Kingston SDA3 256GB SDXC UHS-I U3 Memory Card Review

by - 5 years ago



Kingston_SDA3_256GB-Photo-top other angle

SD memory cards are probably the most commonly found among our readers and today I’m testing Kingston’s SDA3 256GB SHXC memory card to see how well it performs. It is already an impressive card just by looking at the capacity, but it also brings a performance to match making it perfect for burst photo shooting as well as 4K UHD video recordings.

Kingston’s SDXC UHS-I U3 Flash card allows you to move to faster performance, do a better job, and do it faster. The card is rated for speeds up to 90MB/s while reading and 80MB/s while writing. That is a UHS-I Class 3 performance and it is 9x faster than a standard Class 10 SD card that quite a few people still use these days. It meets the SD Association’s latest specification release, UHS-I U3 (Ultra High-Speed Bus, Speed Class 3), which guarantees a performance of at least 30MB/s and enough bandwidth to record and playback 4K2K video without interruption. The Kingston SDA3 clearly passes those performance specifications with plenty to spare.


Kingston’s SDA3 memory card is also a very rugged card that can withstand quite a bit. The SDA3 is waterproof, temperature proof, shock proof, vibration proof, and airport x-ray protected. It has an operating temperature rating from minus 25 to plus 85 degrees Celcius and a storage temperature rating all the way down to minus 40 degrees Celcius. The waterproofing isn’t for deep diving, but it can still withstand to be submerged in up to 1-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes. The card has also passed MIL-STD-883H, METHOD 2002.5 military standard test method for shock and vibrations.


The Kingston SDA3 is fast enough to capture quality videos in Full HD (1080p), Ultra HD (2160p), 3D and 4K2K resolutions as well as capture high megapixel images in burst shot mode. Users can capture cinema-quality videos on high-performance cameras such as Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR), Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (D-SLM), camcorders and video cameras. It is ideal for television recordings as well as live broadcasts, plus it lets you edit files faster and provides faster upload times when using USB 3.0 card readers. The high sustained write speeds ensure video integrity by reducing stutter and allow photographers to shoot in continuous burst mode.

Kingston_SDA3_256GB-Photo-top angle

Kingston’s SDA3 is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities and the cards are backed by Kingston’s legendary reliability and lifetime warranty.

SD cards usually come with a handy drive lock and it is no different on Kingston’s SDA3 card. Slide the tiny lock down to write protect the card and prevent accidental deletion of the content.


Features and Specifications

  • Ideal for high-performance D-SLR and D-SLM cameras and 4K camcorders
  • Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB – for thousands of photos and hours of video,
  • Impressive UHS-I Class 3 performance for 4K or 2K video
    Performance up to 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write
  • Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
  • File format: exFAT SDXC 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification
  • Dimensions: 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
  • Storage Temperatures: -40°C to 85°C
  • Operating Temperature: -25°C to 85°C
  • Voltage: 3.3v
  • Lifetime warranty, free technical support


Kingston’s SDA3 comes in a cardboard package that shows the actually included drive right on the front. The design is a typical Kingston design that makes it easy to spot from far away. The speed rating and capacity are displayed right on the front.

Kingston_SDA3_256GB-Photo-box front

The rear of the package has all the fine print as well as compatible devices.

Kingston_SDA3_256GB-Photo-box rear

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Testing & Methodology
  3. Aida64 & HD Tach
  4. Anvil's Storage Utilities
  5. AS SSD
  6. ATTO
  7. CrystalDiskMark
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. View All

Author Bio

3 Comments on Kingston SDA3 256GB SDXC UHS-I U3 Memory Card Review

  • Avatar 12John34 says:

    No 4K tests on Crystaldiskmark. I guess Kingston asked you nicely to avoid those tests.
    Well, at least the 512K test does show that this memory card is a pile of s. One more confirmation to never touch a Kingston product.

    • Avatar Bohs says:

      The 4K tests were left out on purpose because that isn’t the intended usage for this kind of storage. I’ve also killed more than one flash drive and memory card with the 4K tests simply because they aren’t built to handle it. A camera or smart device, where these cards are intended to be used, won’t ever create such intensive workloads anyway. So, really no reason to destroy a product with tests that aren’t designed for it, it isn’t a SSD. 🙂

      • Avatar 12John34 says:

        A product that can die from a crystaldiskmark 4K test, is not a good product to buy. Especially when it holds 256GBs of PERSONAL data.
        Things you save on a memory card, can not be recovered if the card dies. There are much less chances to save that data compared to an old HDD. Considering also that people could be using that card also as an external data storage device, when not photographing, it makes 4K performance and most importantly endurance, very important. And even if people keep this card in their camera, when they buy a bigger and faster card they might consider using this card in combination with a small card reader for data transfers.

        If crystaldiskmark can kill a memory card, a reviewer, not only should NOT avoid testing that card with crystaldiskmark, but also put the program to start a constant loop of 9 tests – with a program that simulates mouse clicks it could be simulated a much longer test – and post a quick durability test result making his review to stand out from the other tests on the internet.

        Just a suggestion.

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