ProGrade Digital has announced its new CFexpress Type A cards. At the moment, this means that their only real competitor is Sony and their target market is Sony shooters. The new cards offer read speeds of up to 800MB/sec, with sustained and burst write speeds of 400MB/sec and up to 700MB/sec respectively for high-resolution video capture.
Manfrotto is breaking into the CFexpress market with two new CFexpress Type B memory cards. Initially being offered in two capacities of 128GB and 256GB, the cards offer speeds of up to 1,730MB/sec, and allow you to record 4K, 6K and 8K video footage at high frame rates, not to mention fast buffer clearing for RAW stills.
Manfrotto says they offer “industrial strength and reliability with unparalleled performance” for use in temperatures from -25°C all the way up to 70°C, so whether you’re shooting in the sub-zero arctic temperatures or the hot Arizona sunshine, they should stand up to the task just fine.
It’s been a LONG time since Nikon first announced that they would be creating firmware updates to add CFexpress support to the Nikon D5, D850 and D500 DSLRs to allow users to make use of the new format in their XQD card slots. Well, now, Nikon Rumors (not Nikon) is “confirming” that the firmware will be coming before the end of 2020.
The new CFexpress cards were first confirmed to be coming by ProGrade in March 2018 and by February 2019, Nikon had announced that they were going to support the new format through firmware updates for all of their XQD cameras (except the D4/D4s). In December 2019, that firmware update came for the Nikon Z6 & Z7 mirrorless cameras, but DSLR shooters have been kept waiting ever since.
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard anything from Nokishita about the Sony A7S III, but it looks like they’ve delivered in good style by leaking the complete German press release for the Sony A7S III. It boasts many of the features that have been rumoured and highlights features such as 1080p recording at 240fps, 10-bit 4:2:2 video and data rates up to 500mbps.
One interesting bit of information, that was mentioned in the leaked B&H review is the RAW over HDMI feature. The A7S III features a full-sized HDMI socket, although there are no recorders out there that can support 16-bit RAW yet. The press release does specifically mention Atomos, though, so might they be getting ready to announce something, too?
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.
One of the big side effects and benefits to memory cards getting faster and faster is that they also get bigger and bigger. Two years ago when the format first started to hit the news, ProGrade announced 1TB CFexpress cards, which have now finally become available. Today, though, Delkin has upped the ante, doubling that capacity to 2TB.
Delkin’s new 2TB CFexpress card comes with 1,730MB/sec read speeds and 1,430MB/sec write speeds, which they say can handle everything up to and including 8K at high frame rates. There’s no word on a price yet, but their 1TB version is currently listed at $889.
Lexar has joined SanDisk, Sony, ProGrade, Delkin and Wise by releasing a CFexpress memory card reader. Surprisingly, it seems to be the cheapest on the market so far, coming in at a mere $50. It has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C socket, although the supplied cable is Type-C to Type-A (there’s no Type-C to Type-C cable in the box).
The reader boasts “Next-Generation Transfer speeds” with a read and write of up to 1,050Mb/sec. This may sound at odds with the Lexar’s own CFexpress cards boasting an impressive 1,750MB/sec read speed, but this is more a limitation of USB 3.1 Gen 2, which caps out at 1,250MB/sec.
Version 2.20 firmware for the Nikon Z6 and Z7 is available to download free of charge and you don’t need to send off your camera to have it implemented, although that support is somewhat limited. It only works for Type B CFexpress cards manufactured by Sony.
Nikon announced their XQD cards back in August 2018, but they’re now finally in the USA, just in time to become obsoleted by the wave of CFexpress cards being released by everybody else. It only seems to be available in 64GB capacity, and not the 120GB previously reported, but they are showing as available right now to pre-order from B&H for $129.95.
The release comes just at a time when SanDisk, Delkin, ProGrade, Wise and Lexar have just released their CFexpress cards for order (in the case of SanDisk) or pre-order (everybody else), offering 3-4x the speeds of Nikon’s (or anybody else’s) XQD cards.
CFexpress is coming. Of that, there is no doubt. It’s the drop-in replacement for XQD and will also replace many of the CFast 2.0 slots on the next generation of cameras. ProGrade Digital was the first to announce support for the new format, back in April last year, but they’ve been holding off on releasing it until hardware comes out that actually supports it.
See the update at the bottom of this article containing a response from ProGrade Digital.