No doubt, the DJI FPV has revolutionized the world of FPV flying. At a reasonable cost, you get to experience the ultimate immersive experience and fly at speeds of up to 90 MPH.
But what if you want to record and save these experiences for later? Besides the internal storage, you may need to think about getting extra SD cards.
And not just any SD card, but one with the suitable capacity and ideal writing speed. So, you may be asking, what SD card do I need for DJI FPV?
The best SD card for DJI FPV is the SanDisk Extreme or the SanDisk Extreme Plus V30 256 GB card.
That’s because these cards can write at speeds of up to 90MB/s, and can transfer RAW footage from the SD card to a computer at speeds of up to 160 MB/s, which matches the speed and performance of the DJI FPV.
Keep reading to learn more about why the DJI FPV needs an SD card, how to choose one, and some models already available on the market.
Do DJI FPV Goggles Need SD Cards?
Yes, it’s best to insert microSD cards in FPV Goggles. When flying the FPV drone, both the drone and the FPV goggles should record the footage.
The footage you get on the goggles may not always match the drone’s quality, but it’s pretty decent.
It’s also good to have a microSD card in the goggles recording all the footage in case you lose the drone since this will help you see what the drone last saw, making it easier to find if it crashes.
Does the DJI FPV have internal storage?
The DJI FPV Goggles have built-in DVR but lower quality, and they lack internal storage. The “Air Unit” has internal storage onboard the drone for full HD.
Even so, you still need to add more storage to the drone to record more footage at a higher resolution.
Which SD Card is best for the DJI FPV Drone?
When selecting an SD card for a drone, FPV goggles, or any other device, you first need to consider the writing and reading speeds.
If the maximum writing speed of the SD card is lower than that of the device, then you may not record any footage at all, and if you do, it will be choppy and barely usable.
One feature that causes some confusion is the MB/s indicated on the SD cards. For SD cards, MB/s means Megabytes.
However, drones write SD cards in Megabits. But you can convert between the two since 1 Megabyte is equal to 8 Megabits.
For instance, the DJI FPV can write at speeds of up to 240 Megabits, translating to 30 Megabytes.
Below are some of the abbreviations indicated on SD cards to help you determine the write and read speeds.
- C – The C represents a type of SD card known as Speed Class. They are an older version, but you might still find them on some modern SD cards. Their write speeds range from 2 to 10MB/s, and the write speed is indicated within the C.
- U1 – SD cards later evolved to UHS Speed Class, abbreviated with a U. SD cards with this number (1) means they can write in 10MB/s. This writing speed is too low for the DJI FPV.
- U3 – SD cards labeled U3 write at speeds of 30 MB/s but may still not be the best for the FPV. However, it would suffice if you can’t get a V card (more on this type below).
- V10 – SD cards with a V are designed mainly for videos, making them a better option for DJI FPV, but the 10 means 10MB/s, which is too slow.
- V30 – Any SD card labeled V30 is suitable for the DJI FPV since the V means it can write high-resolution videos and the 30 means it matches the speed of the DJI FPV. You can also come across higher numbers such as V60 (60 MB/s) and V90 (90 MB/s).
Now, the reading speed, which often has values like 95, 100, or 300 MB/s, means the time it will take for the footage to transfer from the SD card to your computer. As such, it doesn’t affect the quality of the audio.
But if you’d like faster reading speeds, you can also go for UHS-II Speed Grade 3 SD cards. (I will recommend some specific ones later in the article).
Other values you’ll see are the HC and XC.
HC stands for High Capacity and represents SD cards ranging from 4 GB to 32 GB.
XC stands for extended capacity and is perfect for SD cards with capacities ranging from 64 Gb to 2TB.
Best SD Cards for the DJI FPV
Now that you know the specific type of SD cards to get for DJI FPV, below are some of the best SD card brands I would recommend.
1. SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Plus
SanDisk SD cards are everywhere nowadays, and that’s because they have proven their durability and reliability for the photography industry.
Being a drone photographer myself, I have used the SanDisk Extreme SD cards due to their high writing and read speeds, varying SD card capacities, and ability to handle high-resolution RAW footage.
However, the more popular an SD card is, the more likely there are fake copies. Always purchase from a reliable vendor, and avoid purchasing SD cards with fake, inconsistent, or tampered with packaging.
2. Delkin Devices
Founded in the 1980s, Delkin Devices has some of the best SD cards. I first came across their SD cards when looking for the best SD card for shooting 8k photos, and their Black CFexpress seemed to fit the part. But since the DJI FPV shoots in 4K, the Black CFexpress is a bit of overkill.
However, they have several other models that would be suitable for your DJI FPV, such as this UHS-I V30 card with 100/75 Read/write speeds, or this UHS-II V30 card with 300/250 Read/Write speeds for those who want higher speeds.
Samsung is already popular for its high-end electronic devices, so they need no introduction. Their EVO SD card series is a high-performing, reliable, and durable product line.
And unlike other Samsung products, which are often priced higher than the competitors, the SD cards come at almost the same cost as the SanDisk models.
I recommend not only Samsung SD cards, but also their external hard disks for long-term storage. As you may already know, currently, DJI drones can handle a maximum SD capacity of 256 GB.
So, at some point, even if you have two SD cards, you will need an external storage location to transfer your footage to create room for more, and Samsung hard disks don’t disappoint.
Since there’s no limit to the size of the external hard disks, get the 2TB size to make sure you have enough room for all your endeavors. If you have the budget for it, SSDs also work great and sometimes perform faster during editing.
How many SD cards do I need?
You can have as many SD cards as you’d like, but it’s best to have the same number of SD cards as the number of batteries.
If you have three batteries, get three SD cards to save every session on a different SD card and prevent losing your footage.
You may not need more than one SD card for the goggles. One with a capacity of at least 256 GB should do the trick.
How many hours of 4K can 128GB Hold?
A 128 GB SD card can hold up to 5 hours of 4K footage. Considering the DJI FPV has a flight time of 20 minutes or less, a 128 GB SD card is more than enough.
But that shouldn’t stop you from getting a 256 GB or larger SD card, as long as the drone or FPV goggles support that capacity.
How long will a 256GB SD card record in 4K?
When recording in 4K, a 256 GB SD card can record for up to 12 hours.
Can you fly a DJI FPV without the Goggles?
Yes, you can, but you will still need to have the goggles with you. Like the Smart Controller that comes with an inbuilt display, the FPV goggles are the drone’s display, and they should be connected to the drone.
So, if you don’t want to wear the goggles, you can connect the goggles to your smartphone or tablet to view the drone’s live footage.
Can DJI FPV take photos?
Yes, it can, and the photos are actually quite good since it comes with a 12MP camera.
How to insert an SD Card in the DJI FPV drone
Below is how to correctly insert the SD card into the DJI FPV drone:
- Position the drone so it faces you. That is, the cameras and gimbal should be pointing towards you.
- Right below the camera, there’s a rubber door or opening.
- Open the rubber door, and you’ll see the SD card port on the right and a USB-C port on the left.
- Hold the end of the SD card where there’s a bulge, with the connectors facing down.
- Push it into the slot until you hear a clicking sound, then release your hold.
- Close the rubber door.
- To remove the SD card, press it inside to release the lock, and the SD card will slide out.
It shouldn’t be a question of whether you need microSD cards for DJI FPV. Since we’ve established how vital they are, it’s more about which ones to get and how many of them you need.
When going for an SD card, consider the size (a maximum of 256 GB for DJI Drones), the write speed, and reliability.
Do you use SD cards for your FPV? If you do, where do you place them? On the drone, the goggles, or both.
I prefer placing them on both but if you have other ideas on the best ways to ensure recording high-quality video and photos with the DJI FPV, feel to share with us.