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A7III Can't Read SD Card Issue

SpecFoto

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Received my Sony A7III about 3 weeks ago. I only use SanDisk ExtremePro SD cards with great success and had both a 128GB and 64GB R95/W90MBs UHS-I V30 card, that are about 6 months old, that I put into the Sony. Both cards worked just great; I write raw, and the small amount of video I do, to the 128GB card in slot 1 and Ex. Fine Jpegs to the 64 GB card in slot 2. Wanted a backup 128GB UHS-I card so I ordered the same model as the one I have and it came last week. I put it into the Slot 1 and immediately got a black screen saying “Unable to read memory card. Reinsert memory card. Slot 1.” You cannot format the card or operate the camera when this message is visible. So I removed the card and the camera was back to normal. Put the card into slot 2 and I did not get the screen and was able to format the card and take photos with it in slot 2. But as soon as I put it in slot 1, I got the same error message and the camera stopped working. I assumed the card was bad, so I returned it.

Received the replacement 128GB card on Friday and when put in slot 1 of the A7III it showed the same message as before. Just like with the new 1st card when I put the card in slot 2 of the A7III, I was able to format it and take photos, however when I put the card back into slot 1, the same error message appeared. So I tried the replacement card in the UHS-II slots of my Panasonic G9 And Nikon D500, where I used the original 128GB UHS-I card with no issue, and the new replacement card worked just fine in both, I was able to format, take photos and transfer no problem. Now that I knew the replacement 128GB card was working OK, I again put it in the A7III slot 1 and got the same error message. Put it into slot 2 and was able to format, take photos and transfer again with no problem. The replacement card refused to work in slot 1, just as the 1st new one did. However my original 6 month old 128GB card works just fine in slot 1. I tried 3 other 64GB SanDisk ExtremePro UHS-I cards in slot 1 with no issues, my issue is limited to 2 of the 3 128GB cards I tried.

It appears I either I have a bad slot 1 in my A7III or maybe there is a problem with slot 1 reading 128GB UHS-I cards? Anyone else have this issue? Thought I would try here before contacting Sony about sending the A7III in to them.

EDIT* Talked with Sony camera support. They are aware of compatibility issues specifically with SanDisk 128GB cards with the Sony A7III in slot 1 and are working on a solution. They suggested I: 1) use Sony 128GB cards that have no issues, 2) use the 128GB SanDisk card in slot 2, 3) Contact SanDisk to ask for a replacement.


IMG_0997.JPG
Apple    iPhone 6s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2    4mm    f/2.2    1/15s    ISO 200
 
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WNG

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The controller in the newer card must be different and not (yet) compatible. It will probably be covered in the next firmware upgrade.
 

SpecFoto

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The controller in the newer card must be different and not (yet) compatible. It will probably be covered in the next firmware upgrade.

After talking with Sony, I chatted with SanDisk for about 20 minutes on this (got bumped up to the professional line division) and they bottom line is they said they are not aware of any issues with their 128GB cards in Sony A7 cameras. They had me give them the cards SN# to verify and said cards were authentic, then reformat the cards a couple of times, with no change, and then offered to replace. They said for sure the new cards would work, but when I asked about the 2 new cards I received in the last week, they had no answer as to why they were not working, yet my 6 month old card SanDisk 128GB card was. I asked if the cards controllers were recently updated and they bypassed the question.

Looked at the Sony UHS-I 128GB 95R and 90W MBs card and they are pretty expensive at $84 vs. $92 for the Sony M series UHS-II 128GB card that is 260R and 100W MBs. For $8 I would much prefer to go with UHS-II. However the Sony A7III manual says you only need a V30 rated card to do 4K video, and both the UHS-I & II versions are rated such, so I would rather use SanDisk V30 cards at half the price. Just need for Sony to issue a FW update to hopefully fix this issue. Thus I will keep the new SanDisk 128GB card and use in my other camera bodies and in the mean time use my SanDisk 64GB V30 cards for the Sony A7III backup.
 
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Res3567

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I bought my a7iii about a year ago with no issues. Yesterday, during a shoot, I experienced the same issue with slot 1. Luckily, I was able to use slot 2. When I got home, I did all of the usual trouble shooting; formatted cards, tried different brands, etc. I even did firmware version 3.10....to no avail. I researched this issue thoroughly and discovered this is an ongoing issue with the A7 line of cameras. I then put in the one UHS II card into slot one, and it did recognized that card. So slot one will not work with UHS I cards; only Type II. This is puzzling and frustrating at the same time. I’m good....for now as I have to flip the slots to ensure a backed up work flow. I guess in a worse case scenario, the slot board will have to be replaced. There is a guy on YouTube willing to either show how it’s done, or do it for you, but I am hesitant to go that route at this point. I chose Sony to go pro only to have my camera malfunction like this. I’m hoping this can be fixed with a firmware update......
 

bdbits

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The OP was from over two years ago, so I am not clear whether their complaints were ever fully resolved. Personally, I have yet to have any problems with any of my Sony camera slots over the last several years. I do stick to well-known brands from reliable sources to help avoid counterfeits which can be a source of problems. I mainly use either SanDisk or Sony cards, for what it's worth. I check https://alikgriffin.com/ultimate-guide-memory-cards/ for ratings and compatibility before purchasing.

Not saying there is not an issue for anyone, and it could be a slot hardware failure, just adding some things to think about for anyone who stops by here.

If you have not already done so, you might consider opening a ticket with Sony, especially as a pro. Worth a try, I think.
 

SpecFoto

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@bdbits said: "The OP was from over two years ago, so I am not clear whether their complaints were ever fully resolved."

When I talked to both Sony and San Disk higher up tech experts back in Oct 2018, they both pointed the finger at the other one, yet they did say they were both working on it. :( In my opinion, Sony was at fault for not providing a camera with both slots having the newer UHS-II style, and San Disk was at fault for providing a newer model of a UHS-I SD card that was not 100% compatible with the same UHS-I SD cards made 6 months earlier. (Both of my 6 month old UHS-1 SDXC 128GB cards worked in the A7III, but the newer one and the San Disk replacement card failed.) BTW, this was when Western Digital was buying San Disk, that may have possible had something to do with it if production was shifted around.

My solution was to buy both UHS-II cards and just use them. I got the Sony M series which was plenty fast enough at 260MBs read/100 MBs write speeds and used the 128GB card in the UHS-II slot 1 (raw) and the 64GB UHS-II card in the UHS-I slot 2 (jpeg). May have been overkill but it just worked and I had a built in backup UHS-II card if needed. I now have 4 sets of these same Sony M cards, however 2 sets are the upgraded Tough Series which are a bit faster at 277MBs read/150MBs write speed and V60 rated, plus they are waterproof. They are used with a Olympus EM1 MkIII and the Sony A7RIII that I swapped for the A7III. There has never been an issue with the UHS-II M series cards in these 2 bodies, or the original A7III. And these cards will work with higher MP cameras like the A7RIV, or the new A1 where both slots are UHS-II. (For A1, UHS-II V60 cards work with 8K and all but the very highest 600 Mbps! 4k video mode, where the G series card is needed, being a V90 card.)
 
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