Pentax SD Memory Card Compatibility For All DSLR Cameras

Pentax DSLRs use SD memory cards. There are 4 different versions, which are backwards compatible.

Some cameras are limited to using a SDHC card with a maximum capacity of 32GB.

Other models can use those and additionally SDXC cards, which have a maximum capacity of 2TB.

In terms of continuous transfer rates, getting a card with UHS-I will meet the needs of the camera.

Outside the Shot is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

As an eBay Partner, I may be compensated if you make a purchase. I also participate in affiliate advertising programs with KEH and Adorama. More can be found on the Affiliate Discolsure page.

I have purchased gear from all of these companies and I expect them all to receive repeat business from me.

The maximum capacity of memory cards that these cameras can use is 32GB.

Errors will occur if a 64GB or larger card is used. Images or video could be corrupted.

*ist DS K100D Super
*ist DS2 K110D
*ist DL K20D
*ist DL2 K200D
K10D K2000/K-m
K100D 645D

Affiliate Links:

32GB SanDisk Ultra Amazon Adorama
32GB Transcend Amazon Adorama
32GB PNY Elite Amazon
32GB Lexar 800x Amazon

The maximum capacity of memory cards that these cameras can use is 2TB.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is a transfer protocol developed for faster speeds. It’s a feature you want because it means the card will be compatible with more devices. Almost all cards have it.

Q K-500
Q10 K-S2
Q-S1 K-70
K-01 KP
K-x K-5
K-S1 K-5 II
K-r K-5 IIs
K-30 K-3
K-50 645Z

The K-3 and 645Z have dual card slots.

These cameras get the speed advantage of UHS-I cards:

  • K-3 II
  • K-1
  • K-1 II

Affiliate Links:

64GB SanDisk Ultra Amazon Adorama
64GB Transcend Amazon Adorama
128GB PNY Elite-X Amazon
128GB Lexar Professional Amazon Adorama

UHS-II is faster, but come with additional cost.

  • K-3 III

Affiliate Links:

Lexar Professional 1667x 128GB Amazon eBay
SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Amazon eBay

The latest firmware will have the best card compatibility.

Cards are backwards compatible. A camera that can use an SDXC card can also use SDHC and SD.

A camera that is compatible with SDHC cards can not use an SDXC card. The camera have an error message, will not be able to format the card, or image will be corrupted.

There are four versions of Secure Digital (SD) memory cards. They can be identified by storage capacity.

  • 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 below is a fast approximation of the total number of max-quality JPEGs photographs you can be expecting to store on a SD memory card:

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

Speed ratings of an SD card is classified by the sequential read and write speeds. SD card speed is critical for video as well as continuous shooting.

A slow memory card can cut down the number of continuous photos a camera can take. This is due to the camera’s buffer not being able to write to the card quickly enough.

With video, a slow SD card can cause recording to stop. The video file could also end up being corrupted. If you are going to capture video, it is critical the memory card you use meets the requirements of the camera.

Read speed is important for file transfers to a computer. If you have cards that are full, a memory card with a fast read speed will cut down on the time it takes the transfer to finish.

SD Card Speed Class
SD Card Speed Class

The sustained write speed of an SD card is represented by the Class rating. Cards that have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s are labeled as 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 SD card that you can purchase will receive a Class 10 rating. To determine the class rating of a memory card, look for a number inside of the C on the front label.

Example of UHS Rating
Example of UHS Rating

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is often found in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. The UHS bus memory cards to achieve faster write speeds.

There are 3 separate specs. They are called UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

Look at the front of the SD card to figure out the rating of a card. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be seen on the front of the memory card.

  • 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

The Pentax *ist D was released in 2003 and uses CompactFlash memory cards. It is limited to using CF cards with a maximum capacity of 2GB.

2GB Transcend Amazon Adorama
SD to CF Adapter Amazon eBay