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Which SD Card for a Nikon D7000 Camera

Updated on September 3, 2012
SDXC Memory Card
SDXC Memory Card

Choosing the right memory card for a Nikon D7000 camera is important for enjoying the full speed of this powerful digital SLR camera. The Nikon D7000 has two SD card slots available for high speed memory cards.This is one of the first DSLR cameras in Nikon's popular D prosumer line to feature two SD card slots. Take advantage of the potential transfer speeds when shooting photos and video in both slots by using the right SD cards in your camera.

Three types of storage media are accepted by the Nikon D7000 in either SD card slot, including SD cards, SDHC cards, and SDXC cards. The D7000 stores image files in the EXIF 2.3 format (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras). This format is compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0.

SDHC Cards in a D7000

The Nikon D7000 camera will perform adequately when using a Class 10 or better SDHC memory card. A Class 10 SDHC card has a minimum transfer rate of 10 MB/sec. The minimum transfer speed needed to record video is a Class 6 card. A Class 6 card has a minimum transfer rate of 6 MB/sec. The Nikon D7000 also supports memory cards with the UHS-I designation. UHS-I is ultra high speed version 3.01, which supports transfer rates up to 100 MB/sec. Look for the UHS-I marking or a stated transfer rate on the actual SDHC card housing. Since the D7000 camera is capable capturing up to 6 images per second, transfer speed is critical to avoid delays in high speed shooting. With a RAW and JPEG image capture setting, each photo requires about 20MB. For full performance over 100 MB/sec of transfer speed is required on the memory card. The camera's memory buffer is capable of storing up to 10 images when shooting to RAW format. After a few seconds of shooting continuous images in RAW format, the camera will begin to lag if it is not capable of a transfer rate of 100 MB/sec. If you only plan to record images in JPEG format, the camera is capable of storing up to 100 images in buffer memory, so there typically are no delays.

Nikon official approves the following SDHC memory cards for use with the Nikon D7000. This does not mean that other SDHC cards will not work. Nikon has only tested the following cards.

  • SanDisk: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB SDHC memory cards
  • Toshiba: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB SDHC memory cards
  • Panasonic: 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, 12GB, 16GB and 32GB SDHC memory cards
  • Lexar 4GB and 8Gb SDHC memory cards
  • Lexar Platnium II: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB SDHC memory cards
  • Lexar Professional: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB SDHC memory cards

The advantage of a SDHC card right now is the low cost. Since SDXC cards are the newer technology, the cost is currently higher per GB than a SDHC card. Remember, the SDXC cards only offer a format change. Transfer speed of the card is more important for the performance of the camera.

SDXC Cards in a D7000

SDXC memory cards offer the highest performance for a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera in terms of storage space.. SDXC is the expanded SD format. The SDHC format is limited to 32GB, but SDXC expands capacity to 2TB. 2TB memory cards are not yet available, but cards with higher capacity than 32GB are available.

SDXC cards use the same transfer speed rating system as SDHC memory cards. Class 2, 4, 6, and 10 cards are available. The number class is equal to the minimum certified transfer speed in MB/sec. for the card. For example, a Class 6 memory card is capable of transfer speeds of 6 MB/sec. Even though the storage space is increased, the transfer speed of the card is the most important specification to compare when buying a new memory card for a Nikon DSLR. Some SDXC cards are not rated for as high of transfer rates as SDHC cards. Look for the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed version 3.01) labeling on the cards. Transfer speeds of greater than 30 MB/Sec are preferred for this camera. The follow list of SDXC cards have been tested by Nikon for use with the D7000 camera. Other memory cards may work, but they are not yet tested by the manufacturer.

  • SanDisk: 64GB SDXC memory cards
  • Toshiba: 64GB SDXC memory cards
  • Panasonic: 48GB and 64GB SDXC memory cards

Using Standard SD Cards in a D7000

The storage space and transfer rate limitations of standard SD memory cards make these cards outdated for use with a Nikon D7000. Standard SD memory cards will certainly work for taking photographs with the camera, but will increase the amount of time the camera requires between photos. Some older SD cards may also result in errors when they are used for storing high definition video. SDHC cards are now available for costs much lower than standard SD cards when comparing the cost per GB of storage. Standard SD cards are only recommended when no other memory cards are available.

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