Opinion: Photographers Have Too Many Card Format Types

History is repeating itself, and we have too many card format types again.

It was bad enough that Apple took out support for the SD card in their MacBook Pros. It’s still in the iMacs thankfully, but the trust SD card has been the mainstay of photographers for well over a decade. There was a time where we all loved and used CF cards. And Sony dried to push Memory Stick Duo on us. But it failed. Some camera manufacturers now use SD cards and XQD card formats. Some also use SD and CFExpress. CFExpress and XQD aren’t necessarily backward compatible with each other. And then there’s CFExpress Card A. Technically, we have four different card types. Why? In some ways, I understand the technical reasons. But in other ways, I think it’s pretty stupid.

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Did Nikon Drop the Ball By Giving the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 a Single XQD Slot?

Nikon Mirrorless D5

The single XQD card slot on the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon Z7 have been a hotly contested point of conversation for days now.

Before anyone thinks all I’m trying to do is be a Sony Champion or just sling some mud, please hear me out and know that I don’t think that Nikon’s decision could be all that awful of an idea. “Really?” you say?! Yes, although Sony themselves eventually gave up on the Memory Stick Duo format that was pretty awful, the better part of me likes to think Nikon and consumers who actually purchase the cameras are going to approach this situation in a much different way.

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First Impressions: Nikon Z7 (With the Nikon 35mm f1.8)

The Nikon Z7 is the company’s attempt to outdo Sony in the mirrorless full frame space.

Upon initial thoughts, the Nikon Z7 has a whole lot going for it: except, you know, the single card slot and a card format that almost no photographer uses. But at the heart, there is a 45.7MP BSI full frame sensor capable of producing incredibly crisp images. On top of that, you can cram Nikon’s very simple DSLR style interface into the camera and their ISO range from 64-25,600; a win-win on many accounts when you consider it has weather sealing, the autofocus is actually very good (like Sony-level good), and there is built in image stabilization. Rightfully so, I can say with all certainty that the Nikon Z7 is going to be taking home a number of awards this year.

We got some hands on time with the new Nikon Z7 today and used it with the company’s 35mm f1.8 for the Z mount. Here’s what we think so far.

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Lexar’s New Memory Cards are Insanely Fast

Pro_1100x_XQD_32GB

 

Lexar always seems to push the envelope when it comes to new memory card announcements, and CES 2013 is no exception. Today the company is outing their  Professional 1100x XQD card and the High-Performance 600x UHS-I memory card. At the moment of writing this post, the only camera that takes XQD cards is the Nikon D4. But for owners of the demonically powerful camera, you should know that when using this card, you can achieve a read transfer speed of 1100x (168 MB/s): which is great for burst mode or HD video recording.

Lexar also updated their SD card line with the new UHS-I Memory cards with 600x (90MB/s) minimum guaranteed read transfer speed–or so the company claims. These are Class 10 cards with the slowest speed snailing in at 90MB/s transfer speeds and comes in at 256GB. Don’t expect this to be cheap either: it will run you $999.99.

Lexar Joins Sony in XQD Development

Today Lexar announced that they are going to start supporting and producing XQD memory cards. Lexar joins Sony as only the second company to offer support for the XQD specification. The only camera that currently supports the new standard of memory card is the Nikon D4.

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