The Sony A290 has dual memory card slots, each with its own card type. The first slot can use SDHC and SD memory cards. The second card slot uses Sony PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo memory cards.
SDHC memory cards are supported, consequently, the largest SD memory card that can be used is 32GB. The PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo slot can use memory cards as large as 32GB in size.
Just one of the memory card slots can be used at a time. There is a switch inside the card door that allows you to select which memory card slot to save images to.
PRO Duo memory cards are a proprietary card format owned by Sony. Due to that, SD cards are less expensive and generally will have better performance than PRO Duo memory cards.
In a hurry? My recommendation is to use this SD memory card with the A290:
64GB or larger cards are not compatible with the camera.
Looking for a new lens? Look at the 6 Best Sony A290 Lenses.
Best SD Cards
SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY are manufacturers that make high-quality Memory cards. The best SD cards I have used have been the SanDisk Extreme Pro cards.
You do not need to purchase a card from SanDisk for your Sony A290. Just make sure the name is impressive. That will mean you get fast read/write speeds, shock resistance, and more professional features.
I have not had issues with PNY Elite Performance or Lexar Professional memory cards.
When I have encountered problems with memory cards has been when inexpensive generic brands were used. Being cheap increases the possibility of card failure or corrupted data.
If you would like to save money, don't buy a cheap card. You will avoid problems by purchasing a high-quality memory card with a reduced capacity.
Recommended SD Cards
- Best value for the money.
- Capacities from 16 GB to 128 GB.
- Transfer speeds up to 80 MB/s.
- Class 10.
- High speed card.
- Capacities from 16 GB to 1 TB.
- Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
- Class 10.
- High quality card.
- Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
- Class 10.
Sony A290 SD Card Compatibility
SD and SDHC memory cards are compatible with the Sony A290. If you'd like the optimal performance, use a card.
The latest SDXC and SDUC memory cards will not be useable in the A290.
Currently, there are four different specs of Secure Digital (SD) cards. Newer memory specs increase tech that provides for greater storage space and noticeably increased data transfer speeds.
- Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
- Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
- Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
- Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.
SD Card Speed
The speed rating of an SD card is determined by the sequential write and read speeds. The transfer speed of a SD memory card is very important for video as well as continuous shooting.
A slow memory card can reduce the number of continuous images the Sony A290 can capture. This is because the camera's buffer will not be able to write to the memory card fast enough.
When shooting video, a slow card can cause recording to end. The video file might also end up being corrupted. If you intend to shoot video, it is crucial the memory card you use meets the required continuous write speed for video.
Read speed is important for transferring files to a computer. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a memory card with a fast read speed will save you time.
Speed Class Rating
A memory card is labeled with a Class rating based on the sustained continuous write speed of the card. Class 10 is the top rating, even though SD memory cards are available that have a faster transfer rate.
Here is a list of Classes and the applicable minimum read/write speeds:
- Class 2 - 2MB/s
- Class 4 - 4MB/s
- Class 6 - 6MB/s
- Class 8 - 8MB/s
- Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster
Practically every memory card worth owning for the Sony A290 will be a Class 10 SD memory card. In the short time since the camera was introduced, SD cards have gotten much faster.
Ultra High Speed (UHS)
The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus comes in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS allows offers a way to increase data transfer rates.
Three different specs exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.
To find out the rating of a SD memory card, look on the front of the card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be found on the label.
- UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
- UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
- UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s
Sony A290 PRO Duo Card Compatibility
Both PRO Duo And PRO-HG Duo cards can be used in one memory card slot. PRO-HG means that the card may have read transfer rates up to 50MB/s plus a 15MB/s or faster write speed.
PRO Duo cards with a total of 32GB or have a lower capacity will be compatible in the A290.
PRO Duo cards are usually near two times as expensive as an SD memory card. As a consequence of the added cost, I won't recommend finding a PRO Duo card for use in an A290.
Do Both Memory Cards Slots Need to Be Used in the A290?
No, the Sony A290 is unable to use the two memory card slots at the same time.
Competing companies have cameras that can use both card slots at the same time. That unlocks additional features such as overflow protection, mirroring the cards, and splitting up JPEGs and RAW files.
Being unable to use both memory slots for extended features, means you should not waste more money on a PRO Duo card.
Below is an approximate estimation of how many large JPEG images you can expect to store on each size of SD card.
- 4GB - 1,160 images
- 8GB - 2,320 images
- 16GB - 4,640 images
- 32GB - 9,280 images
Now you know what specs to look for in both an SD and PRO Duo memory cards. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB is the best Sony A290 memory card.
Here are cameras with requirements that are the same: