Nikon D3200 Memory Cards Compatibility & Recommendations

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

The Nikon D3200 has a single card slot that uses SD memory cards. The D3200 can take advantage of UHS-I, which allows for much faster read and write speeds. That's great for when you need to transfer lots of photos or video.

The largest memory card the Nikon D3200 can use is 1TB. Larger capacity cards will be SDUC cards, which are not supported.

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

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC Memory Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 1TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, 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 Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC Memory Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 1TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.
Lexar Professional 1066X 128GB SD UHS-I Memory Card

Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card

  • Lexar Professional Silver Card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 160 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Includes Lexar Recovery Tool Software.
  • Designed for durability in harsh conditions.
PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128GB Memory Card

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SDXC Card

  • Lower priced card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof.

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.

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 use four different memory card formats. These cover everything camera manufacturers implement 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 D3200 can achieve in USB transfer mode.

There are plenty of positive customer reviews for the UGREEN reader, which I agree with. I think it is a good product because it has been recognized by all the computers I have plugged it into.

The cable keeps memory card slots from being blocked by other accessories or devices that are plugged in.

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

The UGREEN card reader is compatible with the card formats below:

  • 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

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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