Best Nikon D90 Memory Cards

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

The Nikon D90 has an memory card slot that is compatible with SD cards. memory cards with a maximum size of 32GB are compatible with the D90.

Attempting to use an SD card that is 64GB or larger will cause the Nikon D90 to display an error code. For more storage capacity, you'll need to buy several SD cards. The read and write speeds of SD memory cards are the most important specifications to look at.

Faster transfer speeds will save you time if you are copying tons of photos, especially if your camera will get often used. A feature that is nice to have is UHS-I as it enables faster transfer speeds with a compatible card reader.

Getting a high quality card also will help to future proof the SD memory card for use in another device or camera. You don't want to end up with a camera upgrade requiring you to buy a new card that can write data fast enough for shooting 4k video.

Now is a good opportunity to make sure the lens or lenses you have are a good fit for the kinds of photography you are interested in. Here are the best lenses for the Nikon D90.

Here's my recommendation for the best memory card for the Nikon D90:

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 introduction of the Nikon D90, memory card prices have dropped and storage capacities have gotten larger. The price difference between the fastest card and a average option is surprisingly little. The cost is more closely related to storage, with the larger cards costing more money.

Purchasing the cards with the largest capacity makes sense if you are going to shoot a large quantity of RAW files for wildlife, sports, events, or action photography. Another contributing factor could be if you are planning to upgrade your camera or use the sd card in other devices.

In my opinion, the SanDisk Extreme Pro line of memory cards are frequently the best choice for most situations. They are fast cards which means they have the best shot of being compatible with future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance are other cards that I also have had positive experiences with. I have not had files or pictures become corrupted or lost on these brands. If that's a situation that did happen, all of the manufacturers provide image recovery software.

When I have encountered problems it has been with generic SD cards. Having a low price or being a bundled accessory are the main attractions of these cards. However, this is also the most popular type of SD card to be advertised incorrectly.

A sticker that claims Class 10 speed is effortless to put on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is going to be an error or unreadable photos if the card's write speed doesn't satisfy the camera's requirements.

One of the largest controls over cost you have is the card capacity. You'll be better off by going one step down in capacity to reduce cost instead of picking a relabeled brand. Read and write speeds are important factors that will influence your satisfaction with the Nikon D90.

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 is close in performance to the SanDisk Extreme Pro card when used with the Nikon D90. The only difference is that the Lexar card features a slower write speed.

Sometimes there can be a difference in cost between the Lexar and SanDisk SD memory cards. I wouldn't pay more for the Lexar, but also would not have a problem purchasing it to save money.

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. The benefit being that it costs less.

You won't start seeing a impact in time savings except if you need to write large amounts of data onto the card. It is not the ideal selection if you plan to use the card to record 4k video with another device.

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 common memory card formats. These cover everything camera manufacturers make use of in all but their latest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN memory card reader connects over USB 3.0. Transfer speeds over USB 3.0 will have faster transfer rates than what the Nikon D90 can achieve in USB transfer mode.

There are plenty of positive customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I would recommend it because the card reader has been recognized by all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have tried it with.

The cable prevents memory card slots from interfering with other accessories or devices that are plugged into a laptop or desktop.

When I looked for a card reader that would be used while traveling, I needed to return a couple of orders. I came across the most frequent problem mentioned in customer reviews, the card readers would not work with my computer.

The UGREEN card reader is compatible with the following memory 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 D90 SD Card Compatibility

The D90 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 SDXC cards are larger than an older camera, like the D90, 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 D90 cannot use these cards as they are 64GB or larger.

Nikon D90 Memory Card Full Error

Using a memory card that is larger than 32GB in the D90 will cause an error. The camera will show that the card is full.

To fix the problem, you need to use an 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.

Image Capacity

Nikon SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality settings on the Nikon D90 will control the number of pictures you can store at once. Higher image quality options will produce larger image sizes.

If you're looking to shoot hundreds of RAW files, getting a larger storage size card can be worth the money.

If you shoot JPEGs, you'd likely be better off getting another battery instead of a larger SD card. 32GB will be plenty of capacity to save multiple days worth of photos.

The limiting part to the number of pictures you can take will likely be your camera batteries. Keep in mind that, any time the Nikon D90 is powered on, even if you are just scrolling through menu settings or using the live view, that will still reduce the battery life.

In low light situations, like indoors or at night, the flash built-in to the camera can be useful. Without the flash, shutter speeds won't be fast enough to eliminate motion blur. Working with the built-in flash is going to fairly quickly deplete the camera batteries. These settings are when you need to own at the very least two Nikon EN-EL3e rechargeable batteries.

The following is an approximation of how many high-quality JPEG images you should be able to save on a memory card for the given storage size:

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

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings for SD cards are determined by sequential read and/or write speeds. The speed of the card is important when many images need to be written or read from the card.

Speed Class Rating

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

Sustained write speeds of 2MB, 4MB, 6MB, or 8MB per second means the card has a speed class of 2, 4, 6, or 8. Cards that have write speeds of 10MB/s or faster are rated as Class 10.

Every brand name SD card that you can find for sale today will have a Class 10 rating. You can double-check by looking for a number inside of a C on the label of the card.

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 allows for faster data transfer. Like the speed rating, there are different standards. Ratings of UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III, can be found on SDHC and SDXC cards.

To figure out the rating of a card, look at the label. If there is a Roman numeral I, II, or III, that is the UHS rating of your card. The Roman numerals should be close to the SD logo on the label.

Maximum transfer rates are:

  • UHS-I - 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - 624 MB/s

Now that you know why the SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB is the best Nikon D90 memory card, you'll be able to pick out the best SD card for any future camera.

Here are more pages on cameras related to the D60:

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