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Memory cards can be a bit complicated to get right, which card is fast enough to write 1080p or 4K? How many photos or videos will an SD card write? This article will cut out the waffle and show you which SD card is right for your Canon EOS R6.
The best SD card for photography on the Canon EOS R6 is the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB UHS-II V90 SD card, and the best SD card for video on the R6 is the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB.
Bear in mind for as all purpose use these are the best memory cards for the Canon R6 to buy, for all recording modes on the camera.
Of course everyone will have different uses for the Canon R6, so while these highlighted cards will suit the majority, for some cases you may not need 64GB and in some other cases you may need more.
I go over the memory card lingo later in the article so check that out, and then you can work out for yourself how much storage you really need for a wedding, or a YouTube video, or a combination etc.
Best SD Card for Photos on the Canon EOS R6
You can write RAWs, C-RAW and JPEG format files to an SD card. Where the Canon R6 uses RAW, you can also use the smaller C-RAW format so we will also calculate that.
How Many Photos Can You Store on a 64GB SD Card?
The Canon R6 RAW file size is about ~22.5MB, which will store up to 2844 files on a 64GB SD card, which is about 69 more photos than with a Canon R5.
CRAW files are 11.1MB so you can write about 5766 photos.
JPEG file size is 6.5MB, which means you can write about 9846 photos. For the amateur photographer this is more than enough storage space.
Lastly you can write 8767 HEIF files to a 64GB SD card.
How Many Photos Can You Store on a 128GB SD Card?
The Canon R6 can write about 5688 RAW files to a 128GB SD card.
Alternatively you can write 11,531 C-RAW files to a 128GB card.
And you can write 19,682 JPEG photos to a 128GB card
Finally you can write approximately 17,534 HEIF files to a 128GB card.
If you are only going to take photos and a few videos I would suggest choosing between either the 65GB or 128GB SD card. Anything bigger would be more suitable for primarily video creators.
Best SD Card for Recording 4K Video on the Canon R6
The Canon EOS R6 can record up to 10 bit 4K UHD 59.94 fps 4:2:2 IPB from its 20MP sensor which is oversampled from 5.1K.
The Canon R6 does not support any RAW formats or 8K video. The only ALL-I video is available in time lapses mode.
The Canon R6 also only supports HD 120fps to get that buttery slow mo footage. 4K/120fps is available on the Canon R5 though.
How Much 4K Can You Write to a 256GB SD Card?
The bitrate required to record the 10bit 4K UHD 59.94 fps is 340mbps (2443MB/Min) which means you can record up to approximately 1hr 40 minutes of video to a 256 GB SD card.
For 29.97 fps (170 Mbps/ 1227 MB/min) you can record up to approximately 3hrs 20 minutes of footage.
For Full HD 1080p 59.94 fps you can record approximately 6hrs 19 minutes of video.
How Much 4K Can You Write to a 128GB SD Card?
You can record approximately 49 minutes of 4K 60fps video to a 128GB card, 1hr 39 minutes of video for 30fps.
You can also record 3hrs 6 minutes of Full HD 60fps IPB video and 6hrs 6 minutes at 30fps.
For all video I would recommend no less than 128GB of storage. If your budget doesn’t allow for this, 64GB will still work, but you will find bottlenecks and have to offload footage much more often to release storage capacity.
SD Cards Explained
On the face of your SD card are some numbers and symbols that aid you to understand if it will be able to record the photos or video at optimal speeds without errors.
SDHC or SDXC
The only difference between the two is the different filing systems which result in higher memory capacities. The SDHC can hold up to 32GB whereas the SDXC can hold up to 2TB, but there are only cards up to 512GB, as of the time of the publication of this article.
Maximum Read Speed
SD card manufacturers don’t usually advertise the write speed so the top left/right number is most often the maximum achievable read speed. The read speed is more relevant for photography than video.
What this means is the more frames you shoot per second is dependent on the read speed for how much buffering issues you run into.
For video the more important number is sustained speeds. Because if the sustained speed drops below the video bit rate you get that jittery look where your video is dropping frames.
This is probably the most understood number on the SD card, and obviously represents the amount of data the particular SD card can hold.
Speed Class Rating
The rest of the numbers in the top right side of the SD card represent the speed class of that particular card.
The letter C with the number enclosed inside 2, 4, 6, 10, represents a minimum write speed of 2MBps for a class 2, 4MBps for a class 4 etc. Be aware this is the minimum rate and not the actual rate.
Then you have U with a 1 or 3 inside of it, which represents a minimum sustained write speed, with U1 representing 10MBps and U3 writing never slower than 30MBps. A U3 SD card will cover all the video recording modes that are available to the SD card.
So U1 and Class 10 are essentially the same, with both representing the card certifying to never write data lower than 10MBps. The difference though is that the U is designed for SD cards that use a USH-I or USH-II bus.
Non USH cards max out at 25MBps. Whereas USH-I cards max out at 104MBps and USH-II max out at 312MBps. You will also see a second row of pins on the back of the USH-II card that allow it to achieve faster speeds.
You can use both USH-I and USH-II cards with the R6, but with the UHS-II you will be capable of more options.
The V speed is similar to the U number in that it represents the minimum sustained speed in MBps that an SD card achieves.
I hope all the information here has been of use and will save you money and headaches in the long run.
No one likes getting the wrong memory card or finding out later you should’ve bought a larger, or even, smaller card.
Let me know in the comments if you are a Canon R6 owner and if you’ve found a cheaper or different brand of SD card that works for your workflow with photography or video.