Nikon D3400 Memory Card Compatibility & Recommendations

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: July 26, 2019
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Nikon D3400 Memory Cards

The Nikon D3400 uses SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. For the best performance of your camera, make sure to get a card with UHS-I.

If you are in a hurry and just want the best memory card, my recommendation is:

SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.
  • UHS-I.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.

I wouldn't recommend going smaller than 32GB if you plan to shoot video or RAW files.

Larger SD cards are also fine. If the cost to double the card capacity is more than twice the price, you can buy two cards.

For other information on the camera, check the Nikon D3400 Resources page.

Best Memory Cards

To prevent data corruption or card failures, go with a high-quality manufacturer.

My favorite brands for memory cards are SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY.

I have owned many SanDisk cards and never had a failure with one. The Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance cards I own have also been problem-free.

The only times I have had problems with an SD card, was when it was a generic card.

Trying to save maybe a dollar by going with a cheaper card increases your risk of card failure.

If you want to save money, buy a high-quality card with a smaller capacity.

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 128 GB 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 SD Card

  • Professional Class. Card
  • Read speeds up to 95MB/s.
  • Excellent reliability.

Nikon D3400 SD Card Compatibility

SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards can be used by the Nikon D3400. To get the best performance from the camera, use a card that has UHS-I.

The most recent SDUC cards cannot be used in the D3400.

There are four different specifications of Secure Digital (SD) cards. New card specs add features that provide for increased storage capacity and improved transfer rates.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.

Memory Card Requirements for Video

Class 6 or faster cards are required for video. Slower cards will not have fast enough write speeds.

When the camera attempts to save video files to the card, if it is not fast enough, the recording will suddenly stop.

You'll have a hard time finding a card that is not a class 10 card.

What you want is a UHS-I card. That way write speed will never be an issue for when you shoot video.

Image Capacity

Nikon SD Memory Card Contacts

Below is an estimation of the number of large JPEG images that can be stored based on card capacity:

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

Avoiding Memory Card Errors

Memory card errors are rare. That doesn't make it any worse when they occur. These tips will help you to avoid errors with your SD cards.

Format the SD Card in the Camera

Format memory cards in the D3400. Don't rely on a computer to format the card.

Doing this will make sure the SD card is formatted how the camera wants. This will ensure you get the best performance possible.

Don't Use a Wet Memory Card

If an SD card gets wet for whatever reason, don't use it until it is completely dry. You also want to make sure that the inside of the card is dry.

The easy way to get rid of moisture is to stick the SD card into a plastic bag with dried rice. The rice will pull all the moisture out of the card.

Also, make sure that there are no deposits left on the contacts. If any of the contacts are bridged, you could short out the card, ruining it.

You can clean the contacts off with lens cleaner, electronics cleaner, or rubbing alcohol. Use a lens cloth or cotton swab to do the cleaning.

Replace Damaged SD Cards

SD cards have a plastic shell around the electronics. If that shell gets damaged, replace the card.

In addition to offering protection to the electronics, the shell also helps to correctly align the card into the camera memory card slot.

A misaligned card can result in read or write errors.

Turn the Nikon D3400 Off Before Removing a Card

If data is being written to the card when it is removed, files or the entire card can become corrupted.

This problem can be completely avoided by turning the D3400 off and waiting for the green write LED to stop flashing. Once that is done, you can safely remove the memory card.

SD Card Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

SD Card Speed

The speed rating of an SD memory card is based on the sequential write and read speeds. Memory card write speed is essential for continuous shooting as well as video.

A slow SD card can cause a drop in the number of continuous images the Nikon D3400 can take. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write data to the SD card quickly enough.

When shooting video, a slow SD card can cause an unexpected end to the recording. The video file might also end up being corrupted. If you are going to record video, it is crucial the SD card you use meets the required minimum continuous write speed for video.

Card read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, an SD card with a fast read speed will reduce the transfer time.

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.

The Class rating of a memory card is related to the sustained write speed. Memory cards that have a minimum write speed of at least 10MB/s will be labeled 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 name brand memory card that you can get online will be rated Class 10. To determine the class rating of a memory card, try to find a number inside of 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 can be found in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. The UHS bus memory cards to have increased write speeds.

Three separate versions exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can find the rating of a card by checking the label. If the memory card has UHS a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the label.

  • 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

Related Cameras

Now you know all the specs to look for in both an SD memory card. The 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best SD memory card for the Nikon D3400.

Here are some cameras similar memory card requirements:

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