Nikon Is Really Pushing XQD; Why Isn’t Canon?

Jan 10, 2016

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Nikon Is Really Pushing XQD; Why Isn’t Canon?

Jan 10, 2016

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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SanDisk developed the CompactFlash (CF) format and manufactured the first devices back in 1994, which makes the technology 22 years old.

That on its own is enough of a reason to replace it, and it seems Nikon is doing its best to crown the XQD format as the successor.

Not only will the newly announced D500 use an XQD memory card, the flagship D5 will be available with either dual CF slots or dual XQD slots, and according to a recent rumor 90% of the new cameras will come with the latter.

Nikon Rumors reports that the company is pushing the XQD version of the D5 in Europe and the US, and is encouraging dealers to order the more advanced version. With 90% of production said to be dedicated to the XQD version, longer wait times and availability issues with the CF D5 will likely also push clients to opt for the XQD version.

Nikon announced the XQD format, along with SanDisk and Sony, back in 2010 with the first card announced by Sony in 2012.

Nikon became the first (and only) DSLR manufacturer to use the new format with the release of the D4, and it remained loyal to the format with the D4s as well, though in both models there was only one XQD slot and one CF slot.

After getting its high-end clients accustomed to the new format, Nikon is offering a full switch to XQD with the D5, and seems to be using the same tactic with the D500. Owners will try the XQD card, see how amazingly fast it is and (hopefully) they will want more of it. This will allow Nikon to possibly switch the DX-flagship model to full XQD in the future, or alternatively this could also lure D500 users to upgrade to the faster sibling.

“We are happy to see Lexar’s XQD 2.0 memory card announcement, as it signifies their commitment to supporting the evolution of this important technology,” Nikon’s department manager of product planning, Hiroyuki Ikegami, said when Lexar recently released the fastest XQD memory card to date. “We expect our camera technology to continue alongside these very same evolutions, and along with the new Lexar XQD 2.0 card and reader line, we look forward to watching the XQD host device market grow and thrive,” he added, in what turned out to be truer than most had probably expected.

Other than Nikon’s DSLR cameras the XQD format is also used is several of Sony’s camcorders, but it hasn’t been picked up by other companies – most noticeably Canon.

The Japanese giant is also in need of a faster storage format, but Canon opted to go with CFast memory cards for its XC10 video camera, and is rumored to include one CFast slot in the upcoming 1D X Mark II.

Time will tell if Canon will continue with the CFast format or if it will switch to XQD after all.

Both technologies are much faster than the outdated CF, I just hope corporate politics and marketing tactics won’t lead to two different types of mainstream memory cards and another setback for those looking to switch brands.

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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25 responses to “Nikon Is Really Pushing XQD; Why Isn’t Canon?”

  1. Brian Hochmuth Avatar
    Brian Hochmuth

    Sony helped create XQD, why aren’t they using it?

    1. theSUBVERSIVE Avatar
      theSUBVERSIVE

      Not all cameras NEED such speed, just like a lot of vehicles wouldn’t take any advantage of using high octane fuel.

    2. superdan_x Avatar
      superdan_x

      That’s the real question

    3. Brent Busch Avatar
      Brent Busch

      They are using it, but just on their professional camcorders.

    4. Brent Busch Avatar
      Brent Busch

      They are, just in their camcorders though.

  2. Viggo Næss Avatar
    Viggo Næss

    Same reason the memorystick and Betamax are gone ? should’ve opt for CFast.

  3. Peter Brophy Avatar
    Peter Brophy

    “CF Cards were first manufactured 22 years ago…and that alone is enough reason to replace it”

    That is the most ridiculous statement I’ve heard in a long time.

    1. theSUBVERSIVE Avatar
      theSUBVERSIVE

      If you take the most simplistic interpretation, it might be, but if you understand what it actually implies it’s not ridiculous.

    2. TerraPhoto Avatar
      TerraPhoto

      Actually, it is time… Compact Flash has been a great format, but it is reaching the limit of its speed capabilities.

    3. Najib Saer Avatar
      Najib Saer

      Cf cards are dinosaurs. I’d say just stick with SD. They’re fast, very inexpensive, won’t bend pins, and readily available almost anywhere.

    4. Peter Brophy Avatar
      Peter Brophy

      The point being, something might be bad for various reasons, but length of time in existence isn’t one of them.

    5. Brent Busch Avatar
      Brent Busch

      Peter Brophy The issue of bent pins is a good reason though. Don’t have that problem with XQD.

    6. Peter Brophy Avatar
      Peter Brophy

      And thats a valid reason, but it’s a problem with bad design, not its age.

    7. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      I was going to say the same. It does not matter how old a technology is. What concerns users is whether a newer technology is better in some way (cheaper, faster, more capacity, more durable, more reliable) and whether the benefits are worth having and worth any inconvenience in changing.

      CF cards might deserve to be superseded by XQD, but for objective reasons, not because the original design is 22 years old.

  4. Michal Rosa Avatar
    Michal Rosa

    Which makes the technology 22 years old. That on its own is enough of a reason to replace it – Nonsense. There is no reason to replace technology that works well based simply on its age. The only reason to replace technology is when the new one offers something that’s far beyond the capabilities of the old one and offers future development opportunities. From that point of view I see no reason to urgently replace CF – not yet anyway.

    1. TerraPhoto Avatar
      TerraPhoto

      Actually, it is time to start moving to a new format… Compact Flash has been a great format, but it is reaching the limit of its speed capabilities.

      1. tom rose Avatar
        tom rose

        Maybe, but you have missed the point of the comment. It is not because it is an old technology. It is because a better technology is available.

  5. Brent Busch Avatar
    Brent Busch

    Because Canon sucks.

    1. Grant Watkins Avatar
      Grant Watkins

      Good argument.

    2. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      Nice to see such perceptive insight, originality, powers of expression and wit on the internet. It is sooooo rare.

  6. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
    TheInconvenientRuth

    You article happily omits the fact that on th D5 the card module can be exchanged after purchase, so if you have a dual CF D5, it can be turned into a dual XQD D5 and vice versa.

  7. alex Avatar
    alex

    “There is no reason to replace technology that works well based simply on its age” – yes, there is! its called newer, higher profit margins! It does have to do with time.. every product has a life cycle. it’s business. companies want to make more money/profit with new products. Sometimes they phase out perfectly good products to make new ones that will give a better profit margin. its not all about the effectiveness of the cards. For instance, have you ever gotten mad when your favorite bottle of perfume stopped being produced? even though say on amazon, it only had 4 and 5 stars, and mostly 5’s?

  8. alex Avatar
    alex

    lol, engineers think it’s ridiculous. businessmen/women dont. thats why we usually have intermediaries between engineers/scientists and business people. because neither comprehends the other :)

  9. Wilson Wong Avatar
    Wilson Wong

    We all know…especially when it comes to ego…when one Jap company adopts it, the competitor usually will avoid it. So Canon avoids it. Not surprisingly. I just hope they don’t follow Sony footsteps when it is OBVIOUS no one wants Sony’s memory card format (you guys remember memory sticks right?). So on the get go, Sony supports Nikon on this having being burnt supporting their own format….actually Sony got burnt before memory stick….Betamax…that is really a pain to them.

    Please don’t do the Blu-Ray versus HD DVD debacle again.

  10. flaker Avatar
    flaker

    Why not SD?