Best Nikon D800 SD Memory Cards

The Nikon D800 can use 2 different kinds of memory cards.

Using both memory card slots can provide some advantages, but the D800 will function with just one memory card.

SD cards are cheaper than CompactFlash cards.

The Nikon D800 is able to use SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards.

Burst shooting and video need SD memory cards with high write speeds.

If you’re in a rush, here’s the best card you can buy for the Nikon D800:

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SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.

No, you can use the camera with a single card. When you use two CF cards you will have more options.

  • Mirror the Cards. Both memory cards will have the same files written to them.
  • Overflow. Once the first card is full, files will be written to the second card.
  • RAW+JPEG. Raw files will be written to one card and JPEGs of the same images will be written to the second card.

No, the CF memory cards do not need to be the same. You can use Compact Flash cards that have different sizes.

Having the two Compact Flash memory cards be the same helps to prevent compatibility issues. For instance, a slow CF card can bottleneck the camera’s memory buffer.

SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.
PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Good for burst shooting photos and recording 4K video.
  • Larger capacity cards are available.
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof.
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • Comparatively expensive for faster read speeds.
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Only makes sense for professional use or if you need the largest storage capacity available.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.
SanDisk Extreme Pro CF 128GB
SanDisk Extreme Pro CF 128GB
  • Records and captures cinema quality 4K and Full HD video.
  • Transfer speed of up to 160MB/s (1067X) read speeds.
  • Industry leading shot speed performance of up to 150MB/s (1000X) write speeds.
  • Designed for professional photographers and videographers

See current price and more information on:

Amazon KEH

SanDisk Extreme 64GB CompactFlash Card
SanDisk Extreme 64GB CompactFlash Card
  • Write speeds of up to 85 MB/s for faster shot-to-shot performance.
  • Transfer speeds of up to 120 MB/s for increased efficiency.
  • Video Performance (VPG-20) for Full HD video recording.
  • RTV silicone coating protects card from shock and vibration.

See current price and more information on:

Amazon KEH

Lexar Professional CF Card 64GB
Lexar Professional CF Card 64GB
  • High speed performance—leverages UDMA 7 technology to deliver a read speed up to 1066x (160MB/s).
  • Supports the VPG-65 specification for professional-quality video.
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080p Full-HD, 3D, and 4K video.
  • High-speed file transfer to dramatically accelerate workflow.

See current price and more information on:

Amazon KEH

SD cards are now drastically cheaper than at the time the camera was newly unveiled.

Since the cost are cheap, it will not make sense to purchase anything but a professional-level card.

SanDisk Extreme Pro, Lexar Professional, and PNY Elite Performance cards have great performance and build quality. I have not encountered corrupted data or a card physically fail with those SD cards.

All of the hassles I have had has been with cheap unbranded SD cards. Seeking to save a buck isn’t worth it if your D800 is going to have issues.

If you want to spend less, opt for a lower storage capacity card from a quality supplier. By doing this, you will not have to be worried about the photos stored on the SD memory card.

The cards that can be used with in the Nikon D800 are SDXC, SDHC, and SD. Ensure that you have the current firmware installed on your camera for the best compatibility.

The newest cards, SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity), aren’t going to be usable in the D800.

You should know of the 4 different types of Secure Digital (SD) cards that can be bought. You can tell the difference between them depending on their storage capacity.

  • SD (Secure Digital) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) - 4TB to 128TB.
SD Card Contacts
SD Card Contacts

Listed here is a quick approximation of the total number of max-quality JPEGs photographs you can expect to be stored on a memory card:

  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images

The speed rating of an SD memory card is based on the continuous write and read transfer speeds. The continuous write speed of a memory card is important for continuous shooting in addition to video.

Slows cards can cause a decrease in the number of continuous photos the Nikon D800 can take. This is because the camera’s buffer will not be able to write to the SD card quickly enough.

When shooting video, a slow card can cause a sudden end to shooting. The video file could also end up being corrupted. If you are going to shoot video, it is important the memory card you use meets the required minimum write speed for video.

Card read speed is nice to have for file transfers to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a SD card with a fast read speed will reduce the transfer time.

SD Card Speed Class
SD Card Speed Class

The continuous write speed of a memory card is the factor that determines the Class rating. Memory cards that have a minimum write speed of at least 10MB/s are labeled as 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 brand-name memory card that you can purchase will be rated Class 10. You can check the class rating of a SD memory card by looking for a number inside of a C on the label.

Example of UHS Rating
Example of UHS Rating

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus comes in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC memory cards. UHS cards to have faster transfer rates.

Three different versions have been created. The three are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can figure out the rating of a SD card by checking the front of the card. The presence of a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the front of the SD memory card, that is going to be the UHS rating of the 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

Taking the facts into consideration, the 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best memory card for the Nikon D800. You are now ready for any future camera you own.

Here are a few more pages on digital cameras similar to the D800: