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.
In a deal costing Western Digital $17 billion in cash and shares, it puts the company in a great position to compete with companies like Samsung in the solid state memory market.
As some of the devices we use as photographers start to get smaller and less obtrusive, so do their storage formats. While their physical size is getting smaller, however, the data they’re collecting and recording becomes more demanding.
Going from basic stills to 720p, then to 1080p, and now with 4K starting to become standard in many new devices being released, they’re becoming more demanding than ever.
The days of smaller storage formats like microSD being relegated to simply storing contacts in your mobile device are long gone.
About a week ago reports began circulating that SanDisk is looking to be bought out, with Micron Technology and Western Digital both showing interest.
Several hours ago it was officially announced the latter was successful in sealing the deal and the leading hard drive manufacturer will pay $19 billion in cash and stock to buy the leading flash storage solutions company.
With WD’s hard disk drives and SanDisk’s solid state drives and other flash storage products, the combined company will offer a broad range of products from the consumer level to datacenters.
The board of directors of both companies have approved the deal and it should go through in the third quarter of 2016, pending the approval of SanDisk’s shareholders.
How will this move affect consumers?