Sony a6000 Memory Card Recommendations

When it comes to finding the perfect memory card for your Sony a6000, there are plenty of options available. Whether you’re an avid photographer or just starting out, it’s essential to select the right card to ensure your camera performs at its best. In this article, we’ll guide you through some quick recommendations on memory cards, the nuances of using XAVC S video mode, and much more.

Quick Recommendations on Memory Cards for the Sony a6000

For optimum performance, it’s recommended that you use a high-speed SD card with a minimum UHS Speed Class of U3. Some popular choices among photographers include:

  1. SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I Card (64GB, 128GB, or 256GB)
  2. Lexar Professional 1000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Card (32GB, 64GB, or 128GB)
  3. Sony SF-G Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card (64GB, 128GB, or 256GB)

These cards not only provide excellent read and write speeds, but also offer ample storage capacity for all your photography and videography needs.

Which Memory Cards Work with XAVC S Video Mode on the Sony a6000?

If you’re planning to shoot in XAVC S video mode, which offers higher quality video at a higher bitrate, you’ll need a memory card that can handle the increased data rate. The Sony a6000 requires an SDXC card with a minimum speed class of U3 or a V30 rating for XAVC S video recording. The aforementioned SanDisk Extreme Pro, Lexar Professional, and Sony SF-G Series cards are all suitable options.

Video Bitrates of the Sony a6000

The Sony a6000 offers various video recording formats, with different bitrates depending on the chosen format:

  1. AVCHD: 1920×1080 (60p, 60i, or 24p) at 24 Mbps or 17 Mbps
  2. MP4: 1440×1080 (30p) at 12 Mbps or VGA (640×480, 30p) at 3 Mbps
  3. XAVC S: 1920×1080 (60p, 30p, or 24p) at 50 Mbps

As you can see, XAVC S mode provides the highest bitrate, resulting in better video quality. However, it also requires a faster memory card to keep up with the increased data rate.

The Memory Card Slot on the Sony a6000

The Sony a6000 features a single memory card slot, compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. The slot is located on the right side of the camera body, next to the battery compartment. To insert a memory card, simply open the card/battery door, slide the card into the slot with the label facing toward the back of the camera, and gently push it in until it clicks into place.

Making Sense of SD Card Specifications

SD card specifications can be a bit overwhelming at first glance. Here’s a brief overview of the terms you need to know:

  1. SDHC vs SDXC: SDHC cards have a capacity of 2GB to 32GB, while SDXC cards range from 64GB to 2TB. For the Sony a6000, SDXC cards are recommended for their higher capacity and compatibility with XAVC S video mode.
  2. UHS Speed Class: This indicates the minimum sustained write speed of the card. U1 cards have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s, while U3 cards have a minimum write speed of 30MB/s. For the Sony a6000, a U3 card is recommended, especially for XAVC S video recording.
  3. Video Speed Class: This rating system was developed for SD cards used in video recording. V30 cards have a minimum sustained write speed of 30MB/s, while V60 and V90 cards have minimum sustained write speeds of 60MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively. The Sony a6000 requires a V30-rated card for XAVC S video mode.
    1. UHS Bus Interface: This refers to the maximum theoretical speed of the card. UHS-I cards have a maximum speed of 104MB/s, while UHS-II cards can reach up to 312MB/s. Although the Sony a6000 does not support UHS-II speeds, UHS-II cards can still be used, but at UHS-I speeds.

    Formatting the Memory Card in the Sony a6000

    Formatting your memory card in the Sony a6000 is crucial for optimal performance and to avoid any data corruption. To format your card, follow these steps:

    1. Insert the memory card into the camera.
    2. Turn on the camera and press the “Menu” button.
    3. Navigate to the “Setup” tab (toolbox icon) and select “Format.”
    4. Choose “OK” and wait for the camera to complete the formatting process.

    Remember that formatting the card will erase all data on it, so make sure to back up any important files before proceeding.

    JPEG and RAW File Size

    The size of your image files will depend on the file format and image quality settings. Here’s a rough estimate of file sizes for the Sony a6000:

    1. JPEG (Fine): 6-9MB per image
    2. JPEG (Standard): 3-6MB per image
    3. RAW: 20-25MB per image

    Keep in mind that these file sizes can vary depending on the complexity and detail of the scene being photographed.

    Maximum Number of Still Images Recorded by Memory Card Size

    The number of images you can store on your memory card will depend on the card’s capacity and the file format you choose. Here’s an approximate breakdown of image capacity for various memory card sizes:

    1. 16GB: 600-800 JPEG (Fine), 300-400 JPEG (Standard), or 600-800 RAW
    2. 32GB: 1,200-1,600 JPEG (Fine), 600-800 JPEG (Standard), or 1,200-1,600 RAW
    3. 64GB: 2,400-3,200 JPEG (Fine), 1,200-1,600 JPEG (Standard), or 2,400-3,200 RAW
    4. 128GB: 4,800-6,400 JPEG (Fine), 2,400-3,200 JPEG (Standard), or 4,800-6,400 RAW

    Remember that these are approximate numbers and can vary depending on the specific image files.

    What Size Memory Card Do You Need?

    Determining the right memory card size for your needs will depend on your shooting habits and preferences. If you’re a casual photographer who primarily shoots JPEG images, a 32GB or 64GB card should suffice. However, if you’re a professional or enthusiast who shoots RAW or records video in XAVC S mode, you may want to invest in a larger card, such as a 128GB or 256GB option.

    In conclusion, choosing the right memory card for your Sony a6000 involves understanding the various card specifications and your personal photography needs. By considering factors such as video bitrate, file format, and card capacity, you can find the ideal memory card to help

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