The Sony A380 has dual memory card slots, each using a different card format. The first slot uses SDHC and SD memory cards. The second card slot uses Sony PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo memory cards.
SDHC cards are compatible, this means the biggest SD memory card that can be used is 32GB. The PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo slot has a maximum card storage capacity of 16GB.
One of the memory card slots is accessible at a time. The switch inside the card door is where you choose which card slot to write data to.
PRO Duo cards are a proprietary memory format controlled by Sony. Because of this, SD memory cards are cheaper and generally will have considerably better performance than PRO Duo memory cards.
In a hurry? My recommendation is to use this SD memory card in the A380:
64GB or larger cards are not compatible with the camera.
Looking for a new lens for your camera? Take a look at the 6 Best Sony A380 Lenses.
Best SD Cards
SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY are manufacturers that make high-quality Memory cards. The best memory cards I have owned have been the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cards.
That does not mean you need to purchase a card made by SanDisk for your Sony A380. Look for memory cards with cool-sounding names. That will ensure you get fast transfer rates, dust resistance, and more features.
I have not had errors with PNY Elite Performance or Lexar Professional SD cards.
When I have encountered problems with SD cards has been when inexpensive no-name brands were used. Not having a brand name increases the chance of data corruption or card failure.
If you want to spend less, don't buy a cheap card. You will avoid problems by buying a high-quality card with a reduced storage 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 A380 SD Card Compatibility
SDHC and SD cards are usable in the Sony A380. If you want to get the best performance, use a card.
The newest SDUC and SDXC memory cards will not be useable in the A380.
Currently, there are four specs of SD (Secure Digital) memory cards. New card specifications add more features that provide for greater memory capacity as well as improved data transfer rates.
- 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
Speed ratings of an SD memory card is based on the sequential read and write speeds. The write speed of a memory card is important for video and continuous shooting.
Slows cards can reduce the number of continuous frames the Sony A380 can take. This is because the camera's buffer will not be able to write data to the memory card fast enough.
When recording video, a slow SD card can cause recording to end. The video file may also be corrupted. If you are going to record video, it is important the memory card you use meets the required minimum continuous write speed for video.
Card read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a memory card with a fast read speed will reduce the transfer time.
Speed Class Rating
A memory card is given a Class rating based on the sustained continuous transfer rate of the card. Class 10 is the best rating, even though cards are made that have an improved read speed.
Here is a list of all of the Classes and corresponding lowest transfer rates:
- Class 2 - 2MB/s
- Class 4 - 4MB/s
- Class 6 - 6MB/s
- Class 8 - 8MB/s
- Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster
Nearly every memory card worth ordering for the Sony A380 will be a Class 10 SD memory card. In the time since the release of the camera, Cards have gotten a good deal faster.
Ultra High Speed (UHS)
The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus comes in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS allows for increased file transfer rates.
Three different specifications exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.
To find out the rating of an SD card, look at the front of the card. If the SD card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the SD card 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 A380 PRO Duo Card Compatibility
Both PRO Duo And PRO-HG Duo memory cards can be put into one card slot. PRO-HG shows the memory card can have read speeds up to 50MB/s as well as a 15MB/s or faster write speed.
PRO Duo memory cards with a total of 16GB or smaller will be usable in the A380.
PRO Duo cards are usually near twice as expensive as an SD memory card. As a result of the size of the price difference, I would not recommend purchasing a PRO Duo card to be used in an A380.
Do Both Memory Cards Slots Need to Be Used in the A380?
No, the Sony A380 will not be able to use the two card slots concurrently.
Other manufacturers have cameras that can use both card slots concurrently. That unlocks added features such as overflow protection, mirroring the cards, and splitting up RAW files and JPEGs.
Being unable to use both memory card slots for more options, means you should not waste the extra money on a PRO Duo memory 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 all the specs to look for in both an SD and PRO Duo memory card. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB is the best Sony A380 memory card.
Here are more cameras with similar memory card requirements: