Good things come in small packages and they don't get much smaller than the new Samsung EVO Plus microSD. Storage makes up the cornerstone of any digital photographers workflow and it's no surprise that when it comes to memory cards, there are a lot of choices! The daddy of the lot (and my personal go-to-card) has always been the Sandisk Extreme Pro, with blisteringly fast speeds and great reliability, so could the Samsung stack up against the king?
Samsung certainly has a great reputation when it comes to storage, so I was keen to see what kind of a punch the little card packed and right out of the gate, I was stunned by the 128gb, which amazingly is only the 'middle' of the range, that includes a 32gb, 64gb and a whopping 256gb! That's a lot of storage to carry around and certainly gave me the peace of mind that I wasn't going to fill a card on a shoot.
The new range boasts extensive performance improvements, including the advanced NAND technology and UHS-1 read speeds of 100 MB/s - which is good! With speed class of '10' and grade of 'U3' - it is certainly a quick card! So data transfer, shooting in burst modes etc. are all very rapid. The all-important write speed is 90 MB/s - which certainly gives the Sandisk a run for its money!
In short, it's excellent! Having used the card for over a month, I basically forgot it was there. The huge amount of storage lets you shoot and shoot, the only real fear is remembering to occasionally take the images off the camera to edit! Even shooting RAW, the huge amount of storage lets you capture thousands of images before you even touch the sides of the huge capacity.
One of the biggest tests of a card like this is shooting in burst mode. The write speed of 90 MB/s is very close to what the Extreme Pro's achieve and I certainly didn't notice any difference between using the two cards. On a recent car shoot, where I was capturing 'panning' shots, the little SD card sucked up everything I threw at it and it didn't miss a beat.
Even more impressive than photo eating capabilities though are its video storage ability. The huge 128gb would allow you to soak up 6 hours of 4K UHD footage, 6 hours! The challenge there is finding something interesting enough to shoot for 6 hours! I regularly swapped the card from my 5D MKIII to my Sony RX100V and even my Mavic Pro and not once did it bulk at whatever was thrown at it.
Overall, the performance was excellent and to think that these things can be thrown into a smartphone, used as external storage for laptops/tablets etc. is crazy, all in a (genuinely) tiny package. Better yet, the cards all come with the microSD adapter, making transferring data to MAC's/PC's unbelievably easy (even if you have to use a dongle!) in particular when using USB3. I was more than happy with the overall performance and never once hit an issue, top draw stuff!
The card performed extremely well. Considering this card is around £79.00, I think it offers amazingly good value for money. As a mass-storage card, it works a treat and really takes a lot of pressure off your workflow. For anyone focussing on high volume storage, I really can't think of a better option.
So how did it compare to the daddy? Well, in short, very well! The Sandisk would possibly edge the EVO Plus in out-and-out performance. The Samsung will certainly be more than capable for 95% of users' needs. In addition, Samsung is possibly one of the world's best producers of storage, so you certainly are in safe hands!