Best Nikon D800 Memory Cards

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 8, 2019
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Best Nikon D800 Memory Cards

The Nikon D800 has two memory card slots, each with its own card format. One slot is able to use SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. The other card slot uses Type 1 Compact Flash memory cards.

To be able to get the best overall performance from the camera it is essential to use an SD card with UHS-I and a Compact Flash card that writes data fast enough.

You should be able to work with cards as high as 2TB in size. However, this has not been tested since there are no 2TB SD or Compact Flash cards currently being sold.

In a hurry? This is my recommendation for the best Nikon D800 memory cards:

nikon d800 memory card sandisk 64gb SD

SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.

Best CF & SD Cards

SanDisk is the largest option for both CF and SD cards. I have been pleased with all of the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD or CF memory cards I have purchased.

Quality cards offer the best value. While only a small amount more expensive than bargain Compact Flash and SD memory cards, they will be faster and built better.

The only issues I have experienced with a card was when the card was a no-name memory card. I have never had a card fail or have the data be corrupted when using a top tier memory card.

If you want to spend less, avoid purchase a discount card. A better choice is to buy a smaller capacity high-quality card.

nikon d800 SD memory card 64gb

SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.
best memory card nikon d800

PNY Elite Performance 128 GB SDXC Card

  • Class 10, UHS-I.
  • Read Speeds up to 95MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.
  • Magnet proof, shock proof, temperature proof, and waterproof.
nikon d800 memory card recommendation

Lexar Professional 667X 64GB SD Card

  • Professional Class. Card
  • Read speeds up to 95MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.
best cf card d800

SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB CompactFlash Memory Card

  • Up to 150MB/s write speed.
  • Extreme transfer read speed up to 160MB/s.
  • RTV silicone coating for shock and vibration protection.
  • Reliable from temperatures of 13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C)
D800 Compact Flash Memory Card

Lexar Professional 1066X CompactFlash Memory Card

  • UDMA read speed of up to 160MB/s.
  • Support video performance guarantee - 65.
nikon d800 card slots

SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB CompactFlash Memory Card

  • Write speed up to 150MB/s.
  • Video performance guarantee - 65.
  • RTV silicone coating for shock and vibration protection.
  • Reliable from temperatures of 13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C)

Nikon D800 SD Card Compatibility

SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards are compatible with the Nikon D800. Use a UHS-I memory card to get the best performance from the camera.

The latest SDUC cards Are not compatible with the D800.

There are four different types of Secure Digital (SD) cards. Newer memory specifications add tech that allows for greater storage space as well as increased read/write rates.

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

Nikon D800 CF Card Compatibility

CF cards up to 256GB were tested working in a D800. CF cards with a storage capacity of up to 2TB will likely work as that would equal the capacity of SDXC cards.

Image Capacity

Nikon SD Memory Card Contacts

Below is an approximate estimation of how many large JPEG images you can expect to store on each size of SD card.

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

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

SD Card Speed

The speed rating of an SD card is based on the sequential read and write speeds. SD memory card continuous write speed is very important for clearing the camera buffer for continuous shooting in addition to recording video.

Slows SD cards can reduce the number of continuous frames the Nikon D800 can capture. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write to the memory card quickly enough.

When shooting video, a slow SD card can cause the recording to end. The video file could also end up being corrupted. If you intend to capture video, it is crucial the card you use meets the required minimum continuous write speed for video.

Card read speed is important for transferring files to a computer or laptop. 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
10 inside of a C showing that the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of a card is based on the sustained write speed. Memory 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 brand name SD card that you can buy will be rated Class 10. To determine the class rating of a memory card, try to 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.
This card has a UHS-I rating. UHS-II and UHS-III cards will have II or III, respectively.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus can be found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. The UHS bus makes it possible for increased file transfer rates.

Three separate versions exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

Look at the label to figure out the rating of a card. 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

Do Both Nikon D800 Card Slots Need to Be Used?

No, the Nikon D800 can be used with one or two memory cards.

Buy using two cards, you will get access to more settings.

You'll have access to the following settings:

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

Related Cameras

Now you know all the specs to look for in both an SD and CF memory card. The 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best SD memory card for the Nikon D800. The 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best CF memory card for the Nikon D800.

Here are a few cameras with memory card requirements that are the same:

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