Best Nikon D3X Memory Cards

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 9, 2019
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Best Nikon D3X Memory Cards

The Nikon D3X has 2 CompactFlash memory card slots that can use CF cards up to 64GB in capacity. The camera will work with only one Compact Flash card. When two cards are used, more options for how photos are saved are available.

In order to use cards as large as 64GB, you will need to have the most recent firmware installed in the Nikon D3X. Attempting to use a CF card larger than 64GB will cause errors to be displayed.

The D3X will format cards using the FAT32 filesystem.

My recommendation for the best CF memory card to use in the Nikon D3X is:

SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash Card 32GB

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB CF Card

  • Read speeds up to 160MB/s.
  • Write speeds up to 150MB/s.
  • Water, x-ray, & shock proof.
Best Nikon Compact Flash Memory Card

The best value CF card will be 32GB. 64GB cards can only be used if you have the most recent firmware. Cards smaller than 32GB are the same price.

A professional card won't add a noticeable amount to the price. Having a high-speed card will remove the need to buy another card with a future camera upgrade.

Recommended CF Cards

Lexar Professional CompactFlash Card 1066X 32GB

Lexar Professional 1066x 32GB CompactFlash Card

  • Transfer speeds up to 160MB/s.
  • Video Performance Guarantee sepc VPG 65.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
SanDisk Extreme CompactFlash card 32gb

SanDisk Extreme 32GB Compact Flash Card

  • Read speeds up to 120MB/s.
  • Write speeds up to 85MB/s.
  • Sustained data recording of 20MB/s.
  • Water, x-ray, & shockproof.
SanDisk Ultra CompactFlash Card 16gb

SanDisk Ultra 16GB CompactFlash Card

  • Speeds up to 50MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability and value.
  • Ideal for mid-range DSLRs.

Memory Card Reader

UGreen 4-in-1 Card Reader
There's a bright blue LED that bothered me. It is now covered in gaff tape.

The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader supports four different types of memory cards. These include everything camera manufacturers use in all but the newest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN memory card reader connects over USB 3.0. The card reader's USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer speeds than what the Nikon D3X can reach using the USB transfer mode.

There are plenty of positive customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I think it's a good product because the card reader has been compatible all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have plugged it into.

The cable stops card slots from getting in the way of other accessories or devices that are being used in an adjacent port.

When I looked for a card reader that would be lighter for travel, I needed to go through the return process with several orders. I came across the most frequent problem mentioned in customer reviews, the readers would not work with my computer.

The UGREEN card reader can use the memory cards below:

  • 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

There are two different CF card types. A card is either Type I or Type II.

Both types of Compact Flash memory cards will fit in the Nikon D3X.

The difference between the types is how thick the cards are. The other dimensions of the Compact Flash cards are the same.

  • Type I - 3.3mm thick
  • Type II - 5mm thick

The Type II standard gave enough room for a Microdrive to be used in the D3X. A Microdrive was just a small mechanical harddrive.

Compact Flash cards had small storage capacities when they were first released. Microdrives made it possible to get larger amounts of storage.

Microdrives have not been manufactured for many years. Due to their mechanical construction, they had a high failure rate.

Some Compact Flash adapters make use of the Type II standard. The adapters can allow you to use SD or MicroSD cards in a Compact Flash card slot.

Avoiding Card Read Errors

Nikon CF Memory Card Pins

The most common Compact Flash memory card error is the result of damaged pins in the camera's memory card slot. When this happens in the Nikon D3X, a CHA error code will be shown on the LCD screen.

Due to the LCD screen, the error can appear to be CHR.

Be careful when putting a Compact Flash memory card into the camera. Never force a CF memory card into the card slot.

If the Compact Flash card does not slide in properly, remove the card. Check the orientation of the card and then attempt to insert the card again.

If that doesn't work, try a different Compact Flash memory card.

Do Both Memory Cards Slots Need to Be Used in the D3X?

No, the Nikon D3X can be used with one or two memory cards.

Using two cards will allow you to use additional settings to manage the cards.

You'll be able to set the following options:

  • Mirror. Both of the memory cards will be exact copies of each other.
  • Overflow. Once the first card is full, files will then be saved to the second memory card.
  • RAW+JPEG. RAW files will be written to one memory card and JPEGs of the same images will be written to the second CF or SD memory card.

Do Dual Memory Cards Need to be the Same?

No, CF cards are not required to be the same in the Nikon D3X. You can use Compact Flash memory cards that have different capacities.

Having both CF cards be the same helps to reduce compatibility problems. In particular, a slow card can slow down the camera's buffer.

Related Cameras

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 D3X memory card.

Here are cameras with similar memory card requirements:

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