Best Sony NEX-3 Memory Card

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 10, 2019
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Best Sony NEX-3 Memory Card

Two types of memory cards can be used in the Sony NEX-3. Sony PRO-HG Duo and PRO Duo can be used in and in addition SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards.

There’s is only room for a single card to be in the slot at a time. You'll have to make a choice between an SD or PRO Duo card.

PRO Duo cards are a proprietary format held by Sony. SD cards have had a wider adoption that PRO Duo cards because SD memory cards are noticeably faster plus cheaper.

In a hurry? My advice is to use this SD card to use with the NEX-3:

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SDHC Memory Card

64GB or larger cards are not compatible with the camera.

Best SD Cards

Professional-quality producers of memory cards include Lexar, SanDisk, and PNY. The more reliable memory cards I have owned are the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cards.

That does not mean you need to buy a card made by SanDisk for your Sony NEX-3. Look for memory cards with impressive-sounding names. That will mean you get fast transfer rates, shock resistance, and more professional features.

I have not run into errors with PNY Elite Performance or Lexar Professional cards.

The issues I have experienced with cards has been when I have used low priced generic brands. Not having a brand name elevates the chance of card failure or data corruption.

If you are looking to spend less, don't buy a generic card. You will be better off purchasing a professional-quality SD card with a lower storage capacity.

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SDHC Memory Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 16 GB to 128 GB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 80 MB/s.
  • Class 10.
  • UHS-I
Lexar 633x 23GB UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

Lexar Professional 633X 32GB SDHC UHS-I Card

  • High speed card.
  • Capacities from 16 GB to 1 TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10.
  • UHS-I/UHS-III.
PNY Flash Memory Card Elite Performance 32GB SDHC UHS-I

PNY Elite Performance 32GB SDHC Card

  • High quality card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10.
  • UHS-I.

Sony NEX-3 SD Card Compatibility

SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards can be used with the Sony NEX-3. Use a card to get the maximum performance out of the NEX-3.

The newest SDUC memory cards won't work with the NEX-3.

In total, there are four distinct specifications of SD (Secure Digital) cards. More recent card specifications add more tech that allows for greater memory capacity and increased 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

The speed rating of an SD memory card is dependant on the sequential read and write speeds. SD memory card write speed is important for video as well as continuous shooting.

A slow card can cut down the number of continuous photos the Sony NEX-3 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 SD card can cause an abrupt end to recording. The video file may also be corrupted. If you intend to shoot video, it is crucial the SD card you use meets the required continuous write speed for video.

Read speed is nice to have for file transfers to a computer or laptop. 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

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
10 inside of a C showing that the SD card is Class 10.

The Sony NEX-3 needs at least an SD card that has a Class 4 rating.

The sustained continuous write speed is what determines the Class rating that an SD memory card receives. Class 10 is the highest rating which is given to cards with a write speed greater than 10MB/s.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every name-brand card that you can purchase online will be rated Class 10. To determine the class rating of a card, try to find a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
This card has a UHS-I rating. UHS-II and UHS-III cards will have II or III, respectively.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is built into SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS makes it possible provides a way to improve file transfer rates.

There are 3 separate specs. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can determine the rating of an SD memory card by checking the front of the SD card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be found on the front of the SD card.

  • 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 NEX-3 PRO Duo Card Compatibility

One PRO Duo or PRO-HG Duo memory cards can be used in the Sony NEX-3. What PRO-HG signifies is that the memory card has a minimum read speed of 50mb/s and a 15mb/s minimum write speed.

PRO Duo memory cards are consistently more expensive than an SD card. Considering the price difference, I will not recommend purchasing a Sony PRO Duo memory card for use in a NEX-3.

Image Capacity

Nikon SD Memory Card Contacts

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

Related Cameras

Those are the essential technical specs to be aware of prior to purchasing a Sony PRO Duo and SD memory card. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB is the best Sony NEX-3 memory card.

There are additional cameras that use similar memory cards as the Sony NEX-3:

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