The Nikon D810 features 1 SD and 1 CF memory card slot. You can use one slot for backup, for videos or to write the files to both at the same time.
However, it’s recommended that you get a fast memory card so you won’t experience any delay when shooting, and that your buffer clears as quickly as possible. When recording Full HD videos or shooting in the continuous mode, having a fast CF/SD memory card is important!
What Size & Speed?
|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|
Stay away from Class 4 and 6, these are way too slow for a 36 megapixel DSLR!
- SD – Get a UHS-I or UHS-II
- CF – Definitely go with UDMA 7
The Nikon D810 doesn’t take advantage of the faster UHS-II cards, so while they will fit and work, you’ll only see the benefit in reading speeds when transferring the shots to your computer. If that’s important to you and you often transfer hundreds of big files, we suggest you pick a UHS-II U3 card, as well as a USB 3.0 reader that can handle those speeds.
Best CF Memory Cards for the Nikon D810
Lexar Professional 1066x UDMA 7
The Lexar Professional 1066x is the most popular, super fast and the cheapest for what it offers (UDMA 7). CF cards, at least the two we recommend, are a little bit faster than the fastest SD memory cards, so you could use those SD’s as a backup, or for JPEG/RAW/Video only, whichever you prefer.
Lexar also includes a downloadable Image Rescue software in case you lost your files. It comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes.
SanDisk Extreme Pro UDMA 7
The SanDisk Extreme Pro UDMA 7 is almost identical in speed, yet costs a little bit more. Both brands are excellent and I’ve been using both for years (CF and SD), and none of them failed ever.
However, Sandisk is quite famous for their durability and their cards working in all sorts of difficult conditions; freezing to extremely hot. We’re not saying Lexar won’t work in cold/hot conditions, it’s just that SanDisk has a reputation in this department.
Best SD Memory Cards for the Nikon D810
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. Hands down the best option for the Nikon D810 and almost every other DSLR with an SD slot.
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 2000x UHS-II
The fastest and best SD card is the Lexar Professional 2000x. The D810 does not support UHS-II and we only recommend you to get a UHS-II card if you often find yourself waiting too long for the files to transfer.
It comes with a USB 3.0 reader and downloadable Image Rescue software. Both of these additional items are excellent, and the card comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB sizes.
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!