The Nikon D7500 doesn’t come with a memory card as standard. Some retailers put together bundles that do include one, but chances are that you’ll need to pick up the SD card separately.
So here’s a rundown of what to look for in an SD card for the Nikon D7500 along with some practical recommendations.
Nikon D7500 SD Card Quick Recommendations
If you just want to just cut to the chase, here are some quick recommendations for some of the best memory cards for Nikon D7500 cameras.
- SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I SD Card
- Lexar Professional 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I SD Card
- Kingston Canvas Go Plus V30 UHS-I SD Card
Any of these make for a good choice for the D7500. They’re fast enough for the camera, reliable, reasonably priced, and widely available.
Table of Contents
Nikon D7500 Memory Card Compatibility & Requirements
First, the basics:
- It takes full-size SD cards (i.e., not microSD).
- It has a single memory card slot.
- It’s compatible with both SDHC and SDXC memory cards. The technical difference between those two specifications is in the filesystem they’re formatted with, but the practical difference is that cards 32GB and smaller will be labeled SDHC, and cards 64GB and larger will be labeled SDXC.
The D7500 shooting mode that’s most demanding on the memory card speed is when recording video. When shooting photos, the camera will take advantage of its own internal buffer memory, storing up to 100 photos internally before you start to see any slowdown as it moves those from its internal memory to the memory card.
But video works differently–if the buffer were to fill up, there’s no way to slow down the shutter speed to wait for the card to catch up. And with bitrates of up to 125 Mbps (megabits per second) in the high-end 4K video modes available on the D7500, that creates a large stream of data that needs to be written to the memory card very quickly. And that requires a card with a fast sequential write speed.
In other words, having an SD card that’s fast enough is essential for shooting in the top video modes but more a matter of convenience when shooting still photos.
Nikon’s Official Recommendations
Nikon’s instruction manuals (or those from many camera manufacturers, for that matter) are not especially helpful in suggesting which memory cards work best in the camera.
For the D7500, this is their guidance for Approved Memory Cards (from p.356 of the manual):
The camera supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards, including SHDC and SDXC cards compliant with UHS-I. Cards rated UHS Speed Class 3 or better are recommended for movie recording; using slower cards may result in the recording being interrupted. When choosing cards for use in card readers, be sure they are compatible with the device. Contact the manufacturer for information on features, operation, and limitation on use.
Nikon D7500 Memory Recommendations in Detail
With that in mind, here are some recommendations for memory cards to use in the Nikon D7500. I’m basing these on a combination of Nikon’s recommendations, my own real-world speed tests of SD cards, and actually trying them in a D7500.
My emphasis here is on cards that meet the requirements to use all of the camera’s features, are readily available at major retailers, and are cost-effective. But these are by no means the only SD cards that will work in the D7500. My objective here, after all, is to help choose a good card that works so you can get on with the fun stuff, not to document every possible card that works in this camera. I have, however, tried to include a few different brands.
SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I
SanDisk's Extreme range are good bets for many cameras, and that's true here too. SanDisk has faster ranges like the Plus and Pro lines, but the Extreme line is both quick enough for most cameras and usually less expensive than those faster lines.
One thing to note with SanDisk cards is that they recycle their model names. So you can find Extreme cards that are older and slower. You'll probably find those older versions work just fine--it really depends how far back you go--but you can tell the latest version because it's labeled with both U3 and V30, both of which are speed ratings specifically related to recording video. These cards are often good value, and you can sometimes find them sold in 2-packs.
Lexar Professional 1066x Silver V30 UHS-I
This card from Lexar, one of the leading makers of memory cards, is a fast, reliable option. It's rated for video recording speed rating of V30. It comes in sizes up to 512GB.
Buy at: Amazon
Kingston Canvas Go Plus V30 UHS-I
- Type: SDXC
- Video Speed Class: V30
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Kingston is another 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 SDG3 Canvas Go 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 512GB.
Buy at: Amazon
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 aren't as well known as some of the other brands, but they've been around for quite some time and make reliable, cost-effective memory cards. It comes in sizes from 64GB up to 512GB.
Buy at Amazon
Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I
- Type: SDXC / SDHC
- Video Speed Class: V30
- UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-I
- Storage Capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Delkin Devices have recently come out with a range of new SD cards of varying speeds and specs. This is one of their mid-range cards that is rated for V30 video recording speeds.
Things Worth Knowing
What Size Memory Card Works Best in the Nikon D7500?
The D7500 will work with memory cards from 16GB up, including some of the larger SDXC cards available these days in the 256GB+ range. Which size you choose to use comes down to convenience and your own preferences. The larger the card, obviously, the more you can shoot before filling it up.
The size of the photo and video files created by the D7500 depends on what settings you’re using. For instance, if you’re shooting photos in the JPEG Normal setting, the files will be much, much smaller than if you’re shooting in the RAW 14-bit uncompressed mode.
The same goes for video. The top-end 4K video modes are recorded at higher bitrates than lower-resolution modes, so those files will be much larger for a corresponding duration of footage.
Here are some estimates. These are based mostly on Nikon’s own figures, but bear in mind that they’re only estimates. Any compressed formats will vary slightly from file to file–that’s the nature of how these types of compression work. So it’s possible you might get a few more or a few less. These are for the DX crop modes; the files when using the D7500’s 1.3x crop mode are significantly smaller.
|File Size MB (approx)
|NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 12-bit
|NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 14-bit
|NEF (RAW), Compressed, 12-bit
|NEF (RAW), Compressed, 14-bit
For video, if you’re using the 4K30 (2160p30) mode on the high-quality setting, as an example, you’ll be able to fit around 34 minutes on a 32GB card before it’s full. Or 68 minutes on a 64GB card.
Again, these should all be treated as estimates, and in real-world shooting, you might get slightly different results.
How to Format the SD Card in a Nikon D7500
While it’s possible to format SD cards using a computer, it’s much better practice to format them in the camera. That reduces the places where something can go wrong.
The basic way to format an SD card in a Nikon D7500 is to use the menus; the steps for that are outlined below. There’s also a shortcut way to do it, which I’ve detailed separately here.
- Press the Menu button on the back of the camera.
- From the left panel of icons, scroll down to the wrench (spanner) icon. (If it’s grayed out, check that you’ve actually inserted the memory card. It’s easy enough to overlook!)
- The top option is Format Memory Card. Highlight that and hit the OK button (or press to the right).
- Choose Yes from the popup menu. As a safety precaution, it will default to No. With Yes selected, press the OK button.
How to Recover Photos if You’ve Accidentally Deleted Them
If you format the card before you’ve downloaded them, it might still be possible to recover them. To do that you’ll need to fire up the computer–it’s not something that you can do in the camera. I’ve put together an overview on how to recover deleted photos from a memory card here.
- As a technical matter, SD Express cards are designed to be backward compatible and will function in this camera, but the camera won’t be able to use any extra speed benefit, and it may, in fact, perform slower than a non-SD Express card. SDUC cards require a different interface and will not function in this camera.
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