2016-08-25

Memory Cards for Recording 4K Video: MB/S Vs. Mbps

The memory requirements of your new 4K Video capable camera are a bit different from past generations of video capable cameras.

If you’ve tried shooting 4K on an older memory card already, you may have noticed that it filled up rather quickly or you’ve missed bits of footage, that’s because 4K Video has a considerably higher bitrate than even HD Video.

Simply put, the higher the bitrate, the higher the write speed of the card needs to be. The faster the write speed, the faster the video will be saved to the card, meaning you won’t lose any footage because the card can’t keep up with the camera.

Camera manufactures recommend a card that uses UHS I Class U3, for either SD memory cards or CF memory cards.

With 4K becoming a more frequent capability of the latest DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras - including the new Canon 5D Mark IV - we've decided to give you a bit more explanation into what storage you need for 4K.




Explanation in brief:

Firstly, and most importantly, MB/s and Mbps are two very different things.

MB/s = MegaBYTES per second

Mbps = MegaBITS per second

1 byte = 8 bits

Memory cards will advertise their speed in MB/s, whereas the camera will specify Mbps, which is… confusing.

Here at Park Cameras we’ve lined up a few of our best cards for you, so if you’re not sure what 4K memory card to go for, here’s our handy guide...



Canon EOS-1D X Mark II 4K Memory Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 800 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 100 MB/s
Card Type: CFast Card


Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate



Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 4K Compact Flash Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 500 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 62.5 MB/s
Card Type: CompactFlash Card


Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate



Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 4K SD Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 500 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 62.5 MB/s
Card Type: SD Card


Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate



Panasonic GH4R 4K Memory Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 200 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 25 MB/s
Card Type: SD Card
Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate



Nikon D500 4K Memory Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 144 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 18 MB/s
Card Type: SD Card
Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate



Sony a7S II 4K Memory Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 100 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 12.5 MB/s
Card Type: SD Card
Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate



DJI Phantom 4 4K Memory Cards

Bitrate (Mbps): 60 Mbps
Bitrate (MB/s): 7.5 MB/s
Card Type: MicroSD Card
Entry Level Mid Range Ultimate

Don’t forget to pick up a case to keep your data safe, here's some we recommend for you:

Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket
Think Tank Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket
Peli CF Memory Card Case
Peli SD Memory Card Case

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