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Kingston 16GB SDHC UHS-1 U3 SD card review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £16
inc VAT

Kingston's Class U3 SDHC memory card is super quick and ideal for high-resolution digital cameras


Capacity: 16GB, Cost per gigabyte: £1, Interface: SD


Kingston’s latest SD cards are designed purely for speed, which is why they use the more widely used SDHC standard. The newer SDXC format is intended for extremely large capacity cards, but has limited device support, so Kingston’s decision is a smart one.

The 16GB card we’ve tested uses the UHS-1 bus interface, which is theoretically capable of 104MB/s transfer speeds, and is rated as class UHS 3, meaning it has a minimum performance rating of 30MB/s – making it suitable for 4K video recording. Cards supporting these kinds of speeds used to be prohibitively expensive, and although you’ll struggle to fit a huge amount of footage on a 16GB card, the sub-£20 price means 4K video recording is a lot more affordable today.

If your camera supports UHS-1 then you should see the camera’s built-in cache clearing quicker after burst shooting, letting you shoot another burst again without having to wait while the cached images transfer to the SD card. We tested this on a Nikon D610, a full-frame digital SLR that captures 24-megapixel stills. Compared to using a standard Class 6 SD card, when in Burst mode we were able to shoot for longer before we completely filled the camera’s buffer and bust speeds slowed down, and shot-to-shot times when shooting in RAW were much faster as a result.

Kingston quotes write speeds of up to 80MB/s and read speeds of 90MB/s. Our tests showed real-world scores of 68.3MB/s and 12.9MB/s respectively via a UHS-I compatible SD card reader. Although small file handling was slightly slower, the large file speeds were among the fastest we’ve ever seen from an SD card, so it should be more than sufficient for shooting high bit-rate 4K video on compatible cameras.

Even if you don’t have a device that will take advantage of UHS-1 speeds, the 16GB SDHC U3 is no more expensive than most SD cards. For this reason it’s worth buying over slower cards, as it will give you the flexibility to upgrade your digital camera in the future. If 16GB isn’t enough there are 32GB and 64GB versions available for £28 and £40 respectively.

Formatted capacity (NTFS)14.8GB
Cost per gigabyte£1
Claimed read90MB/s
Claimed write80MB/s

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