Sony A5100 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 15, 2019
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Sony A5100 Memory Card Compatibility

Two different types of memory cards can be used with the Sony A5100. SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards are compatible plus Sony XC-HG Duo, PRO-HG Duo, and PRO Duo memory.

The camera only has a single memory card slot. You will need to pick between an SD or PRO Duo card.

Sony owns the PRO Duo format. Because of this, SD cards are cheaper and can offer considerably better performance than PRO Duo memory cards.

Pressed for time? My unbiased recommendation is this SD card in the A5100:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • 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

SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY are brands that make the best SD cards. The best SD cards I have used have been SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cards.

You do not need to buy a card made by SanDisk for your Sony ILCE-5100. Just make sure the name is cool. That will make sure you get fast read/write speeds, dust resistance, and other professional features.

I have not had problems with Lexar Professional or PNY Elite Performance memory cards.

The issues I have experienced with SD cards has been when I have used low priced no-name brands. A low-cost card increases the possibility of card errors or data corruption.

If you would like to save money, don't buy a generic card. You will avoid problems by purchasing a name brand card with a reduced storage capacity.

Recommended SD Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • 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

Sony A5100 SD Card Compatibility

SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards can be used with the Sony A5100. If you want the optimal performance, use a card.

The newest SDUC cards are not compatible with the A5100.

Currently, there are four specs of SD (Secure Digital) memory cards. Newer memory specifications add tech that provides for greater storage capacity and noticeably increased transfer speeds.

  • 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 based on the sequential read and write speeds. Card continuous write speed is essential for clearing the camera buffer for continuous shooting in addition to recording video.

Slows cards can decrease the number of continuous images the Sony A5100 can take. This is because the buffer in the camera is not able to write to the card quickly enough.

With video, a slow card can cause recording to end. The video file may also be corrupted. If you intend to shoot video, it is critical the memory card you use meets the minimum requirements of the camera.

Card read speed is important for file transfers to a computer. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a card with a fast read speed will reduce the amount of time it takes the transfer to complete.

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 A5100 requires no less than a Class 4 SD card.

An SD memory card is assigned a Class rating based on the sustained write speed of the card. Class 10 is the maximum rating, even though memory cards can be purchased that have an improved write speed.

Here are all of the Classes and associated lowest read/write speeds:

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

Any SD memory card worth picking for the Sony A5100 will be a Class 10 SD memory card. In the time since the camera was launched, SD cards have gotten a good deal faster.

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 available in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS memory cards to achieve faster transfer rates.

There are 3 different specifications. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

Look at the label to find out the rating of an SD memory card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be found 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

Sony A5100 PRO Duo Card Compatibility

One PRO Duo or PRO-HG Duo memory cards can be used in the Sony A5100. PRO-HG signifies the memory card may have read speeds up to 50MB/s and a 15MB/s minimum write speed.

PRO Duo memory cards are in most cases more expensive than an SD card. I would not recommend purchasing a Sony PRO Duo card to use with your A5100 as a result of the price difference.

Image Capacity

Sony 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.

  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images
  • 256GB - 74,240 images
  • 512GB - 148,4800 images

Related Cameras

That goes over all of the fundamental technical specs you need to learn about SD and PRO Duo cards. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB is the best Sony ILCE-5100 memory card.

Here are a few more cameras that use similar memory cards as the Sony A5100:

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