Have you heard of XQD cards? They are a brand new type of storage card. SD cards have long been the card of choice for compact point-n-shoot cameras as well as a few DSLRs, but higher end DSLRs have stuck with compact flash. While compact flash is not dead they will be replaced by XQD cards at some point. Compact flash manufactures are still making their compact flash cards faster so don’t expect to see them off store shelves in the near future.
So what’s the difference? XQD cards boast a 25% speed increase over the fastest CF cards on the market. Sony’s new 32GB XQD card has a data transfer speed of up to 1gbps (or 125mbps). Future iterations are supposed to boast speeds of 600 mbps which is an amazing speed. XQD cards are better designed to utilize modern DSLR’s speed capabilities. “When using Nikon’s DSLR D4, XQD memory cards can record approximately up to 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode,” accounting to Sony’s press statement.
The new XQD cards are a little smaller than current compact flash card and a little larger that current SD cards. The first XQD cards from Sony will cost $130 for the 16 GB model and $230 for the 32 GB model. You will also nee Sony’s proprietary reader for another $50.
Nikon and Sony are already on-board with this new technology. Canon has acknowledged XQD card slot will be in their future as well. That means all other manufactures will probably follow suit. Currently though only Sony has committed to the new card format. Companies like SanDisk and Lexar have yet to announce plans to use the XQD format cards. So don’t worry your SD and CF cards will be around for years to come.