The 36 Megapixels of the D800 produce large files. One click equals 38-59 MB (RAW, 14-bit, lossless compressed). This means that with a 4 GB-card I use as secondary card in my D300s only 60-80 images can be taken. That’s about two rolls of film. Therefore I needed bigger memory cards and bought a Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB SD card and a Kingston ultimate 600x 16GB CF card last year in preparation of the D800 arrival.
Now I have to learn the hard way that buying cards before the camera is a bad idea, because the Kingston card is not recognized by the D800. After insertion the memory card access LED lights up for 10-15 sec, after that an error message is displayed. I tried a Sandisk CF card in the D800 – no problem. I tried the Kingston CF card in a card reader and in the D300s – no problem. Only the combination Kingston / D800 won’t work. The D800 manual states that Nikon only tested Sandisk and Lexar cards with the camera. Cards from other manufacturers _might_ also work, but Nikon can not guarantee that. That is also pretty much what Nikon support told me when I mailed them.
Funny thing: According to Nikon the D300s was also tested with Sandisk and Lexar cards only. But the Kingston card works in the D300s without any problems. On the facebook-page of NikonRumors.com a D800 user also reported that his 32 GB Kingston CF card won’t work. Also I found a list on Wynner’s blog about cards which may and may not work work with the D800.
Bottom line: D800 users – stick to Sandisk and Lexar cards. I ordered a Sandisk 16GB card from Amazon and am trying to re-sell the Kingston card. Interested ? Then drop me a line. The card has not been used actively, only for testing. It is as good as brand new.