This media card was designed to provide best-in-class results for creative professionals.
As a professional photographer, I’m always on the lookout for high-quality media cards. They can be hard to come by sometimes. I remember when I first got my newest camera, I needed to upgrade my card because my older ones could not keep up with the new camera specs. The camera store actually only had one type of SD card that would work for me. So, when I heard about OWC’s pro-level media cards, I jumped at the chance to use them.
The OWC Atlas S Pro SDXC UHS-II V90 Media Card is a professional-grade SD card designed for photographers and videographers alike. It boasts up to 10X higher endurance than its competitors and read/write speeds up to 276/290 MB/s respectively. The card is protected by OWC’s 5-year limited warranty and it comes in four different capacities – 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The full list of features is provided below.
- Pro speed: Up to 276MB/s write and 290MB/s read real-world speeds for shooting huge photos, burst photo sequences, and recording up to 8K video
- Advanced: Uses advanced pseudo-Single-Level Cell (pSLC) flash memory to deliver 10X higher durability than ordinary SD cards and blazing-fast speed across the entire card capacity so massive still files and 8K video will write and download fast
Efficient: Fast read speeds let you offload data to the computer for immediate file access and quicker post-production
- Tough: Impact, bend, shock, UV ray, and x-ray resistant
- Compatible: Fully compatible with a wide variety of DSLR, mirrorless, 360-degree, VR, and cinema cameras
- Flexible: Backwards compatible with UHS-I SD devices and readers
- Worry-free: Up to 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty
The media card comes in a simple OWC-branded sleeve. I’m actually a pretty big fan of OWC packaging because it’s usually pretty minimal and it always looks good. This sleeve is great for retail shelves because it stands out really well. It’s all black with some cosmic blue images on it. There is a bit of flavor text on it that states: Professional grade performance with premium quality reliability for photographers and videographers. Since I am a photographer who sometimes shoots video, this card seemed like an ideal choice for me.
My main camera is a Canon EOS R5. I shoot in RAW exclusively and when I shoot video, I capture footage in 4K. Since this card is rated to deliver smooth performance with up to 8K video and burst photo modes, I knew I was in good hands. I actually had the opportunity to shoot a video inside a medical facility recently. I can’t divulge the subject matter of that footage just yet because it hasn’t been released, but we shot continuous footage for nearly 60 minutes. This card was one of my primary cards on the shoot and it did a great job.
I did run some additional tests on the card including the Blackmagic Speed Disk Test and AJA System Test Lite. The Blackmagic Speed test had a result of 240.8 MB/s WRITE and 256.0 MB/s READ. That was only 14% and 12% lower than the real-world testing speeds that OWC provides on the front of their packaging for the media card.
The AJA System Test Lite was a bit more straining on the card and the speeds slowed down. That test showed 186 MB/s WRITE and 253 MB/s READ. That was approximately 33% and 13% slowed than the reported speeds from OWC. I believe this is because the AJA test allows you to set actual perimeters for testing. I set the test to stress the media card with full 4K resolution with a 16GB file size with ProRes codec. I noticed that the specs for the real-world testing that OWC provided included the following:
“…based on testing OWC Atlas S Pro cards in an OWC 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock connected to a MacBook Pro 16,1 with macOS 10.16, 2.4GHz Core i9 processor, and 32GB RAM running AJA 16.0.1 System Test (4K-Full resolution, 64GB file size, 16bit RGBA codec, single-file test).”
So, I ran the test again using a MacBook Air (M1, 2020) with 16GB of memory with macOS Monterey 12.1 (this is the same computer used for the first test, too.) and the same perimeters OWC used. The results were much closer to the published specs (248/269 MB/s Read/Write). The result was only 11% and 8% slower than OWC’s testing. This discrepancy could simply be because the exact same computer and card reader were not used to complete the test.
Overall, I’ve been very happy with the performance of the Atlas S Pro SDXC media card. It’s an impressive option for capturing premium quality video and photos. Since the card comes in different capacities, the value is really remarkable and I would recommend it has a strong media option for any professional-level content creator.