GoPro cameras do not come with an SD card unless you purchase a bundle package that explicitly includes one. However, GoPro does occasionally offer a promotion that includes a free SD card with a camera purchase.
Hi, my name’s Larry. I have purchased six different GoPros over the past decade and have a wealth of experience dealing with GoPro SD cards. Although it’s frustrating that GoPros generally don’t come with SD cards, they are relatively affordable to purchase.
In this article, I’ll explain when GoPros come with SD cards and which SD cards are the best for GoPro cameras.
Keep reading to learn more!
- Do All GoPros Come With SD Card?
- What SD Card Does GoPro Use?
- Can You Use GoPro Without SD Card?
- What Size SD Card Should I Buy for My GoPro?
- How to Install SD Card in GoPro?
- Closing Thoughts
Do All GoPros Come With SD Card?
The most inconvenient factor about purchasing a new GoPro is that it doesn’t come with an SD card. This means you need to spend additional money on an SD card. Even more recent models like the GoPro HERO10 Black and GoPro HERO9 Black don’t come with a free SD card.
This is bothersome because you need an SD card to use a GoPro. Without an SD card installed in the camera, you won’t be able to save any footage. This is why SD cards are so vital.
However, as of March 2022, GoPro includes a free 32 GB SD card with the purchase of a GoPro HERO10 Black, GoPro HERO9 Black, GoPro HERO8 Black, or GoPro MAX on the GoPro official website.
As you can see, it specifically states that a 32 GB SanDisk Extreme microSDHC is included for free. If it doesn’t say this, your GoPro won’t come with an SD card. Furthermore, 32 GB is extremely low and I recommend purchasing a larger one. I explain how much footage certain size SD cards hold later on in this article.
What SD Card Does GoPro Use?
Although it’s called an SD card, GoPro’s actually use microSD cards. MicroSD cards are significantly smaller than SD cards, which are perfect for the tiny GoPro cameras.
It’s important that you know that not every microSD card will work in your GoPro. If you install the wrong microSD card, you won’t be able to use it. Let’s discuss the microSD requirements for the new GoPro models first.
If you have a GoPro HERO10 Black, the minimum requirement for the SD card is to use a microSD card with a v30 or UHS-3 rating.
For the HERO9 Black, HERO8 Black, MAX, HERO7 Black, HERO6, HERO5, and older generations, you need a microSD with at least a Class 10 or UHS-1 rating.
These are the recommended SD cards for all GoPro camera models:
- Sandisk Extreme, Extreme Plus, Extreme Pro: 32/64/128/256/512GB
- Lexar Professional 1066x Silver Series: 64/128/256/512GB
Check out GoPro’s official SD card list if you’re still having trouble. I discuss what size SD card each GoPro supports later on in this guide. This is important because not every GoPro camera supports a 512 GB SD card.
Can You Use GoPro Without SD Card?
As I briefly mentioned earlier, you cannot use a GoPro without an SD card. Modern GoPro cameras do not come with built-in memory. Without an SD card, you won’t even be able to take any photos or videos because of the Insert SD Card screen on your GoPro.
If you end up completely filling your SD card and have no room for more storage, I recommend transferring the files to your smartphone or computer. Then, you can delete all the files from your SD card and give yourself a blank SD card to work with.
What Size SD Card Should I Buy for My GoPro?
Different generation GoPro cameras support different storage sizes. For example, the GoPro HERO10 Black and GoPro HERO9 Black support microSD cards of up to 512 GB storage size.
The GoPro HERO7 Black supports up to 256 GB, while the GoPro HERO7 (Silver & White) supports microSD cards up to 128 GB.
Similarly, the GoPro Hero (2018), HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, Fusion, HERO4 (Black & Silver), and Session support microSD cards with storage sizes of up to 128GB.
Older models like the GoPro HERO3, HERO3+, HERO+, and HERO+ LCD only support microSD cards up to 64 GB.
The GoPro HERO (2014) and older models can only use microSD cards with storage sizes up to 32 GB.
This being said, should you use the max size SD card for your GoPro?
If you have a GoPro HERO10 or HERO9, I recommend using multiple smaller SD cards rather than one 512 GB SD card. This is just in case your camera gets damaged, and your SD card gets corrupted. Instead of losing all of your files, you would only lose a portion of them.
I also recommend backing up your GoPro files to your phone or computer whenever you finish filming for the day.
How to Install SD Card in GoPro?
First, you need to locate the SD card slot. Depending on which generation GoPro you have, the SD card slot is either behind the battery door or camera housing. So open the battery door or camera housing to reveal the SD card slot.
If you have an external battery in your GoPro, I recommend removing it before installing your SD card.
For all GoPros, the SD card slot is spring-loaded. This means that you’ll hear and feel a Click once the microSD card is inserted into the slot properly.
Now I recommend watching a video tutorial for your specific camera so you can see which direction to insert your SD card. This ensures the correct positioning and prevents any damage to your SD card or SD card slot.
GoPro HERO10 Black
GoPro HERO9 Black
GoPro HERO8 Black
If your GoPro model isn’t listed here, you visit YouTube and search “How to insert SD card into GoPro [Your Specific Model]”.
Let’s take a closer look at a few burning questions that may still be on your mind.
Why does GoPro say no SD card?
This means that the SD card is inserted incorrectly, you’re using the wrong type of card, or the SD card is corrupted. Essentially, your GoPro is telling you that it doesn’t recognize an SD card inside the SD slot. First, make sure you use a microSD card and not a standard SD card. Then, I recommend removing the SD card, waiting 10 seconds, and then inserting the SD card correctly.
How long will a 32GB card last in a GoPro?
For photos, 32 GB can hold approximately 12,000 pictures. If you’re recording videos, 32 GB can record around one hour of footage at 2.7K, 4K, and 5K resolutions. However, a 32 GB microSD card can record longer than one hour of footage if you record using lower resolutions.
Is 128GB Enough for GoPro?
128 GB is the perfect size microSD for your GoPro. However, make sure your GoPro can support 128 GB SD cards by referring to the specifications in the guide. With a 128 GB microSD card, you can record three to seven hours of video depending on what resolution you record at. At 4K 60 FPS, you can record and save up to three hours of footage.
Is SanDisk Ultra good for GoPro?
Due to its UHS-1 rating, SanDisk Ultra microSD cards are great for every GoPro except the newest GoPro HERO10 Black. This is because the HERO10 Black needs a microSD card with a UHS-3 rating.
You should now fully understand this question: does GoPro come with an SD card? In some cases, you will get a free SD card with your GoPro purchase, but it needs to say so specifically. Usually, GoPros won’t come with an SD card unless you get a bundle package.
But now I’d love to hear from you: Which GoPro model do you plan to purchase? What do you plan on recording with your new GoPro?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below!