The Nikon D300S has two memory card slots that can use CompactFlash cards up to 64GB in size. The camera can be operated with one CF card. When two cards are used, more options become available for how photos are stored.
Trying to use a CF card that is larger than 64GB will result in the Nikon D300S displaying a 'CHA' or 'CHR' error message.
The main featured to look out for when comparing cards is the read speed of the Compact Flash card. Having the fastest read speed will mean you'll be able to transfer your images from the card as fast as possible.
My recommendation for the best memory card to use in the Nikon D300S is:
- Read speeds up to 160MB/s.
- Write speeds up to 150MB/s.
- Water, x-ray, & shock proof.
Best CF Cards
The best value Compact Flash card for the Nikon D300S will be 32GB. 64GB cards can only be used if you have the latest firmware. Cards smaller than 32GB are the same price.
A high-speed, quality card doesn't add a noteworthy amount to the cost. Having a high-speed card will remove the need to buy another card with a future camera upgrade.
Recommended CF Cards
- Transfer speeds up to 160MB/s.
- Video Performance Guarantee sepc VPG 65.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- Read speeds up to 120MB/s.
- Write speeds up to 85MB/s.
- Sustained data recording of 20MB/s.
- Water, x-ray, & shockproof.
- Speeds up to 50MB/s.
- Excellent reliability and value.
- Ideal for mid-range DSLRs.
Memory Card Reader
The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader supports four types of memory cards. These include all memory cart formats camera manufacturers implement in all but the most recent professional-level cameras.
The UGREEN reader has a USB 3.0 connection. Transfer speeds over USB 3.0 will have faster transfer speeds than what the Nikon D300S is capable of transferring files with the USB mode.
There are plenty of positive customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I would recommend it because it has been compatible all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have plugged it into.
The cable stops card slots from being blocked by other accessories or devices that are being used in an adjacent port.
When I searched for a more compact card reader that would be easier to travel with, I needed to go through the return process with multiple orders. I came across the most frequent problem mentioned in customer reviews, the readers were not recognized by my computer.
The card reader can be used with the following card formats:
- CompactFlash Cards
- SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
- Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
- MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards
Compact Flash Card Types
Compact Flash cards come in two separate physical sizes. A card can be either Type I or Type II.
Only Type I cards will fit in the Nikon D300S.
What makes the cards different, is their thickness. The width and length of the CF cards are the same.
- Type I - 3.3mm thick
- Type II - 5mm thick
The Type II spec allowed for the use of Microdrives in the D300S. A Microdrive was just a little mechanical harddrive.
Compact Flash cards had small capacities when they were initially released. Microdrives were a solution that allowed for more storage.
Microdrives are no longer manufactured. Due to their mechanical parts, the drives had a high failure rate.
Some Compact Flash adapters make use of the Type II specification. The adapters can allow you to use MicroSD or SD cards in a CF slot.
D300S Firmware Update
You can get the latest firmware for the D300S directly from Nikon.
You will need a CF card in order to update the camera's firmware. Additionally, a USB cable or Compact Flash Card reader will be needed to get the update onto the card.
Avoiding Card Read Errors
The most prevalent memory card error is caused by damaged pins in the camera's memory card slot. When this happens in the Nikon D300S, a CHA error code will be shown on the top LCD screen.
Due to the LCD screen, the error can appear to be CHR.
Be mindful when putting a Compact Flash memory card into the card slot. Never force a Compact Flash card into the slot.
If the Compact Flash memory card does not seem like it is sliding in easily, remove it. Check the positioning of the card and then attempt to insert the card again.
If that fails, try a different memory card.
That's all you need to know about Compact Flash card technical specifications, which is why the SanDisk Extreme 32GB CF Card is the best Nikon D300S memory card.
Here are cameras with similar memory card requirements: