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Best Nikon D3100 SD Memory Card

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Nikon D3100 SD Memory Card Compatibility

´╗┐The Nikon D3100 may use SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. For burst shooting and video, it is important the memory card you use can write data fast enough.

You can mess up the performance of your camera by using the wrong memory card.

Want to skip the technical details? This is my recommendation on the memory card for use in your Nikon D3100:

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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.

Best SD Cards

SD cards have greatly reduced in cost the time since the launch of the Nikon D3100.

Since prices are quite low, it is not going to make sense to purchase anything besides a professional-level SD memory card.

SanDisk Extreme Pro, Lexar Professional, and PNY Elite Performance cards have superb speed and dependability. I have not suffered from a card physically fail or unusable data with any of those SD memory cards.

All the problems I have encountered has been because of generic unbranded memory cards. Hoping to save a little bit of money isn’t worth it if your D3100 will not work properly.

A sensible way to spend less money is to pick a smaller capacity card from a quality manufacturer. By making that choice, you’ll not have to be anxious about the photos stored on the SD card.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Nikon D3100 SD Card Compatibility

You can only use SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards with the Nikon D3100. Check to be sure you have the current firmware installed on your camera for the best overall performance.

The newest SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) memory cards, will not be usable in the D3100.

There are four different versions of Secure Digital (SD) cards that you should know. They are separated by storage capactiy.

  • 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.

Image Capacity

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SD Card Contacts

Listed here is a quick estimation of how many max-quality JPEGs photographs you should be expecting to be saved on a SD memory card:

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

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

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

Slows SD cards can decrease the number of continuous photos the Nikon D3100 can capture. This is because the buffer in the camera is not able to write data to the card quickly enough.

With video, a slow SD card can cause an unexpected end to shooting. The video file may also end up being corrupted. If you intend to capture video, it is important the card you use meets the minimum requirements of the D3100.

Read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a memory card with a fast read speed will save you time.

Speed Class Rating

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SD Card Speed Class

The continuous write speed of an SD memory card is the factor that determines the Class rating. SD cards that have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s are rated 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 of SD memory card that you can find for sale today will be rated Class 10. To locate the class rating of a memory card, look for a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

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Example of UHS Rating

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

There are three different versions. They are called UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

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

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