What do filmmakers, GoPro shooters and photographers have in common? They crave for speed. The ProGrade Digital MicroSDXC memory card is a UHS-2 card that offers just that and not only at the input side. It comes with a UHS-2 converter which has a double row of contacts.
ProGrade Digital is the company that offers an answer to the disappearance of Lexar products. While an iMac 2017 won’t be able to exploit the high throughput you can obtain with the card/converter combination, a CalDigit TS3+ is all you need to enjoy fast offloading of a full 32GB card which is the one I received for my review.
The MicroSDXC card has a write speed that will not drop below 60MB/s and a read speed of up to 200MB/s. It looks very familiar. It’s almost the same design and looks as the now no longer available highest-end Lexar memory cards. It’s designed to be used by professionals, so it won’t break easily and will perform fast. And in my tests, it sure did. I tested the card with a HERO 7 in 4K/60fps mode. The camera kept on recording until the card was completely full. The temperature of the camera body was nothing short of hot, the card pretty warm itself, but it didn’t falter. I think, if it’d been a 128GB card, the camera would have melted, but the card would have just gone on and on.
I offloaded with the ProGrade media reader connected to the iMac’s USB 3.1 Gen.1 port and that was blazingly fast, because both card and reader are fast. I also tried offloading it with a second, Lexar 1800x card in the reader’s slot and that card offloaded slightly slower than the ProGrade model — not by much, but still noticeable.
I repeated the whole setup some four times and the results were always the same.
On their site, ProGrade Digital claims they want to make cards for pros: robust, fast, state-of-the-art technology and consistent results. Based on what I experienced, you can take them at their word. The cards are available online only with 32GB, 64GB or 128GB capacity. The company sells through many different channels, but don’t be surprised if your favourite reseller runs out of stock on a regular basis. They’re very popular. My test card retails for $29.99 directly on the ProGrade Digital site.