How Do Sony XQD Memory Cards Compare to CompactFlash Format
So in what ways is the XQD a better memory card format than CompactFlash? For one, XQD has a larger storage capacity potential than CompactFlash (CF). CF hits its peak storage at 128 GB while XQD, on the other hand, can reach capacities beyond 2 TB.
XQD’s transfer rate (168 MB/s) is also about 30% higher than CF’s. This is made possible by its base in PCI Express interface and the unique controller found in the format, which optimizes memory and opens the way for high-speed data processing. A Nikon D4 paired with a Sony XQD S Series card, for instance, can write about 108 RAW format frames when set to sports mode, a very enticing quality for sports and live events photographers.
CompactFlash seems to be a waning preference in the realm of digital photography. Long eclipsed by the smaller SD card, the CompactFlash format is set to take another blow with Sony’s new line of XQD memory cards. Offering breakthrough writing speeds, XQD memory cards mainly target professional and amateur photographers who are looking for the best speed performance and image capture there is in the market.
Developed in 2010 by Sony in collaboration with SanDisk and Nikon, the XQD format was meant to replace the now 18-year-old CompactFlash format. The XQD format has already been approved and licensed by the CompactFlash Association but until now, the format’s development had been sluggish. This is said to be partly because of the predominance of SD cards in the market, the other memory card format meant to eradicate CompactFlash.
Digital photography isn’t the only thing benefiting from the XQD format either. Digital video can expect to reap rewards from the format as more users demand HD-resolution in conjunction with high transfer speeds, two things already on offer in XQD.
Currently, Sony is the only company with a few models of XQD memory cards out, the most recent being the S Series. Lexar, however, has announced that they will release their own line come late 2012. For now, the first and only camera to support the XQD format is Nikon’s D4, a high-end DSLR camera. It’s a slow start, but with two of the top memory card companies in the game (with one major camera company to boot), it won’t take long for others companies to follow suit.
Are you ready for the XQD invasion? Don’t forget to leave your comments below!