One of the first questions most new Mavic Pro owners ask us is what is the best memory card for the DJI Mavic Pro? There are lots of options for micro SD cards to use in the Mavic so choosing the best is not an easy task. We’ve tried and tested many SD cards in since we purchased our Mavic and wanted to share which micro SD memory cards we recommend. These are the ones we personally use for our Mavic Pro and they have travelled the world with us and our drone – so you can trust us when we say these are some of the best SD cards for your Mavic Pro!
Mavic Pro and Memory Cards
The Mavic Pro uses micro SD cards to store video footage and images captured on the drone. For those who are new to micro SD cards they look like this!
Luckily DJI include a 16gb Lexar micro SD card with every Mavic Pro, so you can use this for your first flight and practice but for regular shooting you’re going to need something bigger. The Mavic Pro records up to 4k video which means you’re going to need a lot more space in your micro SD card.
There are a number of key requirements for a good memory card for the Mavic Pro:
- Reliable: The most important requirement: you want to minimise the chance of data loss.
- Cost: Most users will need to purchase a few micro SD cards for storage so it’s important to keep the cost down. Faster, larger capacity SD cards are more expensive: more on this below.
- Size: The 4k output footage from the Mavic Pro takes up a lot of space so it’s important to have a large memory card capable of recording a number of batteries worth of flights. DJI list the maximum card size for the Mavic Pro as 64gb. Although some drone owners have managed to use up to 128gb cards we wouldn’t recommend going above 64gb as its not officially supported so you might leave yourself susceptible to problems.
- Transfer speed (read and write): as the Mavic Pro records in 4k you’ll need a card that is fast enough to write the footage to the card. Equally as important are the read speeds, which determine how long it will take to save your footage to your computer. Slow read times mean you’ll be waiting a while to save footage to your laptop.
The Best Mavic Pro Memory Cards
With these requirements our memory cards of choice are the Sandisk Extreme 32gb and 64gb micro SDHC memory cards whcih we use exclusively for our Mavic Pro. In our experience and opinion they are the best memory cards for Mavic Pro. We recommend the 32gb and 64gb versions of these cards as they deliver the best balance of Size, Cost and Speed.
Mavic Pro Memory Card tip: We’ve never had any data loss with the SD cards below and they’ve been super reliable despite heavy use and abuse.
Sandisk Extreme Series Cards
Why these are the best memory cards for the Mavic Pro
- Speed: Both are class 3 micro SD cards with up to 90/60 MB/s read/write speeds so they can easily handle the 4k video footage of the Mavic Pro with no issues and downloads from the cards are quick. We have never experienced any choppy footage with these cards. Saving the files to your backup drives is also super quick. A card with 6 to 8gb of random video/image files will save over USB3.0 to a hard drive in under 2 minutes.
- Size: As with any storage, we recommend buying multiple 32gb cards. Each card will hold around 2 battery flights worth of data, assuming 4k video recording and an approximate flight time of 18 to 20 minutes. This is for two reasons – it forces you to:
- back up your cards frequently. This avoids any potential data loss that may occur if you have one large card with lots of footage.
- change memory cards on the drone. So if you do crash or lose your Mavic Pro your loss is limited to what’s on that card, while the other footage safely in your bag on other cards.
- Cost: Both of the cards are great value for money considering the read/write speeds. You can buy faster cards (we have some recommendations below) and these will speed up your read times for backing up footage – they won’t improve video or photo recording.
Need faster cards?
If you are recording a lot of video footage on your Mavic Pro and need to copy/backup your footage quickly to your laptop or hard drive then the fastest micro SD cards for the Mavic Pro are the Sandisk Extreme Pro and Extreme Plus series memory cards.
These cards offer much faster (around 40%) read speeds which will reduce your file transfer time over USB3.0 to your laptop or hard drives. This extra speed will cost more money, but for those who need the speed these are the best memory cards for the job.
Backing up: Saving files from your memory cards
As the Mavic Pro records up to 4k video the size of the video files can get very big. Our files average between 1gb and 4gb each so transferring these files to your laptop/backup hard drives can become a time consuming task if you’re not careful.
For the fastest results you’ll want to use a laptop/computer with USB 3.0 ports for transferring files.
Mavic Pro Memory Card Tip: Not all laptops/computers have USB 3.0 SD card readers installed (check your model) so using the built in sd card slot will be very slow for backing up your footage.
Many laptops have limited USB 3.0 ports so connecting your external hard drive and SD card reader at the same time may not be possible.
Our backup system
To solve this problem we use a simple system with minimal gear:
This is a very compact, versatile solution and should give you a fast reliable transfer method regardless of your computer setup.
Storing your Mavic Pro Footage
When travelling with our Mavic Pro we backup our data to two mirrored external hard drives, which each live in separate bags to reduce the chances of losing our footage. Having duplicate copies an be a lifesaver! The file sizes are too big to keep copies on the SD cards so carrying multiple hard drives is a practical and cost effect solution.
For the best value, we recommend the Seagate Backup slim hard drives. The 2tb version of these drives are great value and are the hard drive we exclusively use. Despite heavy, regular use we’ve never had any issues with these hard drives for the last few years which we’ve used them.
We also use a rugged drive from Transcend while travelling. It’s got built in shock protection so it can definitely take a few bumps and knocks while you’re moving around.
If you’re looking for a more durable backup drive and have the budget the best rugged hard drive is the LaCie Rugged Mini, which comes in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB models. If you are accident prone we’d recommend investing in some of these!
So there you have it, our ultimate guide to the best SD cards for your Mavic Pro. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments and check out our other guides for the Mavic Pro: