As the new Panasonic GH4 (and other 4K cameras) start shipping, your typical SD card may work for 1080p resolutions, but If you've been waiting to shoot 4K Video as soon as your camera hits your doorstep you'll need media that packs in whopping speeds.
The new Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC and SDXC media are optimized for UHS-II Devices, holds a speed class rating of UHS Class 3. Rated at a Max. Read Speed: 280 MB/s and Max. Write Speed: 250 MB/s, these are going to be cards required to take advantage of that 4K data rate. The speed of these cards will also greatly benefit you when it's time to dump or backup the data from the card, so you can get back to shooting.
If you think you can get away with a cheaper set of SD cards keep me in the loop, but for the Panasonic GH4 (and most likely other 4K camera) 'these are the cards being recommended' by many early reviewers. As with anything related to 4K media and storage, they aren't cheap starting at $75 dollars for the 16GB SDHC (approx 10 minutes of 4K video) to $245 for the 64GB SDXC Card.
Sandisk Extreme Pro USH-II [Class Speed 3] SDHC / SDXC Media for 4K Video
@Emm, was wondering if there's an update on compatible SD cards that you would recommend for the GH4. What are you currently using? Thanks!
@hoang - The BMPCC would not even detect certain SD cards regardless of RAW or Prores, and even shooting Prores on some cards that were detected failed. Basically what i'm saying is don't trust plain specs on the box. You really have to test the cards out to find out if it works or not. Specs alone will not always guarantee performance.
Emm, shooting RAW with the BMPCC is about 53MBps i believe, so that might be the reason why.
@hoang - A few early test people are using these cards specifically. I guess we'll have to wait to see what works and what doesn't work, but these are suggested. For the BMPCC even though I tried a dozen different cards that could meet the write speed, most times it didn't detect it or suffered from dropped frames. If you find a cheaper one that works, i'd be happy to hear about it.
I just ordered a GH4 and have a few questions. At 4k resolution, the writing speed requirement is still at 100mbps, which translates to 12.5MBps. At 1080p, maximum bitrate is 200Mbps, which translates to 25MBps. So why do we need 280MBps memory cards? I would assume 45MBps is more than plenty even for 4k?
I already purchased the Kingston Digital Kingston Digital 64GB SDHC UHS-I Speed Class 3 Flash Card (SDA3/64GB ) to use in my GH4 when it arrives. You can find them on Amazon.
True I went through that with the BmPCC, even though my cards could write 300Mbps in my Canon with Magic Lantern they didn't work for 220Mbps ProRes on the Blackmagic.
Some claimed that the card reader Blackmagic used in the PocketCC was only compatible with SanDisk cards, which does seem to be the case since Blackmagic only recommends SanDisk.
Hopefully with Panasonic manufacturing their own line of SD cards this would never happen on their cameras but I do notice they are utilizing UHS-II in the GH4 which requires extra pins, so I hope they haven't restricted internal 4K or 200Mbps HD to only record when a UHS-II card is detected but I wouldn't be surprised. :/
The real question is if 4k at 100Mbps is enough. They are quadrupling the information without the bit rate. I guess it's like shooting AVCHD at 25Mbps which looks "ok" on the newer panasonic cameras but didn't HD on the GH3 and GH2 require about 100Mbps before it started to actually look sharp. 4k at 100Mbps might turn to mush when things start moving.
I can't wait to see real tests when the GH4 is released!
@Daniel @Ernesto - Let's hope so. I haven't seen anyone talking about anything slower at the moment. I thought I could use any fast card in the BMPCC, but it was damn picky about which one it could actually see.
Ya, I heard the Kingston ones were the bomb. Recommended by the Panny guy in the Zacuto video.
Will anyone try out those Sony 94MB/s SDXC cards with the GH4? Let everyone else know if they're capable of recording 4k. If they can record RAW on the BMPCC then they can surely record 4k at 100mb/s??
Ben, the BMPCC only records 1080 at up to 30fps, so although it is putting out a higher bitrate per frame than the GH4, the GH4 has the capability of both 4k (4x pixels being recorded compared to 1080) and up to 96fps 1080p (also 4x 1080p) So although the same SD cards that work with the BMPCC would also work with the GH4, they would likely not be capable of recording at those higher video framerates and resolutions.
As far as I'm aware the GH4 shoots in 4k at 100mbps which is equivalent to only around 10MB/s this means that any standard card of sandisk extreme or cards that are from 45MB/s and up should work. The main thing you would need to keep your speed up like the blackmagic pocket is if you are filming in 1080p 200mbps, this still is only around 22MB/s. So what I'm saying is these cards are over what is required for the GH4, the fast cards you may already have now are adequate enough.
In all honesty, this article reads misinformative in regards to the GH4 at least. The data rates for in-camera 4K video are easily handled even by a 45MB/s card like the already available SanDisk Extreme cards (I own two for my GH2 and use them regularly with 172Mbps hacks).
For those who don't know, in-camera recorded 4K on the GH2 is 100Mb/s (the lowercase "b" stands for bits instead of bytes) which translates to 12.5MB/s (the uppercase "B" stands for bytes instead of bits), easily manageable at 45MB (megabytes) per second on the current SanDisk cards (and there's also a 95MB/s option!).
You can actually even record the 200Mb/s 1080p bitrate of the GH4 (I prefer writing "Mbps" in this case, and that's a whole 100Mbps over 4K, which I don't understand why, but oh well) and not have any problems with these "not ready for 4K" cards. That's 25MB/s in a 45MB/s card. You have some room for speed fluctuations there.
Now, 4K in ProRes or 10bit 4:2:2 recorded from the HDMI (whenever that recorder starts to exist) is a whole other subject. But right now these current SanDisk are more than enough.
@Ben: the Blackmagic (as far as I understand) is picky on cards but indeed fast SD cards are required (though not as fast as these new ones), like the 45MB/s one I talked about for ProRes, and the 95MB/s one for RAW recording.
Actually the GH4's internal high-end HD requires a faster card than the internal 4k and neither of which are higher bit rates than any of the Blackmagic Pocket's recording options.
Matt Frazer of Panasonic has confirmed that the new Kingston U3 cards are good to go (see Zacuto first-look video). Nick Driftwood confirmed that the original 95Mbps Extreme Pro cards also work fine in 4K recording mode (see Personal-View GH4 thread).
Emm, these are UHS-II cards and cameras like the GH4 cannot make full use of its top-end speed because these cards have additional pins to transfer data. The only camera I am aware of that can make use of the claimed 280 MB/s is the Fuji X-T1 but, unfortunately, it is not regarded for its video chops.
what about those Kingston UHS-I Class 3 cards? would they work? they are quite a bit cheaper
You may want to add "Kingston SDHC UHS-I Speed Class 3 Flash Card" to your soon to grow list. These are a little cheaper( write/read speed are slower) but will work with GH4k.
HERE IS THE LINK:
Thank you Emm! I am gearing up for the gh4 🙂