Best XQD Memory Cards for Nikon Z7 and Z6

Nikon recently announced first two mirrorless cameras in their lineup – the Z7 and the Z6. While they share the same body and some other features, there are quite a few differences as well. The biggest difference, of course, is the sensor. Nikon Z7 features 45MP full-frame sensor with 9 fps burst shooting, while the Z6 has a 24MP full-frame sensor and can shoot at 12 fps. Both cameras shoot 4K video as well as 1080p at up to 120fps.

nikon z7 z6 xqd memory cards

image source: Nikon / Sony

It’s important to note that these cameras don’t have the standard SD card slot found on most mirrorless cameras today. Instead they use XQD cards. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best memory cards for Nikon Z7 and Z6.

Best XQD Memory Cards for Nikon Z7/Z6

Many people were disappointed that the new Nikon mirrorless cameras use expensive memory cards instead of your typical UHS-II SD cards, and the fact that the Z7 and the Z6 feature only one card slot. So why did Nikon think we need XQD cards on these cameras? Let’s do some math. Nikon Z7 shoots 45MP photos (about 85MB per image) and can shoot at 9fps. This works out to 765MB/s, and since these memory cards are very fast (they can write files up to 400MB/s), these cameras can clear buffer quickly thanks to XQD cards.

When it comes to XQD cards, choices are very limited. Sony G Series XQD cards are easiest to find and are the best choice on the market right now. Lexar XQD cards are also amazing, but Lexar stopped making memory cards recently so they may be harder to find and can be more expensive. Sony M Series XQD cards are also an option, but they only offer write speeds of 150 MB/s, which is why we won’t include them in our list below. Thankfully, Nikon is also planing to release their own XQD cards by the end of September, so we’ll make sure to update this article once they’re out.

XQD Card READ SPEED WRITE SPEED SEE PRICE
Sony Professional XQD G Series 128GB Up to 440 MB/s Up to 400 MB/s
Lexar Professional 2933x 128GB XQD Up to 440 MB/s Up to 400 MB/s

Recommended Memory Cards for 4K Video on Nikon Z7/Z6

Both cameras can shoot 4K at up to 30 fps. The codec isn’t very demanding with the bitrate of 100 Mb/s (12.5 MB/s) and every XQD card will be able to handle it easily.

Conclusion

It’s great that Nikon finally entered the mirrorless world with the Z7 and Z6. Both cameras are pretty good choices for hybrid shooters, with Nikon Z7 being a bit more geared towards photographers than videographers. And while the fact that these cameras feature only one XQD memory card slot is a bit disappointing, we hope Nikon will find the way to fix this in future iterations of these cameras. In conclusion, our suggestion would be to get a Sony G Series memory card for Nikon Z7/Z6.

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