Sony A7 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 16, 2019
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Sony SD Memory Card Compatibility

The Sony A7 is able to use 2 different types of memory cards. Sony XC-HG Duo, PRO-HG Duo, and PRO Duo will work in as well as SDXC, SDHC, and SD memory cards.

Only a single card can be in the camera at a time. You'll need to choose between a PRO Duo or SD card.

PRO Duo cards are a proprietary memory card format owned by Sony. SD memory cards have had a wider adoption that PRO Duo cards because SD memory cards are often faster as well as being more affordable.

Pressed for time? My unbiased and professional recommendation is to get this SD memory card to use in the A7:

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 manufacturers that produce high-quality SD cards. The best memory cards I have used have been the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cards.

That does not mean you need to purchase a card made by SanDisk for your Sony ILCE-7. Look for memory cards with impressive-sounding names. That will ensure you get fast read/write rates, water resistance, and other professional features.

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

The issues I have had with SD cards has been when cheap generic brands were used. Being cheap increases the possibility of data corruption or card failure.

If you want to spend less money, don't buy a generic card. You will avoid problems by buying a professional-quality SD 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 A7 SD Card Compatibility

SDXC, SDHC, and SD memory cards can be used in the Sony A7. To get the optimal overall performance from the A7, use a card.

The brand new SDUC memory cards can't be used with the A7.

Currently, there are four different specifications of Secure Digital (SD) cards. Newer card specifications add more tech that provides for increased memory capacity and noticeably increased read/write 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.

SD Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD card is based on the sequential read and write speeds. The write speed of a memory card is very important for continuous shooting as well as video.

Slows memory cards can cut down the number of continuous photos the Sony A7 can take. This is because the camera's buffer will not be able to write to the memory card fast enough.

With video, a slow card can cause an unexpected end to recording. The video file could also end up being corrupted. If you intend to record video, it is essential the card you use meets the required continuous write speed for video.

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 decrease the transfer time.

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 A7 requires no less than a Class 4 SD card.

A memory card is labeled with a Class rating based on the sustained continuous write speed of the memory card. Class 10 is the highest rating, even though SD memory cards are made that have a higher write speed.

Here you can see all of the Classes and the 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

Practically every memory card worth owning for the Sony A7 will be a Class 10 memory card. In the short time since the camera was launched, Cards have gotten so much 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 found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. UHS cards to have increased transfer rates.

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

You can figure out the UHS rating of a card by reading the front of the SD memory card. If the SD card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be seen on the memory 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 A7 PRO Duo Card Compatibility

The Sony A7 can use a PRO Duo or PRO-HG Duo memory cards. What PRO-HG signifies is that the memory card has a minimum read speed of 50mb/s and a 15mb/s minimum write speed.

PRO Duo memory cards are in most cases twice as expensive as an SD memory card. Considering the price difference, I will not recommend purchasing a Sony PRO Duo memory card for use in a A7.

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

There is nothing else you need to determine about SD and PRO Duo memory cards. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB is the best Sony ILCE-7 memory card.

Here are a few more cameras that use similar memory cards as the Sony A7:

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