In-camera speed comparisons between all the most popular memory cards tested in the Nikon Z50.
Use this guide to find the fastest and the best-valued sd memory cards for the Nikon Z50.
Table Of Contents
Also, check out my list of Essential Accessories For The Nikon Z50.
Best SD Memory Cards Nikon Z50
The Nikon Z50 features a single UHS-I memory card slot. The in-camera speed test shows that they run at a top speed of about 55MB/s.
Nikon Z50 Recommended Memory Cards
UHS-I memory cards come in two popular speed classes U1 and U3. U1 memory cards will record at a minimum of 10MB/s. U3 memory cards record at a minimum speed of 30MB/s.
To take advantage of 4k video in the Nikon Z50, U3 memory cards should be used to maintain the 144MB/s or 18MB/s bitrate.
Each card is shown with the in-camera speeds next to them. Further below is a table showing how each memory card performed in the Nikon Z50 as well as their USB 3.0 speeds tested with Windows 10.
In the speed chart, the small difference in the performance speeds will not be noticeable with real-world performance. While Sandisk was one of the slowest cards of these top 5, it’s still one of the most reliable brands.
|Card Name||In-Camera Speed||USB Write||USB Read||Order|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro U3 64GB||54.71MB/s||74.7MB/s||97.8MB/s||Amazon|
|Kingston Canvas React 64GB A1 U3||52.72MB/s||82.5MB/s||99.6MB/s||Amazon|
|Delkin Advantage U3 64GB||51.99MB/s||78.8MB/s||99.6MB/s||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s 64GB||48.40MB/s||88.3MB/s||99.2MB/s||Amazon|
|Sony E 64GB UHS-II||70MBps (rated)||103.8MB/s||282.3MB/s||Amazon|
*The New Sony E card is optimized for UHS-I write speeds, but is still capable of UHS-II read speeds. This is great for video shooters to offload footage quickly. It hasn’t been tested in-camera since it came out after our testing.
Kingston has also rebranded their memory cards. Now their Canvas Go takes the place of the React and they’ve moved the React cards up to the UHS-II class.
Nikon Z50 In-Camera Speed Test
This chart shows how fast each memory card performed in the Z50.
The Method: Shoot a continuous burst on high until the buffer is full, ISO 100, 1/120 shutter with a manual lens. Image preview has to be turned off on any Nikon camera to get fast buffer performance otherwise it will try to show each card after it is written to the card.
Calculate how much data was written against the time it took for the buffer to clear. Do it a few times for each card to eliminate any problems.
You will notice that UHS-II memory cards are performing faster even though the Nikon Z50 isn’t a UHS-II camera. This is normal and just because those cards are running a little faster doesn’t mean they are worth the premium price. You’ll also likely not feel or see the difference of a few MB/s when shooting in the real world.
|Memory Card||Speed Class||Nikon Z50 Write||USB Read||USB Write|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 170MB/s||UHS-I||48.40MB/s||99.2||88.3|
|Sandisk Extreme Plus||UHS-I||47.67MB/s||99.3||88.2|
|Sandisk Extreme U3||UHS-I||42.66MB/s||99.3||56.8|
|Sandisk Ultra U1||UHS-I||24.42MB/s||99.5||34.3|
|Kingston Canvas React A1 U3*||UHS-I||52.72MB/s||99.6||82.5|
|Kingston Canvas Go! U3*||UHS-I||51.41MB/s||99.6||74.0|
|Lexar 633x U1||UHS-I||37.21MB/s||95.0||54.6|
|Sony Professional U3*||UHS-I||53.44MB/s||98.5||60.2|
|Sony U3 94MB/s||UHS-I||40.69MB/s||96.7||57.5|
|Sony U3 95MB/s||UHS-I||50.75MB/s||96.6||85.4|
|PNY Elite Performance U3||UHS-I||45.50MB/s||96.7||66.9|
|Delkin Advantage U3*||UHS-I||51.99MB/s||99.6||78.8|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro U3*||UHS-I||54.71MB/s||97.8||74.7|
|Toshiba Exceria U3*||UHS-I||24.03MB/s||97.2||29.9|
|Verbatim Pro+ U3*||UHS-I||51.21MB/s||98.5||83.7|
|Verbatim Pro U3*||UHS-I||38.39MB/s||96.6||68.0|
|Amplim 667x A1 V30*||UHS-I||40.95MB/s||99.6||52.2|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro 300MB/s||UHS-II||58.10MB/s||258.5||190.5|
|Toshiba Exceria Pro||UHS-II||56.39MB/s||263.6||223.8|
|Sony G Tough*||UHS-II||61.03MB/s||256.8||201.0|
|Delkin Power v90||UHS-II||62.30MB/s||257.6||191.0|
|Delkin Prime v60||UHS-II||53.18MB/s||252.8||89.1|
|Fujifilm Elite II||UHS-II||51.55MB/s||259.3||168.4|
|Hoodman Steel 2000x||UHS-II||57.62MB/s||268.7||183.9|
|Hoodman Steel 1500x*||UHS-II||57.63MB/s||258.1||169.2|
|Amplim 1900x V60*||UHS-II||56.89MB/s||249.8||104.5|
|Angel Bird V90*||UHS-II||57.43MB/s||256.6||211.1|
|Angel Bird V60*||UHS-II||40.41MB/s||166.9||80.2|
|FreeTail Evoke Pro V60*||UHS-II||57.32MB/s||238.5||102.8|
A lot of these cards can be found at a great value, just be sure to pay attention to reviews since some brands have better quality control than others.
You may want to stay away from expensive UHS-II cards unless you want very fast transfer speeds from your card to your computer. The Nikon Z50 does not have UHS-II tech and it won’t be able to take advantage of the second row of pins. However, some UHS-II cards like the new Sony E memory cards have optimized write speeds for UHS-I cameras but also fast UHS-II speeds for fast file transfers to your computer with a UHS-II reader.
Nikon Z50 Camera Specs And Buffer Questions
|Sensor: 20.9MP DX-Format (1.5x Crop Factor)
Processor: EXPEED 6
SD Cards Slot: Single Slot, UHS-I
Continuous Burst: 11 fps
Video: H.264 – 4k24p / 4k25p / 4k30p
What Is The Video Bitrate? 144Mbps
How Big Is The Buffer? 700MB Estimate
How Many Shots To Fill Buffer? 33 RAW
What Size Are The Raw Files: 25MB – Average
Can I Shoot Uncompressed RAW? No, Compressed RAW only.
How Long To Clear Buffer? 10:45 (Toshiba Exceria Pro)
Choosing The Perfect Card Size
For these memory card benchmarks, we’re still mostly just testing 64GB cards. 64GB memory cards are the sweet spot and the best bang for the buck and you’ll rarely fill a 64GB sized card if you’re offloading your footage for backup daily. However, if you want to go for weeks of shooting at a time without backup your shots (not recommended), then you might like bigger cards.
With 64GB memory cards, you get the SDXC 64-bit filesystem so video clips will not be clipped into 4GB chunks.
For video shooters, it’s sometimes nice to have 128GB cards but this depends on how much you’re shooting.
Here is a chart that shows video record times for the Nikon Z50 based on memory card sizes and the maximum 144Mbps video bitrate.
Record Time Chart
Best SD Cards | Nikon Z50 Conclusions
For the price, the Nikon Z50 has some really nice specs and if you like shooting at 11fps you may want to maximize your memory card performance. There are a lot of counterfeit memory cards out there now, so be sure to check reviews and always buy from a trusted source.
You only need UHS-I cards unless you plan on using the camera a lot for video where you might want faster speeds when backing up footage to your computer. In that case stick with the slower UHS-I cards like the new Sony E, or the v60 memory cards.