The Pentax K-m has a card slot that can use SD memory cards. cards with a max storage capacity of 32GB will work in the camera.
Using an SD memory card that has a capacity of 64GB or larger will cause the Pentax K-m to display an error code. For more storage capacity, you'll need to purchase additional cards. The important specifications to care about should be the read and write speeds the SD memory card is capable of.
If your camera is going to be getting constantly, you'll decrease the time spent on transferring files by using an SD memory card with the fastest transfer speeds. At this time, a UHS-I card and a compatible SD card reader are the fastest way to copy images.
Getting a pro-level SD card also helps to future proof the memory card for use in another device or camera. This will help you avoid a future situation where you cannot use a feature on a camera, such as shooting 4k video, due to the SD memory card not being fast enough.
This is my recommendation for the best memory card for the Pentax K-m:
- Best SD card available
- Largest compatible storage capacity.
- Read speeds of up to 95MB/s.
- Write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
- Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.
Best SD Cards
Since the Pentax K-m was introduced, memory card prices have fallen and capacities have gotten massive. The price difference between the the SD card that has the fastest transfer rate and a cheap one is astonishingly small. Price is related to storage size, with the bigger SD cards being the most expensive.
Investing in the cards with the largest capacity is a good idea if you are going to shoot a large amount of RAW files for action, sports, events, or wildlife photography. Another reason could be if you are planning to replace your camera or use the sd card in a different device.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro line of memory cards are often the best option for most situations. They have extremely fast read and write speeds, which means they have the best chance of being compatible with future digital cameras or devices that also use SD memory cards.
I have had excellent experiences with Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance cards. I have not had files or pictures become damaged or unrecoverable on any of these cards. If that did happen, all of them have image recovery software.
Problems I have encountered have been with generic SD memory cards. Having a low price or being a bundled item are the selling points. Unfortunately, this is also the most commonly encountered type of card to be misrepresented.
A sticker that claims Class 10 speed is very easy to put on a Class 4 card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is destined to be an error or unreadable images if the card's write speed is not good enough.
One of the biggest controls over cost you have is the card capacity. You'll be better off by going one step down in capacity to reduce cost instead of using a relabeled brand. Read and write speeds are important as they will impact your satisfaction with the Pentax K-m.
Recommended SD Cards
- High-speed, Class 10 performance.
- UHS-I technology for a read transfer speeds up to 633x (95MB/s).
- High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow.
The Lexar Professional has comparable performance to the SanDisk Extreme Pro card when used in the Pentax K-m. The most important difference is that the Lexar memory card features a slower write speed.
Sometimes there can be a big difference in cost between the Lexar and SanDisk SD cards. I wouldn't pay more for the Lexar, but also would not have a issue picking it if it was more affordable.
- Good value to save some money.
- Quick transfer read up to 80MB/s.
- Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
- Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.
The SanDisk Ultra is a lower tier than the Extreme Pro when comparing specs. Additionally, that comes with a minor decrease in cost.
You won't see a difference in workflow except if you need to write a large number of files onto the memory card. This isn't the best pick if you plan to use the card to record 4k video at some point.
- Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
- Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.
Memory Card Reader
The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader works with four memory card formats. These cover all card formats camera manufacturers make use of in all but their newest 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 Pentax K-m can achieve transferring files with the USB mode.
There are overwhelmingly positive customer reviews for the UGREEN card reader, which I agree with. I think it's a good product because the reader has been compatible with all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have used with it.
The cable prevents card slots from getting in the way of other devices or accessories that are plugged into another USB or nearby port.
When I looked for a card reader that would be lighter for travel, I had to send a couple of orders back. I came across the most common problem in customer reviews, the card readers would not work with my computer.
The UGREEN card reader can use the memory card types below:
- 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
Pentax K-m SD Card Compatibility
Only SD and SDHC cards can be used by the Pentax K-m. Check to check that your camera has the most recent firmware.
SDXC or SDUC memory cards can't be used in the K-m.
Four different types of Secure Digital (SD) cards exist that you need to know of. They can be told apart based on the card's storage size.
- 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.
Image quality options on the Pentax K-m will determine the number of pictures will fit on the SD card. Higher image quality settings will produce larger image sizes.
If you're going to shoot hundreds of RAW files, getting a larger capacity card can make sense.
If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be much better off getting another camera battery rather than a larger card. 32GB should be ample capacity to store multiple days worth of photos.
In fact, the controlling factor to the number of photos you can take will likely be your camera batteries. Understand that, any time the camera is turned on, even if you're just navigating through menu options or using the live view, that will lower the battery life.
In low light conditions, like indoors or at night, the flash built-in to the camera can be handy. Shutter speeds will not be fast enough without using the flash to avoid motion blur. Working with the built-in flash will fairly quickly deplete the camera batteries.
The following is an approximation of how many high-quality JPEG images you will be able to store on a memory card for the given storage capacity:
- 4GB - 1,160 images
- 8GB - 2,320 images
- 16GB - 4,640 images
- 32GB - 9,280 images
Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings
The speed rating of an SD memory card is dependant on the sequential read and write speeds. SD card write speed is important for continuous shooting in addition to video.
A slow card can cause a reduction in the number of continuous images the Pentax K-m can capture. This is because the camera's buffer is not able to write data to the card quickly enough.
When shooting video, a slow card can cause a sudden end to the recording. The video file may also end up being corrupted. If you intend to record video, it is important the SD card you use meets the requirements of the camera.
Read speed is nice to have for file transfers to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a memory card with a fast read speed will cut down on the time it takes the transfer to finish.
Speed Class Rating
The Class rating of an SD card is determined by the sustained write speed. Memory cards that have a write speed of at least 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 brand name card that you can purchase today will be rated Class 10. You can check the class rating of a card by looking for a number inside of a C on the label.
Ultra High Speed (UHS)
The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus can be found in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS makes it possible to offer a way to increase data transfer rates.
Three different specs exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.
Look at the front of the card to find the rating of a card. If the SD card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be 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
If you required to choose one, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro is the best Pentax K-m memory card. Any future camera you own, you will know what sd memory card to buy.
Listed below are more pages on digital cameras with similar specifications as the K-m: