The massive SanDisk 1TB microSD cards announced in February are now available to buy. Priced at $449, the 160MB/sec SanDisk A2 card is listed on the SanDisk Website, B&H and Amazon. The latter two aren’t showing it as being in stock yet, although you can pre-order. The 512GB card comes in at $199.99.
The race for more and more storage on tiny little cards just keeps on trucking. Although SanDisk showed off a proof-of-concept 1TB SD card way back at Photokina 2016 and ProGrade announced their 1TB CFexpress cards last April, it wasn’t until recently that Lexar had released a 1TB memory SD card that you could actually buy.
Now, though, both SanDisk and Micron (the people who used to own Lexar) have beaten Lexar to the punch when it comes to scaling that down, having both announced their own 1TB microSD cards at Mobile World Congress 2019.
Firmware releases are a good thing. But sometimes they come at a price (this we why we recommend never to upgrade firmware unless you have an issue that is solved in the firmware release notes). Sony’s latest release for the A7/R III brought better AF, bracket shooting in silent mode, and something that many people have been waiting for. It unlocked all autofocus modes for adapted lenses with the Sony LA-EA3 mount adapter. This was a big thing since many Sony users are using Canon, Sigma or other 3rd party lenses.
But, after using the new firmware some users started reporting that they are having issues with some memory cards. Apparently, that was a real issue and Sony pulled back their update. DPreview spotted a message on the Sony UK site explaining the pullback by the need to fix two issues:
Recently, a user on Sony Alpha subreddit reported an issue with his a7 III when a SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card is inserted. They were looking for an advice from fellow Sony users, but as it turned out – many more of them have had the same issue with the same memory card type.
Announced at Mobile World Congress, SanDisk is pushing the limits again. After announcing the SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSD card only 6 months ago, they’ve now announced a new Extreme Pro version with read and write speeds of up to 160MB/sec and 90MB/sec respectively. And while support will vary depending on the device you’re using, it seems squarely aimed at video and VR/AR creators, offering V30, U3 and A2 speed guarantees.
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 Western Digital announced the My Passport Wireless Pro in 2016, it was a nice little improvement over the original. But it still wasn’t quite what people were hoping for. It was still a very handy unit, it was still a little slow and underwhelming. Now, though, its latest iteration, the My Passport Wireless SSD takes things to a whole new level. As well as the obvious addition of the SSD, the Wi-Fi’s been upgraded, as has the built-in SD card reader.
And next up is a new SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. I knew Western Digital buying up SanDisk would lead to great things. The new Extreme SSD offers the speed and performance you’d expect from an external solid state drive, but with a ton of durability.
We’ve seen memory cards that have survived the wash, explosions, four years in the ocean and more. But as if memory cards weren’t tough enough already, SanDisk just had to go and make them tougher. Their new line of Industrial and Automotive cards designed to stand up to the intense extremes to which they’re exposed.
The Automotive SD is designed for use within vehicles and drones. The Industrial SD, Industrial microSD and Industrial XI are intended for more mainstream use. The standard Industrual can withstand temperatures of between -13°F (-25°C) and 185°F (85°C). While the top end remains the same, the Automotive and Industrial XI cards are rated down to as ridiculous low of -40°F (which is also -40°C).
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.
Many thought Western Digital were a bit stuck in the times, clinging onto HDD technology. All the others were making the big push towards solid state, especially Seagate, and WD seemed to lag behind. Then, last year, Western Digital completed its acquisition of memory card manufacturer, SanDisk.
Now, Western Digital have unveiled its first portable SSD; The My Passport SSD. It’ll come in three capacities of 256GB, 512GB and 1TB, with a Type C USB3.1 interface. Set to compete directly with the Samsung T3 line of mini portable SSDs, it could see the prices dropping sharply over the next little while.