Camera Memory Speed
Memory Card Comparison & Performance Tests for Digital Cameras
Canon 5D Mark IV with SD / CF memory cards and door open

Fastest SD and CF Cards for the Canon 5D Mark IV

Published: January 26, 2017

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the latest update in the venerable 5D series. A new 30.4MP full-frame sensor and Digic 6+ processor are combined with advanced autofocus features from the 1D X Mark II. Its video capabilities have been expanded to include 4K recording at 24 and 30p. The Mark IV provides up to 7fps continuous shooting.

The 5D Mark IV features one CompactFlash and one Secure Digital card slot. The CompactFlash slot supports UDMA7 cards while the Secure Digital slot accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards and supports UHS-I. The 5D Mk IV does not support UHS-II cards because it lacks the pins to connect to the high speed interface, however UHS-II cards are backwards compatible and will operate at UHS-I speed in the camera.

A total of 139 memory cards were tested in the camera: 114 SD cards and 25 CF cards. The SD cards include both UHS-I and UHS-II cards, while nearly all CF cards support UDMA7. The results in the tables below show write speed for continuous shooting of RAW images and the number of shots that can be taken in 30 seconds of continuous shooting for RAW+JPEG, RAW and JPEG image modes. Following the results, an analysis provides additional information gathered from the tests. From these tests the fastest SD and CF cards for the 5D Mark IV are provided.

Camera Details and Settings

The test uses a manual lens and manual camera settings. The 5D IV is mounted on a tripod and activated using a remote timer. The subject is a detailed test scene illuminated by controlled lighting.

Write speed is calculated using the buffer full condition during extended continuous shooting; the total amount of data written to the card divided by the write time. This calculation provides a more accurate result than the card access light because the the light turns on when the shutter is first activated rather than when the image has been processed and begins writing to the card. Write speed is in megabytes per second MB/s (1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes). Write speed is provided for RAW image mode. Shooting RAW+JPEG and JPEG only result in lower write speed.

Canon 5D Mark IV Write Speed Comparison

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Memory CardCard
Average Write Speed (MB/s)Price
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GBCF128112.1$89.99
Lexar Professional 1066x 32GBCF32112.0$29.99
Lexar Professional 1066x 64GBCF64111.1$69.61
Komputerbay 1066x 128GBCF128110.9$45.00
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 128GBCF128110.8$94.99
Transcend 1000x 32GBCF32110.1$39.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 256GBCF256109.8$149.99
Transcend 1000x 128GBCF128109.8$169.70
PixelFlash SuperSport 1000X-PRO 128GBCF128109.5$107.45
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 64GBCF64109.2$44.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 32GBCF32108.9$32.99
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 64GBCF64108.5$199.00
Delkin Combat 1000X 32GBCF32108.0
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 32GBCF32107.5$54.99
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 64GBCF64103.5
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 32GBCF32102.3$174.99
Kingston Ultimate 600x 32GBCF3288.3$361.41
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GBSD6479.0$59.99
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 32GBSD3279.0$86.50
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 256GBSD25678.8$139.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 32GBSD3278.7$18.08
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 275MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6478.6$68.13
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD6478.5$47.99
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD3278.3$13.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 128GBSD12878.2$99.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6478.2$14.29
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GBSD3278.1$18.08
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GB Card 2CF3278.1
PNY Pro Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6478.1$10.99
Patriot EP Series microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6478.0
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 64GBSD6478.0$125.50
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD3277.9$15.23
Patriot EP PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6477.9$33.17
Delkin Cinema 1050x 32GB Card 3CF3277.9
PNY Pro Elite 64GBSD6477.9
Sony M Series UHS-II 64GBSD6477.8$39.99
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 64GBmicroSD6477.7$64.66
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GBSD6477.6$59.40
Panasonic Gold 95/90 64GBSD6477.5
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 32GBSD3276.9
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GBSD3276.3$69.95
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 32GBmicroSD3276.1$187.76
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 64GBSD6476.0
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GBSD3275.7
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6475.2
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GBSD3275.0
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 32GBSD3274.8
Transcend 633x microSDHC 32GBmicroSD3274.7$33.91
Transcend Ultimate 633x microSD 64GBmicroSD6474.6$125.99
Samsung PRO Plus 64GBSD6474.5$118.00
Samsung PRO Plus 32GBSD3274.2
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6474.2$52.99
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GBSD6474.0$49.99
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 64GBSD6474.0
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD12873.8$99.99
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 128GBmicroSD12873.5
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GBSD6473.1$36.38
Delkin Elite 633x 32GBSD3273.1$19.99
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GBSD6472.8$34.99
Samsung PRO 64GBSD6472.8$69.50
Delkin Cinema 1050X 32GB Card 2CF3272.7
Delkin Black 32GBSD3272.4
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GBSD3272.4$15.99
Lexar Professional 800x 64GBCF6471.9$44.99
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 128GBSD12871.9$16.99
Samsung PRO 32GBSD3271.8$69.00
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 256GBmicroSD25671.7$60.50
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD3271.5$29.95
Samsung PRO U3 32GBSD3271.0
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 128GBSD12870.9$42.99
Samsung PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6470.4
Samsung PRO U3 64GBSD6470.4$89.98
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 32GBSD3267.7$44.99
PNY Elite-X microSDHC 32GBmicroSD3266.6$19.99
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 128GBSD12865.9$54.95
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 64GBSD6465.8$47.40
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 64GBSD6465.2$89.98
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GBCF3264.6$30.99
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 32GBSD3264.2
PNY Elite-X microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6463.2$23.99
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GBSD6459.2$29.95
Transcend 600x 64GBSD6458.6$31.98
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GBSD6458.5$19.99
PNY Elite Performance U3 128GBSD12858.3$39.99
Lexar Professional 633x U3 128GBSD12858.2$59.99
Sony 94MB/s 32GBSD3257.9$26.29
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 128GBSD12857.8$104.31
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GBSD6455.0$29.99
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GBSD3254.9$41.00
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 64GBSD6454.3
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 32GBSD3254.2
Lexar Professional 633x U3 64GBSD6451.9$59.99
PNY Turbo Performance microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6451.8$24.89
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 64GBmicroSD6451.1$38.99
PNY Turbo Performance U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD3250.6$17.99
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GBSD3250.4$17.84
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GBSD6449.0$36.90
PNY Elite Performance U3 256GBSD25648.2$99.89
Delkin 1900x UHS-II 32GBSD3247.8
Lexar Professional 1000x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD3246.6$19.99
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 64GBSD6446.2$17.98
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 32GBSD3245.4$21.19
Lexar Professional 633x U3 32GBSD3245.1$39.99
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD3244.7$27.71
Lexar Professional 800x 32GBCF3244.0$24.99
Kingston Ultimate 32GBSD3244.0
Panasonic Gold Series 32GBSD3241.5
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD3241.3$69.00
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GBSD6438.5$24.99
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6437.9$13.00
Transcend 800x 32GBCF3237.7$24.99
Transcend 600x 32GBSD3236.2$17.99
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GBSD3235.3
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GBSD3233.2
SanDisk Ultra 50MB/s 32GBCF3229.1$25.98
PNY Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6427.6$27.98
Lexar Professional 633x U1 128GBSD12826.4$17.95
Lexar Professional 633x U1 64GBSD6425.8$12.99
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6425.7$22.99
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 200GBmicroSD20025.1$89.99
Samsung EVO 64GBSD6424.9$49.00
Samsung EVO microSD 32GBmicroSD3224.6$31.70
Samsung EVO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6424.4$38.00
Lexar Professional 633x U1 32GBSD3220.3$9.99
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 128GBmicroSD12819.8$15.99
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 32GB Card 2SD3219.6$8.76
Samsung EVO 32GBSD3219.6$44.00
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 64GBmicroSD6419.5$9.99
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD12819.3$59.95
Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXCmicroSD12819.2$49.00
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 128GBSD12819.0$19.69
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 2SD3218.6$8.49
PNY Elite microSDXC 128GBmicroSD12817.4$36.99
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GBSD6414.9$13.00
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 64GBSD6414.8$9.98
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD3213.8$8.50
Toshiba NFC 16GBSD1612.4
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GBSD3211.6$31.58
Patriot EP Pro 128GBSD12810.3$58.57

Canon 5D Mark IV Continuous Shooting

The following table shows the number of shots taken in 30 seconds of continuous shooting using the 5D Mark IV. The time does not include the buffer clearing or write time. The test is repeated for three image modes: RAW+JPEG, RAW, and JPEG. The JPEG setting is large, high quality. The camera is set to continuous high drive mode. Average RAW file size is 38.5 MB. Average JPEG file size is 14.0 MB. The detailed test scene used in these tests results in large file sizes. The number of images may be lower than what may be experienced during actual use, depending on the image subject. Images with less detail create smaller file sizes allowing more images to be written in the same time period.

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Memory CardCard
Continuous Shooting – Images in 30 SecondsLowest
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GBCF1286799194$89.99
Lexar Professional 1066x 32GBCF326799194$29.99
Lexar Professional 1066x 64GBCF646798194$69.61
Transcend 1000x 32GBCF326798194$39.99
Komputerbay 1066x 128GBCF1286798194$45.00
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 32GBCF326797194$32.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 128GBCF1286698194$94.99
Transcend 1000x 128GBCF1286697194$169.70
PixelFlash SuperSport 1000X-PRO 128GBCF1286697194$107.45
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 64GBCF646697194$44.99
Delkin Combat 1000X 32GBCF326696194
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 256GBCF2566597194$149.99
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 64GBCF646596194$199.00
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 32GBCF326596194$54.99
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 64GBCF646093194
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 32GBCF326091194$174.99
Kingston Ultimate 600x 32GBCF325681194$361.41
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD645374188$47.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 275MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD645374188$68.13
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GBSD645374188$59.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 256GBSD2565374187$139.99
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 32GBSD325374187$86.50
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 32GBSD325374187$18.08
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD325374186$13.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 128GBSD1285374186$99.99
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD645374186$14.29
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD325374185$15.23
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GBSD325274186$18.08
Patriot EP PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD645274185$33.17
PNY Pro Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD645174186$10.99
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 64GBmicroSD645173185$64.66
Panasonic Gold 95/90 64GBSD645173185
Sony M Series UHS-II 64GBSD645173184$39.99
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GBSD645173184$59.40
PNY Pro Elite 64GBSD645173184
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 32GBSD325172185
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 32GBmicroSD325172183$187.76
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GBSD325172183$69.95
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 64GBSD645172182
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GBSD325172181
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 64GBmicroSD645171181$52.99
Transcend Ultimate 633x microSD 64GBmicroSD645171180$125.99
Samsung PRO Plus 64GBSD645071182$118.00
Transcend 633x microSDHC 32GBmicroSD325071182$33.91
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GBSD325071181
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD645071181
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 32GBSD325071181
Samsung PRO Plus 32GBSD325071180
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GB Card 2CF324974189
Patriot EP Series microSDXC 64GBmicroSD644974186
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 64GBSD644973185$125.50
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GBSD644970176$36.38
Samsung PRO 64GBSD644970176$69.50
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GBSD644970176$34.99
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 256GBmicroSD2564969178$60.50
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GBSD324969178$15.99
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 64GBSD644870180
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GBSD644870180$49.99
Samsung PRO 32GBSD324869178$69.00
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 128GBSD1284869177$16.99
Samsung PRO U3 64GBSD644868174$89.98
Samsung PRO U3 32GBSD324868173
Samsung PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD644868172
Lexar Professional 800x 64GBCF644867177$44.99
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 128GBmicroSD1284770176
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 32GBSD324766170$44.99
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD1284670178$99.99
Delkin Elite 633x 32GBSD324670176$19.99
PNY Elite-X microSDHC 32GBmicroSD324665168$19.99
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 128GBSD1284664163$54.95
Delkin Black 32GBSD324569175
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 128GBSD1284568175$42.99
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD324468174$29.95
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 64GBSD644464165$89.98
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GBCF324463164$30.99
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 64GBSD644364164$47.40
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 32GBSD324363164
PNY Elite-X microSDXC 64GBmicroSD644363157$23.99
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GBSD644259152$19.99
Sony 94MB/s 32GBSD324259150$26.29
Transcend 600x 64GBSD644059152$31.98
PNY Elite Performance U3 128GBSD1284058151$39.99
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GBSD324056147$41.00
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GBSD644056146$29.99
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 128GBSD1283958150$104.31
Lexar Professional 633x U3 128GBSD1283958150$59.99
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GBSD643859152$29.95
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 64GBSD643855146
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 32GBSD323855146
Lexar Professional 633x U3 64GBSD643854139$59.99
PNY Turbo Performance microSDXC 64GBmicroSD643854139$24.89
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 64GBmicroSD643853138$38.99
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GBSD323853136$17.84
Delkin Cinema 1050x 32GB Card 3CF323774144
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GBSD643752135$36.90
PNY Turbo Performance U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD323653137$17.99
PNY Elite Performance U3 256GBSD2563651130$99.89
Delkin 1900x UHS-II 32GBSD323550131
Lexar Professional 1000x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD323550130$19.99
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 64GBSD643550129$17.98
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD323549127$27.71
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD643544116$13.00
Delkin Cinema 1050X 32GB Card 2CF323469140
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 32GBSD323449128$21.19
Lexar Professional 633x U3 32GBSD323449127$39.99
Lexar Professional 800x 32GBCF323448126$24.99
Kingston Ultimate 32GBSD323448126
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD323346118$69.00
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 128GBSD128332974$19.69
Panasonic Gold Series 32GBSD323246119
Transcend 800x 32GBCF323243113$24.99
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD64323486$22.99
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 64GBmicroSD64322979$9.99
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GBSD643144113$24.99
Transcend 600x 32GBSD32314252$17.99
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GBSD323041109
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GBSD322940104
SanDisk Ultra 50MB/s 32GBCF322837100$25.98
Samsung EVO 64GBSD64283477$49.00
Samsung EVO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD64273374$38.00
PNY Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD64253591$27.98
Samsung EVO microSD 32GBmicroSD32253381$31.70
Lexar Professional 633x U1 128GBSD128243492$17.95
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 32GB Card 2SD32242976$8.76
Samsung EVO 32GBSD32233082$44.00
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s 64GBSD64232664$9.98
Lexar Professional 633x U1 64GBSD64223488$12.99
Lexar Professional 633x U1 32GBSD32223077$9.99
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD32222565$8.50
PNY Elite microSDXC 128GBmicroSD128212889$36.99
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 128GBmicroSD128203076$15.99
Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXCmicroSD128202975$49.00
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 2SD32202975$8.49
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD128202975$59.95
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GBSD64202664$13.00
Toshiba NFC 16GBSD16182462
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GBSD32182359$31.58
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 200GBmicroSD200173487$89.99
Patriot EP Pro 128GBSD1281722108$58.57


The Canon 5D Mark IV provides UHS-I support including SDR104 mode for high write speed. The camera does not support UHS-II because it lacks the pins to interface the UHS-II bus; however, UHS-II cards can be used in the camera because the cards have the standard SD contacts and revert to UHS-I mode. UHS-II cards offer no speed benefit in the camera compared with fast UHS-I cards, but do provide the ability to download images faster when used in a UHS-II card reader.

As can be seen in the first table, the fastest memory cards in the 5D Mark IV are all CompactFlash cards. In RAW mode the fastest CF cards averaged up to 112 MB/s, while SD cards provided up to about 79MB/s average speed during continuous shooting. These are slightly faster the average speeds measured in the 5Ds, which were 102 MB/s with CF cards and 72MB/s with SD cards.

The buffer capacity of the 5D Mk IV in RAW mode varied from 16 to 21 shots, depending on the memory card. This is the number of shots that can be taken at full frame rate before the frame rate drops. This number changes with different camera settings, image subjects and card write speed. Because the camera writes to the card while it is still shooting, a faster card will clear space and allow more shots at full frame rate. This number is slightly higher than the 15-18 shots of the 5Ds, but the file size in the 5D IV is significantly smaller.

When comparing memory cards it is important to realize that a slow memory card limits the camera after the camera has reached its buffer capacity. At that point the camera only takes additional pictures at the same rate it can write to the card. When using slow SD cards the frame rate dropped to below 0.3 fps when shooting RAW images. The fastest SD cards could sustain about 2 fps, while the fastest CF cards could shoot 3 fps with the buffer at capacity. When shooting JPEG the slowest SD card provided about 36 shots before the frame rate dropped to about 0.6 fps, while fast SD cards could shoot over 100 shots before the frame rate slowed and continued at over 5 fps. With fast CF cards JPG shooting was not limited by the memory card and the high frame rate could be sustained for the 30 second duration of the test.

Since the Canon 5D Mark IV has two card slots, various combinations of using two cards in the camera were tested. In these tests the Lexar Professional 1066x 32GB and SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 32GB cards were used. First, writing to both cards in backup mode the camera was able to capture images up to the speed of the slower of the two cards, in this case it was limited by the SD card. In 30 seconds of shooting the camera captured 47 shots RAW+JPEG, 72 shots RAW and 184 shots JPEG, nearly the same as shooting to the SD card only.

The second test was recording separately, RAW to the CF card and JPEG to the SD card. In this test up to 71 shots were captured in 30 seconds of continuous shooting. This is below the 99 RAW that can be taken when shooting RAW only to the CF card, but above the 67 shots when writing both RAW and JPEG to the CF card.

Fastest CF Cards for the Canon 5D Mark IV

Fastest CF card:
112.1 MB/s write (RAW)
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB CF Card
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB CF Card
Fastest SD card (tie):
79.0 MB/s write (RAW)
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB UHS-I SD Card
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB UHS-I
Fastest SD card (tie):
79.0 MB/s write (RAW)
Lexar Pofessional 2000x 64GB UHS-II SD Card
Lexar Pofessional 2000x 64GB UHS-II

The fastest memory card in the Canon 5D Mark IV is the Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB CF Card. This card averaged slightly faster write speed but offered similar performance to the 64GB and 32GB capacity versions of the same card. The SanDisk Extreme Pro, Transcend 1000x and Komputerbay 1066x 128GB cards performed nearly as well, all within one shot difference in 30 seconds of continuous shooting. One would be hard pressed to tell the difference in actual use between any of these cards in the 5D Mark IV.

When considering SD cards for the Canon 5D IV the first thing to note is that UHS-II cards offer no speed benefit in the camera. With that in mind, the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I and Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II cards ended up in a virtual tie for fastest SD card. The difference between these cards can be experienced when downloading images with a UHS-II card reader. The UHS-II card easily outperforms the UHS-I card in read speed. (It should be mentioned that the older SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 32GB SD card did not perform as well as other UHS-II cards because that particular card does not support SDR104 UHS-I bus mode and operates at lower 50MB/s bus speed, whereas the newer Extreme Pro UHS-II microSDXC 64GB card does support the faster SDR104 bus mode.)

The fastest cards in the 5D IV are CF cards. SD cards, especially those that support high write speeds (usually noted as 90MB/s), offer good performance in the camera and are priced lower than similar capacity CF cards. During extended continuous shooting the difference becomes apparent and faster CF cards offer a noticeable improvement over SD cards by clearing the buffer faster and maintaining a higher frame rate after the buffer reaches capacity.

Canon 5D Mark IV with USB 3.0 cable port door open

Downloading images from the Canon 5D Mark IV

The Canon 5D IV has an integrated USB 3.0 port that allows images to be transferred directly to a computer. To test this transfer method Secure Digital and CompactFlash cards with 7GB of RAW images were used. The camera was connected using a USB 3.0 cable and images were transferred to a fast SSD drive in a computer. The Lexar 1066x 32GB CompactFlash card completed the transfer in 108.5 seconds and averaged 61.2 MB/s. The SanDisk Extreme 95MB/s UHS-I U3 32GB SD card took 185.5 seconds at an average transfer rate of 35.8 MB/s. The CompactFlash transfer rate was just slightly above the 53.4 MB/s speed measured in the 5Ds, however the SD card transfer rate was well below the 65.4 MB/s of the 5Ds.

The preferred method to transfer images when speed is important is to use an external memory card reader. Transfers of RAW images from SD cards using a USB 3.0 card reader typically average 90 MB/s with UHS-I cards and 250 MB/s for UHS-II cards. CompactFlash cards can reach 140MB/s copying actual RAW files using a USB 3.0 card reader. Several card reader tests with various memory cards can be found in the Card Reader Reviews.