Looking for the best memory cards for Canon 5D Mark III? Here are our top recommended & fastest XQD cards and CF cards for Canon 5D Mark III DSLR camera.

The Canon 5D Mark III has dual memory card slots that hold one CompactFlash (CF) format memory card and one Secure Digital (SD) format memory card. CF cards are faster than SD cards and perform better for video.

Therefore, a CF card makes the most logical choice for your primary memory card. The dual slots on the Canon 5D Mark III also allow you to use the two cards simultaneously for some functions.

These include recording JPEG and RAW images on separate cards. It also allows recording the same data on both cards for backup.

Check Out: Best Lenses for Canon 5D Mark III

Best Memory Card for Canon 5D Mark III

Best Compact Flash (CF) Memory Cards for Canon 5D Mark III

1. SanDisk Extreme Pro

SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card UDMA...
  • Records and captures cinema quality 4K and Full HD video(1)
  • Video Performance Guarantee (VPG-65) delivers a minimum sustained write speed of 65MB/sec(2)
  • Increase workflow efficiency with transfer speed of up to 160MB/s* (1067X) read speeds. Based on internal testing;...
  • Industry leading shot speed performance of up to 150MB/s (1000X) write speeds. Based on internal testing; performance...

SanDisk and Lexar make quality Compact Flash memory cards, and with faster and cheaper versions, both companies upped the ante in 2014. A superb CF module, the SanDisk Extreme Pro has a write speed of up to 150 MB per second and an impressive 65 MB per second sustained read speed. The Video Fidelity Guarantee (VPG-65) is also available for filming at high frame rates, including Full HD and 4K. And the Extreme Pro can withstand the elements well and is rated from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit for extreme temperatures. Given that this card is actually marginally cheaper than the Lexar Professional below, we give it the nod (the latter has a maximum write rate of just 5 MB per second and that’s it).

2. Lexar Professional

Lexar Professional 1066x 32GB VPG-65 CompactFlash...
  • High speed performance, leverages UDMA 7 technology to deliver a read transfer speed up to 1066x (160MB/s)
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video with a DSLR camera, HD...
  • Supports the Video Performance Guarantee specification for professional-quality video (VPG-65)
  • Backed by expert support and a limited lifetime warranty

Lexar manufactures memory cards in the top-shelf CF format, and the Lexar Professional 1066x has some of the fastest writing and reading speeds on the market. This card replaced the older 1000x Lexar cards, raising the minimum write speed up to Class 65 (and the new version is cheaper) from Class 20 all the way up. For professional-quality filming at the highest resolution, you also get the Video Output Guarantee (known as VPG-65). There is a lot to like about this memory card, all things considered, and it is just a toss up between it and the SanDisk Pro. We suggest having whatever model is cheaper at the time of purchase, given the almost identical specs.

3. SanDisk Extreme

SanDisk Extreme 32GB Compact Flash Memory Card...
  • Fast transfer speeds up to 120MB/s(read) for increased workflow efficiency
  • Fast shot speeds up to 60MB/s(write) for faster continuous burst shooting
  • Video Performance Guarantee (VPG-20) performance for Full HD video
  • Tested for durability in extreme conditions

The SanDisk Extreme is a viable choice for a Compact Flash memory card if you’re not taking incredibly fast bursts or loads of footage. This card has similar technical specs to the previous generation of “professional” CF memory cards, which will work well in most situations, including a very respectable video Class 20 ranking. This card is qualified for temperatures ranging from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, like the Extreme Pro, and stands well against shock and vibration. The SanDisk Extreme is a perfect way to save on Compact Flash if you’re not a sports or action photographer and normally do not take ultra-high resolution footage.

Best SD Memory Cards for Canon 5D Mark III

4. SanDisk Extreme Pro

SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB UHS-I/U3 SDHC Flash...
  • Read Up To 95MB/s/ Write Up To 90MB/s
  • 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160p); Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
  • Compatible with SDXC and SDXC-I (UHS-I) enabled host devices
  • Shockproof, X-ray proof, and Waterproof

SD memory cards are generally slower than their CF siblings, but are a good choice for still and backup images. If you regularly shoot HD footage, high-speed bursts, or upload massive volumes of files, the SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best professional SD memory card for the Canon 5D Mark II. With the highest write speed of up to 90 MB per second, it’s the leading SD memory card on the market today. Like the standard Extreme series below the Extreme Pro features a rugged build that is waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof and rated at extreme temperatures. It’s scored U3 for high quality footage, too.

5. Lexar Professional

Lexar Professional 600x 32GB SDHC UHS-I Flash...
  • High-speed, Class 10 performance-leverages UHS-I technology for a read transfer speed up to 600x (90MB/s)
  • Capture high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video with a DSLR camera, HD...
  • Enjoy shooting longer without changing cards-large capacity options up to 256GB
  • High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow

The Lexar Specialist has the work done for still photography for around half the price of the SanDisk Intense Pro above. If you’re taking high-resolution video or quick sporting or action photography flashes, you’ll definitely want the Intense Pro to write quicker. But the Lexar Specialist is fast enough for the majority of still photographers on the Canon 5D Mark II to handle big images reasonably easily. In comparison, the overall read speed is about the same (a gap of just 5 MB/s), so you’ll be able to easily get images off the card.

6. SanDisk Extreme

SanDisk Extreme 32GB UHS-I/U3 SDHC Memory Card Up...
  • Up To 60MB/s Read; 40MB/s Write
  • Error Correction for Enhanced Reliability
  • Now at new U3 speeds, exceeding high-definition video recording performance requirement
  • Extreme durability from deserts to glaciers, guaranteed

The most notable distinction between the above SanDisk Extreme and Lexar Specialist is that Class 3 U3 recording rates for 4K video are provided by the former. The Canon 5D Mark III shoots High Definition video, but not 4K (try the Canon EOS 1D for that), so it is arguable if it is worth the extra few bucks (keep in mind that the SanDisk Extreme still has a slower 30 MB/s maximum write speed). The SanDisk Extreme provides write speeds of up to 40 MB per second and read speeds of up to 60 MB per second with U3 scores aside and can run at extreme temperatures from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re a video shooter using an SD card as a backup, SanDisk Intense is suggested.

Get the most of the Burst Shooting with a Canon 5D III memory card. With blazing-fast data transfer speeds, XQD memory cards achieve stable and continuous shooting to capture each moment in the highest quality.

The superior write speed of G Series XQD cards allows continuous shooting of up to 200 RAW images. Thus, you’re able to improve your workflow efficiency.

XQD Memory Cards feature a newly developed controller and a unique ‘EB Stream’ function. It enables high frame 4K video recording while avoiding speed degradation. 128GB model allows up to approximately 20 minutes of 4K XAVC Intra 422 60p (600 Mbps) recording.


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