The Nikon D7100 has 2 x SD memory card slots, both UHS-I compatible (good news for video recording and burst mode).
You need a fast memory card if you plan on using the D7100 in the 6fps continuous shooting mode or Full HD at 60fps, or you risk random stopping of video recording, and waiting too long before the buffer clears.
Speed Class of SD Cards
|Class 4||4MB/s||Too slow for most modern cameras. Skip it.|
|Class 6||6MB/s||A little bit better but unless you take 3 pictures a year, skip it.|
|Class 10||10MB/s||Good enough for most cameras with 20+ megapixels and Full HD video.|
|U1 (UHS)||10MB/s||Good enough for most cameras with 20+ megapixels and Full HD video|
|U3 (UHS)||30MB/s||Perfect for fast burst cameras, Full HD at 60fps and 4K video|
The D7100 is UHS-I compatible and can take advantage of the extra speeds offered. However, it won’t benefit from UHS-II type. They do fit, but the interface will just make it work as if it’s an UHS-I card, so there’s no reason to spend extra money here. Where would UHS-II make a difference in this case? Only when sending the files to your computer or previewing them on the camera; these two processes would be much quicker, but you also need a USB 3.0 memory card reader.
We don’t recommend you to pick a Class 4 or 6 card, as these might even result in in-camera errors since they’re not good enough.
Go with a 32GB or 64GB sized card, and buy a couple of these if you need lots of storage. It’s better than buying one huge card because you risk losing all of your shots if that 1 card fails.
These are the best 3 SDHC/SDXC memory cards you can get:
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I U3
- Lexar Professional 300MB/s UHS-II U3
- Transcend R95/W60MB/s UHS-I U3
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I U3
The SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro 32GB U3 is our favorite card, seeing as it’s inexpensive and provides writing and reading speeds near 90MB/s
The speed makes it perfect for whatever you’re doing; fast bursts with large megapixel cameras, 4K video, let alone Full HD. It comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes.
Lexar Professional 300MB/s UHS-II U3
The Lexar Professional 300MB/s UHS-II U3 offers faster speeds for both writing and reading files. The Nikon D7100 doesn’t support UHS-II so the only benefit you’ll get is from sending the files on your computer. If that matters to you and you often send hundreds of images and dislike the waiting time, then consider getting this one.
Don’t have a memory card reader that supports such speeds? Luckily you get a free Lexar UHS-II reader that’ll greatly reduce the waiting time. You also get a free downloadable Imaging Rescue software. It comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB sizes.
Transcend R95/W60MB/s UHS-I U3
The most affordable on our list, yet still UHS-I, is the Transcend 64GB UHS-I U3. In terms of reading speed it goes up to 95MB/s, while for writing the maximum is 60MB/s.
Transcend, just like Lexar above, gives you the option of downloading their free image recovery program and they both work pretty good in most cases. It comes in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes.
Comparison of the 3 Memory Cards
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3||32GB||Writing files: ~90MBs. Reading files: ~95MB/s|
|Lexar Professional 300MB/s U3||64GB||Writing files: ~240MB/s. Reading files: ~280MB/s|
|Transcend R95/W60MB/s U3||64GB||Writing files: ~60MB/s. Reading files: ~90MB/s|
What Brands are the Best?
Your photographs and videos are stored on a memory card, so you should definitely not try to save any money here by buying from unknown, cheap brands. While you save a few bucks, you probably won’t even get the advertised speeds, and are at a bigger risk of losing your shots.
We see too many beginners choosing the cheap route here, but until you transfer your shots to a computer/online, this is where they’re stored at. You want the memory card to be the most reliable piece of your equipment!