Best Memory Cards for Nikon D500

The Nikon D500 DSLR camera is a powerful tool for professional photographers and enthusiasts alike. It boasts impressive features and capabilities, including two memory card slots: one XQD card slot and one SD card slot that supports UHS-II SD cards. To make the most of your Nikon D500, it is essential to use high-quality memory cards that can keep up with the camera’s demands. In this article, we will explore the best memory cards available for the Nikon D500, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

When it comes to shooting 4K video, sports events, or wildlife photography with the Nikon D500, having a fast memory card is crucial. Without a high-speed card, you may experience delays as the buffer clears and have to wait before you can continue capturing photos. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using XQD cards and UHS-II SD cards for the Nikon D500 and provide recommendations to help you choose the best memory card for your needs.

Importance of Fast Memory Cards

A fast memory card is essential for the Nikon D500 due to its high-speed continuous shooting capabilities and ability to record 4K videos. The camera’s advanced image processor and large buffer allow for capturing a significant number of images in rapid succession. However, to take full advantage of this feature, you need a memory card that can write data quickly and keep up with the camera’s speed.

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XQD Cards for Nikon D500

XQD cards are currently the fastest memory cards available for the Nikon D500. They offer exceptional write speeds, allowing for quick and continuous burst shooting without any buffer delays. XQD cards also provide faster transfer speeds when it comes to offloading your images and videos onto a computer. Their robust construction makes them resistant to temperature extremes, shocks, and magnetic fields, ensuring the safety of your valuable data.

UHS-II SD Cards for Nikon D500

If you prefer using SD cards, the Nikon D500 also supports UHS-II SD cards. These cards offer significantly faster write speeds compared to UHS-I SD cards, allowing for smoother continuous shooting and reduced buffer clearing times. With UHS-II SD cards, you can maximize the camera’s performance and capture more shots in quick succession. It’s important to note that to fully benefit from the increased speeds, you should choose UHS-II SD cards that are compatible with the camera’s UHS-II bus interface.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Memory Card

When selecting a memory card for your Nikon D500, there are a few key factors to consider:

1. Speed Class and Write Speed

Ensure that the memory card has a high enough speed class and write speed to support the camera’s capabilities. Look for cards with Class 10, UHS-I, or UHS-II designations for optimal performance.

2. Capacity

Consider your shooting needs and the amount of storage required. Memory cards are available in various capacities, ranging from 16GB to 1TB or more. Choose a card that offers sufficient space for your photography sessions without the need for frequent card changes.

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3. Brand and Reliability

Stick to reputable brands known for their reliability and quality. Trustworthy brands often offer better performance, durability, and customer support.

4. Price

Memory card prices can vary significantly based on their speed, capacity, and brand. Determine your budget and find a balance between performance and cost.

Best XQD Memory Cards for Nikon D500

Best UHS-II SD Memory Cards for Nikon D500


To ensure optimal performance and avoid any buffer delays when using the Nikon D500, investing in a high-quality memory card is essential. XQD cards and UHS-II SD cards provide the necessary speed and reliability to capture your precious moments without interruption. Consider the factors mentioned above, explore the recommended options, and choose a memory card that suits your shooting requirements. With the right memory card, you can unlock the full potential of your Nikon D500 and capture stunning photos and videos effortlessly.

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1. Can I use UHS-I SD cards with the Nikon D500?

Yes, the Nikon D500 is backward compatible with UHS-I SD cards. However, to take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities, it is recommended to use UHS-II SD cards for faster write speeds.

2. What is the maximum capacity of memory cards supported by the Nikon D500?

The Nikon D500 supports high-capacity memory cards, including those with capacities of up to 2TB. However, it’s important to ensure that the specific card you choose is compatible with the camera’s firmware.

3. Are XQD cards more expensive than SD cards?

Yes, XQD cards are generally more expensive than SD cards. However, they offer superior performance and durability, making them a worthwhile investment for professional photographers and enthusiasts.

4. Can I use one XQD card and one SD card simultaneously in the Nikon D500?

Yes, the Nikon D500 allows you to use both an XQD card and an SD card simultaneously, giving you the flexibility to expand your storage capacity or use different card types for specific purposes.

5. How do I format a memory card in the Nikon D500?

To format a memory card in the Nikon D500, go to the menu and navigate to the setup section. From there, select the format memory card option and follow the on-screen instructions. Remember to back up your data before formatting, as it will erase all content on the card.

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