Nikon Zfc Memory Card Quick Recommendations
If you just want to cut to the chase, here are some quick recommendations on which memory cards to get for your Nikon Zfc.
I have a more detailed version below, but any of these will work well in the Zfc. These SD cards meet the needs of the Zfc’s features, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.
- 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
Table of Contents
Nikon Zfc SD Card Requirements
The Zfc has one SD card slot.
You can use either SDXC or SDHC in them (SDXC probably makes more sense simply because those cards have more storage capacity). And the memory card slot is UHS-I compatible. So while you can use a UHS-II card in it, you’re not going to get any extra speed benefits in doing so–it will roll back to UHS-I speeds.
The Zfc shoots 21-megapixel photos in bursts of up to 11 frames per second, as well as 4K30 video. Those features are not super-demanding on the memory cards speed, at least compared to some higher-end cameras.
What that means in terms of choosing SD cards for the Nikon Zfc is that you only need a moderately fast SD card, and it doesn’t make much sense to pay extra for a superfast UHS-II V90 card, because you won’t see any benefit in using it in this camera.
Nikon’s Recommendations for the Zfc
As usual, the Zfc’s instruction manual isn’t especially helpful on the topic of which SD card to get. There is a section titled “Approved Memory Cards,” which you can find on page 601. This is what it says:
- The camera can be used with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards.
- UHS-I is supported.
- Cards rated UHS Speed Class 3 or better are recommended for video recording and playback. Slower speeds may result in recording or playback 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 limitations on use.
None of which is especially practical advice. For starters, the UHS Speed Class is an older speed rating system; most SD cards these days have moved onto the newer Video Speed Class rating system.
So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Nikon Zfc so you can spend less time searching online and more time out shooting.
I’m focusing here on cards that offer a good combination of meeting the requirements of all of the Zfc’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 long-running independent SD card speed tests.
Nikon Zfc Memory Card Detailed Recommendations
Here’s more information on the cards mentioned above, along with some other good alternatives.
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.
What Size SD Card to Use in the Nikon Zfc
The Zfc 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.
There’s really no right answer when it comes to what size, or storage capacity, 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 or video on a 64GB card as on a 32GB card. And with a 128GB card, you can fit four times as many photos as on a 32GB. And so on. And that’s especially handy when you’re traveling; even more so if you’re shooting any video.
The most logical sizes for this camera in terms of convenience and price are probably the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB sizes. But if you want to use a larger or smaller one, say 64GB or even 1TB, go right ahead—they’ll work just fine because of the way that the SDXC spec is designed.
How to Format SD Cards
When you buy a new SD card, you should format it before you use and. And then regularly after that. If you’re formatting a card that you’ve already been using, make sure that you’ve downloaded any photos and videos you want to keep, because formatting deletes everything on the card.
Here’s some information on how to format the memory card both in the Zfc as well as in a computer.
How to Format SD Cards in the Nikon Zfc
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.
Always be sure you’ve backed up everything you want from the card, because formatting it will wipe everything. (If you’ve formatted accidentally, it still might be possible to recover data from the memory card, but it’s not always guaranteed, and it can incur the expense of buying recovery software; more on that below.)
On the Nikon Zfc, you can find the format function under:
MENU > Setup Menu (wrench icon) > Format Memory Card
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.
Nikon Zfc Memory Card FAQs
What type of memory card does the Nikon Zfc take?
The Nikon Zfc takes SDXC and SDHC cards. It has one memory card slot that is UHS-I compatible.
Is the Nikon Zfc compatible with UHS-II SD cards?
You can use UHS-II memory cards in the Nikon Zfc, but because the memory card slot is only UHS-I, you will not get the full benefit of UHS-II speeds.
How many memory card slots does the Nikon Zfc have?
The Nikon Zfc has one memory card slot.
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