Sony’s A7S III reported to be the first mirrorless camera to use CFexpress Type A memory cards

Jul 23, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sony’s A7S III reported to be the first mirrorless camera to use CFexpress Type A memory cards

Jul 23, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Well, this is unusual, although not all that surprising. I mean, it’s a surprise move, but if it had to be anybody… Sony likes to be different, especially when it comes to memory cards. According to a report on Sony Alpha Rumours, the Sony A7S III will be the first camera to use CFexpress Type A memory cards. It’s an odd choice, given that nobody makes CFexpress Type A, although it does make some sense.

They also say that it won’t quite be the dual card slots we’re used to. Instead of two separate slots for two separate cards, it’ll have a combination card slot of sorts, that can accept both CFexpress Type A or SD cards – although obviously not at the same time. Also, it might actually have a pair of these combination card slots.

SAR initially reported a rumour that the A7S III would feature dual CFexpress and SD card slots, but that it would be “CFexpress Mini”. At the time it did sound a little confusing, although they now say that the speculation has been confirmed by a new source stating that the A7S III will indeed use CFexpress Type A.

CFexpress Type A is actually half the speed of the now-commonly-available CFexpress Type B, which might seem a little odd, although even at half the speed of Type B, it can reach speeds of up to 1,000MB/sec – which is still far more than the A7S III is likely to require for its video bitrates, even at 4K 120fps and also much more than the 300MB/sec top speeds of UHS-II SD cards – and those higher speeds might be demanded for 4K 120fps.

Whether or not Sony really needed to go to the smaller CFexpress Type A form factor or could’ve stuck with Type B will only really be known once the camera is released and we can see it in our hands, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this was just a way for Sony to force its customers to come buy their memory from them – after all, Sony can’t not start making them. With the majority of CFexpress devices using Type B, it’s unlikely that other manufacturers will be lining up to start making Type A just yet.

A combination card slot that can accept both CFexpress Type A as well as UHS-II SD cards is an intriguing idea. If it does end up just being a single dual-format slot, that could be frustrating to those who’d hoped that they’d be able to record to two slots simultaneously. But, SAR believes that there might actually still be two of these combination card slots, with each of them accepting both memory card formats.

So, maybe you will be able to record full resolution to one card and low-res proxies to another, after all. Well, we only have five more days to wait until we find out!

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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8 responses to “Sony’s A7S III reported to be the first mirrorless camera to use CFexpress Type A memory cards”

  1. johnny Avatar
    johnny

    So what happened to XQD? SONY finally recognized XQD is a failure.

    1. Vision L Avatar
      Vision L

      You should know Sony by now… they change format like I change my socks every day.

  2. Alan Cousins Avatar
    Alan Cousins

    Funny, I thought my Z6 could use them.

    1. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      You thought wrong. :)

    2. Alan Cousins Avatar
      Alan Cousins

      my Z6 can use cf express cards after having a firmware update as they use the same body. Type A is just a half speed version of the normal CF express card

    3. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Your Z6 uses CFexpress Type B. Not CFexpress Type A. It’s a different form factor, too.

    4. Photoman Ayu Avatar
      Photoman Ayu

      Alan Cousins there’re type A, B and C, Z6 and Z7 use type B

  3. Jonathan Levitt Avatar
    Jonathan Levitt

    The A7SIII will probably be around $4-5k and will 100% be more geared to the video shooter. Definitely have 4k/60 at the least, and a flip screen as reviewed in https://redbytesite.com. I think that Sony are gonna stun the camera industry with the A7SIII.