Kingston microSD cards for drones

Choosing microSD cards for your drone adventures

Commercial and recreational drones are a relatively new phenomenon. They was introduced in 2010 when French company Parrot lofted its AR Drone. Since then, the drone market has exploded. According to the Federal Aviation Administration1, the USA alone is home to over a million registered drones, of which a large number are for commercial purposes and an even larger number for recreational use.

There are many different types of drones for every level of experience, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or a professional photographer.

Most drones are equipped with limited internal storage, which is a major drawback if you’re shooting 4K video or hoping to snap off a string of landscape photos during your flight. But don’t worry, because many of them offer a solution: a microSD slot.

What specifications to look for

Inserting a Kingston microSD card into a drone

Currently, there is no set standard when it comes to microSD cards for drones. Different models require different minimums. However, some manufacturers do provide the specifications required to capture the best footage. For example, DJI requires up to 128GB and read/write speeds with UHS-I Speed Grade 3 1080P and 4K video files at 60/120 fps (UHS bus).

For other drones, or just as general rules, here are some of our recommendations. When shooting Full HD, 4K UHD you don’t want to worry about slow speeds and dropped frames. Look for cards with minimum write speeds of 70MB/s that support UHS-I Video Speed Class (V30).

When shooting 4K/8K videos and high-resolution photos, you want a high-performance card that can keep up. If you’re looking to shoot sequential burst-mode shots or capture videos in Ultra-HD cinematic quality, look for cards with minimum write speeds of 165MB/s that support UHS-II Video Speed Class (V90).

How many microSD cards do you need?

Kingston microSD card sitting next to a DJI drone

It really depends on your use case. If you’re a professional photographer, you most likely already carry four to five high-capacity and high-performance microSD cards. If you’re an intermediate photographer, several mid-sized microSD cards in 64GB should work well. If you’re an amateur hobbyist or just taking casual snapshots, then a couple of 32GB-sized microSD cards are more than enough.

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