Best Nikon D5100 SD Memory Card

´╗┐The Nikon D5100 can use SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. A card with fast write speeds is critical for video and continuous shooting.

The card you select has a important impact on the performance of your camera.

Just want a SD memory card that the camera can use? Here is my recommendation on the memory card to use with your Nikon D5100:

SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.

Since the release of Nikon D5100, the cost of memory cards has come way down.

Seeing as how inexpensive costs are, it is not going to be wise to spend money on anything besides a professional-level memory card.

SanDisk Extreme Pro, Lexar Professional, and PNY Elite Performance cards have all worked well for me. I have never experienced a card break or unusable data with any of those SD cards.

All the issues I have encountered has been because of low-cost unbranded cards. Seeking to save around a buck is not worth it if your D5100 does not function properly.

If you want to save some money, buy a lower storage capacity SD card from a quality company. By making that choice, you will not have to be worried about the photographs stored on the memory card.

SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
SanDisk Ultra 64GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U1, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 10MB/s write speeds.
  • Excellent choice for photos.
  • Capable of recording Full HD (1920x1080) Video.
  • Inexpensive with more than good enough performance.
  • Larger capacities are available for a reasonable price.

PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
PNY Elite-X 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Good for burst shooting photos and recording 4K video.
  • Larger capacity cards are available.
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet Proof, Shock Proof, Temperature Proof, Waterproof.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB SD Card
Check prices on: Amazon
  • Comparatively expensive for faster read speeds.
  • UHS-I, U3, V30, and Class 10 Speed Rating. Can sustain 30MB/s write speeds.
  • Only makes sense for professional use or if you need the largest storage capacity available.
  • Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof.

The only memory cards that are compatible in the Nikon D5100 are SD, SDHC, and SDXC. Check to be sure that you have the most up-to-date firmware installed on your camera for the best performance.

The newest SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) memory cards, aren’t going to be compatible with the D5100.

There are four different versions of Secure Digital (SD) cards that you need to be familiar with. You can tell the difference between them depending on their size.

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

Listed here is an estimation of how many maximum-quality JPEGs shots you can expect to store on a card:

  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images

Speed ratings of an SD card is determined by the continuous read and write transfer speeds of the card. The continuous write speed of a card is important for continuous shooting and video.

Slows cards can cause a drop in the number of continuous images the Nikon D5100 can capture. This is because the buffer in the camera is not able to write data to the memory card quickly enough.

When shooting video, a slow memory card can cause recording to end. The video file might also end up being corrupted. If you are going to record video, it is critical the card you use meets the requirements of the D5100.

Read speed is nice to have for file transfers to a computer. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a memory card with a fast transfer speed will save you time.

SD Card Speed Class
SD Card Speed Class

An SD memory card receives a Class rating derived from its sustained write speed. SD cards that have a write speed of at least 10MB/s will be rated 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 buy today will receive a Class 10 rating. To determine the class rating of a memory card, search for a number inside of the C on the sticker.

Example of UHS Rating
Example of UHS Rating

The Ultra High Speed bus (UHS) is available in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. The UHS bus makes it possible offers a way to improve data transfer rates.

Three separate specs have been created. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can find out the UHS rating of a card by looking at the label. If the SD card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be seen on the memory card 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

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