Action Camera MicroSD Card Support – Crosstour and others

The Crosstour 4K / CT9000 is one of a number of action cameras that are all very similar; I looked at a few and realised they were all about the same aside from the name. Therefore, if you have bought (or are looking to buy) an action camera that looks like this and is capable of recording video in up to “4K”, then this information should be useful to you.

These cameras will, according to the specifications, support MicroSD cards of up to 32GB in capacity. Again, if your camera of choice looks similar and it also supposedly supports up to 32GB MicroSD cards then I have some news.

I noticed in a number of reviews I read that some people had found that 64GB MicroSD cards worked too. My way of thinking is if a card with double the capacity is less than double the price then go with that one, so I did. [EDIT: more on this at the end]

Recording at 4K, for example, will quickly fill up a memory card*.

The first thing to be aware of is that aside from different capacities, different SD/MicroSD cards are rated at different speeds; for 4K filming the card needs to be able to handle the flow of data. “Class10 U3” is necessary.

I chose a 64GB Samsung “Evo Plus microSDXC UHS-I Card” rated as Class10 3U with a claimed read speed of up to 100MB/s and write speed of up to 60MB/s. Nothing against any other brands at this point, the Samsung ones were just a good price.

The next thing to consider is how you get your clips from your camera into your computer for storage and edit and again how the speed of the card can make a difference. Transferring the video files from the Crosstour 4K is where the “32GB max” limitation seems to come in; I plug the camera into my computer with the supplied USB cable, it recognises a device is plugged in, the camera says “Connecting”, but then nothing else happens; the camera doesn’t show up as a storage device as expected. I have since tested and more-or-less confirmed this with a smaller (4GB) card I had to hand, and that showed up successfully.

The solution to this is to use a MicroSD Card Reader to transfer the video files to computer, but again, speed and size compatibility are things to watch out for.

This method is also beneficial because the Crosstour 4K is limited to USB 2.0 speeds (you can plug it into a USB 3.0 socket but likely not gain a transfer speed benefit). USB 3.0 MicroSD Card Readers are available and are the way to go when using high capacity cards.

The cheap and cheerful one I ordered states “Compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC and Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards (up to 64GB)” so it was certainly worth learning this in advance of perhaps gambling on a 128GB card which may prove to be compatible with neither the camera or the card reader. [EDIT: more on this at the end]

Another limitation when using a 64GB card in the Crosstour is its ability to automatically overwrite clips when the card is full. I was expecting this to happen but instead when the card became full it just stated “Card Full” and refused to record any more. I tested this with my 4GB card and this notified me when the card was full yet would continue recording by overwriting the oldest clips. Therefore, rather than just copying the video files off the card via the card reader, I will need to Cut and Paste them to ensure I start each adventure with a blank card.

Perhaps this isn’t a memory card inflicted limitation as such but the fact that when choosing 2.7K or 4K recording options, the “Looping Video” option is disabled. With looping the camera will supposedly keep recording, and then begin again when the card is full. Is Looping unavailable because the card is 64GB and beyond what the camera is technically capable of, or is it simply disable in the higher quality, 2.7K/4K settings? I am unsure.

I have also noticed that the size of the video segments varies not only based on the Video setting chosen but also the capacity of the card. Typically 3 or 10GB when choosing 1080p(30fps) or 2.7K respectively on my 64GB card but then only 367MB when using the 4GB card and choosing 1080p(30fps).

Also, due to my 4GB card lacking not only in capacity but also in speed, the camera automatically limited my recording options:

With a 4GB MicroSDHC card my Crosstour 4K limits my options to up to 1080P(30fps) with 1080P(60fps) greyed out. There is no access to the 2.7K or 4K options. I’m assuming this is more of a limitation based on the speed of the card rather than its capacity but I may be wrong; I’m not sure how the camera can detect the capabilities of a card, like it can with capacity, unless that is something programmed into the card, or there is some sort of quick memory checking when the camera boots.

With the Looping option enabled I filled my 4GB card up to run some tests. I first discovered that it would typically leave itself plenty of space for the next clip.

Here are some speed tests I did with 2GB of video files on my two MicroSD Cards:

  • Slowest: from 4GB MicroSDHC in Crosstour camera = 3 minutes 30 seconds
  • Compared to 4GB MicroSDHC in USB 3.0 Card Reader = 2 minutes
  • Compared to 64GB MicroSDXC in Card Reader plugged into USB 2.0 socket = 1 minute 15 seconds
  • Fastest: 64GB MicroSDXC in Card Reader plugged into USB 3.0 socket = 45 seconds

Therefore it makes sense to use not only a high capacity but a high speed (SDXC) MicroSD Card coupled with a USB 3.0 Card Reader; you’ll save yourself much transferring time.

A final thing to be considerate of (though) is the wear-and-tear you inflict of various plugs, slots, and connectors.

– Whilst transferring direct from the Crosstour via the USB cable you can be charging the battery at the same time (although this takes around 2 hours, I’ll likely investigate this in the future). Every time you plug the USB cable into the camera you inflict wear and tear on the socket.

– Each time you remove the MicroSD Card from the camera and plug it into the card reader and plug that into the computer you’re inflicting wear and tear on the card slots on each, and on the USB socket.

– Charging from the USB socket whilst transferring files at the same time inflicts the least wear and tear on sockets/slots, but alas, isn’t possible with 64GB cards.

– By using 64GB cards instead of 32GB ones you reduce the need to swap the cards out when they’re full if out on a long excursion, again reducing the wear and tear on the slot (and the card). I considered the battery capacities also in this regard since it makes little sense to only ever use the two batteries, which will apparently each last up to 90 minutes, in conjunction with a card that can record video for many times longer (my 2GB of test files at 1080p(30fps) totalled 18 minutes, so a to 32GB card would be enough at these settings with only two batteries to hand.

– I could potentially use the same card and only offload the content once with a 64GB card vs twice with a 32GB card when using the same settings.

The different video settings will of course affect how much storage space each clip eats up. By choosing an option the live video display will then indicate how much recording time is left based on the setting in place, but there are some discrepancies here which, again, I’m wondering if they’re down to using the “unsupported” 64GB card.

– Both 4K(25fps) and 2.7K(30fps) will eat up 64GB in = 2hrs 18 minutes. Why are they both the same? [the answer to this will be revealed in my next post]

– 1080p(60fps) will last for 6hrs, whereas 1080p(30fps) will last 7hrs 40 minutes. This seems odd since a 60fps video will surely eat up twice the storage of a 30fps video.

The higher fps (frames per second) are better suited to shots that you might want to edit to slow-motion ones. A final output of 30fps will mean a 60fps shot slowed down to 50% would output at 30fps and still appear as smooth, whereas a 30fps slowed down to 50% would run at only 15fps which is below ideal.

Finally, what to do with all the files? It’s all well and good filling up 32GB or 64GB memory cards but you’re probably going to need to offload those files onto your computer to do something with them and here you will fill up your available storage space. Choosing a lower resolution on the camera can help you out here and might not impact your final project, depending on the format required. Some reviews have stated that these higher resolution Action Cameras don’t actually provide (much) better image quality at their highest settings. Stay tuned to find out more.

EDIT: I have since had the opportunity to try a 128GB MicroSD Card (a SanDisk MicroSD XC Ultra U1) in my Crosstour 4K and MicroSD Card Reader and found both work with it; they both recognise the card and read from and write to it – the Crosstour shows around 12hr recording time available @ 1080p(60fps).


Ko-fi_Icon_BlueI hope you have found this information useful. If so, please click the Like button below, I also like coffee!

If you have any questions about the Crosstour, or suggestions for this page, please leave a comment below. Thank you in advance.

12 comments

  1. Hi . When recording . Is there a setting to override the old recordings instead on the camera stopping recording and just displaying “sd card full”?

    • Hi, there is a Video Looping option in the Settings, but I suspect this works only for cards up to 32GB in capacity since indeed I get the “SD card full” message when filling a 64/128GB card.

  2. Thanks Brian. I bought a Crosstour CT8500 recently, and extra batteries, using SanDisk Ultra 64 and 32 gig sized microdisks. Issue with this camera is it will not record video beyond 15 minutes. I have set the resolution to 1080 and 720, turned looping on and off, disabled / enabled screensaver…nothing seems to work, still stops recording at the 15 minute mark. It starts again on a new clip but for uninterrupted activity, hardly what I expected. Hopefully I’m overlooking something, any ideas?

    • Hi Larry,

      It seems to be normal for videos to be recorded in segments/clips in this way and it is not unique to these cameras (in my testing the length/size seems to vary based on the resolution settings). For one thing this helps ensure a whole recording isn’t lost if something gets corrupt or a battery fails and something isn’t correctly written to the memory card; you’d only lose that segment.

      The recorded files could be either played back one after the other from a playlist, or placed one after the other on a timeline in video editing software – with the latter I notice no interruption. Ultimately you shouldn’t need to worry about the camera recording in short clips.

      I notice your CT8500 has the anti-shake feature which mine lacks; I’ve considered upgrading to benefit from this.

      • Thanks much for the answer, Brian. I also got a reply from the Crosstour folks saying the 8500 would normally have file sizes of 3 gig and multiple recorded files. That being said, I did find a couple of utilities to remedy the issue, a .mov to MP4 file converter (.mov being the file format for the 8500) and a free MP4 file splicer utility. So I can live with the 15 minute recording limit, just a bit surprised during my tests.
        Testing continues. Thanks!

  3. Hi Guys,

    I have a CT8000 and thought initially there was a fault with the camera due to the limited recording time…I find the 15 minutes recording frustrating as this is relying upon me ‘remembering’ Or having the opportunity to press the record button again, and again, and again and invariably the bit you want to record the camera won’t be recording. Surely if the battery fails you won’t lose what you have already recorded? If the card is corrupted then you’ve lost it either way. You’ll see I don’t understand why it’s limited to 15 minutes…seems mad to me when the camera tells me on the screen what it’s recording opportunity is…perhaps 6 hours on a 64gb card…I am using a Sandisk class 10 with up to 100mbs transfer and what I have been able to record transfers very quickly to my chrome book, although that does bring in other challenges

    Having said all that I have had times when the camera has stopped recording after just 15 to 20 seconds or so which is even more frustrating and was the reason I picked up on this thread…any ideas on this issue

    Frustrated in England

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,
      Typically these cameras record in 15 minute segments, certainly at 1080@30 that I have mine set at (does changing the resolution have any effect on this issue for you?), but the camera should continue to record fresh new segments automatically when left to record. The files can be stitched together seamlessly later. If the battery runs out it will usually save the recording up to that point without issue. If your camera is stopping recording on its own after only 15 to 20 seconds then perhaps the card is at fault, perhaps formatting it will resolve this. Ensure the contacts on the card are clean also; I’ve had a Sandisk card fail but was replaced under warranty. Beyond this, try resetting the camera.

      I hope this helps; let me know how you get on.
      Brian.

      • Hi Brian,

        Thanks for your reply, I formatted the card shortly after sending the message yesterday and haven’t had the chance to test it yet, think I misunderstood the 15 minute recording segments.

        I’ll let you know how I get on

        Cheers

        Chris

  4. I buy a recently Crosstour CT 9700. Can i put a memorycard SD in with 128 gb ? End can somewone advise me witch memorycard is the best ?

  5. Hello, I purchased a CT7000 ad have been using a samsung 128GB. Ica playback the videos on the actual crosstour camera however I canot conect to the app via my Iphone 11pro usig iSmartDV app. So I tried pluggig into the computer using the supplied USB cable. Computer is not even pickig it up. Trying to get footage to my computer for editing purposes.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Yaseen, with regards to the app, this is perhaps a limitation of the camera not fully supporting cards greater than 32GB; I have not used the app to verify this. The solution is to remove the micro SD card and use a USB Card Reader instead. I recommend using a USB 3.0 version if your computer has a USB 3.0 socket as data transfer will be much quicker.

      My CT8500 with a 128GB card will transfer files with a USB cable but the small plugs on the cheap cables are prone to breaking which could be why a computer is not recognising it.

      When plugging in my CT8500 I am presented with three options: MSDC, PC CAM, Charging mode. Be sure to select MSDC if you see this. If the camera is not powering on with the USB cable inserted the camera is not receiving power through the cable (perhaps indicating a cable or socket fault).

      The computer should recognise the device has been connected and show up as a USB Drive (as seen in Explorer/My Computer/This PC on Windows systems).

      Failing this you can look in the Device Manager (right-click the Start button in Windows 10); the device should be listed under Disk drives (mine shows as ‘AIT Card Reader_0 USB Device).

      I hope this helps.

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