Nikon Learn & Explore

Setting up the Dual Card Slots in the Z 5 Mirrorless Camera

Have you ever wondered why cameras like the Z 5 mirrorless have two media card slots?

In recent years, cameras with two card slot have become popular because it gave photographers piece of mind that if one SD card fails, they can depend on a backup. But you don’t need to utilize both card slots unless you want to, and there are four different set-up options for doing so.

The four different options are: Overflow, which is the camera’s default setting, backup, RAW + JPG and stills/video.


This is the default setting on the camera. When you have two SD cards in the camera, and your primary media card fills, the camera automatically switches to the secondary card. It is convenient when you’re shooting a lot of images, for sports and action, as well as video, which can fill a card pretty quickly.


When you set the secondary card slot to backup, the camera will then duplicate every photo, saving one copy to each of the cards. Many wedding and event photographers demand this capability because it provides a safety net in case their primary memory card fails. Just be aware, this feature only applies to photos and not videos.  


The third option is called RAW + JPG. This will record the RAW, or NEF, files onto the primary card and JPG versions on the secondary card. You can change both the quality of the RAW and JPG file that you wish your camera to record.


The fourth and final option is handy for multimedia users who spend as much time creating movies as they do images. In the Movie Shooting Menu, you can choose which card slot you want to use to save movie files. This is useful when you want to store images on the primary card and videos on the secondary card, allowing you to keep your content organized.

Setting up the camera to maximize your shooting workflow will make it easier to keep track of all of your image and video files for when you get ready to download to the computer for editing or sharing.

Photo of the Z 5 mirrorless camera with media cards in the dual SD card slots

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