A few days ago The Compact Flash Association announced a new format to replace CF cards for professional photographers, and HDLSR filmmakers. The new format is called XQD, and has a physical size that falls between CF and SD cards (it is thicker than SD cards, but smaller than CF cards). The interface used is PCI Express, with real world write speeds around 125MB/s, eventually being able to exceed 2 terabytes of capacity. All that was pretty interesting, but I assumed that given the current prices of memory cards, pushing a new format would be a pretty hard sell (literally).
Well, I stand corrected. Twice. As you already know, Nikon just announced the D4 camera, which happens to be the very first camera incorporating the XQD technology. And Sony, on a surprising move, has also announced not only one but TWO flavors of the new memory card. A 16GB card for $129, and a 32GB card for $229. The new cards borrow the PCIExpress (PCIe) high-speed serial communications link interface from computers, offer 125MB/s transfer speeds, and can store up to 100 RAW images in continuous shooting mode.
Additionally, Sony will have a new USB 3.0 card reader, and an ExpressCard/34 adapter, and will start shipping the goods next month at the same time Nikon delivers the D4. Just on time for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Check Sony’s commercial for the XQD. It looks like an awesome video game. Now, would you pay $129 for a 16GB card?