The best storage for Canon EOS R3: CFexpress and SD cards

The release of a brand-new high-end camera system is finally upon us: the Canon EOS R3.

Officially announced just a moment ago during the Canon EOS Presentation, the EOS R3 is a remarkable step up from the popular Canon EOS R5 – featuring a stacked backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor and a feature set sure to satisfy every type of professional cinematographer and photographer.

In terms of cinematography, the Canon EOS R3 is a real monster. Supporting up to 6K 60p RAW and 4K 120p 10-bit uncropped video with Canon Log 3 support, the Canon EOS R3 can even go head-to-head with professional cinematography systems.

Here at Exascend, we are all about cinematography storage, so in this article we will take a look at the Canon EOS R3’s storage options and the best cards for unlocking its full potential. To say that its cinematography capabilities will give storage a workout would be a real understatement, so picking the right storage will be critical for a problem-free recording experience.

Storage media for the Canon EOS R3

Canon confirmed that the EOS R3 comes with a dual-card setup that supports both ultra-fast CFexpress cards and SD cards, giving users plenty of options for how to store their media. Here is how they stack up:

CFexpress Type B

The confirmation that the Canon EOS R3 comes with a CFexpress Type B slot is great news for cinematography enthusiasts and professionals. With theoretical top performance way beyond even the highest bitrates using the EOS R3’s 4K 120p and 6K 60p RAW capture modes, the EOS R3’s CFexpress-support guarantees a future-proof storage option for even the most demanding cinematographers.

SD card (UHS-II)

Aside from support for the extremely fast CFexpress Type B-standard, the Canon EOS R3 also comes with support for UHS-II SD cards. A step up from the already-fast UHS-I standard, support for UHS-II SD cards means that EOS R3 users will be able to pick up super-fast cards like Exascend’s Catalyst series of UHS-II SD cards.

The best storage for Canon EOS R3

The inclusion of support for both SD cards and CFexpress Type B cards leaves prospective Canon EOS R3 buyers with a wealth of storage options for their camera. But what cards are best suited for the Canon EOS R3’s high-end specifications and recording formats?

The best CFexpress Type B cards for Canon EOS R3

CFexpress Type B – not to be confused with the similar but not cross-compatible CFexpress Type A – is the Canon EOS R3’s secret weapon for guaranteeing seamless video capture with ultra-high bitrates. Based on the blazing-fast PCIe NVMe standard usually seen in performance-focused computing such as cloud computing and gaming, CFexpress quite literally takes all that performance and puts it in your Canon camera.

Speeds up to 1,700 MB/s read and 1,680 MB/s write (with Exascend’s Essential CFexpress) really speak for themselves. That is over 100 times faster than the 12.5 MB/s default speed for SD cards.

However, all that speed comes at a cost: temperature. CFexpress cards are known to run hot and that can cause issues – especially in cinematography.

The way that memory cards work is that when temperatures start getting too high, performance is throttled to allow the device to maintain its temperature under an acceptable threshold. It is a necessary evil when cards get too hot, but it risks ruining shots with the resulting dropped frames or full recording interruptions. Not great!

Cinematography-optimized CFexpress cards like Exascend’s Essential CFexpress tackle this challenge by handling performance throttling in a way that is in no way disruptive to cinematography. Instead of dramatically throttling performance once temperatures get too high, Exascend’s unique Adaptive Thermal Control™ technology allows the CFexpress card to find the ideal level of performance where temperatures and card speeds can be sustained over time.

SuperCruise™ – another Exascend-exclusive technology engineered for cinematography applications – optimizes the CFexpress card’s mandatory background activities to have no impact on the extreme sustained performance required in cinematography.

Together, these technologies guarantee shoots with no dropped frames and no interruptions, just pure sustained performance that allows you to focus on what really matters.

That is why cinematography-optimized cards like Exascend’s Essential CFexpress are the best cards for unlocking Canon EOS R3’s full video and photography performance. No unnecessary frustrations and no ruined shoots.

The best SD cards for Canon EOS R3

The SD card standard has been around for over 20 years and has undergone almost as many revisions, versions and formats since then. Fortunately, wrapping your head around what the best SD cards for Canon EOS R3 does not require us to delve into the mind-boggling number of distinct types of SD cards there are on the market.

Put simply, what you are looking for is an SD card with the UHS-II interface and the V90 video speed class-rating for your Canon EOS R3.

These are the fastest SD cards that the Canon EOS R3 support and enable read and write speeds as fast as 300 MB/s and 280 MB/s respectively with Exascend’s brand-new Catalyst series of UHS-II SD cards.

Not only are these SD cards fast enough to keep up with the Canon EOS R3’s high-resolution photography in any format but they are also made to deliver recording performance suitable for 4K video capture. That is why the V90 video speed class-rating is so important to look out for when you go shopping for SD cards.

If you see yourself pushing the limits of your new EOS R3 with high-speed photography or video capture anytime soon, we will strongly recommend getting our Catalyst UHS-II SD cards. They are V90-rated and come with a generous five-year warranty just like our other premium products.

But not everyone is a professional cinematographer or even the type of photographer that needs the type of performance that CFexpress or even UHS-II SD cards offer.

If that sounds like you, SD cards with the – slower but still fast – UHS-I interface might just be what you are looking for. These cards provide read and write speeds up to 180 MB/s and 150 MB/s respectively and have the V30 video speed class rating. That is more than enough to make the most of the Canon EOS R3’s still photography prowess and provides enough performance to start experimenting with video capture as well. All at a lower cost than its UHS-II or CFexpress card counterparts.

For that perfect balance between cost and performance, make sure to check out our V30-rated Catalyst UHS-I SD cards. You will be surprised by how capable they are.


The Canon EOS R3 is an extremely capable camera system suitable for any type of photographer and even professional cinematographers. With flexible storage options that include both CFexpress Type B and SD cards, the perfect choice of storage ultimately depends on what type of user you are.

For professional cinematographers and photographers that demand only the best performance, we strongly recommend Exascend’s Essential CFexpress cards. Optimized for cinematography like no other, they deliver uncompromised performance that unlocks the true potential of your Canon EOS R3.

For professional photographers and users interested in cinematography, we recommend Exascend’s Catalyst UHS-II SD cards. They provide top-end UHS-II performance, are V90 video speed class-rated and come with a generous five-year warranty.

For professional photographers looking for a good balance between cost and performance, Exascend’s Catalyst UHS-I SD cards are an excellent choice as well. They offer ample performance to shoot photos with the Canon EOS R3’s highest settings and are fully capable of recording high-quality video as well.

Finally, if you are still not sure what type of storage is best for how you use your camera, please do not hesitate to reach out to our customer service team for some assistance.

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