Bigger Is Better: We Review PNY’s PRO Elite MicroSD Cards

While the choice of a memory card might seem simple if you normally just grab whatever’s on sale, there are a number of reasons to reconsider that method. The latest generation of cards offer faster speeds and larger capacities at better price points. Whether you’re looking to equip your newest action cam or drone, PNY’s Pro Elite MicroSD card is a great choice.

Why New Cards?

Depending on when you last bought memory cards, there are a number of reasons to upgrade. The first reason is that newer is usually better. PNY’s Pro Elite MicroSD cards come in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, all in a card the size of a fingernail. Compared to older generations of cards, these are class 10 cards, support U3 speeds, and have a rating for V30 video speeds (yes, SD card speed ratings are a mess, but that’s another matter).

In terms of raw numbers, these cards can do up to 100 MB/s reads and 90 MB/s writes. What that means is they can easily cover 4K video rates fom popular use cases like drones and action cams, as well as supporting pretty quick offloads. Note the V30 means the card can consistently sustain at least 30 MB/s video recording.

Beyond speed, the capacity and price per gigabyte is impressive. While I tested just the 256 GB card, as that’s the largest my drone supported, the larger sizes are very nice to have. If your device supports them, you can record for ridiculously long times on the larger cards. For the typical applications, like action cams, this can be a big help, reducing the need to open the vulnerable ports in a compromised environment just to change cards.

If you already have some OK cards, you might think you’re set until the format changes, but don’t forget that flash memory can wear out. While modern flash can have a pretty impressive endurance, older cards are still going to be at a higher risk of wearing out versus a fresh card. As the prices have fallen, it’s often possible to replace old cards with the same size or larger for a very small sum compared to the intangible loss of all your images from a unique shoot.

In Use

In my test flights, I had a great experience using the Pro Elite MicroSD card. Both 4K and 48-megapixel images recorded quickly and transferred flawlessly to my computer. While the card is compatible right out of the box, don’t forget to reformat it in the device you intend to use it in, just in case.

I didn’t intend to test the durability of the card, but did end up accidentally dropping it into some dust and dirt. A quick cleaning with a rocket blower left it good as new, and I’ve not had any problems since. Flash media like this can be pretty rugged thanks to the lack of moving parts or breakable pins.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a microSD card, consider PNY’s Pro Elite line. With a good price-to-performance ratio and some excellent capacity options, these are a great complement to a new 4K-capable drone or action camera. I always like to go with a proven name in flash storage, and I’ve had great experiences with PNY products in the past, so I definitely see this being the card of choice for use in my Mavic Air 2 for future flights.

What I Liked

  • Large capacities available

  • Meets all the performance needs for drone and action camera use cases

  • Includes SD adapter

What Could Be Improved

  • A small card case would be nice, as microSD is easy to lose

Purchase

You can purchase yours here.

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