Quick Recommendations on SD Cards for the Nikon COOLPIX W150
If you just want some quick recommendations, here you go. Any of these will work well in the Nikon COOLPIX W150. These SD cards meet the needs of the W150’s feature, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.
- Video Speed Class: U1
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
- Video Speed Class: V30
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Any of these is a good choice. I have far more information on W150 memory cards below, but if you just want to cut to the chase and get out shooting, go for it!
The Nikon COOLPIX W150 needs a memory card to work, but it doesn’t come with one as standard. 1 Some retailers put together a deal bundle that might include some accessories, including a memory card, but chances are you’ll have to pick up a memory card separately. Or maybe you want something bigger with larger storage capacity—the cards that are included in bundles are often on the small side and might fill up quickly, especially if you’re on a trip.
But what type of memory card does the Nikon COOLPIX W150 take? That’s where this post comes in—hopefully, to help you get out shooting sooner and taking full advantage of all the features of your new camera rather than spending your time searching the web and trying to make sense of cryptic technical codes. I’ve been buying and testing numerous SD cards for several years and have put many of the most popular SD cards on the market through their paces.
Nikon COOLPIX W150 SD Card Requirements
The Nikon COOLPIX W150 is a compact waterproof point-and-shoot camera that’s designed to work equally well in the water as out of it. And it’s a much simpler and more cost-effective option than something like the high-specced Olympus TG-6. So the W150 is ideal for taking family snaps at the beach or on your next boating or river adventure.
It has a 13.2-megapixel sensor. It shoots Full HD 1080p video. And it’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards.
The good news is that you don’t need a cutting-edge memory card in the W150, and you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg to find one that works well. In fact, there’s really no extra benefit to getting a super-fast SD card for this camera.
Because of the way that cameras interface with memory cards, once you have a card that meets the requirements of the camera, you don’t get any extra benefit by inserting a card with high specs and performance that exceeds the camera’s capabilities. 2 And, naturally, high-performance cards are more expensive. So why pay extra for high performance that your W150 can’t use? By all means, if you already have a fast SD card on hand, you can use it in the W150, but it won’t get you any extra performance in the camera (it might when downloading the photos and videos to a computer).
That said, in the recommendations below, I’m factoring in cost-effectiveness as well. And because memory card manufacturers are coming out with newer, faster models all the time, it’s quite possible that the most cost-effective cards are faster than your camera needs. But that’s a case where it makes sense to go with the cost-effective option even if its performance exceeds the requirements of the camera. In general, by all means, use a faster card, but there’s no need to pay extra for it.
So which SD card should you get for your Nikon COOLPIX W150? Here’s the more detailed version.
The W150’s instruction manual really isn’t very helpful in offering useful guidance on what SD card to get. The most useful bit of information it includes is:
Memory cards with an SD Speed Class rating of 6 (Video Speed Class V6) or faster are recommended for recording movies. When using a memory card with a lower Speed Class rating, movie recording may stop unexpectedly. 3
Nikon does have a webpage of approved memory cards for COOLPIX cameras, but it’s not much more helpful. For starters, it refers only to brands and storage capacities and not to speeds or card model numbers.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Nikon COOLPIX W150 so you can spend less time searching online and more time out shooting. I’m not trying to list every SD card that works in the W150–there are others that will work just fine as well. I’m focusing here on ones that offer a good combination of meeting the requirements of all of the W150’s features, are readily available at major retailers, are cost-effective, and come from major manufacturers with track records for good-quality cards. I’m also basing this on my own SD speed tests.
So here’s more detailed information on these cards, along with some others.
These aren't necessarily the fastest SD cards on the market, but they're fast enough for this camera. This isn't necessarily a comprehensive list of every SD card that will work in this camera—there are also others that might work well, too.
My emphasis here is on cards that meet these criteria:
- fast enough for all the features of this camera
- from a reputable and reliable brand
- readily available at retailers
- good value for money
If you want to use a faster, fancier card you can, but you won't see any extra benefit in doing so while you're operating the camera (but you might see some faster speeds when downloading the photos to a computer, depending on your computer and memory card reader combination).
SanDisk Ultra U1 UHS-I
- Great choice for compact to mid-range point-and-shoot cameras
- Quick transfer speeds up to 150MB/s (Up to 150MB/s read speed engineered with proprietary technology to...
The SanDisk Ultra line is their cost-effective mid-range option. The latest versions of the Ultra cards are much faster than older versions, and it's a good basic option for cameras that don't demand too much of their SD card. The next level up—the Extreme cards—are also a good option, but the Ultra cards are often priced slightly lower. They're usually very easy to find in stores, too.
SanDisk recycles its model names, and you can still find older, slower versions with the Ultra name. This latest version of the Ultra card is rated for U1 for video recording and uses a UHS-I interface.
It comes in sizes ranging from 64GB up to 512GB.
Lexar 633x V30 UHS-I
- High-speed, Class 10 performance leverages UHS-I (U1 or U3 depends on capacity) technology for a read...
- Capture high quality images of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video
The Lexar 633x range has been one of the mainstays of Lexar's SD cards for a while now. There are now faster cards available, but this one is again fast enough for this camera while also representing good value for money.
One distinctive thing about this range is that they're available from 32GB up through `TB.
Buy at: Amazon.
Kingston Canvas Select Plus V30 UHS-I
- Faster speeds — Class 10 UHS-I speeds up to 100MB/s.
- Capture in full HD & 4K UHD video (1080P) — the advanced UHS-I interface makes the card ideal for...
Kingston is a brand that isn't as well known as some of the others, but they've been making reliable memory cards for a very long time. As a brand, they don't tend to focus on the cutting edge speeds but rather on reliable and good-value memory cards.
This particular card (model SDS2 Canvas Select Plus) isn't the fastest in Kingston's range, but it's fast enough to work well in this camera. It's available in sizes from 16GB through 128GB.
PNY Elite-X V30 UHS-I
- Class 10 U3 V30 speed rating with read speeds up to 100MB/s
- Class 10 U3 V30 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD...
PNY is another brand that isn't as well known as some others, but they've been around a long time and make very good memory cards that are usually very competitively priced and good value.
This particular model is available in sizes ranging from 64GB to 512GB.
Buy at: Amazon
Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I
- Supports 4K & Full HD 1080p Video Recording at High Frame Rates
- RAW Continuous-Shooting Approved
Delkin Devices have been around for a long time, but they've had something of a resurgence in recent years after simplifying their product lineup and updating the performance of their cards up to current specs.
This card is on the lower end of their range, but it works well in this camera without the higher price point of the faster cards. The Advantage card is rated to V30 and has a UHS-I interface. It currently comes in sizes up to 512GB.
There are also a lot of smaller, mostly unknown brands. In general, I'd recommend sticking to a brand you know and trust or one of the brands I've mentioned on this page because they have well-established reputations for putting out high-quality cards. Some of the other lesser-known brands might work, but they also might not be all they claim to be. The ones above should give a good selection of ones you can find fairly easily at retailers near you.
Faster SD Cards
If you're looking to use a faster card, take a look at the ones that I've subjected to my independent SD card speed tests.
Making Sense of the SD Card Specifications
You’ll find a range of different acronyms and codes on SD and microSD cards. Here’s a quick overview of which ones to take notice of for this purpose.
SDHC vs SDXC
Most of the cards you’ll see available have either SDHC or SDXC printed on them. The Nikon COOLPIX W150 will work with both SDHC and SDXC cards (and, for that matter, just plain SD cards, but they’re hard to find these days and have unnecessarily small storage capacities).
These are categories assigned by the SD Association, which is the organization that oversees and develops the standards for SD and microSD cards. The difference between those two specifications is in the filesystem they’re formatted with–the SDHC specification uses FAT32 formatting, while the SDXC specification uses exFAT–but when it comes to buying memory cards, the practical difference is that cards 32GB and smaller will be labeled SDHC and cards 64GB and larger will be labeled SDXC.
There’s really no right answer when it comes to what size to get–it’s mostly a matter of convenience so that you don’t keep running out of space. As is probably obvious, you can fit twice as many photos on a 64GB card as on a 32GB card. And that’s handy when you’re travelling. The most logical sizes for this camera in terms of convenience and price are probably the 32GB or 64GB sizes. But if you want to use a larger or smaller one, say 128GB or 16GB, go right ahead–they’ll work just fine.
UHS-I vs. UHS-II
SD cards also have UHS-I or UHS-II on them (or often just an I or II). This refers to the type of interface that’s used to connect to the cards. It stands for ultra-high-speed bus.
UHS-I is the older, simpler bus interface. UHS-II is newer and potentially faster. The catch is that you only get the extra benefit of UHS-II if the device is also UHS-II. But the spec is designed to be backward compatible, so you can use UHS-II cards in UHS-I devices, but you will only get the speed of UHS-I.
The Nikon COOLPIX W150 doesn’t have a UHS-II interface, so, as a practical matter, there’s no benefit to using UHS-II cards in it (but it’s perfectly fine to do so).
Video Speed Classes
The SD Association has come out with various rating systems over the years to help buyers choose a card that’s suitable for use in cameras. Because recording high-resolution video (or, more specifically, high-bitrate video) is often the most demanding operation in terms of a camera and its memory card, it’s known as a video speed class rating system.
As a technical matter, the first system was known Speed Classes (these were Class 2, 4, 6, and 10). The second system was known as UHS Speed Classes (U1 and U3). The third system is known as Video Speed Classes (V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90).
Most cards available now have a mix of old and new speed class codes printed on them. And while it’s helpful, it’s still an imperfect system for judging the speed of an SD card.
As a practical matter in the Nikon COOLPIX W150, cards that have any of these on them should be fast enough:
You can also use V30, V60, and V90 cards if you like, but they’re overkill for the W150.
There’s a separate rating system that you might also see on some cards. They might have an A1 or A2 on them. You can ignore that when choosing an SD card for a camera. It’s designed for the kinds of operations that gaming devices and smartphones do.
What Size SD Card to Use in the Nikon COOLPIX W150
The W150 is compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards. That means you can use cards from 4GB all the way to the largest cards currently available, which are 512GB and 1TB cards.
The current sweet spot for a combination of convenience, being readily available, and being cost-effective is probably around the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB range. But you can use larger or smaller ones if you prefer–it’s mostly a matter of convenience of how much video footage or photo data you can store on the card before it fills up, and you have to download to a computer or some other device.
So Why Get a Good Memory Card?
A better memory card isn’t going to help you take better photos or improve image quality. But it can let you take advantage of all of the camera’s features. A card that’s not fast enough to keep up with the camera can cause issues like locking up, dropped frames, and overheating.
There’s also the issue of reliability. There are plenty of junk memory cards on the market. Not only do they have flaky performance, but they’re also more likely to fail. And that means the risk of losing your photos and videos.
At the same time, you don’t want to pay extra for a high-performance SD card that’s overkill for the camera.
How to Format SD Cards
When you buy a new SD card, you should format it before use (and then regularly after that). Here’s some information on how to do that.
How to Format Memory Cards in the Nikon COOLPIX W150
It is best practice to always format memory cards in the camera that you’ll be using them in. That sets the card up with the filesystem, folder hierarchy, and, in some cameras, a database file, so that the card is just how the camera expects. That greatly reduces the risk of unexpected errors and unpleasant surprises.
On the Nikon COOLPIX W150, you can find the format function under:
Flexible button 4 (the wrench icon) > Camera Settings (another wrench icon) > Format Card
The W150 also has a small internal memory. Formatting that is the same process–just choose
Format Memory instead.
How to Format SD Cards with a Computer
Having said that, it is still possible to format memory cards using a card reader and computer. You get a lot more flexibility that way, but also some extra risk if things aren’t set up just how the camera wants them. It’s also sometimes a good troubleshooting step if you’re having issues with a memory card.
There are some things to watch out for, particularly when it comes to choosing which filesystem to use. So I’ve put together guides on how to format SD cards on Mac and how to use the free SD Card Formatter app for Windows or Mac.
- Technically, the W150 does have a small internal memory, so it is possible to shoot without a memory card. But it’s only 21MB, so it doesn’t fit many photos or much video. So it’s not really a viable option for going without an SD card.
- Depending on your computer and memory card reader setup, you might get some speed benefit when putting a faster memory card into your card reader and downloading images to your computer.
- It’s worth noting that the reference to Video Speed Class V6 is incorrect and unnecessarily confusing. There is a Speed Class 6 and a Speed Class V60–they’re both very different ends of the rating spectrum. For this camera, you don’t need a card with a rating of V60 or V90–it’s overkill. More on that below.
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