How to Work with the Nikon D3300 Memory Cards

By Julie Adair King

As the medium that stores your picture files, the Nikon D3300’s memory card is a critical component of your camera. Follow these Tips for buying and maintaining cards:

  • Buying cards: When you shop for an SD memory card, the one specification to note other than card capacity is card speed, which indicates how quickly data can be moved to and from the card (the read/write speed). For the best camera performance, especially for movie recording, buy the fastest cards you can find.

    Deciphering card-speed specs is a little confusing because different labels are used to indicate different attributes that contribute to the read/write speed. To keep things simple, just look for a card that has a rating of 10, UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed), or both, which indicate the fastest cards your camera can use.

    You should also see a specific value on the card indicating the number of bytes of data that can be handled per second, such as 45MB per second. The higher that number, the faster the card.

  • Formatting a card: The first time you use a new memory card or insert a card that’s been used in other devices, you need to format it to prepare it to record your pictures. You also need to format the card if you see the blinking letters FOR in the viewfinder or if the monitor displays a message requesting formatting.

    Formatting erases everything on your memory card. So before you format a card, be sure that you’ve copied any data on it to your computer. After doing so, get the formatting job done by selecting Format Memory Card from the Setup menu.

  • Removing a card: After making sure that the memory card access light is off, indicating that the camera has finished recording your most recent photo, turn off the camera. Open the memory card door, depress the memory card slightly, and then let go. The card pops halfway out of the slot, enabling you to grab it by the tail and remove it.

    If you turn on the camera when no card is installed, the symbol [-E-] blinks in the lower-right corner of the viewfinder. A message on the monitor also nudges you to insert a memory card. If you have a card in the camera and you get these messages, try taking out the card and reinserting it.

  • Handling cards: Don’t touch the gold contacts on the back of the card. (See the right card in the figure 1-20.) When cards aren’t in use, store them in the protective cases they came in or in a memory card wallet. Keep cards away from extreme heat and cold as well.

    Avoid touching the gold contacts on the card.

    Avoid touching the gold contacts on the card.
  • Locking cards: The tiny switch on the side of the card, labeled Lock switch in the figure, enables you to lock your card, which prevents any data from being erased or recorded to the card. If you insert a locked card into the camera, a message on the monitor alerts you, and the symbol Cd blinks in the viewfinder.

    You can protect individual images from accidental erasure by using the camera’s Protect feature. Note, though, that formatting the card does erase even protected pictures; the safety feature prevents erasure only when you use the camera’s Delete function.

  • Using Eye-Fi memory cards: Your camera works with Eye-Fi memory cards, which are special cards that enable you to transmit your files wirelessly to your computer and other devices. That’s a cool feature, but, unfortunately, the cards themselves are more expensive than regular cards and require some configuring.

    If you do use Eye-Fi cards, enable and disable wireless transmission via the Eye-Fi Upload option on the Setup menu. When no Eye-Fi card is installed in the camera, this menu option disappears.