Camera Memory Speed
Memory Card Comparison & Performance Tests for Digital Cameras
Sony Alpha A6000 SD card slot with battery door open

Sony Alpha A6000 SD Card Comparison

Published: March 9, 2015

The Sony Alpha 6000 mirrorless camera features a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor. It offers up to 11 frames per second continuous shooting and uses a combination AF system with 25 contrast and 179 phase detect points. A 3-inch tilting LCD, electronic viewfinder, pop-up flash, standard hot shoe are packed into a diminutive body size. The Sony Bionz X image processor provides advanced operations including diffraction reduction and area-specific noise reduction.

To evaluate the performance of the A6000, 40 different SD cards were tested to determine write speed and continuous shooting of the camera. The first table shows write speed when recording RAW images. The second table shows the number of images taken in 30 second intervals in continuous shooting using RAW+JPEG, RAW and JPEG settings. An analysis follows with information about the results. Recommended memory cards for the A6000 are included at the end, for both the fastest and best value memory cards for this camera.

Sony A6000 Camera Details & Settings

The A6000 is set to manual focus and mounted on a tripod. A remote release timer provides 30 second intervals for continuous shooting test. To calculate write speed, the total amount of bytes written to the card are divided by the write time. Write time is determined by reviewing a video of the the card access light. Write speed is presented in MB/s (1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes). The write speed results are provided using RAW image format. (RAW+JPEG and JPEG modes have lower write speed.)

Sony A6000 SD Card Write Speed

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Memory CardSize
Average Write Speed (MB/s)Price
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GB3235.9$18.08
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GB3235.5
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GB3235.3$17.84
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 32GB3235.2$19.99
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 13235.2
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GB3235.1$69.95
SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GB3234.9$9.50
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GB6434.8$59.99
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GB6434.8$59.40
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GB3234.8
Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GB3234.6
Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GB3234.6
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GB3234.6$41.00
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GB6434.5$36.38
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GB3234.4$69.00
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GB6434.4$36.90
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GB6434.2$29.99
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GB3234.0
Samsung PRO 32GB3233.8$69.00
Samsung PRO 64GB6433.8$69.50
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GB6433.6$19.99
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GB6433.6$49.99
Kingston Ultimate 32GB3233.5
Lexar Professional 600x 64GB6433.5$14.99
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GB6433.4$29.95
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GB3233.2$15.99
Sony 94MB/s 32GB3233.0$26.29
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GB6432.9$34.99
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GB3231.8$31.58
Lexar Professional 600x 32GB3230.5$42.99
Lexar Professional 400x 32GB3229.1$79.99
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GB3227.3
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GB6426.6$24.99
Transcend 600x 32GB3225.6$17.99
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GB3221.5
Samsung EVO 32GB3218.1$44.00
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GB6413.5$13.00
SanDisk Ultra microSD 64GB6413.0$24.99
SanDisk Ultra microSD 32GB3212.7$13.99
Toshiba FlashAir II 32GB3211.4

Sony A6000 Continuous Shooting

The continuous shooting test measures how many pictures can be taken in 30 seconds using three image modes: RAW+JPEG, RAW, and JPEG. The JPEG setting is fine quality, large image size. The A6000 is set to continuous high drive mode. The detailed test scene produces 24.0MB RAW and 9.5MB JPEG average file sizes.

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Memory CardSize
Continuous Shooting – Images in 30 SecondsLowest
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GB32516579$18.08
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 32GB32516479$19.99
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GB32516479
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GB32516479$41.00
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 132516479
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GB32516479$17.84
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GB64516379$59.99
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GB32506479$69.95
Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GB32506379
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GB32506379$69.00
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GB64506379$59.40
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GB64506379$29.99
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GB64506379$36.90
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GB32506379
SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GB32506379$9.50
Samsung PRO 64GB64506279$69.50
Samsung PRO 32GB32506279$69.00
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GB32506279
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GB32506179$31.58
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GB64496379$36.38
Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GB32496379
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GB64496279$29.95
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GB32496279$15.99
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GB64496279$49.99
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GB64496279$19.99
Lexar Professional 600x 64GB64496279$14.99
Sony 94MB/s 32GB32496179$26.29
Kingston Ultimate 32GB32486379
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GB64486179$34.99
Lexar Professional 600x 32GB32475879$42.99
Lexar Professional 400x 32GB32455679$79.99
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GB32445579
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GB64445379$24.99
Transcend 600x 32GB32435279$17.99
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GB32404379
Samsung EVO 32GB32354279$44.00
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GB64323879$13.00
SanDisk Ultra microSD 64GB64323778$24.99
SanDisk Ultra microSD 32GB32313777$13.99
Toshiba FlashAir II 32GB32303475

Sony A6000 Analysis

The A6000 is limited in write speed. It measured 35.9MB/s maximum write speed during continuous shooting RAW images. Several cards performed between 33-36 MB/s write speed in the camera. The generous buffer in the A6000 combined with its moderate write speed capability tends to minimize the difference between memory cards.

In continuous shooting, the A6000 captured 22-24 images in both RAW+JPEG and RAW only modes at full frame rate. In JPEG mode the camera reached 46-49 shots at full frame rate before it slowed. The numbers varied slightly depending on card speed, faster cards able to clear more space in the buffer to allow the extra shots. Since the frame rate is so fast and write speed is limited by the A600, the difference between cards on buffer capacity is small.

The difference between cards was greatest after the buffer had filled. In RAW+JPEG mode the frame rate dropped to 1 fps using the fastest cards, while slower cards dropped to as low as 0.3 fps. In RAW mode the range was 1.5 fps to 0.4 fps. Surprisingly, the frame rate with the buffer full in JPEG mode was about the same for all cards at 1.2 fps and the number of JPEG images captured in 30 seconds was nearly the same regardless of card. The write speed in JPEG mode was considerably lower than RAW.

The A6000 supports UHS-I cards, although it does not appear to support SDR104 mode (104 MB/s) and operates at the lower bus speed mode (50MB/s or below). The A6000 also lacks the UHS-II interface, although UHS-II cards can be used because the cards will operate in UHS-I mode at UHS-I speeds. As such, UHS-II cards offer no speed benefit in the A6000, but they will allow you to download images faster in a UHS-II card reader.

Recommended SD Cards for the Sony A6000

SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SD Card
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SD Card
Best Value:
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I SD Card
Kingston Class 10 SD Card

The fastest card measured in the A6000 was the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I 32GB, but only by a slight margin. In 30 seconds of continuous shooting RAW images, the Extreme Pro 32GB had just a one RAW shot advantage. Several SanDisk, Kingston and Toshiba SD cards follow and offer similar performance. The controller used in these cards is most likely responsible for their slight speed advantage over the rest.

Several cards offer a good value for performance in the A6000: The Kingston Class 10, PNY Elite Performance and Transcend 95/60 MB/s cards. All these cards offer fast 95MB/s read speeds for downloads. Of them, the Kingston Class 10 64GB SD Card offers good performance in the A6000 and for great price. Of course the best value card will depend on current prices, which can change often. The prices in the above charts are updated daily. You can sort the above tables by clicking on the price heading, and also limit by selecting a particular card size at the top.

Sony A6000 USB cable to download from camera

Transferring images from Sony A6000

The A6000 has a USB 2.0 port that can be used to download images from the camera. USB 2.0 is typically limited to around 35MB/s transfer speed. The highest transfer speed measured using the USB port in the A6000 was 20MB/s. This was determined by downloading 5GB of RAW images from the A6000 to a SSD drive on a computer using Mass Storage Mode. MTP mode provided slightly lower speed of 16.5MB/s.

Using a separate USB 3.0 card reader will provide much faster downloads. UHS-I SD cards can reach above 90MB/s read speed when copying a batch of RAW images, while UHS-II cards can reach up to 250MB/s read speed. This speed depends on the card, card reader, connection type and computer. See the Card Reader Reviews for benchmark tests using various cards and card readers.