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What are SD Cards and What Video Storage Do I Need?

Let's start with the basics to get you informed

Which SD card is right for me?

When buying a dash cam system for your vehicle, many people tend to forget one hugely important item: the microSD card. MicroSD card usage in a dash cam is so vital because some cards fail very quickly and you may lose crucial footage in case of an accident. In our experience, the best micro SD card for dash cams are high capacity cards that are Class 10 with MLC technology, which basically translate to fast download and upload cards with added durability.

Speed Rating

When we talk about Class 10 and MLC rating, we’re referring to the speed rating of the SD card.

Class 10 is a class of rank on the write speed of the SD card; the number 10 stands for 10 megabytes per second. Generally, what we see with the more “affordable” cards are slower read (download) and write (upload) speeds. This leads to recording issues or literal skips in the recording.

On average, 2-channel dash cams write 16GB/hour and 1-channel dash cams write 8GB/hour.

Having a reliable, fast, and durable SD card can help ensure that you’re always protected. That being said, “faster SD cards” won’t necessarily improve video quality nor durability. Remember that dash cams don’t require the highest speed rating - rather, they require durability.

The best MicroSD cards to use for your dash cam should be at least a class 10 rank for speed and durability

Memory Size

The amount of space is important for your everyday dash cam use. However, the size of SD cards may vary depending on your use of the dash cam.

Best for Driving Recording

A 32GB card is great for value for those who use their dash cams for driving recording. Typically this translates to about 3-4 hours of 1080P recording, which is more than enough for most drivers. Any less and you pay more money per gigabyte and save only a few dollars.

Best for Parking Mode Recording

If you’re using a parking mode dash cam, a 64GB size and higher improves durability and gives you extended parking recording.

Best for Rideshare Recording

Rideshare drivers may want to use the larger 128GB card so as to keep the most amount of video storage in case of any issues with previous customers. These cards are significantly more expensive per gigabyte but most find them to be of value.

Our most popular cards are the 128GB option, since most customers prefer the peace of mind that footage won’t be overwritten so quickly. In addition, memory partition feature separates video files based on the recording to offer you additional forms of protection.

Recording Capacity of SD Cards

How much video can an SD card hold?

This is a question we get all the time and the answer depends on two factors: the SD card size and the dash cam's bit rate.

Thinkware Dash Cams

These tables show the available recording quality settings, corresponding bitrates and recording time for our bestselling Thinkware dashcams.

Note: These numbers are just an approximation.

U1000 4K UHD Dash Cam 

16GB

1 hour 15 mins

50 mins

32GB

2 hours 35 min

1 hour 30mins

64GB

5 hours 10 min

3 hours 5 mins

128GB

10 hours 25 mins

6 hours 5 mins

Q800PRO 2K QHD Cloud Dash Cam

16GB

1 hour 55 mins

1 hour 10 mins

32GB

3 hours 40 min

2 hours 30 mins

64GB

7 hours 25 mins

4 hours 55 mins

128GB

14 hours 55 mins

9 hours 45 mins

F800 Pro Cloud Dash Cam

16GB

3 hours 15 mins

1 hour 40 mins

32GB

6 hours 30 mins

3 hours 20 mins

64GB

13 hours

6 hours 55 mins

128GB

26 hours

13 hours 40 mins


BlackVue Dash Cams

These tables show the available recording quality settings, corresponding bitrates and recording time for our bestselling BlackVue dashcams.

Note:

1. These numbers are just an approximation.

2. BlackVue has a comprehensive Video Quality Settings and Recording Timefor the available recording quality settings and time for all BlackVue dash cams.

DR900S-1CH

Normal (8Mbps)

High (10Mbps)

Highest (12Mbps)

Extreme (25Mbps)

16GB

3 hours 50 mins

3 hours

2 hours 35 mins

1 hour 15 mins

32GB

7 hours 40 mins

6 hours

5 hours 10 mins

2 hours 30 mins

64GB

15 hours 20 mins

12 hours

10 hours 20 mins

5 hours

128GB

30 hours 40 mins

24 hours

20 hours 40 mins

10 hours

256GB

61 hours 20 mins

48 hours

41 hours 20 mins

20 hours

DR900S-2CH

Normal (8 + 6 Mbps)

High (10 + 8 Mbps)

Highest (12 + 10 Mbps)

Extreme (25Mbps)

16GB

2 hours 10 mins

1 hour 40 mins

1 hour 20 mins

55 mins

32GB

4 hours 20 mins

3 hours 20 mins

2 hours 40 mins

1 hour 50 mins

64GB

8 hours 40 mins

6 hours 40 mins

5 hours 20 mins

3 hours 40 mins

128GB

17 hours 20 mins

13 hours 20 mins

10 hours 40 mins

7 hours 20 mins

256GB

24 hours 40 mins

26 hours 40 mins

21 hours 20 mins

14 hours 40 mins

DR750S-1CH & 2CH @60FPS

Sports: Front

Sports: Front + Rear

Extreme: Front

Extreme: Front + Rear

16GB

2 hours 45 mins

1 hour 25 mins

1 hour 20 mins

55 mins

32GB

5 hours 30 mins

2 hours 50 mins

2 hours 40 mins

1 hour 50 mins

64GB

11 hours

5 hours 40 mins

5 hours 20 mins

3 hours 40 mins

128GB

22 hours

11 hours 20 mins

10 hours 40 mins

7 hours 20 mins

256GB

44 hours

22 hour 40 mins

21 hours 20 mins

14 hours 40 mins

DR750S-1CH @30FPS

Normal

High

Highest

16GB

4 hours

3 hours 15 mins

2 hours 45 mins

32GB

8 hours

6 hours 30 mins

5 hours 30 mins

64GB

16 hours

13 hours

11 hours

128GB

32 hours

26 hours

22 hours

256GB

64 hours

52 hours

44 hours

DR750S-2CH @30FPS

Normal (8 + 6 Mbps)

High (10 + 8 Mbps)

Highest (12 + 10 Mbps)

16GB

2 hours 20 mins

1 hour 50 mins

1 hour 25 mins

32GB

4 hours 40 mins

3 hours 40 mins

2 hours 50 mins

64GB

9 hours 20 mins

7 hours 20 mins

5 hours 40 mins

128GB

18 hours 40 mins

15 hours 40 mins

11 hours 20 mins

256GB

37 hours 20 mins

31 hours 20 mins

22 hours 40 miins


VIOFO Dash Cams

These tables show the available recording quality settings, corresponding bitrates and recording time for our bestselling VIOFO dashcams.

Note: These numbers are just an approximation.

A129 Pro (H.264)

Low

Medium

High

Max

16GB

2 hours 25 mins

1 hour 10 mins

55 mins

35 mins

32GB

4 hours 45 mins

2 hours 25 mins

1 hour 40 mins

1 hour 10 mins

64GB

9 hours 30 mins

4 hours 45 min

3 hours 25 mins

2 hours 25 mins

128GB

19 hours

9 hours 35 mins

6 hours 55 mins

4 hours 45 mins

256GB

38 hours 5 mins

19 hours 10 mins

13 hours 40 mins

9 hours 40 mins

A129 Pro (H.265)

Low

Medium

High

Max

16GB

2 hours 40 mins

1 hour 35 mins

1 hour 5 mins

40 mins

32GB

5 hours 15 mins

3 hours 15 mins

2 hours 5 mins

1 hour 25 mins

64GB

10 hours 35 mins

6 hours 30 mins

4 hours 10 mins

2 hours 45 mins

128GB

21 hours 15 mins

13 hours

6 hours 25 mins

5 hours 35 mins

256GB

42 hours 30 mins

26 hours

12 hours 25 mins

11 hours 10 mins

A129 Pro Duo (H.264)

Low

Medium

High

Max

16GB

1 hour 25 mins

55 mins

35 mins

30 mins

32GB

2 hours 45 mins

2 hours 25 mins

1 hour 15 mins

1 hour

64GB

5 hours 40 mins

3 hours 25 mins

2 hour 35 mins

1 hour 55 mins

128GB

11 hours 25 mins

6 hours 55 mins

5 hours 5 mins

3 hours 45 mins

256GB

22 hours 45 mins

13 hours 40 mins

10 hours 15 mins

7 hours 35 mins

A129 Pro Duo (H.265)

Low

Medium

High

Max

16GB

1 hour 35 mins

1 hour 5 mins

45 mins

30 mins

32GB

3 hours 15 mins

2 hours 10 mins

1 hour 35 mins

1 hour 5 mins

64GB

6 hours 30 mins

4 hours 32 mins

3 hours 5 mins

2 hours 10 mins

128GB

13 hours

8 hours 55 mins

6 hours 10 mins

4 hours 25 mins

256GB

26 hours

17 hours 45 mins

12 hours 25 mins

8 hours 40 mins

A119 V3

Low

High

32GB

2 hours 45 mins

2 hours 25 mins

64GB

5 hours 30 mins

4 hours 40 mins

128GB

11 hours 5 mins

5 hours 30 mins

256GB

22 hours 5 mins

18 hours 55 mins

Backup SD Card

In addition, we recommend all of our customers to purchase a smaller 16GB or 32GB card to be kept in your vehicle at all times. The reason is because they can be used in case your SD card in the unit fails or you’re away on a trip and won’t be able to save or review the footage in time before it gets overwritten.

You’ll be able to swap your cards out instantly and keep recording without worrying that important footage will be deleted.

Which SD Card Should I Buy?

BlackboxMyCar is proud to say that all the microSD cards we offer have been rigorously tested to ensure compatibility and to offer the longest lifespan as well. We carry cards by the dash cam manufacturer, such as BlackVue and Thinkware, as well as our own branded micro SD cards, which perform flawlessly as well.

Our third-party microSD cards go through the same quality testing and are a more affordable option for SD card options. No matter what card you buy from us, all of these are covered under an in-house warranty so you can be rest assured that we’ll resolve any issues that you may come across.

If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions, then don't hesitate to reach out to our product experts today!

Explore Our eLearning Guides

Dash Cam Buyer's Guide

New to dash cams? Try out our dash cam buyer's guide to start your journey.

Dash Cam Accessories

Get more out of your dash cam! Find an accessory to get more out of it.

Our Best Dash Cams

Make great purchasing decisions with the right dash cam for you.

Installation Guides

Let us show you how to install your own dash cam & accessories.


Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.

What are SD Cards and What Video Storage Do I Need?

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Thinkware U1000 with Celllink Neo battery and hardwire Installation through BlackBoxMyCar
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BlackVue Tamper Proof Case (BTC-1A)
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Escort Max 360C
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ThinkOBD100 great inexpensive tool
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Viofo A129 Duo
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My First Dashcam
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Sweet
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Video cable
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Nice and quick Service
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Worked out fine...
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Dash Cam Install package.
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Fits 2020 Rav4 XSE hybrid
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Easy installation
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