micro SDHC
The DJI Spark has a lot of SD card options, but we recommend the SanDisk Extreme 64GB Micro SDHC with a UHS 3 Speed Class. It is one of the most popular among users. With a storage capacity of 64GB, this card has a reading speed of 99.49 MB/s, and a writing speed of 70.29 MB/s, so you know you can depend on this Micro SD to do the job right.
Samsung 64GB Micro SDXC EVO Plus
Recommended by both DJI and DJI Spark users, the Samsung 64GB Micro SDXC EVO Plus can hold 64GB of storage. It has a read speed of up to 100MB/s, a write speed of up to 60MB/s and has a UHS Speed Class of 3.
Phantom 4 Pro
More advanced than the DJI Spark, but less advanced than the Mavic Pro 2, the Phantom 4 is perfect for anyone looking to take their drone to the next level–or at least the next storage capacity level.
Delkin 64GB Micro SDXC
While not one of the three brands mentioned above, the Delkin 64GB Micro SDXC 60 Video Speed Class remains popular among the DJI Phantom 4 Pro users. With a write speed of 88.44 MB/s, a read speed of 98.50 MB/s, and a 64GB capacity, you can’t go wrong with this SD card.
PNY Elite-X 128GB Micro SDXC
Another jump from the Big Three, the PNY Elite-X 128GB Micro SDXC is sure to wow–especially with its 30 Video Speed Class. With a read speed of 100MB/s, and a write speed of about 77MB/s, this is a great addition to your DJI drone.
An additional step up from Phantom 4 Pro with regards to portability, the Mavic Pro is one of many drones in the Mavic lineup. This one, however, is most known for ushering in the era of foldable DJI Drones.
SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC
Once again, Sandisk for the win with this SanDisk 64GB Extreme Micro SDXC that has a Video Speed Class of 30. This 64GB Micro SDXC writes at a speed of up to 60MB/s, and reads even faster, clocking in at up to 90MB/s.
Another member of the Mavic family, the Mavic Air is the most portable of the four Mavics and can be purchased in multiple colors. Its battery is also on the bottom of the machine, whereas the other Mavics have theirs on their topside.
Panasonic 64GB Micro SDXC
Another card outside the Big Three, but recommended by DJI, the Panasonic 64GB Micro SDXC has a write speed of 90MB/s, a read speed of 95MB/s, and a UHS 3 Speed Class.
Sony 128GB Micro SDXC
Popular among heavy users of the Mavic 2 Pro, the Sony 128GB Micro SDXC has as read speed of up to 95MB/s, a write speed of up to 90MB/s and a Speed Class of UHS 3.
Mavic 2 Pro
The updated version of the Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 Pro drone brings a new and improved Hasselblad camera to the DJI Drone family.
Sandisk Extreme Plus V30 A1
As you can see, DJI drone users love their Sandisk SD cards, and the Sandisk Extreme Plus V30 A1 is no joke. It’s got read speeds of up to 160MB/s, write speeds of 90MB/s and a speed class of Video Class 30.
Lexar Professional 128GB Micro SDXC
An ultra-high-speed SD card, the Lexar Professional 128GB Micro SDXC is another great choice for those looking for a 128GB SD card with a Speed Class of UHS 3. The read speed runs at about 270 MB/s, while the write speed is about 110 MB/s.
Mavic 2 Zoom
While almost identical looking to the Mavic 2 Pro, the Mavic 2 Zoom brings more changes to the camera. With this new edition to the Mavic family, users can get higher resolution images with the optical zoom feature that is not available on any other DJI drone.
Kingston Digital 64GB Micro SDXC
Recommended by DJI, the Kingston Digital 64GB Micro SDXC memory card is another great choice in the 64GB range with a Speed Class of UHS 3. It has a read speed of 90MB/s and a write speed of 80MB/s.
Transcend 64 GB Micro SDXC
Another jump from the big three, but still highly reputable among the DJI community, the Transcend 64 GB Micro SDXC has a write speed of 85 MB/s, a read speed of 95 MB/s and a UHS 3 Speed Class.
To quote DJI, “Inspire 1 is DJI’s most advanced complete package.” It’s made with the latest technology of the time but still, like all DJI’s drones, remains easy to use. This drone officially takes 64GB, so the SD cards mentioned below are the highest quality with this capacity.
Samsung PRO Endurance 64GB Micro SDXC Card with Adapter
The Samsung PRO Endurance 64GB Micro SDXC Card with Adapter is a great fit SD card for the Inspire 1. Its 64GB storage capacity, write speed of 30MB/s, and read speed of 100MB/s, are sure to impress--along with its UHS 1 Speed Class.
Lexar Professional 64GB Micro SDXC
Lexar Professional 64GB Micro SDXC is a 60 Video Speed Class card with 64GB capacity, a read speed of 150MB/s, and a write speed of 60MB/s.
An even more advanced version of the Inspire, the Inspire 2 comes with more batteries, a better camera, and so many more improvements over its predecessors, making it the most expensive drone in the DJI Drone family.
Kingston Canvas React 128GB Micro SDXC
Part of DJI’s listed recommendations, the Kingston Canvas React 128GB Micro SDXC has a storage capacity of 128GB, a write speed of 80MB/s, a read speed of 100MB/s, and a Video Speed Class of 30.
Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB
One of the highest quality Sandisk Micro SDs on the market, the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB has a capacity of 128GB, a read speed of 95MB/s, a write speed of 90MB/s and a Video Speed Class of 30.
Final Thoughts About DJI Drones and SD Cards
Overall, there are a lot of options out there for picking an SD card for your DJI Drone. The most important thing to remember is that the higher the speed, the less likely you’ll run into read and write problems.
That said, you should always buy name-brand Micro SD cards from reputable sources and make sure you have the Speed Class level required for the drone to function properly.
Do you know about an even better SD card for one of the drones listed in our article? If so, we’d love for you to share all about it with our audience in the comments section below.
Happy shopping for the best SD card for your drone, and most of all enjoy yourself!