SD & CF Memory Card Compatibility for 188 Nikon Coolpix Cameras

There are 188 Nikon Coolpix cameras. 165 use SD memory cards. 20 can use Compact Flash (CF) cards with a maximum capacity of 2GB or smaller. 3 only have internal memory.

Older Nikon Coolpix cameras have hardware limitations that prevent them from working with newer, larger capacity memory cards. It’s like they can make a phone call, as long as it doesn’t require an area code. As a result, a camera might be limited to using up to 2GB or 32GB maximum capacity.

There are four specifications for SD (Secure Digital) memory cards. Each standard has different transfer speed requirements, and file system.

Type Max Capacity File System
SD – Secure Digital 2GB FAT12/FAT16
SDHC – High Capacity 32GB FAT32
SDXC – eXtended Capacity 2TB exFAT
SDUC – Ultra Capacity 128TB exFAT

The first SDUC card is planned to be released in 2025 by SanDisk. It will be the 4TB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDUC UHS-I memory card. (Western Digital Official Press Release)

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Transcend 2GB SD Card.
The only new 2GB SD card choice.

The maximum capacity SD card these cameras can use is 2GB. Using a card with a larger capacity will result in errors. The camera will not be able to capture photos.

2200 7900 L10 S3
3200 L1 L11 S4
3700 L2 L12 S5
4100 L3 P1 S6
4200 L4 P2 S7
4600 L5 P3 S7c
4800 L6 P4 S8
5200 L7 SQ S9
5600 L8 S1 S10
5900 L9 S2

Some Nikon Coolpix digital compact cameras are also compatible with MultiMediaCards (Wikipedia). This memory card standard was extended to Secure Digital (SD) cards, which is the cards can be used in the same slot.

If you have a MultiMediaCard (MMC), you can use it. It should work in most SD card readers, and will work in the “7-in-1” card readers. I would not recommend buying one as they are more expensive than SD cards.

The only reasonably priced 2GB SD card is from Transcend. Avoid buying used cards.

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Compatible 32GB SDHC Memory Cards
More than fast enough SDHC cards.

The maximum capacity memory card these cameras can use is 32GB. Trying to use a larger capacity card will result in errors.

L14 P50 S51c
L15 P60 S52
L16 P80 S52c
L18 P90 S60
L19 P100 S70
L20 P5000 S230
L21 P5100 S500
L22 P6000 S510
L23 S50 S700
L24 S50c S710
L100 S51 S1000pj

32GB capacity cards are often the same price or cheaper than 16GB capacity cards. Cards with UHS-I will have the fastest continuous transfer speed.

I tested SanDisk, Lexar, Transcend, and PNY cards. They are effectively the same. My recommendation is to buy the least expensive 32GB card that has UHS-I.

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32GB Transcend Amazon Adorama
32GB PNY Elite Amazon
32GB Lexar 800x Amazon

microSD cards can also be used with adapters. I don’t do this because microSD cards tend to have slower transfer speeds than full sized SD cards.

Nikon Coolpix SDXC Card Compatibility
Compatible SDXC Cards

SDXC are the most commonly used cards. 2TB is the maximum capacity memory cards these cameras can use.

Any card that has UHS-I will be fast enough. That includes 32GB SDHC cards.

A 64GB memory card will hold thousands of pictures. The only reason to get a card larger than 128GB is if lots of video will be recorded.

Coolpix A L25 P300 S30 S3700 S8000
A10 L26 P310 S31 S4100 S8200
A100 L27 P330 S32 S4150 S9100
A300 L28 P240 S33 S4200 S9200
A900 L29 P500 S100 S4300 S9300
A1000 L30 P510 S800c S5100 S9600
L330 L31 P520 S1100pj S5300 S9700
AW100 L32 P530 S1200pj S6100 S9900
AW100s L110 P600 S2500 S6150
AW120 L120 P610 S2600 S6200
AW130 L310 P900 S2700 S6300
W100 L610 P950 S2900 S6400
W150 L620 P1000 S3000 S6500
W300 L810 P7000 S3100 S6600
B500 L820 P7100 S3200 S6800
B600 L830 P7700 S3300 S6900
B700 L840 P7800 S3600 S7000
SanDisk Extreme PRO not Compatible
The only SD card not compatible with the adapter.

SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY have all been fine. I would also include Transcend. I don’t think you’ll notice a difference between any cards.

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64GB SanDisk Ultra Amazon Adorama
64GB Transcend Amazon Adorama
128GB PNY Elite-X Amazon
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SD to CF card adapter.
An SD to CF card adapter can save money.

CompactFlash cards were used in some of Nikon’s first digital point and shoot cameras. The maximum capacity compatible cards will be 2GB. This is due file system limitations.

600 995
700 2000
775 2100
800 2500
880 4300
885 5000
900 5400
900S 8400
950 8700
990 8800

Just like with SD cards, Transcend is the only option. Other similarly priced cards are trying to fool people into thinking they are SanDisk cards.

It can also be cheaper to use a SD to CF card adapter.

2GB Transcend Amazon Adorama
SD to CF Adapter Amazon eBay

These 3 cameras only have internal storage. No memory card can be used to expand the storage.

This means needing to track down a proprietary USB cable.

Model Released Interface Memory
100 1997 PCMCIA
300 1997 Serial & SCSI
S01 2012 USB - UC-E16 8GB

There are other models that have internal storage and can also use memory cards.

Collection of memory card readers for SD, miscroSD, and CF.
I don’t know how I ended up with so many.

A memory card reader is the fastest way to read data from a card. Images and video can also be transferred to a phone with a USB-C card reader.

Plugging a camera into a computer via USB will result in slow USB 2.0 transfer speeds. If you don’t have the USB cable, Nikon has a support page. It will help you find which of the 9 proprietary cables is needed.

  • UC-E21
  • UC-E16
  • UC-E12
  • UC-E10
  • UC-E6
  • UC-E5
  • UC-E3
  • UC-E2
  • UC-E1

MB/s is often used to represent the peak transfer rate of a memory card. Recording video requires knowing what the sustained write speed of a memory card is.

Marketing loves finding new ways to explain transfer rate requirements for video. Everything

The speed ratings of an SD card all revolve around the maximum continuous read and write speed a memory card is able to maintain. This is important to know to make sure the card can handle video recording.

If the card can not keep up with the video output of a camera, the recording will stop. This isn’t much of an issue as the cards currently being sold will be more than fast enough.

Using a card reader can allow for much faster transfers to a computer or phone. This can be a big time saver if the card is full of photos and videos.

SD Card Speed Class
SD Card Speed Class

The sustained write speed of an SD memory card is the criteria for the Class rating. Cards that have a write speed of 10MB/s will be rated Class 10.

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

Class 10 is the maximum rating. Newer cards can has sustained write speeds over 90MB/s.

There will be a number inside of a ‘C’ on the SD card label that signifies the card’s Class rating.

Example of UHS Rating
Example of UHS Rating

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

Three separate specifications have been made. The three are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

Look at the front of the SD card to figure out the UHS rating of a SD card. If the memory card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the label.

  • 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
SD Card Contacts
SD Card Contacts

Listed below is a quick estimation of the volume of high-quality JPEGs photos you should expect to save on a card:

  • 2GB - 580 images
  • 4GB - 1,160 images
  • 8GB - 2,320 images
  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images