Olympus E-PL9 Memory Card Compatibility

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

The Olympus E-PL9 has a single SD card slot that supports UHS-I. The camera can work with memory cards up to 1TB in capacity.

To be able to get the best performance when taking pictures in continuous shooting mode, recording video, or transferring files, it is recommended to purchase a memory card that is compatible with UHS-I. All of the fastest SD cards for the Olympus E-PL9 will work with UHS-I.

This is my recommendation for the best SD memory card for the Olympus E-PL9:

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-PL9 was launched, memory card prices have dropped and storage capacities have gotten substantially larger. The difference in price between the fastest card and the average one is surprisingly small. Price is related to storage capacity, with the largest cards having a higher price.

Getting the cards with the largest capacity only makes sense if you're going to capture a large number of RAW files for action, wildlife, sports, or event photography. Another contributing factor could be if you are going to upgrade your camera or use the memory card in other devices.

In my opinion, the SanDisk Extreme Pro line of memory cards are generally the best option for most situations. They have extremely fast transfer speeds, which gives them the best shot of being compatible with future digital cameras or devices that also use SD cards.

I have also had excellent experiences with Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance cards. I have not had files or images become inaccessible or lost on any of these cards. If that situation did happen, all of them have image recovery software.

Problems 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 commonly encountered type of SD card to have an incorrect product description.

It's effortless to put a Class 10 sticker on a card with a Class 4 rating. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is bound to be an error or corrupted photos if the card's write speed is not good enough.

Storage capacity controls a large portion of the cost. You'll be better off by purchasing a card with a smaller storage capacity to lower cost as opposed to going with a generic brand. Read and write speeds are important as they will impact your enjoyment of the Olympus E-PL9.

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 works with four memory card formats. These cover all memory cart formats camera manufacturers use in all but the latest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN reader has a USB 3.0 connection. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Olympus E-PL9 is capable of using the USB transfer mode.

There are many favorable customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I think it's a good product because it has been recognized by all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have plugged it into.

The cable keeps memory card slots from getting in the way of other devices or accessories that are plugged into another USB or neighboring port.

When I looked for a more compact card reader that would be lighter for travel, I had to go through the return process with several orders. I encountered the most commonly seen problem mentioned in customer reviews, the card readers were not recognized by my computer.

The UGREEN card reader is compatible with the following memory card formats:

  • 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-PL9 SD Card Compatibility

Only SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards can be used by the Olympus E-PL9. Check to be sure that you have the current firmware installed on your camera for the best performance.

The newest memory cards, SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity), can not be used in the E-PL9.

You need to know of the 4 different types of Secure Digital (SD) memory cards that can be purchased. They are split up by their 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 options on the Olympus E-PL9 will influence the number of images you can store. Higher image quality settings will create larger image sizes.

If you are planning to shoot loads of RAW files, getting a larger storage size card can be smart.

If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be better off purchasing another camera battery in place of a larger card. 32GB will be enough capacity to save more than a couple of days of photographs.

The limiting part to how many pictures you can capture will likely be your camera batteries. Take into account that, any time the camera is on, even if you're just scrolling through menu options or using the live view, that will still reduce the battery life.

For low light settings, like at night or indoors, the built-in flash can be useful. Without using the flash, shutter speeds won't be fast enough to avoid motion blur. Working with the flash is going to quickly deplete the camera batteries. These situations are when it is good to have at the very least a couple of BSL-50 rechargeable batteries for the Olympus E-PL9.

The following is an estimation of the number of high-quality JPG images you can store on a card for the provided capacity:

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

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

The speed rating of an SD card is classified by the continuous write and read speeds. SD card write speed is very important for clearing the camera buffer for continuous shooting as well as recording video.

Slows memory cards can cut down the number of continuous photos the Olympus E-PL9 can take. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write to the SD card fast enough.

With video, a slow SD card can cause a sudden end to shooting. The video file may also end up being corrupted. If you intend to shoot video, it is crucial the card you use meets the minimum requirements of the E-PL9.

Card read speed is important for file transfers to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a card with a fast read speed will save you 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 an SD memory card is determined by the sustained write speed. SD cards that have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s will be rated 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 brand of SD card that you can find for sale online will be Class 10. To discover the class rating of a card, search for a number inside of a C on the front.

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 (UHS) bus is built into SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. The UHS bus makes it possible for faster file transfer rates.

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

To figure out the rating of a card, look at the front of the card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be seen 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

Related Cameras

If you could only choose one, the 128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best memory card for the Olympus E-PL9. Any future camera you buy, you will know what SD card to use.

Listed here are more posts on digital cameras with the same specs as the E-PL9:

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