The Nikon D5500 is similar to other Nikon entry level cameras as well as Sony cameras in that it has very slow memory card interface speeds. Because of this, memory card write speeds seem to bottleneck at speeds close to around 28MB/s. However because of the single processor, some memory cards still do perform much faster than others.
See the performance tests below to find the best memory card.
Nikon D5500 Camera Specs
Sensor: 24.2MP / Processor: EXPEED 4 Image Processor
Sensor SD Memory Card Type: UHS-I
Continuous Burst: 5fps
Size of Buffer: 256 MB
Shots Till Buffer Fills: 11 depending on card.
Est. Time Taken To Clear Buffer: – 11.5 seconds (Lexar 2000x UHS-II)
Best Memory Card For The Nikon D5500
The Nikon D5500 has only a single UHS-I slots that performs at a top speed of about 28 MB/s. With this camera, UHS-II cards can work, but you will not see the speed advantage that you get from using a UHS-II card with a UHS-II camera.
If you need to improve the speed at which your cards write to your computer, with the proper USB 3.0 memory card reader, you can see huge speed improvements when transferring data from your card to your computer.
Nikon D5500 Memory Card Speed Tests
Speed tests are done in camera.
All USB 3.0 tests done using CyrstalDisk – Windows 10, with the Lexar SR2.
|SD Memory Cards||USB 3.0 Read||USB 3.0 Write||Nikon D5500 Write Speeds||See Price|
|Lexar 64GB 2000x UHS-II||272.7 MB/s||244.5 MB/s||28.28 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Toshiba 64GB UHS-II||258.8 MB/s||226.5 MB/s||27.78 MB/s||Amazon|
|Delkin 32GB UHS-II||253.5 MB/s||219.6 MB/s||27.47 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Transcend 64GB UHS-II||290.2 MB/s||182.1 MB/s||27.26 MB/s||Amazon|
|Lexar 64GB 1000x UHS-II||147.4 MB/s||78.4 MB/s||26.33 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB UHS-II||260.5 MB/s||214.8 MB/s||22.32 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB U3||98.6 MB/s||90.8 MB/s||28.21 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Samsung Pro+ 64GB U3||97.5 MB/s||87.3 MB/s||27.81 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U1||96.3 MB/s||82.2 MB/s||27.31 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Kingston 64GB U3||98.1 MB/s||90.4 MB/s||26.88 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB U3||99.0 MB/s||64.4 MB/s||26.25 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Samsung Pro 64GB U3||97.7 MB/s||78.6 MB/s||26.06 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|PNY 64GB U3||96.5 MB/s||66.1 MB/s||24.70 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Sandisk Extreme 64GB U3||72.43 MB/s||54.1 MB/s||24.34 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|PNY 64GB U1||96.5 MB/s||66.5 MB/s||23.89 MB/s||Amazon|
|Lexar 633x 64GB U3||93.3 MB/s||67.3 MB/s||23.60 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Transcend 64GB U3||96.7 MB/s||68.4 MB/s||22.37 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Lexar 600x 64GB U1||95.4 MB/s||64.8 MB/s||22.00 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
|Sony 64GB U3||96.5 MB/s||84.5 MB/s||21.32 MB/s||Amazon|
|Samsung 64GB U1 EVO||47.7 MB/s||27.3 MB/s||17.01 MB/s||Amazon / Adorama|
Recommended SD Memory Cards For The Nikon D5500
Best UHS-II Memory Cards
The fastest UHS-II card for the Nikon D5500 is the Lexar 2000 UHS-II, with the Toshiba UHS-II placing in a close second.
Like mentioned earlier, you don’t need a UHS-II memory card for this camera, but I test and list them because of the performance benefits from transferring data from the card to your computer.
Toshiba UHS-II 64GB – Amazon
Transcend UHS-II 64GB – Amazon
Best UHS-I Memory Cards
For the D5500, all you really need is a UHS-I memory card. The fastest UHS-I memory card is the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB. In a close second are the two Samsung Pro cards.
Samsung Pro+ U3 64GB – Amazon
Do you need a U3 memory card for the Nikon D5500?
The key difference between U1 and U3 memory cards has to do with minimum write speeds. With a U1 card the minimum performance of the card is 10MB/s. With a U3 card this number goes up to 30MB/s.
What might look strange is that U3 memory cards are still performing slower than 30MB/s with the Nikon D5500. This is actually a misconception and not the cards fault. Because the Nikon D5500 does not have a dual processor, it must first process each shot before writing to the memory card causing a delay between each time it writes to the card, slowing down the results.
The time it takes to write to the card is likely bottlenecked at what the camera can do, which in this case is probably somewhere around 32MB/s, because the D5500 does not have a very fast bus. Because of this processing time and this bottleneck, the camera is not always writing to the card resulting in speeds that appear to be slower.
Nikon D5500 vs Nikon D7200 Memory Card Write Speeds
When you compare the Nikon D5500 to the D7200, on specs the Nikon D7200 looks like a better camera. 6fps burst vs 5fps, weather sealed larger buffer. However, when it comes to memory card write speeds, the Nikon D7200 only beats the D5500 marginally. The D7200 had a max write speed of 30.18 while the D5500 maxed out at 28.28.
So when it comes to burst shooting, with the larger buffer and the slightly faster fps count, the Nikon D7200 wins every so slightly and will be the better option for the sports photographer.
See the Nikon D7200 memory speeds.
Best SD Memory Card Nikon D5500 Conclusions
While memory card write speeds are not very fast, there is a significant advantage to buying one of the faster cards especially if you do a lot of bust photography. While the difference between 21MB/s and 28MB/s doesn’t look like a big deal, it can help clear the buffer quicker so you can get back to shooting or reviewing your photos sooner. I get a lot of wait times when shooting with Sony because of this, even with fast cards.
If you don’t do a lot of burst shooting and own the D5500 for casual shooting, than any of the modern cards listed will perform great. Just maybe not the Samsung EVO card.
You also probably want to stay away from those memory cards that are included in bundles. They are pretty terrible.