Sony A-Mount Memory Cards

Most Sony A-mount cameras can use two types of memory cards, SD and Sony PRO Duo. Four older models use CompactFlash or PRO Duo cards.

SD cards are fast, inexpensive, and easy to find. There are 4 specifications, but only SDHC and SDXC matter for compatibility. SD card standards are based on storage capacity. SDHC has a max of 32GB, which is the only cutoff you need to know.

Sony PRO Duo cards were a proprietary memory card format that was slow and expensive. They are difficult to find because they have been discontinued. I do not recommend buying Sony PRO Duo or PRO-HG Duo memory cards.

Cameras can use previous SD card standards. For example, a Sony A99 would be able to use a 32GB SDHC or 2GB SD card.

Using a 64GB SD card in a Sony A200 is likely to cause errors. This is because the camera cannot address that amount of memory. It would be like going to the post office and not speaking the language.

SDXC and PRO Duo. (Maximum compatible capacity 2TB):

Sony A99 Sony A33 Sony A57
Sony A99ii Sony A35 Sony A58
Sony A77 Sony A37 Sony A65
Sony A77ii Sony A55 Sony A68

SDHC and PRO Duo. (Maximum compatible capacity 32GB):

Sony A200 Sony A350 Sony A550
Sony A230 Sony A380 Sony A560
Sony A290 Sony A390 Sony A580
Sony A300 Sony A450
Sony A330 Sony A500

CompactFlash and PRO Duo:

  • Sony A100
  • Sony A700
  • Sony A850
  • Sony A900

The A100 is compatible with CompactFlash cards up to 32GB in capacity.

Using a card with a larger capacity than that will cause an error to be displayed. The is because the camera uses the FAT32 file system. It does not have the ability to access larger amounts of storage.

SD to CF card adapters
SD to CF card adapters

I recommend using a SD card to CF adapter if you don’t already have a CF card. It is less expensive to buy a adapter and SD card than a 32GB CompactFlash card. At higher capacities the price difference between SD and CF is large.

As long as the card has UHS-I it will be fast enough. I suggest buying the least expensive card from SanDisk, Lexar, PNY, or Transcend.

Any advertised speed difference will not be noticeable in use.

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SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.

PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Good for burst shooting photos and recording 4K video.
  • Larger capacity cards are available.
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • Comparatively expensive for faster read speeds.
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Only makes sense for professional use or if you need the largest storage capacity available.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.
PNY Elite 32GB SD Memory Card
PNY Elite 32GB SD Card
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  • Sequential read speed of up to 100MB/s
  • Class 10, U1 rating delivers speed and performance for full HD photography and HD videography.
  • V10 video speed rating to capture uninterrupted HD video at 1920x1080 format
  • Compatible with point & shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, standard & advanced HD-enabled video cameras, and more
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof

SanDisk Ultra 32GB UHS-I SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 32GB SD Card
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  • Quick transfer read speeds up to 90MB/s.
  • Write speeds are not capable of recording 4k video.
  • Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
  • Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.

Samsung EVO Plus 32GB SD Memory Card
Samsung EVO Plus 32GB SD Card
Check price on Amazon
  • UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) supports Full HD video and burst shots. 130MB/s transfer speeds1 let you upload footage to your PC in an instant.
  • Built to survive tough conditions and heavy usage, whether you’re at home, outside, or on the go. Backed by 10-year limited warranty.
  • Highly durable with comprehensive 7-proof protection.
  • Backed by a 10 year warranty.

Currently, there are four different specifications of SD (Secure Digital) cards. New memory specifications increase tech that provides for greater memory capacity and greatly improve 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.

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

A slow memory card can cause a drop in the number of continuous images a camera can take. This is because the buffer in the camera is not able to write data to the card fast enough.

Card read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a SD card with a fast read speed will decrease the transfer time.

UHS-I Rating
UHS Rating

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is available in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS cards to have increased read and write speeds.

Three different specs exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

Look at the front of the memory card to figure out the rating of a card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the front of the memory 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
SD Card Contacts
SD Card Contacts

Below is an approximation of how many JPEG images can be stored on a memory card with the given capacity.

  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images
  • 256GB - 74,240 images