This is probably not much of a surprise to some, but it will be very disappointing to others. Especially those who might have recently bought or pre-ordered a camera with an XQD card slot. It seems that Lexar is now not going to be making XQD cards since it moved from Micron to Longsys, after all.
The news comes as Polish distributor, My Adventure, issued a statement. The (Google) translated release reads “XQD cards with the Lexar logo will not appear on the market”. They say that Lexar’s focus is now on the XQD & CFast successor, CFexpress.
In case you’ve been losing track, here’s the whole XQD saga so far, since Micron sold Lexar to Longsys, in a nutshell…
- September 2017 – Micron sells Lexar to Longsys
- November 2017 – Lexar says they will continue with XQD
- February 2018 – ProGrade Digital forms from Micron Lexar’s ashes
- March 2018 – ProGrade says they won’t make XQD, will focus on CFexpress instead
- April 2018 – Lexar runs out of XQD cards. B&H marks them “discontinued”
- August 2018 – Lexar announces return to “full production” in Autumn
- August 2018 – Nikon & Delkin announce new XQD cards
- September 2018 – Panasonic announces new mirrorless cameras with XQD slot
- October 2018 – Lexar dumps XQD in favour of CFexpress (now)
The press release from My Adventure (Google translated) seems pretty clear on the point that XQD is basically already a dead format with little support from device manufacturers with just a handful of Nikon cameras utilising it. And, bear in mind, this is Lexar’s distributor, not official word from Lexar.
Contrary to earlier market reports, which as the Polish Distributor of the Lexar brand have also been confirmed in one of the previous announcements, the XQD cards with the Lexar logo will not appear on the market. The new owner of Lexar recognized that in the face of Sony’s monopoly for the XQD license and a relatively small number of compatible Nikon models, further investment and development of this technology makes no sense.
And, to a point, I think they’re right, however, device manufacturers are starting to pay a little more attention to XQD with that CFexpress potential for the future. CFexpress is essentially a drop-in replacement for XQD. Physically they’re identical, and a new firmware update for the devices should allow XQD cameras to read and write CFexpress cards.
Although XQD didn’t receive the warmest of welcomes, it does appear to have stood the test of time, and it makes sense for manufacturers to start adopting it now. But it also makes sense for memory card manufacturers (who aren’t Sony) to abandon it.
If XQD slots can (relatively) easily be upgraded to accept the new CFexpress format, a format that is going to happen and will replace both XQD and CFast, then why wouldn’t manufacturers start putting XQD slots in their high data chugging devices? And if XQD’s remaining life is now quite short, why would a manufacturer go through the cost and hassle of licensing it from Sony when they can just work on CFexpress?
[via Nikon Rumors]