When you’re first starting out in the world of photography and videography you may not be paying much attention to the tiny memory card that stores your data. But that will change quickly. You’ll get the wake-up call after a day of shooting with the family only to find your memory card has failed. Or even worse, perhaps you’ll take a gig shooting a wedding and wind up with no product to deliver to your client. There are quality-of-life considerations as well. How quickly can you get your work off your camera and onto your computer for quick editing? The right memory card matters, and here are our top choices.

Best overall: SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Card

Capture Uninterrupted Video

Leave the worries at home. Amazon

Check Price

The SanDisk Extreme Pro provides write speeds of up to 90 MB/s (megabyte per second), which means it can handle rapid-fire shooting in RAW and JPEG format. Transfer speeds of up to 170 MB/s make transferring your work a snap. It’s also an ideal card for capturing 4K video. You should also have some peace of mind knowing that the device was built and tested for adverse conditions and is waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof, and shockproof.

Mid-range: Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC UHS-I Card

High-Speed File Transfer

Go pro-choice. Amazon

Check Price

The Lexar Professional is great for mid-range DSLR and HD camcorders. Its transfer speed, at 95MB/s, isn’t quite as fast as some, but it will get the job done. It can handle 4K and HD video without any trouble.

Budget pick: SanDisk 64GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card

Transfer 30MB Per Second

Slower workhorse. Amazon

Check Price

The SanDisk Extreme offers slightly less speedy performance than the Extreme Pro, but it’s also a bit more affordable. However, with 60MB/s write speeds and transfer speeds of up to 150MB/s, it isn’t exactly slow. It tackles 4K and HD with ease and offers the same reliability as the Pro.

Toughest: Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card

Can Handle All Conditions

Everything-proof. Amazon

Check Price

There’s part of us that wants to tell you this is strictly for professionals. It has insanely fast write speeds at 299 MB/s and transfer speeds of 300 MB/s, but perhaps most notably boasts of being designed for toughness and having the highest level of water- and dust-proofing. We’d tell you this is only for professionals, but we know things don’t only get crazy while on safari or while covering protests. Accidents happen while snapping pictures of the kids in the pool. So perhaps this one is actually for everyone.