Skip to content
Best SD Card for 4K Dash Cams

Best SD Card for 4K Dash Cams

So, you got a new dash camera for Christmas! Yay! The excitement of unboxing your new dash cam and the anticipation of capturing all the adventure that awaits ahead - and then you realized the dash cam doesn’t come with an SD card. What a bummer! You type ‘microSD card’ onto Amazon and boom! Over 5,000 results! Yah, we hear ya.

Do not fear and no need to panic, we’ve got you covered!

Why do I need a microSD card?

An SD card, short for Security Digital Card, is how footage files are stored in your dash cam. A microSD card is simply a smaller SD card - about the size of your fingernail. But don’t be fooled by its size, microSD cards are capable of storing up to several gigabytes of information and play an extremely important role in the proper functioning of your dash cam. Did you know that many common dash cam problems, such as camera freezing or random powering off, can be attributed to a malfunctioning SD card?

Does speed matter?

SD cards come in different speed classes. Speed classes are essentially ways to classify the write speed of the SD card. In many applications and devices, the read speed and write speed of the SD card is essential because it dictates how fast the device can write, store and transfer data.

The 10 in Class 10 stands for 10 megabytes per second and it simply indicates the minimum write speed of the SD Card. You might have seen the UHS Speed Class on other SD Cards. UHS stands for Ultra High Speed and it also measures the minimum writing speed, but more specifically for recording video. A UHS-I U1 and the Speed Class 10 both indicate a write speed of 10 megabytes per second.

Generally, you want an SD card that is at least a Class 10 - anything less and you might end up with a choppy, laggy recording. But you don’t need to run out and buy the fastest SD cards (ie. UHS-I U3) because fastest doesn’t necessarily improve video quality nor durability. A Class 10 or UHS-1 is quick enough to handle even the most demanding dual-channel dash cam systems like the BlackVue DR900S-2CH or the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo.

Got a Thinkware U1000 Dual Channel dash cam? Because the U1000 offers 4K in the front camera and 2K in the rear camera, you can opt for a UHS Class 3 SD card, like the Samsung Evo Plus. But be sure not to use a UHS-I U3 card in a Full HD dash cam - the main board may not be designed to process faster than Class 10 or UHS-1 card and the dash cam may heat up excessively.

Does size (capacity) matter?

You bet! A higher capacity memory card means more data can fit onto the card before it runs out of room to store new data. This is particularly important because of the dash cam’s loop recording function.

Higher capacity = more room for more data = recording more data before overwriting kicks in

For example, say you have a 16GB microSD card, which gives you about a bit over an hour of recording for your Thinkware U1000 Front-only dash cam. Now, say your commute to and from work is typically 45 minutes each way (in other words, you drive about 90 minutes per day). That’s 1.5 total writes a day on the SD card. If the SD card you have is good for 500 total writes, that’s 333 days and you will be needing to replace the SD card right about next Black Friday.

The less overwriting your dash cam makes, the longer the SD card will last.

Now, before you run out and buy the highest capacity SD card you can find, check your dash cam’s user manual or the product information page on BlackboxMyCar first - the maximum supported capacity varies from dash cam brands and models. There really is no point in getting a 256GB for a Thinkware M1 when the maximum it can support is 64GB, is there?

Want to know how much video (in minutes) will an SD card hold? Check out our Recording Capacity of SD Cards chart.

Does price matter?

Yes, it does, because the price will affect whether an SD card is worth buying. Try to avoid cards that are too cheap. Too good to be true? Yes, chances are if the card is too good to be true, it usually is, and there is an abundance of bad, counterfeit/fake SD cards on the market. Here’s a good article to learn more: How to tell if a SanDish SD card is fake?

And just as you would stay away from uber-cheap SD cards, avoid overpriced cards, too. Companies like BlackVue, Thinkware and VIOFO have their own branded-SD cards. They are often marketed as best for compatbility. Unfortunately, the majority of these branded cards cost more than the comparable Samsung, SanDisk or Transcend card. We have been using SanDisk and Transcend SD cards in all of our dash cams and we have yet to encounter any compatibility issues.

MicroSDHC vs microSDXC card

SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity, come preformatted with the FAT32 file system. SDXC stands for Secure Digital eXtended Capacity. SDXC adopts Microsoft’s exFAT file system as a mandatory feature.

What does it all mean? There really is no difference in quality or security or speed. SDXC cards are simply higher-capacity version of the SDHC, which is a higher-capacity version of the original SD card.

How long would the microSD card last?

Like we mentioned earlier, the less overwriting the longer the SD card will last. Dash cam SD cards wear out faster than any other camera because the dash cam is constantly writing and rewriting on the SD card and if your SD card fails your dash cam stops working. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the SD card’s lifespan is usually measured in many, many thousands of write cycles, and the SD card uses a special algorithm that balances the wear across the entire card’s cells.

On the SD card, you will find another set of codes, such as MLC on the BlackboxMyCar High Endurance microSD card. MLC stands for Multi-Level Cell, which is a memory technology that the SD card uses to store information. MLC cards are designed for long-term reliability. These cards are designed to last for about 10,000 write cycles. MLC cards also have better error correction, wear-leveling, and controller chips, which increases performance and lifespan.

You may also find SD cards that are TLC. TLC stands for Triple Level Cell. These cards are typically cheaper but less reliable for dash cams because of considerably shorter write cycles. These cards will work with your dash cam, but after about 3000-5000 write cycles, it will start to show signs that the end of the lifespan is approaching and you will be needing to replace the SD card soon.

How many microSD cards do I need?

While your dash cam can only write onto one SD card at a time, we recommend you keep an extra SD card as a spare for cases like:

  1. Accident - you can easily swap your cards out and keep recording without worrying that you’ll overwrite important footage.
  2. Faulty Card - you’ll be protected in case your current card has any problems.

The backup SD card doesn't have to be of high capacity, a small 32GB would definitely do.

How to choose the best SD card for a 4K UHD dash cam?

1. Maximum supported capacity - A 4K @30FPS one-minute video takes about 450MB of memory, we recommend using a SD card with the highest capacity allowed by your dash cam. That’s 128GB for the Thinkware U1000 Dual-Channel, and 256GB if you have the BlackVue DR900S-2CH or VIOFO A129 Pro Duo.

2. High endurance card - High endurance card (ie. MLC cards) are designed for long-term reliability. These cards are designed to last more write cycles, and have better error correction, wear-leveling, and controller chips, which increases performance and lifespan.

3. Last but not least, do note that due to the 4K video size, viewing video right from the SD card will appear choppy and laggy. In other words, before you chuck the dash cam or microSD card out thinking they failed you, try transferring the video file onto your computer (either transfer via WiFi or by physically plugging in the microSD card into your computer using an sd adapter/card reader) and view again - that might make all the difference.

Previous article Let's Make 2020 Your Clearest Year Yet
Next article Why do we love Tesla

Based on 4288 reviews
85%
(3653)
11%
(462)
3%
(143)
0%
(19)
0%
(11)

It's a nice dashcam but I don't like the fact that I couldn't zoom into my videos on the phone app but only on a computer,so I sent it back and get the blackvue dr900s 2channel which is very awesome. But I really like the customer service at blackboxmycar, they are very helpful and answer all your questions.

Good but not perfect. But darn, they just announced an improved model!

Easy installation. I installed this to replace a 360 view dashcam that had terrible image quality. I’m very technically experienced and the app/install was not intuitive, but it all worked. Many of the online reviews that said the app was totally unusable seem a bit harsh. Image isn’t quite as crisp as I had hoped, but reasonably good. Candidly, the biggest disappointment is that the day after installing the camera, I received the announcement from BlackVue that they’ve announced at CES improvements to this camera and an even better 4GLTE camera! I depended on the advice from BlackboxMyCar and would have waiting for the updated models.

A must have for your car

The picture quality is great even in night mode very clear. A good investment for your safety.

Price and Quality sweet spot

My first dashcam, I installed with the additional 3-wire ACC kit in my 2010 Colorado Crew Cab. My only gripe is that I wish the rear camera could also be connected through the GPS module so that I don't have to disconnect the cable when removing the camera from my truck to look at footage. I find it easier to pop off the camera from the GPS mount, then connect with the supplied mini-USB cable to my laptop. Otherwise, the image and audio quality is really great, and it has all the necessary functions.

Really good dashcam, but......

Have really no complains withe the cam itself but the rear cam I can't use as the is no place to stick it to as the back of my truck is all fabric. If your gonna buy a dashcam that has front and rear cameras make sure there somewhere to stick it to. It would be nice if there were a small suction mount for rear camera as well. All in all I would recommend buying this dash cam!

love it

had mine installed Monday 1/20/2020 and it is working great

Hi John, thanks for leaving a review!
The best!

So professional and so knowledgeable. There was no question I had that they didn't have an answer for. They helped make my decision easy for what is a relatively expensive purchase.

Hi Kevin, thanks for leaving a review. Glad to hear that our team was able to help you out with all your needs!
BlackVue Power Magic EZ

Excellent products, prices and customer services very helpful.

Hi John, thanks for leaving a review! Let us know if you have any questions in the future.
2nd day of usage records crash

I installed two A119V3s - front and rear on my vehicle. I never got the chance to review any recordings. On the morning of the second day using them, while stopped at a STOP sign, I was rear-ended by a pick-up truck. I was pleasantly surprised to see that both units performed flawlessly.

What are the odds,lol?

During installation, I had a few questions which were quickly answered by the BlackboxMyCar staff. A truly professional business! BTW, video quality was excellent !!!

Hi TV, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that you're loving your VIOFO, but even happier to hear that you're okay. Let's hope you don't get in any more accidents, but do reach out at anytime if you have any other questions.
Great camera setup, with one flaw...

Great camera setup, with one flaw...
I purchased the Viofo A129 Pro Duo with the Cellink Neo battery and HK3 ACC Hardwire kit, including an extra CPL filter for the rear camera. The video quality of the cameras are quite good. I've had four others made by Rexing and the Vantrue X1 and X3. The feel of these cameras are substantial, feels well made compared to others I've had and the mounts really hold. The CPL filters also appear to be made from quality materials and the wiring harnesses are excellent.

One of the features that I really wanted to take advantage of was the Auto Event Detection, while in parking mode. This feature buffers several seconds of video in memory ahead of an event so that when something does happen, it commits what is in memory to the microSD card and you don't lose the initial impact of the event. Otherwise, when nothing is happening, the camera is always watching but it is not writing to the microSD card. A great feature, but it does not work if you use the included GPS mount...what? So you have to decide, do you want GPS data or do you want Auto Event Detection; you can't have both!

I have sent a request to the support team to see if they can submit this as a future feature enhancement through a firmware update. I hope they can make that work, but for now this is why I can't give this a five star review.

Hi MWood, thank you for the feedback. We will keep that in mind and will relay that over to the VIOFO team as well. They do continuously upgrade their dash cam firmware, so we wouldn't be surprised if this gets addressed in the near future. Do let us know if you have any other feedback. Thanks for leaving a review!
Great camera setup, with one flaw...

I purchased the Viofo A129 Pro Duo with the Cellink Neo battery and HK3 ACC Hardwire kit, including an extra CPL filter for the rear camera. The video quality of the cameras are quite good. I've had four others made by Rexing and the Vantrue X1 and X3. The feel of these cameras are substantial, feels well made compared to others I've had and the mounts really hold. The CPL filters also appear to be made from quality materials and the wiring harnesses are excellent.

One of the features that I really wanted to take advantage of was the Auto Event Detection, while in parking mode. This feature buffers several seconds of video in memory ahead of an event so that when something does happen, it commits what is in memory to the microSD card and you don't lose the initial impact of the event. Otherwise, when nothing is happening, the camera is always watching but it is not writing to the microSD card. A great feature, but it does not work if you use the included GPS mount...what? So you have to decide, do you want GPS data or do you want Auto Event Detection; you can't have both!

I have sent a request to the support team to see if they can submit this as a future feature enhancement through a firmware update. I hope they can make that work, but for now this is why I can't give this a five star review.

Hi MWood, thank you for the feedback. We will keep that in mind and will relay that over to the VIOFO team as well. They do continuously upgrade their dash cam firmware, so we wouldn't be surprised if this gets addressed in the near future. Do let us know if you have any other feedback. Thanks for leaving a review!
Very Satisfied

Installation and setup was easy.

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review!
Easiest way

This plug is the easiest way to plug in your dash cam.
Shipped fast and was a good deal.

Hi Colin, thank you for leaving a review! Glad to hear that you love your purchase.
First Dash Cam purchase

After searching the internet for dash cam retailers, I settled on BlackBoxMyCar and I am very happy I chose them. I'm very pleased with my Viofo A129 Duo. I was able to have several questions answered on-line and that was a key factor in selecting my dash cam and BlackBoxMyCar. They will be my go to vendor for my next dash cam.

Hi John, thanks for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar. We're glad to have you as a happy customer :) Let us know at any time if you have any questions in the future.

VIOFO A119 V3 QHD+ Dash Cam

Hi Laenard, thanks for leaving a review!
Great item

Getting installed Monday 1/20/2020

Hi John, thanks for leaving a review!
Very Satisfied

I purchased the suction cup mount to allow me to transfer my Viofo A119V3 between vehicles.

The A119 V3 fits very securely onto the suction cup mount. This mount is superior to those I have used with other devices e.g. GPS in that it offers adjustment in both tilting and rotating, both of which can be locked in position, and when coupled with the titling lens it is very easy to get the best position for the Dashcam.

I found it very easy to secure the mount to my windshield.

Recommended if you intend to move the Dashcam between vehicles or to rental cars.

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that the suction cup mount was exactly what you were looking for.
Right fit

I ordered a part for my new car , It all worked out thank you.

Hi Spencer, thanks for leaving a review. Glad to hear that it all worked out for you. Let us know if you have any questions!
Awesome Rideshare Setup!

First of all! Very nice and knowledgeable people at blackboxmycar! Second very nice setup with power magic pro wiring kit! Also very discrete design! Love the video quality! Especially at night with the Sony Starvis! Overall good setup! Can barely see the cams. Thanks again Blackboxmycar.com/BlackVue!!! 👍👍👍

Hi Eric, thanks for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar. Glad to hear that your dash cam worked out for you! Thanks for including pictures as well :) Looks great!
Very Good - not yet great. But getting there.

I purchased the BlackVue DR900S 2 channel with interior facing IR after an attempted theft of my 2019 F-150 Lariat. It was already a purchase I had been considering in order to add a layer of security during both active and passive vehicle usage and I didn't hesitate to go with BMC given the number of positive reviews.

After a fast and painless exchange via email, BMC matched a lower price point offer for the kit that I had found on the internet. BMC even included a slightly larger storage card. Shipping and receipt went smoothly.

If I can fault BMC it is in the install and "commissioning" of the dash cam. Though I had done a fair bit of research and certainly am not one to shy away from peeling off some trim or crimping some wires, there was no step-by-step guide to installation that would have given an illustrated and comprehensive explanation of the process; now, this information exists and I was able to access it, but it was still a bit of a patchwork construction and an installation that I thought might take one hour took 2 days.

All said, though, the system is now up and running, so far flawlessly, in my vehicle. There has been a lot of trial and error, but the dash cam community is helpful and all of the information is available. You just need to look for it.

I will post a video review of my installation shortly - including hardwired battery installation.

Hi Alexander, thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that we were able to help you with your order. You brought up some great points, and we will definitely take your feedback to heart for the future. We hope that the dash cam works out for you. Please let us know if you have any questions in the future.

BlackboxMyCar Add-A-Fuse Kit

Hi Brian, thanks for leaving a review!
VIOFO A119 12V Auto Hardwire Kit

Quality hardwire kit with reasonable length to the A119 and to the 12V battery source. Voltage reducer is small enough to fit in small spaces with rounded corners for ease of fishing into place. Fuse holder streamlined but difficult to open at first, 2nd time ok.

Hi Chester, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that you were able to figure it out and install your VIOFO. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
the ONLY place I can find this replacement part online

Blackboxmycar is the only place I could find that sells the cigarette socket power output cable for the Cellink Neo.
Fast shipping. Item as described.

Hi J. Kim, we're glad to hear you were able to find what you were looking for at our store. Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Great Kit- Everything you need

Our techs were able to install the dash camera and the Power Magic Pro with no problem by using this Essential Kit. We've bought 13 units so far. Very pleased.

Hi Jennifer, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad to hear that you have found everything you need in our Essential Installation Kits. Thanks!
Suction Cup add-on

I bought this suction cup mount to move and use quickly my A119 V3 from vehicle to vehicle.
After receiving I must say its smaller and lighter than expected compared to the picture but still functional and we will see how long the suction cup lasts over time.
I also saw a video of using this suction cup to turn the A119 around and take video of driver with commentary about area or something else which I plan to edit into my video at a later time.
So its a nice feature for the video I plan to make while on vacation.
Cool!

Hi John, thanks for your feedback. Let us know if the suction cup mount doesn't work well for you over time and we'll try our best to help. Thanks!