Recommended SD and CF Media Cards for Nikon D810

sandisk-cf-card-nikon-d810The Nikon D810 features one Secure Digital (SD) and one CompactFlash (CF) media card slots. The SD card slot supports SD, SDHC, SDXC type cards including UHS-I. The high speed transfer protocol (UHS-1) gives the best performance when using SD cards. The CompactFlash cards also allow read and write speeds exceeding those of SD cards, although the CF media is priced at a premium. When using an appropriate UHS-I high-speed SD card it is theoretically possible to attain up to 99 MB/second transfer rate, however in use actual write speeds are typically max out around 70 MB/second. The fastest CF cards (supporting UDMA-7) enable write speeds with the fastest Lexar 1000X CF card to attain near 100 MB/second write speed in the D810.

SD Cards: The best value in storage and speed. In the past SD cards were designated by a SD Class number, such as Class 10, Class 6 or Class 4 to classify the speed. The fastest cards were Class 10 (10 MB/s and above) and there is no SD Class past 10. Newer UHS cards now have a UHS Class number, currently UHS Class 1 (U1) or UHS Class 3 (U3). The U1 is 10MB/s minimum write speed. UHS Class 3 (U3) provide minimum 30MB/s. Many cards also quote specific read and/or write speeds but these are theoretical bests and not guaranteed. Perhaps the most important thing to look for in SD card is one quoted with fast write speeds and also UHS-I support. This newer technology allows up to 99MB/s speed transfer rate, although write speeds can be lower. You can find D810 fastest SD card speed tests here.

CF Cards: When performance really matters. The D810 uses Type I cards (3.3mm thick). Older Type II CF cards are not supported. The fastest cards supported are UDMA-7 CompactFlash which allows transfer rates up to 145 MB/second, however the fastest tested cards yield ~100MB/s write speed in the D810.

To attain the highest speed when reading from UDMA-7 CF cards, use USB 3.0 connections and devices. High speed cards will improve burst shooting by reducing write time. Using high speed cards will also reduce the amount of time it takes to download from the card to your computer.

Following is a list of recommended SD and CF cards approved and tested for the Nikon D810. While other brads and types of media cards may work, they are not tested or officially supported. For best performance choose one of the cards below.

Secure Digital (SD) Memory Cards

Manufacturer Available Capacities
SanDisk Extreme Pro 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB
Toshiba Exceria Type 1 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB
Panasonic Gold Series 16 GB, 32GB, 64 GB
Lexar Professional 600x 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB

SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards confirmed to work with the Nikon D810:

SanDisk Extreme Pro SD (Fastest measured 72MB/s write*)
SanDisk Extreme Plus (Measured 49 MB/s write*)
SanDisk Extreme (Measured 39 MB/s write*)
Lexar Professional 400x and 600x (measured 35-38MB/s write*)

* The D810 SD card write speeds are quoted from actual SD card testing. Tests performed by and published here with permission from Camera Memory Speed.

CompactFlash (CF) Memory Cards

The Nikon D810 supports UDMA-7 CompactFlash cards. The CF cards below are recommended and have been tested and approved to be used with the D810. Note: Only Type I cards fit in the D810. Type II CompactFlash and microdrives will not work.

Card Name Speed Stroage size
SanDisk Extreme Pro SDCFXPS
SDCFXP
16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
Extreme SDCFX 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB
Extreme IV SDCFX4 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16GB
Extreme III SDCFX3 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16GB
Ultra II SDCFH 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB
Ultra SDCFHS
SDCFHG
4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
Lexar Media Professional UDMA 1066 X 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
1000 X 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB
800 X 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB
600 X 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB
400 X 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB
300 X 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
Professional 233 X 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB
133 X 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB
80 X 2 GB, 4 GB
Platinum II 200 X 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
80 X 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16GB
60 X 4 GB

CompactFlash cards confirmed to work with the Nikon D810: Sandisk Extreme Pro CF cards
Lexar Professional Compact Flash Cards

WiFi The Nikon D810 allows for wireless image transfer using an SD card produced by Eye-Fi. When a compatible Eye-Fi card is inserted in the SD media slot, the D810 displays a status icon. To enable the card to transmit photos, enter the Setup Menu and select the upload option. Before you use the card, follow the directions from Eye-Fi to update to the newest firmware version for best compatibility and performance.

The following wireless SD cards are tested and approved for use in the Nikon D810:

19 thoughts on “Recommended SD and CF Media Cards for Nikon D810”

    1. Hello Sebastian,
      Yes, the D810 can use the SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s SDXC 128GB card. Be aware that the write speed is much lower than 40MB/s on this card, it writes at only about 15MB/s and would not be good for continuous shooting.

  1. For what it’s worth, I have had error messages* three times on a Lexar Professional 800x Compact Flash, in my D810, in spite of formatting before each use. I am returning the card and looking around for another brand.

    * 1st time the D810 locked up until switched off and 2nd & 3rd time had images Lightroom cannot read.

  2. I can confirm as well a problem with a Lexar 400x 128G although that one is on the above recommended cards list. In an act of despair I was using an adapter – micro SDXC to compact flash- Type I, the thin one, and that works, reliably, but it’s slow…O.k., I don’t need much speed , it’s o.k. for a burst of some images if not taken too frequently. There are two types of such adapters available from the Fareast – one for SDXC cards to Compact flash, and another one for two micro SDXC cards to Compact Flash, both Type I, so you could get 2x128GB for a pretty low price. I’m not recommending it for daily work with high image load, but I have those adapters available as a last backup possibility, since I had plenty problems with various CF cards, o.k., not on the above list but specified with an UDMA 7 interface, usable for high-end DSLR’s.

  3. Ok, just bought a D810 and THREE CF cards couldn’t read.
    JUNE 2016
    All cards work with D700. ALL PRO CARDS, ALL APPROVED.
    What is going on?? Almost lost an entire job!! I had to do data recovery for hours to get the images back.

    Is there a FIX? Do I exchange the camera? I cannot afford to lose jobs and money. PS i like the sensor a lot.

    1. Hi Janet I can’t remember the name of the compact flash but I had the same problem. I am now using Sandisk extreme which work fine.Also if you are using dvds, I have just started using Fuji dvds detail and colour work fine with this compact flash,The d810 can’t take all makes of compact flash Hope this Helps

  4. Hi there,

    Just bought an D810 very exited.
    I’m not able to format any of the cards on the camera but I can delete single photos but going through the menu to format wont work, wondered if its the cards issue or the camera?

    1. Are you pressing the OK button, or the center selector button? It is a common mistake. You must press the OK button to format.

  5. I just brought a Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD card, but my D810 don’t recognize it. The LED shows card err and the LCD shows CANNOT FORMAT while I trying format it. This card works fine on PC, even I re-format it on PC but it still not paired with D810. SAD >_<

  6. Hello: I have a technical question regarding these cards and the Nikon D810, with which I hope you can help. Specifically, I am trying to understand when shooting in burst mode for say 5-6 seconds (eg. a flying bird or wildlife), how quickly the buffer will clear by writing to the memory cards under the specific set up where the primary card is the CF and the 2nd card (SD) is used as a BACK-UP (not for overflow or JPEG). For simplicity, lets assume we are using the best recommended CF and SD cards listed above and are shooting in RAW.

    So, …
    1) Does the camera write sequentially to the cards (first the CF, then backing up to the SD) or simultaneously write to both? Sequentially will take twice as long or even more.
    2) IF simultaneously, then for the buffer to clear, it depends on the write-speed of the slowest card (i.e.likely the SD card).

    Am I looking at it correctly or am I missing something here?

    Thanks – SR

    1. Hello SR,
      The camera writes sequentially, not simultaneously. So using two cards in backup mode will take longer to clear the buffer. The camera is faster writing to CF cards, so assuming you are using the fastest cards, adding a SD card in backup mode could slow you down 2X or more.

  7. Does anyone know how to switch settings from a CF card to an SD Card on a nikon D810. Can’t figure it out.

  8. Is it possible to use an EyeFi Card in the SD Slot, to xfer JPEG’s while I am shooting to show the clients, and a CF Card in the second slot for RAW images to use for post processing later?

    1. Hi David,
      Yes, you can use the EyeFi card this way. Set the RAW to go to the CF slot and the JPEG to the SD card. Be aware the write speed of this card and transfer is slow so you probably want to use a medium or small size and low quality setting for the JPEG.

    1. Lexar Professional 1066x and SanDisk Extreme Pro CF cards work fastest. The SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SD card offers the fastest write speed the camera can take advantage of for a SD card.

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