Here is an overview of the memory card mentioned in this article. It is highly recommended that you read the rest of the article to understand why these are considered the best cards for the GoPro Hero 8.
At first glance, it may seem like the GoPro Hero 8 doesn’t improve much over the previous Hero 7.
It isn’t until you dive deeper into the specs of the action cam; that you start to notice some of these improvements.
The significant improvement over the Hero 7 is bitrate. The maximum bitrate of the Hero 7 was 78 Mb/s - that’s been increased to 100 Mb/s on the Hero 8.
GoPro Hero 8 Specs
This directly affects image quality and the purchasing decision of your SD card.
Don’t worry - we will touch on all of this here in just a minute.
Lastly, there are improvements in various modes like Protune and resolutions/framerates.
All-in-all, the GoPro Hero 8 is a solid upgrade over the Hero 7.
We’re referring to the GoPro Hero 8 Black in this section. But, what’s stated here is supported across all other models, including the Silver.
The GoPro Hero 8 supports micro SD exclusively. These are the smallest of all SD cards. Regular/standard SD cards will not work in any GoPro. If that is all you have at the moment - you will need to pick up a micro SD card to record video.
Compatible cards are also U3 and V30 certified and possess a class rating of 10. Again, this is to ensure the quality of the card is up to GoPro standards (it’s good practice to purchase cards, regardless of device, with these ratings).
To recap, supported cards include:
According to GoPro themselves, the GoPro Hero 8 supports up to a 512GB card. While this isn’t something we recommend (we will get to that here in a minute) - it is an option, so keep that in mind.
I collected data regarding how long you can record on a single card, depending on its capacity.
Refer to the chart above. It’s worth mentioning that the data is based on the maximum resolution and frame rate combinations (4k60 / 100 Mb/s). Therefore, the times stated above will increase as you lower the resolution and/or frame rates.
Refer to the chart above for rates themselves - but if you’re wondering why bitrate is so important when purchasing a memory card - you no longer have to wonder. It’s pretty simple too!
Bitrate is the rate at which your device writes data to your card. Generally speaking, bitrates are represented in seconds. For example, 100 MB/s - would be a bitrate of 100 megabytes per second. So, every second your device is producing about 100 megabytes of data.
I’m sure you can see why this is important - seeing as not all cards are compatible or fast enough for the device. Cards that are too slow tend to fail and corrupt - as the card is being overloaded with requests it can’t keep up with.
Keep this topic in mind as we move forward.
This is something that many people either don’t understand or have no idea it exists… but the acronym for data and the way it appears matters significantly.
The manufacturer also assumes you know the difference as well.
The difference between these three acronyms (even though many people assume they mean the same thing) is very different.
The conversion of each is pretty simple - but the size difference is vast.
To put this into scale - A megabit is 8 times smaller than a megabyte. So it takes 8 Mb to equal 1 MB.
On the other hand - a millibit is 1,000,000,000 times smaller than a megabit. So, it would take 1,000,000,000 (a billion) millibits to equal one Megabit - or 8,000,000,000 millibits to equal one megabyte.
A considerable difference, wouldn’t you say?
I explain this in every article that I write about when it comes to storage to ensure you understand how it connects with the speed of your memory card.
Have you ever noticed the writing on a memory card? It’ll say something like 95 MB/s. That is directly related to how fast you’re able to write to the card.
You want to ensure that your card at least meets that speed. You’ll be much better off purchasing a card that significantly exceeds that speed.
Don’t worry - every card on this list is far beyond the speed requirement.
If you scroll up and look at the chart again - you’ll notice it says 100 Mb/s.
We now know that Mb means Megabit.
Now, cards today advertise with MB/s in mind. So this is what you’ll have to figure out. How many MB/s do I need (since the GoPro Hero 8 is advertised with Mb/s)?
This is elementary math - take 100 (the bitrate) and divide that by 8 (number of megabits in a megabyte). So your answer should be 12.5.
12.5 is your MB/s - or better shown as 12.5 MB/s.
This is the speed of the card that you want to target. But remember, you want a memory card that exceeds this rate. It will cast less strain on your card and increase the card’s longevity by a long shot.
This is a subjective topic seeing as everyone’s needs for the GoPro Hero 8 is different. Regardless, we’re going to give you our recommendation along with the reason why you may want to follow what we’re recommending.
A couple of topics ago, we stated that the GoPro Hero 8’s maximum capacity is 512 GB.
We do not recommend purchasing a card this large.
The reason is pretty simple; you don’t want to put all of your eggs in the same basket. Meaning - you wouldn’t want all of your data (we’re talking about 13 hours of footage) on one card.
What if the card corrupts, gets damaged, or lost? 13 hours (or more) of footage is gone. Done.
Seeing as you can never truly avoid losing data through a corrupt card - you can mitigate the ‘loss’ by spreading data across multiple cards.
A great solution to this problem is on GoPro - more specifically, offering dual memory card slots… but I won’t hold my breath on that one.
128GB is the sweet spot of length in video and the cost of the card itself.
This can also depend on how often you’re able to offload footage from the card. If you can offload very often - you may want to consider a 64GB and purchase multiples of those.
If you don’t offload often, avoid purchasing large cards (256GB+) and just purchase multiple 128GB cards.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article - let’s discuss the brands we recommend, and then we will go from there.
We recommend 4 brands of memory cards - 3 of them offer the micro SD variant. Unfortunately, the last brand is only provided in the standard SD card format.
These brands are:
These brands are recommended because of their reliability and reputation - both from personal experience and the importance of other consumers.
I use each brand of card in different photography devices include cameras, drones, and audio recorders. This would consist of my GoPro as well, of course.
I have yet to have a single card fail or corrupt (knock on wood!) - and they have treated me great (I’ve treated them well too, of course).
On the other hand - I have had cards corrupt on me over the years. Both PNY and Transcend cards have failed me - and I only purchased them because they were inexpensive or came with the camera when I bought them.
I have stuck with these brands ever since (after doing similar research as you are now!)
SanDisk has treated me great over the last 7+ years. However, I have put their cards through some extreme conditions, including extended times in cold temperatures and direct exposure to sand (beach photography is always fun, right?)
They have yet to fail me. This is the very reason I continue to recommend them all these years later.
This card passed all the requirements we mentioned before:
Also, if you look back at the SD card compatibility page that I linked earlier (the one on GoPro’s website - you’ll notice that they have tested and fully support this brand… If that doesn’t say enough - I don’t know what will…
The fact that a card is 128GB and less than $30 may be the tipping point for you.
I can’t recommend this card or brand any more than I do now!
Looking back at that same GoPro page - you’ll notice that Lexar is also included in the tested and fully supported list of micro SD cards for the GoPro Hero 8.
This is the first sign that Lexar is a brand you can trust.
Of course, it passes all the ratings and requirements that we mentioned before:
It’s worth noting that I use these cards exclusively in my drones. I do a lot of 1080p video/RAW photo Real Estate work - and these cards haven’t given me an issue at all. They just work.
This includes cold winter months at higher altitudes (200ft+) on a relatively consistent basis (about three times a week).
Lexar claims this card has read speeds at a whopping 160 MB/s and write speeds of a very respectable 60 MB/s - far exceeding the 12.5 MB/s requirements of the GoPro Hero 8.
It’s also worth noting that Lexar cards are about 15% less expensive than their SanDisk equivalent.
The only reason I don’t recommend a Lexar over a SanDisk is by complete choice. I’ve been using SanDisk cards longer than Lexar - and they just have that place in my heart (and complete trust). But, there is nothing better between the two - and the only thing that stands out is the 15% price difference.
If you’re leaning more towards the Lexar - there shouldn’t be anything holding you back from pulling the trigger.
Last but not least is the Samsung EVO Select.
Samsung, if you haven’t noticed, have their hand in nearly everything electronic. There isn’t much in electronics, from cell phones to refrigerators, that they don’t offer.
I dove into the world of Samsung back in 2012 when I purchased their original 840 EVO SSD. I’ve stayed exclusive to Samsung (when it comes to hard drives) ever since.
Much like the other card on this list - the 128GB Samsung EVO select passed the requirements for video, as stated previously.
It also boasts 100MB/s speeds across the board. Again, significantly exceeding the 12.5 MB/s requirement of the Hero 8.
It is worth noting that this Samsung micro SD card is about 30% more expensive than the other two cards on this list.
This, I believe, is due to brand name hype. In no way does the EVO perform better than the Lexar or the SanDisk - reliability isn’t any better either.
I’m not saying it isn’t reliable (because it is). I currently have two of these cards as a backup for my equipment if I forget a card at home or fails me in the field. I have used them many times without fail - and like the other two on this list - they just work.
I thought I would throw the Samsung EVO Select in the mix as an option. If you’re a diehard Samsung fan - and want reliability along with the Samsung name - you can’t get better than the EVO Select micro SD card.
I touch on this in every article that I publish that includes the use of micro SD cards.
A micro SD card adapter is a plastic adapter that looks nearly identical to a standard SD card. It allows you to slide a micro SD card into it - essentially turning it into a standard SD card. You’re then able to use it no differently than you would if it was a regular card.
In theory, this is great. But, in reality, it can turn into a nightmare in no time flat.
The adapter is usually made of incredibly cheap plastic. Secondly, this cheap plastic is made of two pieces and assembled much like a sandwich. The two sides of the card are prone to separating and leaving the adapter completely useless.
If you attempt to reassemble after it separates, you run a very high risk of the adapter getting stuck inside of whatever device you have it in.
Most adapters are incredibly cheap - and the quality of the plastic only supports that. As a result, they tend to break inside of your camera bag. If they don’t break, they will bend, permanently altering the shape of the adapter.
If the shape of the adapter is altered in any way - you, again, run a very high risk of the card snagging something inside of your device, leaving it nearly impossible to remove.
The horror stories I have witnessed with these adapters, while unfortunate, could have been completely avoided if the adapter wasn’t used to being with.
I highly recommend purchasing a dedicated micro SD card reader (if you don’t have one already). Once you do, the reliability and transfer speeds of your card will increase dramatically. The best part - a solid reader runs less than $20.
If you’re using an adapter inside a device that requires a standard SD card - pleeease purchase a standard card and alleviate the possibility of damaged equipment and data.
There you have it!
You now know the best memory card for the GoPro Hero 8.
Better yet, you know the importance of bitrate and how it affects your memory card purchase. You also learned the difference between mb, Mb, and MB - essentially alleviating the need to look up the best memory card for any other device in the future. You can now do this research on your own!
I hope this article has helped you in even the slightest. If so, I have done my job - if not, please drop me a line with any of your questions or concerns, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
Be sure to check out my other video-related articles that may shed some light on subjects that could improve your ability to take amazing videos with the GoPro Hero 8.
Until next time, be safe out there and continue to learn and create!