Olympus E-P3 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 28, 2019
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Olympus SD Memory Card Compatibility

The Olympus E-P3 has a single SD memory card slot that does not support UHS-I. It can work with SD memory cards up to 1TB in capacity.

To make sure you get the best performance when taking pictures in continuous shooting mode or recording video, get an SD card that is Class 10. For transferring files, a memory card that has UHS-I will be the fastest when used in a card reader.

This is my recommendation for the best SD memory card for the Olympus E-P3:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • The best performance at a reasonable price.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.

Best SD Cards

Since the Olympus E-P3 was launched, SD card prices have decreased and storage capacities have gotten massive. The difference in price between the fastest card and a mediocre one is unexpectedly small. Price is more tied to storage capacity, with the largest cards being higher priced.

Buying the cards with the largest capacity only makes sense if you are going to shoot a huge amount of RAW files for wildlife, sports, events, or action photography. Another consideration could be if you are going to replace your camera or use the sd card in other devices.

I think that the SanDisk Extreme Pro line of SD memory cards are almost always the best choice for most conditions. They have extremely fast transfer speeds, which means they have the best chance of working in future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

I also have had good experiences with PNY Elite Performance And Lexar Professional cards. I have not had images or data become damaged or lost on any of these cards. If that's a situation that did occur, all of the manufacturers have image recovery software.

Troubles I have encountered have been with generic SD cards. Being a bundled accessory or a low price are the main attractions. However, this is also the most popular type of SD card to have the wrong product description.

It's very easy to put a Class 10 sticker on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is bound to be an error or unreadable photos if the card's write speed doesn't fulfill the camera's requirements.

One of the largest controls over the price you have is the card capacity. You will be better off by purchasing a card with a smaller storage capacity to lower cost rather than choosing a generic brand. Read and write speeds are important factors that will impact your satisfaction with the Olympus Pen E-P3.

Recommended SD Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • The best performance at a reasonable price.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.
Lexar Professional 1066X 128GB SD UHS-I Memory Card

Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB SD Card

  • Lexar Professional Silver Card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 160 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Includes Lexar Recovery Tool Software.
  • Designed for durability in harsh conditions.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128GB Memory Card

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SD Card

  • Lower priced card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Magnet, Shock, Temperature, and Waterproof.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

Memory Card Reader

UGreen 4-in-1 Card Reader
There's a bright blue LED that bothered me. It is now covered in gaff tape.

The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader supports four different types of memory cards. These cover all memory cart formats camera manufacturers use in all but the latest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN memory card reader connects over USB 3.0. The card reader's USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Olympus E-P3 can reach in USB transfer mode.

There are plenty of favorable customer reviews for the card reader, which I agree with. It's a good product because it has been recognized by all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have used with it.

The cable prevents card slots from interfering with other devices or accessories that are being used in another USB or nearby port.

When I searched for a card reader that would be used while traveling, I needed to return a couple of orders. I encountered the most commonly seen problem mentioned in customer reviews, the readers did not work with my computer.

The card reader supports the following memory card types:

  • CompactFlash Cards
  • SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
  • Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
  • MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards

Olympus E-P3 SD Card Compatibility

Only SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards can be used by the Olympus E-P3. Check to be sure that your camera has the most recent firmware installed.

The newest SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) cards aren't able to be used in the E-P3.

Four separate kinds of Secure Digital (SD) cards that you should be aware of. They are separated by storage capacity.

  • SD (Secure Digital) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) - 4TB to 128TB.

Image Capacity

Olympus SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality settings on the Olympus E-P3 will determine the number of pictures that will fit on the SD card. Higher image quality options will create larger image sizes.

If you're looking to shoot loads of RAW files, it can be a good idea to get a larger capacity card.

If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be better off getting another camera battery in place of a larger SD card. 32GB will be ample space to store multiple days of photos.

In fact, the controlling factor to the number of photos you can take will likely be your camera batteries. Keep in mind that, any time the camera is on, even if you are just going through menu options or using the live view, that will lower the battery life.

For low light situations, like at night or indoors, the built-in flash can be useful. Shutter speeds will not be fast enough without using the flash to eliminate motion blur. Working with the flash will rapidly drain the camera batteries. These conditions are when it is good to have at the very least a couple of Olympus BLS-5 rechargeable batteries for the Olympus Pen E-P3.

The following is an estimation of how many high-quality JPEG images you should be able to store on a SD memory card for the provided storage size:

  • 32GB - 9,280
  • 64GB - 18,560
  • 128GB - 37,120
  • 256GB - 74,240

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD memory card is classified by the sequential write and read speeds of the card. SD card write speed is important for video and continuous shooting.

A slow memory card can cut down the number of continuous frames the Olympus E-P3 can take. This is because the camera's buffer is not able to write data to the SD card fast enough.

When shooting video, a slow memory card can cause an abrupt end to shooting. The video file might also end up being corrupted. If you are going to record video, it is important the SD card you use meets the requirements of the E-P3.

Read speed is important for file transfers to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, an SD card with a fast read speed will cut down on the transfer time.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of a card is related to the continuous write speed. Cards that have a write speed of 10MB/s are labeled as Class 10.

  • 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 memory card that you can find for sale online will have a Class 10 rating. You can verify the class rating of an SD card by finding a number inside of a C on the sticker.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed bus (UHS) can often be found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC memory cards. UHS makes it possible for increased data transfer rates.

Three different specifications have been made. They are called UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To find out the UHS rating of a card, look on the label. A Roman numeral I, II, or III on the front of the card, that is the UHS rating of your 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

Related Cameras

Based upon everything that was mentioned is what makes the 128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best memory card for the Olympus E-P3. You are now also prepared for any future camera you buy.

Here are more pages on Olympus cameras similar to the E-P3:

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