Nikon D3200 Memory Cards Compatibility & Recommendations

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: July 26, 2019
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Nikon D3200 Memory Cards

Your Nikon D3200 can't do much without a memory card. The camera uses SD cards, but which one should you use?

Everything you need to know to get the best SD card for your Nikon is covered below.

Here's my recommendation for the best Nikon D3200 SD Card:

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.

For other information on the camera check the Nikon D3200 Resources page.

Best SD Cards

High quality manufactures of memory cards for the Nikon D3200 include SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY. My go-to brand for memory cards is SanDisk.

I have never had a SanDisk card fail or become corrupted. I can also say the same about Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance memory cards.

The only times I have had an SD card corrupted, was when I was using a generic card. Trying to save a buck on a cheap card might result in losing all your photos on it in the future.

If you want to spend less on a card, the best choice will be a high-quality card, with a smaller capacity.

Recommended SD Cards

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.

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SDXC Card

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

Lexar Professional 667X 64GB Card

  • Professional Class. Card
  • Read speeds up to 100MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.

Nikon D3200 SD Card Compatibility

The D3200 uses SD memory cards. The SD Secure Digital (SD) card format comes in 3 different formats. Each newer format supporting higher storage capacities of flash memory.

They are all forward and backward compatible with each other.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - Up to 2GB memory cards will work.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - Up to 32GB memory cards will work.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB and larger memory cards.

Memory Card Requirements for Video

A class 6 or faster card is needed to record video. Using a slower memory card will cause problems, such as the recording suddenly stopping.

Slow memory cards can also be a problem for photography when doing high speed shooting.

Most memory cards that have been produced in the last several years will be class 10 cards.

Image Capacity

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

Using lower image quality settings will give you a larger memory card capacity in terms of number of images that can be stored. Shooting RAW images will result in a much smaller number of files that can be stored.

  • 8GB - 600 images
  • 16GB - 1,200 images
  • 32GB - 2,400 images
  • 64GB - 4,800 images
  • 128GB - 9,600 images

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

SD Card Speed

SD card speed is rated by sequential read and/or write speed. Sequential performance is important for when large amounts of data needs to be written or read from the card. Cards that are slow will have difficulty handling continuous shooting and recording video.

Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class on a SanDisk Card
10 inside of a C showing that the card is Class 10.

Speed Class ratings of 2, 4, 6, and mean a card is able to sustain a 2MB, 4MB, 6MB, or 8MB sustained write speed. Class 10 is for cards that have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s.

Almost all SD cards that have been made in the last few years will have a class 10 rating. You can tell what class a card is by looking at the number inside 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 is a feature that allows for faster data transfer. There are 3 different standards, UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III, that can be found on some SDHC and SDXC cards.

You can tell the UHS rating of a card by looking for a I, II, or III next to the SD logo. Or there will be a 1, 2, or 3 inside of a U, similar to how the class rating looks.

Maximum transfer rates for the standards are:

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

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