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Updated list of Nikon approved memory cards

Nikon Europe issued an updated list of approved SD and CF memory cards for Nikon cameras:

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  • Paul

    Non-approved cards can work great when they are sufficiently fast (think 400X to 600X). I stopped supporting SanDisk and Lexar long ago, saved a bundle, got some great cards from Kingston and Transcend, and never had a single problem.

    • http://verbeelden.com Freddy Hurkmans

      My first memory card for my D70 was a Kingston 4GB card, it didn’t work. Luckily I could swap it for a 2GB SanDisk card, which still works flawlessly.
      Never bought anything other than Sandisk cards for my Nikon cameras again (my Panasonic LX3 uses a different card as they were out of Sandisk that day).

      • http://jennlynnimages.com Paul

        Back in the D70 days, Freddy? My 2 GB Lexar pro (or whatever they called it way back then) which cost like $240.00 retail went south. Perhaps a lot has changed in terms of making stable cards, but that doesn’t bode well for the market leaders. The underdogs are always nipping at their heels for a fraction of the price.

        I sometimes hear pros complain about the occasional card read/write failure or worse, and when the facts come out they are often using the presumed top of the heap (SanDisk or Lexar). The fact is that all cards can and will fail eventually. I would rather get more bang for the buck and stop supporting insane markup based on name brand recognition.

        If you observe the test data over at Rob Galbraith’s site (although the speed numbers are long overdue for update) you’ll see see that brands like PNY, Transcend, Dane-Electric, A-Data, etc. are often in the top 10 fastest performing cards available. So long as your non-SanDisk/Lexar card is is UDMA 5 or higher, you’re going to get a decent card.

        • iamlucky13

          I agree, you will get a good card from PNY, Kingston, and probably Transcend, too. I don’t have a lot of familiarity with other brands, but while I spend the little bit extra on the Sandisk cards myself (I usually buy medium-sized cards, not the biggest available, so the price difference is usually less than $10), I have no hesitation about recommending them to others.

          The price is not just about brand recognition. Microchip quality control typically involves automated testing of samples from batches (or in high value parts every part) and and sorting into “bins” based on the test results. Bins of better chips sell for a higher price, paid by companies that are less willing to risk having hidden defects show up in the customer’s hands. In theory, Sandisk and Lexar are among those customers, although I can’t absolutely confirm that.

          The reason why you see pros with failed cards that turn out to be Sandisk or Lexar is because that is overwhelmingly what pros use, based mostly on their past reputation. If equal numbers used each brand of card, I suspect there’s a good chance based on what I said above that you’d see fewer failures with the more expensive cards.

          Either way, however, the defect rate in any of the brands is pretty low.

          • Lee

            SanDisk 45mb/s 64gb with D90
            Images: JPEG or RAW – no problem
            Video: Just cannot start the video filming
            Anyone else has experienced with this video problem?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenkirsh/ Stephen

        Im guessing D70 didn’t support anything over 2gb…

        • http://verbeelden.com Freddy Hurkmans

          Bad guess, my 4, 8 and 16GB Sandisk cards work without any problems in my good old D70.

    • Mim

      Has anyone at all ever ever cared about that list?

      • Manuel

        This list is really irrelevant and outdated. It mostly seems to summarize information as of the sales start of the respective cameras, no recent updates.

        I’m using a 16GB-Card (Transcend) with my D2X for many years without any problems. The D1X is capable of using 2GB cards as max.

  • dan

    Wow, rumours really are slow at the moment.

    • ShaoLynx

      Yeah. Hey, Peter [NR] Admin, lets invert the question: any updates on the list of Nikon cameras compatible with the CF card I allready own?
      A new D800, perhaps?
      Sorry for the whining, just had to ask… ;-).

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        no, nothing so far

  • MK

    any news on nikon ILC? is it possible that nikon would partner with another company (pentax or canon?) to bring the 2.5x format to market? where is the sensor coming from?

  • RMT

    No UHS approved cards for the D7000?

    • Jimmy

      Sandisk Extreme Pro… don’t think they are actually on the Nikon approved list yet, but they work great in my D7K. Go to “dpreviews.com”, and search…

  • Alex

    I switched to Transcend as I began using the higher gigabite cards (16GB SDHC) because of price point. Never had a problem with SanDisk… not having a problem with Transcend.

    • http://www.matthiasstief.com bude

      well, I once lost one half of my shots due to a failure of one my Transcend 2gb 120x cards – and I could not retry the assignment.. hope on double card storage in the D800 now!

    • mchoi

      instead of losing half the shots, I lost all my data from a trip to Italy on my 16GB Transcend card – and that’s the first time I used it. Never buying Transcend again

      • Mim

        take any brand and someone has lost data with it.
        Most likely you bought a fake off ebay, cuz after scamdisk transcend is the most counterfeited card there is.

        my genuine transcend has been used for 3yrs filled with 8GB+ each week and not a single error.

        otoh I’ve had an a-data when they 1st came out, failed after 6mth use.

        in any case, I can buy 4 transcend cards for each scamdisk and they use the same SLC chips and only lose by 2MB/s in tests.

        btw transcend consistently test faster than claimed speed, while scamdisk consistently test slower than claimed speed.

        • Markus

          I agree with you on that all brands have had data loss. But if you restrain from using childish names like “scamdisk” people will find you more trustworthy. Your obvious hatred towards Sandisk won’t transfere to readers just because you use stoop to that level. Instead air your dislike with Sandisk with facts.

    • http://www.chriswrightphotography.com Photographer Dundee

      Ditto on the data loss on Transcend cards :(

  • Rodrigo Ortiz

    It wouldn’t hurt if they updated their list, since there are a plethora of newer cards from the companies Nikon seems to trust that are not listed.

  • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

    If only my D7000 took CF cards so I could take advantage of the speeds~

    • http://gplimages.com GPLimages.com

      It can only shoot 6FPS… The SanDisk SDHC UHS-1 takes it like a champ. Perhaps you need a camera with a bigger buffer, not faster write speeds.

      • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

        In the end, both bigger would be better : )

        • http://gplimages.com GPLimages.com

          I smell a good reason for a firmware update :D

  • Severn Crossing

    So the D700 is downgraded to a consumer Camera

    • The invisible man

      The D700 is not a “pro” or “consumer” camera, it’s just a camera for photographers.
      Anyone not happy with his D700 should get a cellphone camera instead.
      :)

    • Nathan

      My thoughts too that it was in the consumer category. However, like what The Invisible Man said, it’s just a camera for photographers. That’s even more true now that video is being incorporated into everything Nikon makes.

  • D700guy

    God I’m bored…..

    • cirtap

      LOL…very good. What? Look..on the hill top..is that the new Nikon D800? Nikon D4? NOPE it is another DX camera…D7001xs

  • The invisible man

    I like CF cards because SD cards are too small and I find myself spending more time looking for my cards than shooting pictures.

    I’m very carefull and never had problems with my CF cards in the past (D200) but I heards people having problems with broken pins inside the camera.

    So, what about larger SD cards (x1.5 the actual SD cards size) ?

    • Bullsnot

      “I like CF cards because SD cards are too small and I find myself spending more time looking for my cards than shooting pictures.”

      That sounds like something Ken would say! :)

      • The invisible man

        Yes, I’m probably not the only one looking for theses fingernails cards !
        I’ll like a CF card with SD type contacts, not with pins.

  • Richard

    What a joke…a useless pile of junk, which, unfortunately is in keeping with the quality (not) of Nikon tech support.

    @RMT: I have been using the new Sandisk 16 GB 45 MB/s cards in my D7k. I think they are “snappier” than the earlier cards, though I have not made any formal tests of them. They do work though, if that was your concern.

    • RMT

      I’m very interested in real world advantage in fps with the UHS cards compared to 30MB/s class 10 cards. How many shots can you get before the buffer runs full?

      • http://gplimages.com GPLimages.com

        I can get 3 more shots before the buffer is full with the UHS-1 vs. 30mb/s class 10 (both SanDisk SDHC) @ 6FPS 14 bit lossless.

  • Alain2x

    Poor me !

    I’m only using 16 Go CF card in my D700.

    Nikon doesn’t even mention them ;)

  • dave

    Are you sure that’s an “updated” list? For the D90, d80, and D70s, it is identical to the list in the manual. I guess the “updated” the list by adding compatibility for the latest cameras, but NO new cards were added.

    • dave

      …NO NEW cards were added to the compatibility lists of the cameras previously in the list.

      • Tony

        They have had problem catching with the new tech for some time now, so product support is not really in their priority…..

        • Patrick

          I love how a company whose job it is to on being on the cutting edge of technology is “having problems catching up with the new technology.”

          • dave

            It does not bother me that they haven’t added cards to the list for older cameras. It bothers me that they *implied* they they added cards to the lists.

            What APPROVED means is: “We took some of the more popular cards available and tested them and they work.” Nikon even says that others may work just fine. They just can’t afford to test every single card out there.

            • andy

              Complete nonsense. Of course Nikon can afford to test every single card on the market. The reason they do not is due to agreements with manufacturers. Sandisk, Lexar, Panasonic, and sometimes Toshiba and that’s it. Think about it… each company has multiple cards of the same capacity and Nikon barely acknowledges this fact. The list is pure crap and has nothing to do with anything other than marketing agreements.

  • yrsued

    I only use Hoodman!! I guess I’m using NON Approved Cards!!

  • jeff b53

    I using a PNY professional 8 GB in my d5000{NON Approved Card}.Works great.

  • The invisible man

    I want the same cards as in the Airbus A330 jet’ black boxes, 2 years at -4000m on the ocean floor and still readable !
    (I’m always afraid to drop my D90 when I’m on a cruise, don’t want to loose my vacations pics !)
    :)

    • Richard Spencer

      Good question! Whose cards does AirFrance use?

  • http://www.louiedespres.com Louie Despres

    Using a SanDisk Extreme 32gb in my D700 and have NEVER had a problem.

  • http://dundermifflin.com dwight schrute

    The cards on the list are all big name brands. I use Kingston, Patriot, and Centon and they all work fine.

  • Rob

    Why does the D3 support newer cards than the D3s, and why does the D300 support newer cards than the D300s? I use Extreme Pro in the D300s, and it’s notably faster than any other card in my tests, as well as the online benchmarks I’ve read. Why would it not be supported for the D300s when it is for the D300?

    • dave

      I’ll take a guess and say that the D3, D3x and D300 all use the same I/O subsystem. Thus, when they tested cards with the D3x, they knew those cards would also work with the D3 and D300 and thus just lumped the D3, D3x and D300 together. The D3s and D300s use a different I/O subsystem that was tested prior to the D3x.

  • Peter Sch

    Nikon’s list of »approved memory cards« ist ridiculous and dispensable. (I don’t know how much they get payed for it). CF- and SC- Cards is a standardized interface, if Nikon’s products do not comply it’s a reason to send them back.
    I am using various Sandisk and Transcend CF Cards on my Nikon D300 without any problem.

    • dave

      Nikon includes the list of approved cards because unlike you and I, most people don’t understand that there is a standard or do not trust the standard. So Nikon publishes a list of approved cards for those who have too much money and too little desire or ability to think for themselves. Remember, the manuals aren’t written for the geniuses, they are written for the morons.

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    Sandisk CF only, they never failed me in 2 years

  • http://craigjohn.com craig john

    I’ve been using Transcend 16GB and 32GB 400x CF cards in a pair of D3 bodies, and they’ve been….(knocking on wood)…..rock solid for the better part of a year. I also have used 16GB 133x and 8GB 300x Transcend cards for more than a year with nary a problem.

    I keep thinking Nikon is getting kickbacks from SanDisk and Lexar, since these are about the only cards they seem to test/recommend.

  • FM-2 fan

    A recommendation: rather than putting all images of a trip on ONe card: have several mid-sized cards to reduce the impact, when a card is defect

    BTW – haven’t lost ANY image on CF since I started with my Coolpix – a long time ago.
    The real challenge is: managing the information. Technically keeping it is the simplest part

    Firmware should allow more to protect image contents and IPRs – the current SW seems to be too weak.

    WRT the list: useless in times, when new models hit the market almost weekly.

  • Patrick

    Just curious why a Nikon site is using such a crappy, blurry image…a bit ironic.

  • rs

    I have lost data on one card and it was Lexar. So I stopped paying high prices and now use Kingston and Ridata. Never had a problem with those. I save even more because I don’t get sucked in by the high speed cards. I can fill/empty the buffer shooting raw on my D700 at 8 FPS just fine with an 80 or 133x. With firewire 800 they download quickly too. I tend to stick to 4GB cards for safety, 8GB in intensive shooting areas. I can’t imagine putting a whole shoot on 1 card.

  • kaze kaze

    I’m still using sandisk extreme ducati, Photofast, lexar UDMA 300x no problem on a D700. Actually my sandisk extreme III 8G had a few “hestitate moment” recently, I thought it was to do with when writing to an “accending” folder but that’s not the case, my extreme IV hasn’t had a problem though.

  • Jokie

    I find it strange that my D300s has eye-fi options in the menu, yet it’s not listed as an approved card!

  • Bullsnot

    Looks like the D5100 is the only camera mentioning UHS-1 ard compatability… I thought the D7K was on the list too?

    That page is a waste of valuable internet…

  • AnoNemo

    Oh dear, I guess this is the surprise the Nikon execs have been talking about for years now.

    Am I the only one who thinks that Nikon is getting too slow of passing the magical 12MP mark in the FX cameras which don’t cost almost more than many new cars?

  • andy

    The list is pure crap and has nothing to do with anything other than marketing agreements.

  • broxibear

    Nikon 50mm f1.8 G AF-S available for preorder in the UK for £199.99, the AFD is £109.90…
    http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-nikon-50mm-f1-8-g-af-s-lens/p1525420

  • big eater

    Regardless of their drawbacks, at least with memory cards you don’t have to worry about your little brother opening the darkroom door when you’re loading film into the Nikkor developing tank.

    • dave

      … or your sister opening the rear cover to see if there is already film inside.

  • Snoop

    I’ve been using transcend SD cards for about 8 years, semi professionally, and never had a single card fail nor have I lost any images. At the moment I think I have about 14 ranging from early 2gb to my most recent 16gb cards. All cards have been bought from ebay and were considerably cheaper than either Lexar Pro’s or Sandisk.

    More Impressively a number of years ago I had non-SDHC cards providing my D50 with 4gb capacity that was unavailable from either Sandisk or Lexar.

    I would highly recommend Transcend cards to anyone, though I would be careful if buying them from ebay as there have been counterfeits around.

  • ChrisC

    How many of these companies acually manufacture the memory chips or do they just buy them in and assemble cards???

    Some quick searches suggest that Sandisk and Toshiba share some JV chip fabs. Lexar is a subsiduary of Micron, so they will be using the same chip plants as Crucial, another subsiduary.

    • dave

      As you surmise, there are actually only a handful of companies that actually make the chips, and I think most of them do the complete assembly as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean that two cards sold by different companies but made at the same plant will be identical in performance. Along with the memory chip is a controller and firmware interface and no doubt there are differences there. So, for example, SanDisk and Toshiba may have specified a different “formula” for their cards. The fabs also churn out their own cards for anyone who wants to buy in bulk and slap their own label on them. A lot of counterfeiting is done this way.

  • Stinky Pete

    I bought a Patriot LX Series 16GB Class 10 last winter for my D7k. The card gave an error after a couple of shots. After mounting them to a PC it worked again for a couple of shots, pretty annoying though!
    I addressed Patriot Customer Service and they told me they are aware about some trouble with this card. I sent it in and received a new card with updated firmware. The problem got even worse however. The card isn’t accepted at all, my D7k loads for a while and then tells me the slot would be empty.

  • http://mig.hyper.fi/ Mikael Willberg

    I have Transcend 16GB (Class 6) card which works fine in D90. But there must be some bad batches or different chips in these, because two of my friends with D90 had trouble with these. All of us bought the cards from the same reputable store at different times.

  • RUHtard

    Over at canon rumors there is all kinds of exciting news. And this is the best we can do here on Nikon rumors. w.t.f.

  • Lisa

    I have a Nikon D1x and I was wondering if I can use memory card bigger than a 2GB?

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