Industrial Deals Best Books of the Month Introducing Prime Wardrobe nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Unlimited Music. Made for you. Learn more. GNO for Samsung S9 Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry SpringEvent_Lawn_and_Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon westworldS2 westworldS2 westworldS2  Echo Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop Now Start your Baby Registry

on May 12, 2013
I posted this about the Transcend 32 GB SDHC card that was getting trashed in reviews by Canon owners. It also applies to the Sony card (read down), and readers may find it helpful in evaluating SD cards in general.

The 1-star threads on the Transcend are like watching a committee of blind men describing an elephant. Unsurprisingly, no one has the complete picture, but a lot of Canon owners think these cards are bogus. SD card technology is very complex, the Class system is often misunderstood, and there is a long history of compromised cards appearing on eBay -- or even from reputable dealers who have been hoodwinked. Kingston cards are most often faked (or taken from the midnight production run); that's because Kingston has about a third of the flash card market and doesn't forge their own chips, but any manufacturer can be spoofed. It doesn't pay to buy cheap cards on eBay or less reputable sources.

An SD card contains a controller chip and flash memory chips, even the microSD versions. Realize that SD means Secure Digital, and that security comes from crypto managed by the controller (MMC cards didn't have that bloat, but Hollywood DRM requirements made sure they faded). The controller can be pretty powerful: the Samsung SD controller is a 32-bit ARM TDMI chip with 128 k of code space -- that's cell phone power. It handles I/O and fading (when the card slowly wears out its NAND sites after about 100,000 hits so writing is randomly distributed and kept track of), the factory self-test, and a host of other functions, but it can also be programmed to report a false storage capacity. Sometimes the firmware on the controller or its crypto or something else on certain cards leads to problems with certain hardware, as it has, for example, with the Samsung Galaxy III and maybe the Canon cameras. Usually the card is found to confirm to SDcard dot Org specifications and the hardware is to blame, but you never know.

To test the actual capacity of your card, use H2testw, which is free. It writes the full amount of data to the card and then reads it back (this nukes whatever was on the card). This can take more than an hour with a 32 GB card but it tells you if the card indeed holds 32 GB or if it has problems. H2testw also gives you read and write speed numbers, but it's unclear whether the numbers are for random read/write, or sequential read/write or a mix. Sequential write is what photographers and videographers most care about.

Sometimes a Class 6 card might appear to test faster than a Class 10 card, when using computer read/write tests or even in a camera that wasn't designed with higher capacity cards in mind. That's because such cards use smaller block sizes (there's no cache on an SD card). Explaining the significance of this is getting too far into the weeds for an Amazon review, and modern devices and their firmware should not have that limitation.

To test random and sequential read/write speed, use CrystalDiskMark, also free. Run the full suite; it won't take long. CrystalDiskMark requires that the card be formatted, and the most reliable way to do that is to use the free tool from sdcard dot org. A 32 GB card will may report 39.9 GB before formatting and 29.8 GB after; don't worry, you haven't been ripped off.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to read the manufacturer's ID off the SD card, even in Linux, to determine who actually made the card, because you have to have the card connected directly to a motherboard; an SD-to-USB adapter won't work because it doesn't pass through disk data, and that's what's in nearly all computers. But what do you care, so long as the card's as big and fast as claimed?

Now, what about the Transcend 32 GB SDHC C10 card? Here are full test results from CrystalDiskMark:

Transcend 32 GB SDHC C10
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : [...]
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 19.953 MB/s
Sequential Write : 13.786 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 19.618 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 13.827 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 3.003 MB/s [ 733.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.414 MB/s [ 345.1 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 3.491 MB/s [ 852.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.842 MB/s [ 449.8 IOPS]

Test : 50 MB [F: 0.0% (0.0/29.3 GB)] (x5)
Date : 2013/05/12 18:19:47

So you can see that the sequential write speed, what matters to a photographer or videographer, is over 13 MB/s, more than 30% above the C10 spec. The other speeds aren't too shabby, either. There's no way that this card is too slow for a contemporary camera, still or video, that is functioning and designed properly.

Also on Amazon for a very attractive price is a Sony 32 MB SD card. Here are the full CrystalDiskMark test results for it:


Sequential Read : 19.998 MB/s
Sequential Write : 14.115 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 19.772 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 13.173 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 3.682 MB/s [ 899.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 2.302 MB/s [ 561.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 4.517 MB/s [ 1102.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 2.323 MB/s [ 567.0 IOPS]

So the Sony is slightly faster, 40% over spec, on its sequential write. H2testw also reported full capacity and no errors for this card, so they are both top notch (The Sony doesn't come with a little case and the case for the Transcend case is about twice as big as it needs to be and so won't fit in the little pockets in a modern camera bag. Big deals.)

Just for reference, here are the results for a contemporary USB thumb drive:

SanDisk Ultra 32 GB USB thumb drive

Sequential Read : 22.508 MB/s
Sequential Write : 7.985 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 22.365 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 1.767 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 3.719 MB/s [ 908.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.520 MB/s [ 126.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 3.871 MB/s [ 945.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.482 MB/s [ 117.7 IOPS]

As you can see, this USB drive is faster than the SD cards for reading, such as for playing music, running software, or looking up data, which shows that it is nicely optimized for its intended functions.

As an aside, anyone who thinks they have lost data on an SD card can recover pictures using the free tool at z-a-recovery or recover everything(!) with the free PhotoRec tools.

So, if people want to whine about these SD cards in their particular cameras, they should run these simple, free tests and reach their own conclusions about whether the cards are "too slow." The cards test above spec objectively. And they both work flawlessly on my still (not Canon) and video cameras. I think they have gotten a bad rap on Amazon from people who don't have the full picture, so to speak.

I've also posted this as a review on the Transcend 32 GB page. I hope you found it informative.
5150+ comments| 1,878 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 30, 2013
As of the end of May 2013, the Sony 32 GB SDHC R40 is on sale for under $20, so the card is a bargain in light of its reasonable performance specifications. Note however that to maximize the performance of this card, your host device must be UHS-1 compatible, which means many older devices will find this card to be a poor performer. In newer devices, this is a good card-reasonably fast, waterproof, and with recovery software (if needed) available for download.

After receiving this card, I tested it against a bunch of other SD cards in my personal inventory. Note that there is some room for error (due to hand/stopwatch reaction time). Nevertheless, it's a good relative overview. I tested using a UHS-1 capable reader and files of known size. Here's a summary of the results:

Sandisk Extreme SDHC (45 MB/sec label)
READ: 44.9 MB/sec (with bursts above 50 MB/sec)
WRITE: 34.32 MB/sec

Sony 32GB SDHC UHS-1 R40 (the card being reviewed here)
READ: 39.61 MB/sec (with significant initial burst of over 100 MB/sec)
WRITE: 19.07 MB/sec

PNY "Professional" 16GB, (20 MB/sec label)
READ: 14.78 MB/sec
WRITE: 20.74 MB/sec

Patriot LX Class 10 16GB memory card (from Fry's Electronics)
READ: 11.15 MB/sec
WRITE: 19.79 MB/sec

Sandisk Ultra, with UHS-1 label
READ: 36.76 MB/sec
WRITE: 10.67 MB/sec

And just for fun--here's what a number looks like for an older compact flash with UDMA controller:

Sandisk Extreme IV 4 GB compact flash
READ: Not tested
WRITE: 33 MB/sec

So, as you can see, while this Sony card is not the fastest performing card out there, it's performance is still quite good in the latest gear. Also, a quick word about video and transfer rates. Digital video is recorded in "megaBITS" per second, while these cards are speed rated in "megaBYTES" per second. That makes it a bit confusing. At the moment, digital SLRs from the factory are at about 24 up to 100 megabits/second in terms of their video rate. To convert bits to bytes, divide by that becomes 3 MB/sec to 12.5 MB/second. For most digital SLRs out there, even the Sandisk Ultra is fast enough for video, but if your camera has a high bitrate option, this Sony has enough headroom for sustained file writing. The Sandisks are still king of the mountain, but they do cost more. Sandisk has long underrated their higher end cards; even older Sandisks are often faster than newer cards from other makers (like the older compact flash example above). If you absolutely need the higher performance, go with the Sandisk Extreme or Extreme Pro, but you'll pay for it. From my own numbers, I'm comfortable with the Sony for day to day use for my D800. If I really need speed though, I'm going with compact flash over SDHC.
77 comments| 335 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 25, 2014
My card failed just past Amazon's 30-day warranty. I then spent more than 90 minutes talking to 6 different Sony reps in 6 different departments (and probably 6 different countries), trying to get a replacement card. Most reps didn't know what I was talking about, and all gave useless advice, and argued with me about the warranty. (One said that devices sold by Amazon may be counterfeit, so the warranty is only 90 days. I doubt this is true, but why argue with me about it, when the card is only 44 days old?) I was cut off twice, and had to repeat my info more times than I can count. Absolutely atrocious customer service. So, if you get a good card, great. If you get a bad card, you're SOL.

Update after 2 weeks of playing with Sony: I have now spent at least 3 hours on the phone with more than a dozen different reps, plus several emails, and they all keep passing the buck. I finally got a direct phone number for the Sony Media Storage department (877-440-3453), but when you call that number -- and I've tried every day for the past 10 days -- you get a message saying they're not available now, please leave a message -- but you can't leave a message, because "the user's mailbox is full." Unbelievable. Normally I wouldn't go to this much effort for a $20 product, but now it's a matter of principle. Sony makes some cool stuff, and I've bought a *lot* of it over the past 40 years -- but never again.
55 comments| 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 28, 2017
This is an SDXC memory card. It can only be formatted in exFAT or NTFS. These two format modes do not have a file size restriction. Any storage device that is 64GB or larger must be formatted in exFAT or NTFS. This is a reliable and safe card to store your files.

This is important because not all recording devices will break up files into more manageable file size. All GoPro cameras will break up the files into more manageable sizes. Why? Suppose you record an activity that cannot be replicated. Suppose you fly four hours across country, drive another two hours to your destination. Then you're off shore fishing, or hiking a very scenic in area. If your recording device does not break recording into smaller files while recording there is the possibility that the single very large file could become corrupt and you've lost all the video for that expensive and long trip.

If the files were broken down into smaller files and at the end of the hike or fishing tip and if one or two of those files were unreadable you'd still have the remaining files that you can stitch a decent video together.

On devices that won't break down a recorded event into smaller files, a smaller SD card would be necessary for they can be formatted in FAT32 which is native to nearly all recording devices. The largest file size that can be recorded in FAT32 is 4GB..

I have experience that occurred a few months ago during a trip to Zion National Park. I recorded several hikes with a Hero 5. I downloaded all the videos to a laptop and was not able to do any post-production work until after I returned home. Our days were so filled with activities there was only time to download the files to ensure enough room on Micro SD card. During post production there were two files out of the 10 that was created on the Angels Landing hike. Those two files could not be ready on any devices I own. I was able to create a complete video based on the remaining files. The story that I was trying to tell was incomplete due to the corrupted files.

Imagine how I would have felt the recording device created one huge file and it was corrupted. I'd have the memory in my mind but not anywhere else.

On other devices it is easy to pause and restart a recording. That action will create a new file each time. However, depending on the activity you may not have hands free to stop and start a recording. On the Angels Landing hike I used the elastic head mount for the GoPro and both hands to make the climb.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Top Contributor: Photographyon October 12, 2013
Although the product description leads one to believe that this card is claimed to write at 40MB/s when it certainly cannot do so, for me what matters is read speed and in that respect this card OVERperforms.

I have attached my ATTO Bench 32 results dated October 12, 2013 to this product's Customer Images. You will see that with files in the photo size range of 2048k+ (2MB+) this card reads at 47MB/s! Write speed is about 21MB/s and on par with old school Class 6 or 10 (Class 6 and 10 are the same thing) cards.

My REAL LIFE transfer results are slightly different from the ATTO Benchmark. My average Write speed is about 18MB/s. My average Read speed is about 43MB/s. I use a Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 card reader with TS21 firmware and Mushkin Chronos SATA III Solid State Drive for my testing.

For DSLRs write speed doesn't mean much because they have buffers and their frame advance rate is almost entirely defined by them. Card write speed in the real world for buffered cameras makes a negligible difference in sustained frame rate advance. I've gone over my results on my D7000's frame rate difference between cards ad nauseum in my SanDisk 95MB/s review and won't do so again here. You can check that review out if you like. The real life result was that when the buffer runs out, the difference between a card with this Sony's write speed of about 21MB/s and the SanDisk 95MB/s "King Of The Hill" is 0.7 frames per second vs. the 95MB/s doing 1.5 frames per second with my D7000 shooting highest resolution RAW + Large Fine JPEG. However, your buffer will clear faster with a faster Write card. So the delay between intermittent bursts at max speed is lower with a faster card. If you're shooting JPEG only, particularly at less than "Large Fine" resolution setting, again, the faster card's advantage melts away. If you shoot high resolution bursts A LOT and/or have a camera with no buffer, get a faster card. If not, save your money and get something like this card. But seriously, if you shoot bursts and don't have a DSLR, step up. Pedantic arguments about card write speed regarding fps is ridiculous for a non-DSLR. If you need a real camera with real performance, get one. Simple. Fast card in a low-buffer camera is lipstick on a pig, sorry. :)

I got this Sony 40MB/s* card for my D800E and I shoot in uncompressed RAW + Large Fine JPEG. This amounts to about 100MB (not a typo) each time I release the shutter. I hardly ever shoot burst and when I do I rarely shoot more than 3 or 4 frames in a burst and my buffer can easily handle that so this card's speed means nothing in terms of frame rate for my shooting style. Obviously, in a day or night's worth of casual shooting I can easily put 5GB or 10GB on my card. For a job it could be 30GB+. What matters to me is how long it will take to transfer those files to my computer. That's why for me, READ speed matters WWWAAAYYY more than write speed. I have never been able to get 95MB/s reads out of my SanDisk 95MB/s cards. Really only up to 86MB/s in benchmarks and rarely over 60MB/s in real life transfers.

I must say, I'm very happy with this card and for me it is easily 5-star. However, I have to rate this card for Amazon's customers and Write speed may matter to them and since this card's actual Write speed is only half of its speed rating, I can only go to 4 stars. It is a very low price per GB though and my upload time with this card is approaching what I get in the real world with my way-more-expensive SanDisk 95MB/s cards. Unless you are literally constantly shooting burst after burst, just buy this card. You'll be glad you did. :)
review image
22 comments| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 17, 2015
I've got this card (Sony SD HC I 32 GB Class 10 40 MB/s SF-32UY) as a bundled item for the purchase of an A6000 camera kit from Costco. I formatted the card in camera and shot about 1,000 pictures (JPEG Fine) in the first week. I transferred the pictures to my computer and kept the originals on the SD card. Today we went to the zoo, and I took my A6000 out to start shooting. When I pressed the play button trying to review the few pictures I just took, I got an error message "Unable to display". Tried to take a few more pictures, same issue - the camera shutter clicks, no error message, but when playback, no image could be displayed. I switched to a spare Sandisk 32 GB (same configuration) and completed the shooting of the day with no issue. Upon returning home, I popped the Sony card into my computer; all the previous 1,000+ pictures are still there, but the few pictures I "took" today were nowhere to be found.

Then the weird thing happened. I tried to format the card in my computer; the format went through without any error message, but all the pictures were still there, nothing was removed! I tried to highlight a few pictures and delete them together; they were gone on my computer, but when I insert the card back to the camera, all the deleted pictures were still visible; then I put the card back in my computer, all the deleted the pictures were back! I tried to format the card in the camera; no error message, but the pictures were still there; tried to delete the picture one by one (tried 10), the image was gone, but upon restart the camera, the deleted images were back. I tried the same procedures with the Sandisk card, no issues at all. This is very very strange. Right now I am waiting for Sony (via Costco) to see if they can send me a replacement. But I am very puzzled by what happened. Anyone with a idea please come forward.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 21, 2017
No problems here! Purchased for use with my on Amazon on 4/11/15 to use with my then-new Sony NEX-5T camera (new from Amazon at the time of purchase - I tested the shutter count to prove it). This is pretty much the only card I've used with this great little camera (other than maybe 5 or 7 test shots on a MicroSD card w/adapter that you can subtract from the number below...I was doing a simple performance and compatibility test at the time). The card (and camera) are still working beautifully after several years and 18,270 shots (writes) later, as determined by the SONY Alpha shutter count tool site (click on the screen capture below to see it properly).
Conditions: while I'm always pretty gentle with SD/microSD cards in hand, I love landscape photography, and the camera that this card inhabits has been outdoors in 5F degree weather through 94F weather for hours on end, in snow, in light rain, blazing sun, and travelled thousands of miles.

Can't complain. The only "problem" I've ever dealt with was having to reformat the card once or twice AFTER I got all of my images, yet foolishly failed to properly eject the camera/card when using it in mass storage mode. Expected, and no big deal.
review image
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 12, 2016
Purchased Oct, 2015 and it worked fine with limited use for 9 months, then when I was mid-vacation in July, 2016 my camera started saying "unable to access file". I tried turning it off & on but it didn't help. Then popped out the SD card and it had literally split in half along the assembly seam. I have always stored the card and camera indoors, and I'm one of the annoying people who tries to take very good care of my stuff, so no...never been dropped, thrown, dirty or wet. Was able to carefully put the card into my laptop and rescued 1100 photos off the card, losing 279 photos which say the file type is unreadable. Camera continues to function perfectly now that I replaced the SD card with a different one. Not at all satisfied with having lost photos that are genuinely irreplaceable.
11 comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 19, 2015
Sony usually sells their memory cards fairly expensive when compared to other brands such as samsung,kingston, or sandisk.

Would i say Sony's memory cards are superior than those i mentioned above? Probably not , and in my opinion it doesn't warrant the price increase however i have had more luck in faulty cards using sony.

Most speeds are as good or better than sandisk's counterparts which advertise same writing and reading speeds, samsungs however fall slower.
I use this card mainly as setting up multiboot linux operating systems and it does its good just fine.

Some advice i would give to people before starting to put priceless data on theirs ( such as pictures orso) would be the following:
Test the card for bad sectors with a software called h2testw ( or something similar)
Format the card using sd formatter ( google it), this will fix most issues some people might have if the card is not being recognized in digital cameras and camcorders.
Put a video, or music data on the card and try to play it and see if it works correctly

Lastly realize that anything electronic even if brand new has a small failure rate, while its disappointing it can happen. With the last mentioning of things that may come faulty i strongly recommend to buy these directly from as opposed to another retailer or straight from the manufacturer reason being is that most retailers and cards manufacturers give you run a rounds , and the return process is horrible. Buying these from on the other hand should they come faulty are less of a headache when eplacing or returning through them
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 7, 2016
I used this for less than a year on my car's camera, until the point I noticed the camera wasn't recording anything to it. I thought the camera was bad so I replaced it.

Now after further tests it's actually the SD card that failed. It's stuck on this "read only" mode forever. I can format it, delete the files on it, rename it, copy other files, etc.., but when i unplug and re-plug it again it's as if nothing I did happened. It still has the old files and folders. It's just stuck there as a ghost.

If it failed to the point where you can't even read it that's one thing, but to have this happen is really tricky because you think it's working, until the time comes when you need to read it and notice it didn't really write anything new onto the CF card.

I lost my trust with Sony.
22 comments|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse