Best Memory Cards for Nikon D6

The Nikon D6 flagship DSLR camera is a powerful tool that demands high-performance memory cards to fully utilize its capabilities. With dual memory card slots that are compatible with both CFexpress and XQD cards, the Nikon D6 offers extended file-saving capabilities, in-camera file duplicating, and the option to segregate raw and JPEG files between the two cards. In this article, we will explore the best memory cards available for the Nikon D6, ensuring that you can maximize your shooting experience and never miss a crucial moment.

When it comes to shooting with the Nikon D6, having reliable and high-speed memory cards is essential. The camera’s impressive features, including a 20.8MP FX-format sensor, EXPEED 6 image processor, and top continuous shooting rate of 14 fps, require memory cards that can keep up with the fast-paced demands of professional photography. Let’s delve into the two types of memory cards compatible with the Nikon D6: CFexpress and XQD.

Benefits of High-Quality Memory Cards

Investing in high-quality memory cards for your Nikon D6 brings several benefits:

  • Enhanced Performance: High-speed memory cards enable faster data transfer, allowing you to capture continuous bursts of images without any lag.
  • Ample Storage Space: The Nikon D6 produces large file sizes, especially when shooting in RAW format. Opting for larger capacity memory cards ensures you have sufficient space to store all your shots.
  • Reliable and Durable: Premium memory cards are built to withstand rigorous usage, ensuring your data remains safe and secure even in challenging shooting conditions.
  • Efficient Workflow: With the right memory cards, you can quickly transfer your files to a computer or other devices, streamlining your post-processing workflow.
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CFexpress Memory Cards

CFexpress memory cards are the next generation of high-performance storage solutions, offering incredibly fast read and write speeds. These cards provide a significant advantage over their predecessors, as they leverage the PCIe Gen3 interface for exceptional performance. Here are the benefits of CFexpress cards and the recommended options for the Nikon D6.

Benefits of CFexpress Cards

CFexpress cards offer several advantages, making them an excellent choice for photographers using the Nikon D6:

  1. Lightning-Fast Speeds: CFexpress cards provide blazing-fast read and write speeds, allowing for quick data transfer and continuous shooting without any bottlenecks.
  2. Large Storage Capacities: CFexpress cards are available in various storage capacities, ranging from 128GB to 1TB, ensuring ample space for storing high-resolution images and videos.
  3. Future-Proof Technology: CFexpress is the next generation of memory card technology, ensuring that your investment will remain relevant as cameras and recording standards continue to evolve.

Best CFexpress Memory Cards for Nikon D6

XQD Memory Cards

XQD memory cards were the predecessor to CFexpress cards and still offer reliable performance for Nikon cameras. While they may not match the sheer speed of CFexpress, XQD cards provide a cost-effective option for photographers. Let’s explore the benefits of XQD cards and the recommended choices for the Nikon D6.

Benefits of XQD Cards

Although CFexpress is the newer technology, XQD cards still hold their ground and provide several advantages:

  1. Solid Performance: XQD cards offer fast read and write speeds, allowing photographers to capture high-resolution images and record videos without interruptions.
  2. Wide Compatibility: XQD cards are compatible with a range of Nikon cameras, ensuring that your investment can be used across multiple devices.
  3. Value for Money: XQD cards are often more affordable than CFexpress cards, making them an attractive option for photographers on a budget.
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Best XQD Memory Cards for Nikon D6

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Memory Card

When selecting a memory card for your Nikon D6, consider the following factors:

Speed and Performance

Opt for memory cards with high read and write speeds to maximize the camera’s continuous shooting capabilities. Look for cards that support UHS-II or CFexpress Type B standards for optimal performance.

Storage Capacity

Consider your shooting requirements and choose memory cards with sufficient storage capacity. The Nikon D6 produces large file sizes, particularly when shooting in RAW format. Investing in higher-capacity cards allows you to capture more images before needing to offload data.

Reliability and Durability

Choose memory cards from reputable brands known for their reliability and durability. Professional photographers often work in challenging environments, and having cards that can withstand extreme temperatures, moisture, and physical shocks is crucial.

Price and Value

Memory card prices can vary based on speed, capacity, and brand. Assess your budget and strike a balance between performance and value. Consider investing in higher-end cards if you rely heavily on your camera for professional work.

Tips for Proper Memory Card Maintenance

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your memory cards, follow these essential maintenance tips:

  • Format Cards In-Camera: Format your memory cards using the camera’s formatting function rather than relying on your computer. This ensures compatibility and reduces the risk of file system errors.
  • Safely Eject Cards: Always use the camera’s eject function before removing the memory cards. Abruptly removing cards while the camera is still writing or reading data can lead to data corruption.
  • Keep Cards Clean: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the card contacts if necessary. Avoid exposing the cards to dust, moisture, or extreme temperatures.
  • Backup Your Data: Regularly transfer your files to a secure storage solution to prevent data loss. Consider using redundant backups for added protection.
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By following these maintenance practices, you can extend the lifespan of your memory cards and minimize the chances of data loss.


Selecting the right memory cards for your Nikon D6 is crucial for capturing and storing your precious moments. CFexpress and XQD cards offer exceptional performance and reliability, catering to the demanding needs of professional photographers. Consider factors such as speed, storage capacity, reliability, and value when making your decision. By investing in high-quality memory cards and following proper maintenance practices, you can optimize your photography workflow and ensure that your data remains safe and secure.


Q: Are CFexpress cards backward compatible with XQD slots?

A: Yes, CFexpress cards are backward compatible with XQD slots, allowing you to use CFexpress cards in cameras that support XQD.

Q: Can I use XQD cards in CFexpress slots?

A: No, XQD cards are not compatible with CFexpress slots. CFexpress slots can only accommodate CFexpress cards.

Q: What are the advantages of using CFexpress cards over XQD cards?

A: CFexpress cards offer faster read and write speeds, larger storage capacities, and future-proof technology compared to XQD cards.

Q: Are XQD cards being phased out?

A: While CFexpress cards are becoming the industry standard, XQD cards are still in use and supported by various Nikon cameras, including the Nikon D6.

Q: Can I use one CFexpress card and one XQD card simultaneously in the Nikon D6?

A: Yes, the Nikon D6 supports the use of both CFexpress and XQD cards simultaneously in its dual memory card slots, allowing for flexible file management and backup options.

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