Nikon D3400 Memory Card Compatibility & Recommendations

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

This page will explain which are the best SD memory cards to use with the Nikon D3400. Card compatibility and technical specs are covered.

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.
  • 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 633X 64GB Card

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

Nikon D3400 SD Card Compatibility

The D3400 uses SD memory cards. Secure Digital (SD) cards come in 3 different standards.

Each newer standard supports higher card storage capacities. The cards all have the same physical dimensions and are forward and backward compatible.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - Cards up to 2GB.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - Cards up to 32GB.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB and larger cards.

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.

Card Image Capacity

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

SD card speed is rated by sequential read and/or write speed. Sequential performance is important 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.

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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