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What capacity SD card should I buy for video recording?


New member
Jan 18, 2013
Hi, this was one of the questions I was wondering so I did a small test with my Lumia 950 today. Here are the results:

Video Samples:

1 minute of 1080p at 30 FPS video recording: 130MB
1 minute of 1080p at 60 FPS video recording: 258MB
1 minute of 2160p (AKA 4K) at 30 FPS video recording: 380MB

So, a 32 GB SD card roughly gets you about:

246 minutes (~ 4 hours) of 1080p video at 30 FPS
124 minutes (~2 hours) of 1080p video at 60 FPS
84 minutes (~1.5 hours) of 4K video at 30 FPS

Resulting file format details:
1080p at 30 FPS -> 17.8 Mbps bitrate
1080p at 60 FPS -> 35.3 Mbps bitrate
2160p at 30 FPS -> 52.1 Mbps bitrate
All sounds: 195 kbps

Maurizio Troso

New member
Aug 22, 2014
A simple rule: the best you ca buy! Mark comes before capacity.
E.g. a Lexar UDC 10X 128 GB is a nice beginning


Retired Senior Ambassador
Aug 26, 2014
What you really need to keep in mind is that when you are writing video files like that, especially at 4K, you need a card that can not only hold them capacity wise, but keep up with it performance wise. You need to find a card with a very fast write rate.

When you think about it, if you plan to ever record a special event in 4K, like a wedding or graduation ceremony, one hour of video is going to be between 22 and 23 GB in size. Writing that much video to the card in that short amount of time means you need to be able to write 51Mbps (megabits) or 7MBps (megabytes).

I'd say a 32GB UHS-I card at a minimum, but not all UHS-I cards are the same. Check the actual reported speed ratings from the manufacturer.

I say 32GB as a minimum, but that's only if you're going to move the videos to your PC after recording. If you're going to keep a lot of footage on the card, then go for 128GB, or one of the newer 200GB cards.

It all comes down to your budget. If they budget allows you to buy what you want to without feeling bad about spending too much, and if recording a lot of 4K video is what your heart really wants, then get the fastest 200GB you can buy. If you just want to do it occasionally because it's "fun", then a 64GB is probably enough for you if you have a way to store it externally.

If it's something you think is "neato," but you're broke after buying that phone, then suck it up and do without it. ;)

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