All photographers and filmmakers have accessories and doohickies in their bags to help them with their pursuits. And now that we’ve covered cameras, lenses, lights, bags, tripods, sliders & gimbals out of the way, it’s time to crack on with those in today’s final 2019 DIYP Gift Guide. Here are some of the things we find absolutely invaluable in our work and some of the new tools and toys that have come out this year.
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.
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.
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.
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.