I Just Got a Panasonic GH4, Now What? Memory Cards!

Below is a reblog from ARC friend, Eduardo Angel, with the inside scoop on where to find the best SD cards for your money.

I’ve spent a LOT of time try­ing to fig­ure out what are the best/fastest/cheapest mem­ory cards for my brand new Pana­sonic GH4.

UPDATE: The cam­era is cur­rently out of stock at Ado­rama and Ama­zon. I’m expect­ing a sec­ond cam­era so I’ll tweet when they get them back in stock.

At first the options seem end­less, but they really aren’t. I hope this short arti­cle saves you a headache and a few hours of research. Please con­sider sup­port­ing this site by using our links.

Few peo­ple know that Pana­sonic has a brand new SD Card to sup­port the GH4. It is a 32GB  with up to 90/45 MB/s, and sup­ports Ultra High Speed Class 3 spec­i­fi­ca­tion (U3). It is avail­able now at Ado­rama for $59.95.

I hap­pen to have one, so I’ll be test­ing it to shoot 4K and will share my impressions.

Panasonic-32GB-SDHC-UHS-I-U3-Card-90MB_s

Accord­ing to San­disk, the offi­cially sup­ported cards for the GH4 are these:

SanDisk

Get­ting an 8GB or even 16GB nowa­days, espe­cially if you are plan­ning to shoot 4K video is kinda silly. So here are the direct links to the 32GB and 64GB options:

SanDisk-Extreme-Pro-SDHC-UHS-I-Memory-Card-32GB

San­Disk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I Mem­ory Card_32GB (Part Num­ber: SDSDXPA-032G-A75) Best price: $49.95

SanDisk-Extreme-Pro-SDXC-UHS-I-Memory-Card-64GB

San­Disk Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Mem­ory Card 32GB(Part Num­ber: SDSDXPB-032GB-A46) Best price: $129.95 at Adorama

SanDisk-Extreme-PRO-SDHCSDXC-UHS-II-Memory-Card-32GB

San­Disk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I Mem­ory Card 64GB (Part Number:SDSDXPA-064G-A75) Best price: $98.95

SanDisk-Extreme-PRO-SDHCSDXC-UHS-II-Memory-Card-64GB

San­Disk Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Mem­ory Card 64GB(Part Num­ber: SDSDXPB-064GB-A64) Best price: $244.95 at Adorama

64-GB-microP2-Card

We could also the same Pana­sonic 64 GB microP2 cards that we used when we tested the GH4 pro­to­type, but at $340 for 64GB I believe I’ll pass. We are also VERY intrigued by the new Tran­scend 64 GB High Speed 10 UHS-3 Flash Mem­ory Card 95/60 MB/s (TS64GSDU3), but it seems too good to be true: only $50.70!?

I’ve had mixed results with Tran­scend cards in the past but I won­der if things have changed. Just because I’m feel­ing a bit coura­geous, I just ordered one and will be test­ing it in the next cou­ple of days. Will share my find­ings on Twit­ter (@EA_Photo), so fol­low along!   Transcend-64-GB-High-Speed-10-UHS-3-Flash-Memory-Card-95_60-MB_450

My bril­liant friend Sean Davis had some­thing inter­est­ing to say about this:

Based on the offi­cial specs and what I’m being told, only UHS-III cards are tested and approved for 4K cap­ture. I don’t believe the Tran­scend will work, although some peo­ple have had luck with slightly slower/cheaper cards. From my per­sonal and pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ence if slower cards work they will run a higher risk of fail­ure (buffer under run errors and such). The data rates on this cam­era are incred­i­bly high, 200mb/s in 1080p will usu­ally mean that you need cards capa­ble of that write speed.”

Another option is to go with an exter­nal recorder like an Ato­mos Samu­rai Blade, or an Odyssey 7 or 7Q. All these come with a crit­i­cal 1280 x 720 dis­play, and the con­ve­nience to record directly from the sen­sor to 10-bit, 4:2:2 Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD, but we are talk­ing $1,300 to $2,300.

Do you have any other sug­ges­tions or workarounds? Please share them with us.

2 comments

  1. The cited Sean Davis advice is quite poor. There’s no such thing as a UHS-III card. The referenced UHS-I Class 3 card, however, has a 60 megabytes per second write speed capability and Sean is probably making the amateur mistake of confusing 200 megabits per second with the actual demand created by the GH4 of merely 25 megabytes per second in that 1080p mode. And at 4K, it’s only 12.5 megabytes per second.

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