Camera Memory Speed
Memory Card Comparison & Performance Tests for Digital Cameras
Nikon D3300 Memory Card Slot

Nikon D3300 Fastest SD Memory Cards

The Nikon D3300 is an entry-level DSLR. This low price camera may lack some features found on high end cameras but it is hardly limited in its capabilities. It can shoot up to 5fps and given the right memory card it can keep up with cameras that cost several times as much.

The D3300 has a relatively small buffer but Nikon enabled it with their latest EXPEED 4 image processor as well as UHS-I transfer protocol. This means that using the right memory card can significantly boost continuous shooting performance. Our tests show the D3300 can write at over 70MB/s using a fast SD card.

D3300 SD Card Testing

We test the D3300 by shooting 10 frames in continuous high shutter release mode. We use full manual settings on the camera and a static test scene. We use compressed RAW (.NEF) format which creates files about 25MB in size. We use another camera to record the test to determine the exact time the card access light is on (accurate to 0.02 second). The write speed is determined by dividing the actual number of bytes written to the card by the elapsed time. We repeat this test five times for each card and average the results. (1 megabyte = 1,048,576 bytes)

D3300 Continuous Shooting — SD Card Comparison

To test actual shooting performance in the D3300, we take as many shots as possible in 30 seconds using each memory card. We use three image formats: RAW+JPEG, RAW, and JPEG. The number of shots depends on camera settings as well as the content of the image. We choose to use a relatively detailed subject and use settings that create large file sizes to compare the difference between memory cards.

RAW: 12-bit compressed (the only RAW option on the D3300)
JPEG: Fine, Large

D3300 Continuous Shooting — Analysis

The relatively shallow buffer of the D3300 combined with its high write speed ability create a big difference in continuous shooting performance between cards. The D3300 was able to shoot the first 6 (RAW+JPEG) shots, 7-9 RAW shots, and at least 13 JPEG before slowing down. The number of RAW (7 to 9) and number of JPEG (13 or more) depends on the speed of the card. When shooting JPEG with one of the faster cards (SanDisk Extreme Pro, Toshiba Exceria Type 1 and Samsung PRO) the camera was not limited by write speed and could shoot at full speed until the card was full (in continuous mode the shutter must be pressed again every 100 frames).

Recommended SD Cards for Nikon D3300

The fastest card for the D3300 is the SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SDHC. This card stands above the rest in our tests with a 72.8MB/s average write speed. Coming in just below it are the Samsung PRO and Toshiba Exceria Type 1 at 67MB/s write speed. Use one of these cards for photographing fast action without slowing down unnecessarily.

There were several cards with that performed around 50MB/s: Toshiba Exceria Type 2, Sony "94MB/s" (claimed read speed) and SanDisk Extreme Plus. These cards give you 70-75% of the speed of the fastest cards at a lower price point.

Your memory card has a direct effect on shooting performance. If you shoot JPEG, a slow card like the Samsung EVO could take only 51 shots in 30 seconds. It captured the first 13 images in 2.5 seconds then slowed down to 1.4 fps for the remainder of the time. Whereas the fastest 3 cards could shoot 145 images in 30 seconds and the frame rate did not slow down, it remained 4.8 fps for the entire test.