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.
It’s been three long years since SanDisk first showed off a 1TB SD card at Photokina. It was operational, but it was essentially just a proof of concept to show that it could be done. Now, SanDisk feels the market is ready to adopt such huge cards, and that the prices today will be more manageable than they were in 2016.
You know, I was just thinking the other day when SanDisk announced their new cards that Angelbird’s been awfully quiet on the CFexpress front. They’ve become a very popular brand over the last couple of years when it comes to high-performance CFast, SSD and other storage formats. So their silence with regard to CFexpress cards, when everybody else seems to have announced some, was surprising.
Now, though, Angelbird has officially announced that they’re entering the CFexpress market with two new cards, the AV PRO CFX for cinema users, and AVPRO CFX XT for tough heavy-duty industrial needs. Naturally, they’re bringing out their own CFexpress card reader to go along with them.
CFexpress is the drop-in next-generation replacement for XQD. It’s also a sort-of replacement for CFast. It doesn’t fit into a CFast slot, but it’s what manufacturers are dumping in favour of CFexpress in their new generations of kit – like Canon’s recently announced EOS C500 Mark II. So far, we’ve seen a few companies throw their names into the hat, but one notable player has remained pretty silent. Until now.
SanDisk has announced their new SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress 2.0 Type B card, which is already available for sale in European markets. It’s popped up in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities in the UK and other places, and writes up to 1.4GB/sec and reads at up to 1.7GB/sec.
At least, it’ll shoot full frame 12-Bit RAW video when the new firmware comes out in a few weeks. The Z6 (and Z7, and a few of Nikon’s DSLRs) will also support CFexpress when the new firmware update comes, too. Not surprisingly, Nikon was showing off the new Z6 Filmmaker’s Kit at NAB 2019, so we stopped by the booth to have a chat and find out more about it.
Hot on the heels of ProGrade Digital’s CFexpress announcement, Sony, too has announced that new CFexpress cards are coming. While Sony’s cards don’t come in the same high 1TB capacity as the ProGrade cards, they are even faster, offering up to 1700MB/sec read and 1480MB/sec write speeds. They’re also built to be rugged, falling under Sony’s “Tough” line of memory cards.
ProGrade Digital has officially announced the launch of their new CFexpress cards. But the range has expanded since they teased us with the 1TB CFexpress card last year at NAB. It’s also gotten a bit of a speed boost, too! Along with a new CFexpress card reader, two lines of CFexpress cards are coming in Gold and Cobalt flavours offering read speeds of up to 1.6GB/sec and write speeds up to 1.4GB/sec.
After Lexar’s Polish distributor announced that Lexar will no longer produce XQD cards in order to focus on CFexpress, Lexar has issued a further statement to Nikon Rumors. In the statement, they say that availability of XQD has been “held up by multiple parties”, specifically naming Sony.