The Nikon D5200 uses Secure Digital (SD) format memory cards and the camera has one card slot. Those who shoot HD video or NEF format (camera RAW) images on the Nikon D5200 should use Class 10 cards, which have a minimum write speed of 10 MB per second. Class 10 memory cards (as opposed to Class 6 or Class 4 cards) will help ensure that stills and videos are captured smoothly and download to your computer in a reasonable amount of time. Both the SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Pro below are U3 rated for high resolution videos and stills.


Best Memory Card Overall

SanDisk Extreme 16GB Memory CardSanDisk Extreme 16GB ($17)

Min. Write Speed: 10 MB/s (Class 10)
Max. Write Speed: 40 MB/s
Max. Read Speed: 60 MB/s
Best For: HD and 4K video, faster processing and downloading.

The SanDisk Extreme is our pick for the best overall SD memory card. The new version, which actually is cheaper than the older version, offers Class 3 U3 recording speeds for high resolution video and even 4K. You also get write speeds of up to 40 MB per second and read speeds of up to 60 MB per second, which perform far better than cheaper cards with respect to larger files, video, and downloading. In addition, SanDisk Extreme 16-64GB memory cards are rated as waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof, and can operate in temperatures from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a whole lot of features for under $20. In addition to the 16GB version, the Extreme is offered in 32GB and 64GB versions.
See the SanDisk Extreme


For Professionals

SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB Memory CardSanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB ($35)

Min. Write Speed: 10 MB/s (Class 10)
Max. Write Speed: 90 MB/s
Max. Read Speed: 95 MB/s
Best For: HD and 4K video, fastest processing and downloading.

If you frequently shoot HD video, high-speed bursts, or transfer large volumes of files, the best professional SD memory card for the Nikon D5200 is the SanDisk Extreme Pro. With write speeds of up to 90 MB per second, it’s SanDisk's fastest SD memory card. Like the Extreme series above, the SanDisk Extreme Pro features a durable design that is waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof, and rated for extreme temperatures. It’s also U3 rated for high resolution video and even 4K (the Nikon 5200 doesn’t shoot in 4K but it will give you the flexibility should you decide to upgrade down the road).
See the SanDisk Extreme Pro


On a Budget

Transcend 16GB Memory CardTranscend Class 10 16GB ($8)

Min. Write Speed: 10 MB/s (Class 10)
Max. Write Speed: 20 MB/s
Max. Read Speed: 18 MB/s
Best For: Stills and videos on a budget.

The Transcend Class 10 series are some of the best selling budget SD memory cards. You get a minimum write speed of 10 MB per second, more than double the speed of the SanDisk Standard Class 4. More, the price is a tad cheaper, a clear sign that Class 4 cards are on the way out. If you’re on the fence between this card and the SanDisk Extreme above, the Transcend is about half the price but doesn’t offer the same speed or protection from the elements. If neither of those features is important to you, grab this card for under $10. For our money, we would recommend spending a few bucks for more speed and peace of mind.
See the Transcend Class 10


What Size Memory Card Should I Get?

A 16 GB memory card on the Nikon D5200 can hold approximately 1,000 photos in JPEG fine large format or 2,000 photos in JPEG fine normal format. For most people, 16 GB is a logical size and often more economical than smaller cards. NEF (camera RAW) files take up considerably more memory—roughly five to ten times as much—so those who shoot in NEF should consider a 32 GB or 64 GB memory card or multiple cards.


What About Lenses?

In addition to memory cards, you can see our guide to the best lenses for the Nikon D5200 for information on all the options from kit lenses to wide-angle and telephoto zoom.

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