Best Nikon D3300 Memory Card Compatibility & Recommendations

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: July 26, 2019
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Nikon D3300 Memory Cards

The Nikon D3300 has one card slot which takes SD memory cards. The D3300 supports UHS-I, which means much faster read and write speeds. That's ideal for when you need to transfer tons of photos or video.

The largest capacity SD memory card the Nikon D3300 can use is 2TB. Large storage capacities can be helpful if you use the D3300 for burst photography or recording HD videos.

If you're in a hurry my here's my recommended cards for the Nikon D3300:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best performance.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • 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 D3300 Resources page.

Best SD Cards

High quality brands of memory cards for the Nikon D3300 include SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY. Out of all of them, the SanDisk Extreme Pro cards have the best reputation. That's because many companies have exited the market or sold their production facilities leaving SanDisk as the most reliable memory card manufacturer.

I have never had a SanDisk card fail or become corrupted. Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance cards have also worked well for me. Regardless, all of the brands have imaging rescue software available for download.

You want to make sure that the SD card you using has the continuous write speed to keep up with the sequential burst mode photography the Nikon D3300 is capable of. Along with burst mode photography, high write speed is needed for recording full HD video.

The few times I have run into problems with an SD card, was when they were from cheap or generic brands. 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 save money, the best memory card 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 SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • 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 SD 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.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128GB Memory Card

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SD Card

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

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

Nikon D3300 SD Card Compatibility

The Nikon D3300 uses SD memory cards. Secure Digital cards come in 4 different formats, with each newer format supporting a large maximum capacity and faster transfer speed. Compatible devices will be able to use newer cards, but those memory cards may face limitations to transfer speed and supported file systems.

  • SD Cards - Capacity up to 2GB.
  • SDHC Cards - Capacity from 4GB to 32GB.
  • SDXC Cards - Capacity from 64GB to 2TB.
  • SDUC Cards - Capacity from 2TB to 128TB.

Information was taken from the SD Association page on capacity.

Memory Card Requirements for Video

A class 6 or faster card is needed to record video. Using a SD cards that do not meet the minimum write speed requirements will cause problems, such as the recording suddenly stopping. Most cards that have been produced in the last several years will be class 10 cards.

Fast read speed, which is found on most SDXC memory cards, will save time on transferring high quality images or HD videos. Sustained read speeds are more important than the usually advertised peak read speed.

Anything but the lowest quality cards with a V30 and U3 rating will achieve a read speed well beyond that. Writing speed and minimum write speed will surpass the requirements, but low-end cards are slower.

Another consideration that needs to be taken into account is the storage capacity size of the SD card you are using. Video recording can quickly take up more storage capacity than shooting images as RAW files.

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 supports four types of memory cards. These include everything camera manufacturers use in all but their newest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN reader has a USB 3.0 connection. Transfer speeds over USB 3.0 will have faster transfer rates than what the Nikon D3300 can achieve in USB transfer mode.

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

The cable stops card slots from interfering with other devices or accessories that are plugged into another USB or adjacent port.

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

The card reader supports the card formats below which have been and are still used on many DSLR cameras:

  • CompactFlash Cards
  • SD, SDHC, & SDXC Card (UHS-I interface supported)
  • Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
  • MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards

Image Capacity

Nikon SD Memory Card Contacts

Below is an approximate estimation of how many large JPEG images you can expect to store on each size of SD card. Shooting video with the Nikon D3300 will eat up storage space faster than if you were to just capture high quality images.

  • 16GB - 1,200 images
  • 32GB - 2,400 images
  • 64GB - 4,800 images
  • 128GB - 9,600 images
  • 256GB - 19,200 images
  • 512GB - 38,400 images

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

SD Card Speed

SD speed class ratings are determined by sequential read and 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.

Speed 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.

An SD Speed Class rating 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 transfer speed of 10MB/s.

Almost all compatible cards for Nikon D3300 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 high write speed. 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

Such speeds are theoretical. Even the best memory cards will have some loss in performance from the card reader and data transfer.

2 comments on “Best Nikon D3300 Memory Card Compatibility & Recommendations”

  1. Hello,

    Will a SanDisk Ultra SDXC UHS-I 256GB work with the Nikon D3300?

    Thanks for putting together this information, it was useful!
    Regards

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