Best Nikon D80 Memory Cards

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: November 15, 2020
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Best Nikon D80 Memory Cards

The Nikon D80 is compatible with SD cards and has a single card slot. SD memory cards with a max capacity of 32GB will work in in the camera.

You may need to upgrade your camera's firmware to make sure it is compatible with 32GB SDHC cards. You can get the latest Nikon D80 firmware update from Nikon's website. No special software is required, but you will need a fully charged battery.

An error code will be displayed if you try to use an SD card that has a capacity of 64GB or larger. For more storage space, you are going to need to purchase multiple SD cards. The read and write speeds of memory cards are the primary specs to pay attention to.

If your Nikon D80 is going to be getting used constantly. A feature that is ideal to have is UHS-I as it enables faster transfer speeds with a compatible card reader.

Getting a top level SD memory card also helps to future proof the card for use in another device or camera. To prevent winding up with a camera upgrade causing you to need to purchase a new card that can write data fast enough for recording 4k video.

Now is an excellent opportunity to make sure the lens or lenses you own are a good choice for the type of photography you do. Take a look at the best lenses for the Nikon D80.

Here's my recommendation for the best SD memory card for the Nikon D80:

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

  • Best SD card available
  • Largest compatible storage capacity.
  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s.
  • Write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.

Best SD Cards

Since the Nikon D80 was launched, memory card prices have dropped and storage capacities have become larger. The price difference between the fastest card and a cheap one is astonishingly small. The price is more closely related to storage size, with the largest SD cards having a higher price.

Investing in the cards with the largest capacity is worth it if you're going to shoot a large amount of RAW files for action, sports, events, or wildlife photography. Another consideration could be if you plan to upgrade your camera or use the memory card in other devices.

I think that the SanDisk Extreme Pro line of SD memory cards are usually the best choice for most conditions. They have very fast read and write speeds, which gives them the best shot of working with future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

I have had positive experiences with Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance cards. I have not had pictures or files become corrupted or lost on these cards. If that situation did take place, all of the manufacturers have image recovery software.

When I have experienced issues it has been with generic SD memory cards. Having a low price or being a bundled item are the main attractions. Unfortunately, this is also the most common type of SD card to be advertised incorrectly.

A label that promises Class 10 speed is really easy to put on a Class 4 card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is going to be an error or corrupted photos if the card's write speed is not fast enough.

One of the biggest controls over cost you have is the storage capacity of a card. You will be better off by going one step down in capacity to lower cost rather than choosing a cheaper brand. Read and write speeds are important factors that will influence your experience with the Nikon D80.

Recommended SD Cards

Lexar 633x 23GB UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

Lexar Professional 633X 32GB

  • High-speed, Class 10 performance.
  • UHS-I technology for a read transfer speeds up to 633x (95MB/s).
  • High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow.

The Lexar Professional comes close to matching the performance to the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card when used with the Nikon D80. The only difference is that the Lexar SD card provides a slower write speed.

There can be a big difference in cost between the Lexar and SanDisk cards. I would not spend more for the Lexar, but also would have no problem picking it if it was substantially less expensive.

SanDisk Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 32GB

  • Good value to save some money.
  • Quick transfer read up to 80MB/s.
  • Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
  • Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.

The SanDisk Ultra is a step down from the Extreme Pro when it comes to performance. That also comes with a modest decrease in cost.

You will not notice a difference in performance unless you need to write a large number of files onto the memory card. This is not the most desirable selection if you plan to use the memory card to record 4k video in the foreseeable future.

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.

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 is compatible with four memory card formats. These cover all memory cart formats camera manufacturers use in all but their most recent 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 rates than what the Nikon D80 can achieve using the USB transfer mode.

There are plenty of positive customer reviews for the UGREEN reader, which I agree with. It's a good product because the reader has been recognized by all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have tried it with.

The cable stops memory card slots from interfering with other devices or accessories that are being used in another USB or adjacent port.

When I looked for a more compact card reader that would be better 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 did not work with my computer.

The UGREEN 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

Nikon D80 SD Card Compatibility

The Nikon D80 has a single memory card slot that uses SD memory cards. Secure Digital (SD) cards come in 3 different specifications. Each new memory card specification increased the maximum storage capacity of the cards.

All of the cards are compatible with newer cameras and devices. Newer cards can be larger than an older camera, like the D80, can use.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - Up to 2GB cards will work.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - Up to 32GB cards will work.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - The D80 cannot use these cards as they are 64GB or larger.

Nikon D80 Memory Card Full Error

Using a memory card that is larger than 32GB in the D80 will cause an error. The camera will show that the card is full.

To fix the problem, you need to use a SD card with a capacity of 32GB or smaller. If you are having issues with a card that is 32GB or smaller, try formatting the card in the camera.

Another thing that can cause the D80 to show a SD card failure is if the write protection switch is enabled. It is a small switch on the side of the card and should be in the position closest to the contacts.

Image Capacity

Nikon SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality settings on the Nikon D80 will control the number of image files you can store at once. Higher image quality settings will produce larger image sizes.

If you are planning to shoot hundreds of RAW files, it can be smart to get a larger capacity card.

If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be much better off buying another battery instead of a larger card. 32GB should be more than enough capacity to store several days worth of pictures.

In fact, the controlling part to how many photos you can take will be your camera batteries. Remember that, any time the camera is on, even if you are just navigating through menu settings or using the live view, that will still lower the battery life.

In low light situations, like at night or indoors, the built-in flash can be handy. Shutter speeds won't be fast enough without using the flash to eliminate motion blur. Using the flash will rapidly drain the camera batteries. These situations are when you need to have at the very least two Nikon EN-EL3e rechargeable batteries for the camera.

The following is an approximation of the number of high-quality JPEG images you can save on an SD memory card for the given capacity:

  • 4GB - 1,160 images
  • 8GB - 2,320 images
  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

The speed rating of an SD card is determined by the sequential read and write speeds. Memory card write speed is important for continuous shooting and video.

A slow card can cause a decrease in the number of continuous frames the Nikon D80 can capture. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write to the card fast enough.

With video, a slow card can cause an abrupt end to shooting. The video file may also be corrupted. If you intend to shoot video, it is crucial the card you use meets the required continuous write speed for video.

Read speed is important for file transfers to a computer. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a card with a fast read speed will save you time.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of a card is determined by the sustained write speed. SD cards that have a minimum write speed of at least 10MB/s will be labeled Class 10.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every name-brand card that you can purchase will be rated Class 10. To find the class rating of an SD card, find a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus can be found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. UHS allows for faster data transfer rates.

There are 3 different specifications. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To figure out the rating of a card, look at the memory card label. If there is a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label, that is the UHS rating of your card.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

Related Posts

Now you know all the specs to look for in both an SD memory card. The 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best SD memory card for the Nikon D80.

Here are some cameras with similar memory card requirements:

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