Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Hello, I am brand new to the world of Nikon D500 photography.  Recently purchased as an upgrade from my D5300.  I am pleased to discover the 2 memory card slots but am having some issues deciding which cards to spend my money on.

I am speaking here about CFexpress type B cards. I do not think I will ever need more than a 64 GB card for one venture but I am noticing that the 64 GB cards seem to only offer write speeds of up to 800 MB/s while the “bigger” cards can go to 1200 MB/s or faster.

Does anyone have any opinions whether a hobby photographer shooting mostly dog sports and horse sports would notice a difference in buffering speeds between those 2 cards?

For my second card slot - which I plan only to use as a secondary back-up for the photos I love.  How fast does this card need to be?  I won’t be using it simultaneously with the CFexpress.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help - I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the options as a hobby photographer!

Nikon D5 Nikon D50 Nikon D500 Nikon D5300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S800 Sony W800
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DaveMC Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed
1

My Sony XQD is 64GB, R 440, W 400.

My Lexar 2933x XQD is rated at 440 (R/W not specified on the card)

Absolutely no problem with both of these cards at all.

Those CF express cards should work well in the D500, wouldn't use them with the Z9 though (if I had one that is!)

Hope this helps.

Dave.

 DaveMC's gear list:DaveMC's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR +6 more
David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,142
Machine gunner or sniper?
1

DebbieKW wrote:

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help - I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the options as a hobby photographer!

What makes you think you need a high-speed card?

I don't have a D500. I do have 3 other DSLRs, particularly a D750, that take SD cards and I use humble Sandisk 32gb 80 mbps cards in all of them. No problems at all. On the other hand, I don't do video and I don't like the machine gun paradigm: for me a 3 or perhaps a 5 frame burst is as far as it goes.  Most often though just one or two single shots.

People are different though. It all depends on your style and what you are trying to achieve.

Richard James Contributing Member • Posts: 510
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

DebbieKW wrote:

Debbie,

I I am noticing that the 64 GB cards seem to only offer write speeds of up to 800 MB/s while the “bigger” cards can go to 1200 MB/s or faster.

Does anyone have any opinions whether a hobby photographer shooting mostly dog sports and horse sports would notice a difference in buffering speeds between those 2 cards?

I suggest that you check the camera specs for the max write speed it supports. Not much point in exceeding that unless you want "protection" for a future upgrade.

For my second card slot - which I plan only to use as a secondary back-up for the photos I love. How fast does this card need to be? I won’t be using it simultaneously with the CFexpress.

I've never used the 2nd slot with a different spec card. However, if the cards are being written through the same "port", the lower speed card generally governs whether it is being written to or not. Not knowing the tech spec I can't be more specific.

Richard

rscott900ss
rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 247
Re: Machine gunner or sniper?
1

David Lal wrote:

DebbieKW wrote:

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help - I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the options as a hobby photographer!

What makes you think you need a high-speed card?

I don't have a D500. I do have 3 other DSLRs, particularly a D750, that take SD cards and I use humble Sandisk 32gb 80 mbps cards in all of them. No problems at all. On the other hand, I don't do video and I don't like the machine gun paradigm: for me a 3 or perhaps a 5 frame burst is as far as it goes. Most often though just one or two single shots.

People are different though. It all depends on your style and what you are trying to achieve.

I agree with David.  I rarely rattle off multiple shots and, if I do, it's not more than a handful.  And I have never shot a video yet on my D750 or D500!

But... If the budget allows it, I always try to future-proof my storage media purchases by getting the fastest/largest I can easily afford.  I purchased an XQD and a UHS-II Sd card for my D500.   You never know what's ahead...

 rscott900ss's gear list:rscott900ss's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +17 more
Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed
3

I use a Sony XQD card: 64GB, 440MB/sec read, 400MB/sec write. I shoot raw, 14 bit lossless compressed and my file sizes range from 24-27MB in size. Just for fun, I've mashed the shutter release in continuous high burst mode (10 frames per second) a couple of times and the camera will rip off 200 exposures before it stops shooting. I think Nikon built-in a burst limit just in case the shutter release is accidentally pressed while in storage or transit.

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,683
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

DebbieKW wrote:

Hello, I am brand new to the world of Nikon D500 photography. Recently purchased as an upgrade from my D5300. I am pleased to discover the 2 memory card slots but am having some issues deciding which cards to spend my money on.

I am speaking here about CFexpress type B cards. I do not think I will ever need more than a 64 GB card for one venture but I am noticing that the 64 GB cards seem to only offer write speeds of up to 800 MB/s while the “bigger” cards can go to 1200 MB/s or faster.

Does anyone have any opinions whether a hobby photographer shooting mostly dog sports and horse sports would notice a difference in buffering speeds between those 2 cards?

For my second card slot - which I plan only to use as a secondary back-up for the photos I love. How fast does this card need to be? I won’t be using it simultaneously with the CFexpress.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help - I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the options as a hobby photographer!

Before the D500, I never had a camera capable of using SD cards. I only had CF (Compact Flash), which were then considered state of the art compared to SD. When I got my D500, I got a couple of XQD cards, never even looking at the XD slot. I figured that this was a performance camera, and I might as well only use performance cards, even if I rarely needed all that performance ...

Those two cards are still in service, since 2016.

You mention CFExpress. Keep in mind that you need to apply a firmware upgrade to the D500 before it can use CFExpress cards. I never did get CFExpress cards.

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

 n057's gear list:n057's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 995 Nikon D200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +7 more
OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Thank you Bill!

Your experience is very helpful in answering my question!

OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Thank you Richard,

I will check out the manual for the camera.

From what I have read so far, it looks like you can choose to use one slot and then back up to the other later.

OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Thank you!

I have accomplished the firmware upgrade on the camera.

I agree - I want a high performance card, just wasn’t sure if spending the extra money for write speeds higher than 800 MB/s was necessary for what I want to photograph.

Sounds like it is not thanks to all the responses here

OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Yes - that does help!  Thanks!

OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Machine gunner or sniper?
1

For David and rscott.

I will be using the continuous mode a lot to try to get the right shots of the dogs and horses in action.  Then need it to refresh fast enough for the next dog coming.  That is the only reason I am worried about write speed.  I was hoping I got a fast enough card and camera to do several bursts in short succession.

Richard James Contributing Member • Posts: 510
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed
1

DebbieKW wrote:

Thank you Richard,

I will check out the manual for the camera.

From what I have read so far, it looks like you can choose to use one slot and then back up to the other later.

Debbie, IMO, that strategy is not really useful.

If you are doing dual cards as a "backup", you should write simultaneously. That is when the "lowest speed" issue is important.

A real backup occurs when you copy the card data to 2 independent hds on your computer.

Richard

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,142
Suck it and see ...

DebbieKW wrote:

For David and rscott.

I will be using the continuous mode a lot to try to get the right shots of the dogs and horses in action. Then need it to refresh fast enough for the next dog coming. That is the only reason I am worried about write speed. I was hoping I got a fast enough card and camera to do several bursts in short succession.

There was a similar question/thread recently in DPR in which it was pointed out that the limiting factor in burst mode is not so much card read/write speed but rather camera buffer clearance. Sorry, I can't remember the URL - you'll have to search.

The cards I mentioned above are fairly cheap you could get one and just try it out. The D500 is a very capable camera (though I don't have one). Suck it and see, as it were.

OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Ok, yes - what you are saying makes total sense.  I am looking at buying a 64 GB card so will likely never fill that in one week-end of shooting.  Can back it up onto my computer when I get home.

OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Suck it and see ...

I will see if I can find it.  I have done more reading and it looks like the read speeds I am seeing on the express type B cards are likely much more than I need!   Will be looking at compared pricing with some slower 64 GB cards now.

I appreciate hearing of your experiences!

Kapiro
Kapiro Regular Member • Posts: 333
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

DebbieKW wrote:

Hello, I am brand new to the world of Nikon D500 photography. Recently purchased as an upgrade from my D5300. I am pleased to discover the 2 memory card slots but am having some issues deciding which cards to spend my money on.

I am speaking here about CFexpress type B cards. I do not think I will ever need more than a 64 GB card for one venture but I am noticing that the 64 GB cards seem to only offer write speeds of up to 800 MB/s while the “bigger” cards can go to 1200 MB/s or faster.

Does anyone have any opinions whether a hobby photographer shooting mostly dog sports and horse sports would notice a difference in buffering speeds between those 2 cards?

For my second card slot - which I plan only to use as a secondary back-up for the photos I love. How fast does this card need to be? I won’t be using it simultaneously with the CFexpress.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help - I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the options as a hobby photographer!

There is little to add to what others have contributed. Having said that, my two cents are that do a lot of BIF and several equestrian events per year. My D500 has never been left wanting while using XQD and SDXC

I use a 128 GB Sony XQD 440MB/sec read, 400MB/sec write, and a SanDisk 128GB UHS-II SDXC card. The XQD for 14-bit raw files, and the SDXC for jpeg Fine.

For equestrian I rarely go for a full second burst, even less often do I press for more than a second. For BIF I don't think if I have ever done more than a 5-second burst for extremely fast birds that I was tracking in rather long pan.

As others have mentioned, the D500's buffer is 200 frames. If you were do, for example, 10-second long bursts, a 1-2 second pause will help the writing process a lot and you will be essentially limitless.

Unless my memory fails me, I vaguely remember reading (Thom Hogan?) how a smart use of the 500's burst could you give you an almost limitless use of the 10-FPS.

 Kapiro's gear list:Kapiro's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 +4 more
rscott900ss
rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 247
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Kapiro wrote:

As others have mentioned, the D500's buffer is 200 frames. If you were do, for example, 10-second long bursts, a 1-2 second pause will help the writing process a lot and you will be essentially limitless.

Unless my memory fails me, I vaguely remember reading (Thom Hogan?) how a smart use of the 500's burst could you give you an almost limitless use of the 10-FPS.

I read that he D500 buffer holds you up at 200 not because it's full, but because it's designed to protect you and camera in case of an accidental shutter button press while in the camera bag, etc.

If that's the case, then it shouldn't be any trouble to take limitless busts of almost any "normal" length, if you have the card storage size to accept them.

The LCD display on the camera will tell you your buffer capacity at your current settings. Just half-press the shutter button and the part of the display normally showing the remaining shot capacity on your storage medial will now show you the buffer capacity.

With my D500 set to record 14-bit lossless-compressed RAW and "Fine" lossless-compressed JPEGS, the buffer capacity reading I get with a half-press is just 23 images, which is more than enough for my normal shooting.  Way more.

 rscott900ss's gear list:rscott900ss's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +17 more
OP DebbieKW New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

Thank you so very much!  That really helps!  I had never even thought about this issue before purchasing the D500 and I am having a little trouble equating what the camera can shoot to which speed card I need.   So it is good to hear the card specifics that people are using and liking.

Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: Nikon D500 memory card help needed

DebbieKW wrote:

Thank you Bill!

Your experience is very helpful in answering my question!

You're welcome.

BTW, I keep the SD card in the second slot in overflow mode. The few times I've used that card over the last four years have been when I've forgotten the XQD card in its reader back home and gone on a shoot with just the SD card installed.

It may not get used much but it's essential to have that second card for those unplanned moments.

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
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