What is the Nikon D800’s fastest memory card? We use the D800 to test SD and CF cards to see which is the fastest. Memory cards have to work hard to keep up with the D800. Its 36-megapixel photos can be saved as RAW files that are up to 80MB each. Since the D800 can take 4 pictures per second, this means that it can store up to 320 MB/s of data.
Even the fastest CF cards on the market today can’t keep up. The newest CF cards that support UDMA 7 can transfer up to 160MB/s, but most have slower write speeds that can be kept up over time. SD cards can also only write as fast as 80–90MB/s under ideal conditions. In real life, the D800’s writing speed is also slow.
The buffer on the D800 is big enough to hold about 15 full-size, uncompressed, 14-bit RAW images. After that, the camera can only take pictures as fast as it can move information from the buffer to the memory card. Here, a fast CF or SD card will let you keep taking pictures, while a slower card will make you wait and make it possible for you to miss the shot.
Best Nikon D800 Memory Cards
1. SanDisk 128GB Extreme Compact Flash (CF) Memory Card – Up To 120MB/s
The 128 GB Extreme CompactFlash Memory Card from SanDisk lets you take photos and videos quickly and safely. This card has a maximum read speed of 120 MB/s and a maximum write speed of 85 MB/s. Ultra Direct Memory Access 7 (UDMA-7) makes sure that things work as well as they can. When used with a DSLR camera that supports UDMA, this card makes sure that photos and videos can be taken quickly and in high quality. A limited lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind.
2. SanDisk 128GB Extreme SD Card – U3, V30, Up To 150MB/s
With the 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC Memory Card from SanDisk, you can get maximum performance for a faster workflow and continuous burst shooting. You can also make perfect 8K, 4K, and Full HD videos, as well as raw photos and continuous shutter bursts.
This card has a storage capacity of 128GB and uses the UHS-II bus to support read speeds of up to 300 MB/s and write speeds of up to 260 MB/s. With the V90 Video Speed Class rating, the speed at which you can write will never drop below 90 MB/s.
3. SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro Compact Flash (CF) Memory Card – Up To 160MB/s
The SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card can read and write data at speeds of up to 160MB/s and 150MB/s, respectively. This Extreme Pro Compact Flash Card is VPG-65 certified, so it can handle both full HD and 4K video.
VPG-65 (video performance guarantee) has sustained data write speeds of 65MB/s, which makes sure that data flows smoothly and keeps video streams clear and sharp. This CompactFlash card works with both RAW and JPEG file formats and has an RTV silicone coating and a label that can be written on.
4. SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro SD Card – U3, V30, Up To 200MB/s
The 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card from SanDisk is made for SD devices that can take Full HD, 3D, and 4K video as well as raw and burst photos. It has a capacity of 64GB, is compatible with the UHS-I bus, and has a speed class rating of V30, which guarantees a minimum write speed of 30 MB/s.
If your device doesn’t support the V30 standard, this card also works with the U3 standard, which also guarantees at least 30 MB/s for writing. The maximum read speed is 170 MB/s, and the maximum write speed is 90 MB/s. A switch that prevents data from being erased by accident is built into the card.
5. Kingston 128GB Canvas Go Plus SD Card – U3, V30, Up To 170MB/s
The 128GB Canvas Go! SD card is made for people who are always on the go and use action cameras, drones, and Android devices. Kingston’s Plus UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card can hold up to 128GB of data and uses the UHS-I bus to support read speeds of up to 170 MB/s and write speeds of up to 90 MB/s.
The Canvas Go! Plus card works with the V30 speed class, which means it can write at least 30 MB/s. If your device doesn’t support the V30 speed class, this card also works with the U3 speed class, which also guarantees at least 30 MB/s when writing. If your device only supports the Class 10 standard, you can be sure that the minimum writing speed will never be less than 10 MB/s.
6. Kingston 128GB Canvas Select Plus SD Card – U3, V30, Up To 100MB/s
Kingston’s 128GB Canvas Select Plus UHS-I SDXC Memory Card is fast, durable, and able to handle a lot of work, like transferring and editing high-resolution photos or shooting and editing Full HD and 4K video.
This Canvas Select Plus card can hold up to 128GB of data and works with the UHS-I bus to give you speeds of up to 100 MB/s for reading and up to 85 MB/s for writing. Because it has a V30/U3 speed class rating, it will never drop below 30 MB/s when writing.