Best Nikon D3000 Memory Card

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: July 26, 2019
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Nikon D3000 Memory Cards

The Nikon D3000 is compatible with SD memory cards and has a single memory card slot. SD cards with a max storage capacity of 32GB will work in the D3000.

Trying to use an SD card that is 64GB or larger will cause the Nikon D3000 to display an error code. You will be required to purchase more memory cards if you have a need for additional storage space. The main specs to care about should be the read and write speeds the memory card is capable of.

If your Nikon D3000 is going to be getting used regularly. A feature that is ideal to have is UHS-I as it allows for faster transfer speeds with a compatible SD memory card reader.

To make sure the memory card can be used with as many devices in the future as possible, get a professional level SD card. This will help prevent a future situation where you can not use a feature on a camera, such as shooting 4k video, due to the SD card being slow.

Do you own a suitable focal length lens for the types of photography you are going to do? Check out the best lenses for the Nikon D3000.

Here's my recommendation for the best SD memory card for the Nikon D3000:

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 D3000, SD card prices have fallen and capacities have become larger. The price difference between the the card that is the fastest and a mediocre option is astonishingly small. The cost is related to storage, with the largest memory cards being higher priced.

Investing in the highest capacity cards is a good idea if you're going to capture a large quantity of RAW files for action, events, wildlife, or sports photography. Another consideration could be if you intend to upgrade your camera or use the memory card in other devices.

I believe that the SanDisk Extreme Pro line of memory cards are usually the best choice for most situations. They are extremely fast cards which means they have the best chance of working in future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

I have had good experiences with PNY Elite Performance And Lexar Professional cards. I have not had data or files become corrupted or unrecoverable on these cards. If that scenario did happen, all of them have image recovery software available.

Problems I have encountered have been with generic SD cards. Having a low price or being a bundled item are the selling points of these cards. Unfortunately, this is also the most popular type of card to be misrepresented.

It's very easy to put a Class 10 label on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is destined to be an error or corrupted images if the card's write speed isn't fast enough.

Storage capacity controls a big portion of the price. You will be better off by buying a card with a smaller storage capacity to reduce cost as opposed to choosing a generic brand. Read and write speeds are important as they will influence your experience with the Nikon D3000.

Recommended SD Memory Cards

Down below are SD memory cards that will function correctly in the Nikon D3000. With all of the cards below, you won't have to stress out over sluggish performance or SD card failure.

While the memory card slot in the Nikon D3000 is not compatible with UHS-I cards, it still makes sense to buy one. It will prevent issues if you use the card in another device, such as a future camera upgrade. A faster card is also nice if you use an external card reader.

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 SD card when used in the Nikon D3000. The most important difference is that the Lexar card has a slower write speed.

There can be a big difference in price between the Lexar and SanDisk SD cards. I would not spend more for the Lexar, but also would not have a problem choosing 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 lower tier than the Extreme Pro when it comes to specs. That also comes with a small decrease in price.

You will not start seeing a difference in performance unless you need to write data that will take up a significant percentage of the memory card's capacity. This isn't the most desirable choice if you plan to use the memory card to record 4k video at some point.

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.

Nikon D3000 SD Card Compatibility

The D3000 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 D3000, 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 D3000 cannot use these cards as they are 64GB or larger.

Nikon D3000 Memory Card Full Error

Using a memory card that is larger than 32GB in the D3000 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.

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 can read four memory card formats. These cover everything camera manufacturers use in all but their newest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN reader has a USB 3.0 connection. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Nikon D3000 can achieve in USB transfer mode.

There are many positive customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I think it's a good product because it has been recognized by all the computers I have tried it with.

The cable prevents memory card slots from being blocked by other accessories or devices that are plugged into another USB or adjacent port.

When I searched for a smaller card reader that would be better for travel, I had to return a couple of orders. I came across the most common problem in customer reviews, the readers did not work with my computer.

The ugreen reader supports the following cards:

  • 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

Image Capacity

Image quality options on the Nikon D3000 will influence the number of pictures that can be stored at once. Higher image quality options will result in bigger image sizes.

If you're intending to shoot a bunch of RAW files, getting a larger capacity card can be smart.

If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be better off investing in another camera battery in place of a larger SD card. A memory card that has 32GB of capacity would have plenty of room for days of images that would require batteries to be recharged multiple times.

The controlling factor to how many pictures you can take will be your camera batteries. Understand that, any time the camera is turned on, even if you're just going through menu options or using the live view, that will still lower the battery life.

For low light environments, like indoors or at night, the flash built-in to the camera can be helpful. Without using the flash, shutter speeds will not be fast enough to eliminate motion blur. Using the flash will fairly quickly deplete the camera batteries. These conditions are when it's good to have at least two Nikon EN-EL9 rechargeable batteries for the camera.

The following is an estimation of the number of high-quality JPEG images you should be able to save on a memory card for the given storage capacity:

  • 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

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