Kingston Tackles the Issue of Big RAW File Sizes, But At What Cost?


This storage tech from Kingston is great, but it seems like the future of photo editing and creating will be pricey.

New technology is always fantastic. We have been spoiled quite a bit in the photography industry over the last few years in this regard. There’s no doubt about that. More powerful cameras with larger sensors than ever before are here, and they’re relatively affordable. However, we often overlook our computers and just how powerful they have to be to deal with the files that these cameras create. Dealing with large file sizes from photography and cinematography can be tricky. Still, Kingston is working towards dealing with this issue. Their new Ghost Tree PCIe 4.0 NVMe promises blazing fast read and write speeds (7,000MB/s), but at what cost? Join us as we talk about the new drive and discuss just how expensive photo editing may become in the near future.

As you know, CES 2021 is currently in session. This year’s show is an all-digital affair due to the ongoing pandemic. Still, that isn’t stopping manufacturers from showing off their new goods. Kingston, a memory and storage solution leader, has just announced the fastest PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe to date. Codenamed “Ghost Tree,” this new blazing fast NVMe will have read and write speeds up to 7,000MB/s. The new drive will have storage capacities ranging from 1TB-4TB. This announcement will no doubt please photographers who have to deal with large file transfers in their current workflows. We’re also sure this news will be music to the ears of cinematographers as well. However, one thing that has not been announced by Kingston is the price of this new NVMe.

Get Your Wallets Ready For Kingston


Relatively modest PCIe 3.0/4.0 NVMe drives in the 1TB-4TB range cost anywhere from $100-$900. My guess is that this Kingston drive will be pricey. I built my PC for $1,100 in mid-2020. My specs are Intel i5 10400, 32GB DDR4 2666 RAM, 1TB PCIe NVMe, Radeon 5700XT GPU. So, with that in mind, the potential price of the Kingston Ghost Tree NVMe is eye-watering. In fact, the cost of having even a decent editing PC or Mac is alarming. My current build is no slouch. However, throwing larger RAW files at it will make it stutter, and that’s a problem as I will soon have to do some upgrades to deal with larger RAW files.

Still, the Kingston Ghost Tree isn’t targeted at those who do a small amount of editing and transfers. It’s most definitely for creators who need to be as efficient as possible when dealing with vast amounts of data. However, with rising file sizes, it won’t be too long until the speeds that the Kingston Ghost Tree offers will be needed by all. Cameras like the a7r IV, the Canon EOS R5, Nikon’s D850, the Fujifilm GFX 50R, and GFX 100 already produce massive file sizes. Chances are that in 2021 we’ll see cameras with even larger sensors and even bigger files. Get ready, folks. If your current editing PC is struggling, you may need to plan to upgrade now. Head on over to Kingston’s official website for more information about the Ghost Tree PCIe 4.0 NVMe and other products that have been announced at CES 2021.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.