Best Memory Cards for the Nikon Z5

The Nikon Z5 is a great choice for content creators with its smaller price tag and features.

To take advantage of these features you need the best memory card that’s not too expensive for your budget or not too small for your needs.

But if you’re in a rush, these are the two memory cards that I would recommend for photography and the second for video:

Last update on 2021-08-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These cards are the SD cards that will suit most users’ needs, but everyone has different use cases for their Nikon Z5, so one user might need it just for photos, another just for short videos, and another for making a film etc. 

So we need to go into more detail and break down what different cards are capable of, so that you can match the right card to your specific needs and in doing so not waste money buying a card that’s too small in capacity or too big for your needs.

Go to the later part of this article for all the explanation of SD card jargon and lingo, but first let’s go over what the recommended compatible cards can do.

How Much Video Can You Record to the Nikon Z5

Let’s dive into how much video you can record to my two recommended SD card sizes, 64GB and 128GB.

The Nikon Z5 actually shares the same bitrates as its smaller sibling, the Nikon Z50, as well as the bigger Z6 and Z7.

Best Choice
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
SD UHS-II 256GB Card V90 –Up to 250MB/s Write Speed and 300 MB/s Read Speed | for Professional Vloggers, Filmmakers, Photographers & Content Curators – by Prograde Digital
Compatible Card
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
SD UHS-II 256GB Card V90 –Up to 250MB/s Write Speed and 300 MB/s Read Speed | for Professional Vloggers, Filmmakers, Photographers & Content Curators – by Prograde Digital
4K (25p, 144Mbps)
1Hr 58 Mins
3 Hrs 57 Mins
Full HD (50p, 56Mbps)
5 Hrs 4 Mins
10 Hrs 9 Mins
-
Best Choice
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
Compatible Card
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
4K (25p, 144Mbps)
1Hr 58 Mins
Full HD (50p, 56Mbps)
5 Hrs 4 Mins
SD UHS-II 256GB Card V90 –Up to 250MB/s Write Speed and 300 MB/s Read Speed | for Professional Vloggers, Filmmakers, Photographers & Content Curators – by Prograde Digital
Compatible Card
SD UHS-II 256GB Card V90 –Up to 250MB/s Write Speed and 300 MB/s Read Speed | for Professional Vloggers, Filmmakers, Photographers & Content Curators – by Prograde Digital
4K (25p, 144Mbps)
3 Hrs 57 Mins
Full HD (50p, 56Mbps)
10 Hrs 9 Mins
-

Last update on 2021-08-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Choosing the Best Memory Cards for the Nikon Z5

The Nikon Z5 has two SD card slots, instead of the current trend to have one slot using a newer generation of memory card.

Both SD card slots are UHS-II compatible.

The Nikon Z5 uses the newer EN-ELC15C battery, and on one full charge the batter is CIPA rated to shoot 390 shots and 115 mins of video when the EVF is used.

When the EVF isnt used, the battery is CIPA rates to achieve 470 shots or 120 minutes of video when the LCD screen is used.

So ideally you want an SD card that can last at least a full charge of battery and more. Otherwise you’ll be changing more SD cards than batteries.

How Many Photos Can You Write to an SD Card

For a 64GB card you can record 2302 NEF.RAW, lossless compressed 14-bit (27.8MB). Or 2922 NEF.RAW, lossless compressed 12-bit files.

For same two files formats you can record to a 32GB SD card approximately 1151 RAW 14-bit files and 1461 RAW 12-bit files.

For a 64GB card you can record 2666 NEF.RAW, compressed, 14-bit files and 3282 NEF.RAW, compressed, 12-bit files.

For the same two file formats you can record to a 32GB SD card approximately 1333 NEF.RAW, compressed, 14-bit files, and 1641 NEF.RAW, compressed, 12-bit files.

For JPEG Fine Large to a 64GB card you can record 6274 files. For JPEG Normal Large you can record 9846 files.

At this point it’s safe to say if you record only JPEG, you will be fine with a 32GB SD card. A 64GB card would take a while to fill up!

Finally

So I hope the info in this article has helped you work out the best card for your needs, and help you work out in future should you ever need to be armed with information to read an SD card.

No creator should be using the wrong card that has too much excess capacity for their needs, with the that extra money being better spent on other essential gear. Or alternatively, too small a card for your needs, resulting in work arounds to compensate for bottlenecks.

Better to get it right the first time, and not lose money!

I’ve written here extensively on how to read the information on an SD card.

You’ll also need to get an SD card reader and this one linked below is a good choice:

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader for SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC Card and UHS-I Cards
  • Simultaneously read and write on two cards to save yourself the effort of constant unplugging and re-plugging.
  • USB 3.0 enables data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps for faster Sync times, backward compatible with USB 2.0/ 1.1.

Last update on 2021-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Links

If you purchased your Nikon Z5 for your YouTube channel and you’re just starting, the check this article out.

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And then check out more video content on my YouTube!