CFast 2.0 might be on the way out, thanks to CFexpress, but it’s a popular format still in use by a lot of cameras. The Pocket 4K and 6K, for example, pretty much require one for their highest resolution and highest data rate raw recording. But what happens if a card goes bad? Yes, it can happen. Well, that’s when you send it off to somebody to crack it open and have at it with a soldering iron.
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.
Although there have been some announcements of 1TB memory cards, Lexar seems to have beat them all. The company has released the world’s first 1TB SDXC memory card and it’s officially the first one actually available in the market.
Although this won’t be of much to iOS users, Lexar has announced a new 512GB 633x (100MB/sec) A2 microSD card for smartphones. Designed for lots of fast read and write operations per second, this card is ideal for Android smartphones. Especially those used by photographers and filmmakers shooting lots of photos and footage.
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.
Since Micron sold memory card brand, Lexar to Longsys in China, people have been wondering what’s going on. Will they still keep making those favourite Lexar products? Will they bring out a new range? Or will they just take Lexar’s intellectual property, apply it to other products and not make memory cards at all?
Well, now it seems that we have our answer. Longsys has put out a statement saying that Lexar will be back in “full production” and shipping globally by the autumn.
When Longsys acquired Lexar from Micron last September, it threw the storage card world into disarray. What was happening to all of Lexar’s products? Were we still going to get support? And what about XQD? Well, it seems when it comes to the last one, Lexar might not have been telling us the whole truth since it went under new management.
B&H switched the status of Lexar XQD cards over to “discontinued” in October. Lexar publicly announced via Twitter back then that they will continue to produce XQD cards and fulfill the B&H inventory “in a few weeks”. Well, it’s now 6 months later, they’re still listed as discontinued. Now, according to Nikon Rumors, Lexar is telling us to wait until the summer. But they may not be back even that soon.
When Micron announced they were quitting the Lexar brand last year, it came as quite a shock. Many long-time Lexar fans were worried about where their future memory cards would be coming from. A short time later, the Lexar brand was acquired by Longsys, a Chinese manufacturer of flash storage. Very little seems to have happened in Lexar’s story since then, though, except for the continued production of Lexar XQD cards.
Now, though, it seems a new company, sort of, is entering the fray. ProGrade Digital is a new brand of professional grade memory cards and card readers aimed at photographers. But while this is a new company, they aren’t newcomers to the memory card game. It’s being headed up by a team of former Lexar and SanDisk executives and senior management.
When Micron Technology announced they were discontinuing Lexar, one of the customers’ concerns was the availability of XQD memory cards. A recent post on Nikon Rumors caused even more stir, as they noticed all Lexar XQD cards were discontinued at B&H. However, a response from Lexar says there’s nothing to worry about after all – they will continue producing XQD cards after all and fulfill B&H’s inventory again.
There was a lot of upset with the recent announcement that Micron were to discontinue the Lexar brand. A lot of previous and potential customers became concerned. Is support going away? Should they switch to a different brand? If they buy now, are their warranties still good? I know quite a few photographers who made the overnight switch to SanDisk without a second thought.
But now, it seems that Lexar will be just fine. Micron have sold the brand to Chinese flash storage company, Longsys. As a leader in consumer flash storage, it seems that the Lexar brand is definitely staying. Their mission is “to make Lexar the go-to brand for high-performance removable storage”. They also say they’ll be expanding on it to provide even more solutions in today’s big data and wireless landscape.