Exclusive: Nikon: XQD memory format is the future

23.02.2012, 11:18

Nikon has affirmed its belief in the newly developed XQD memory card format, which so far is only available in its flagship DSLR, the Nikon D4.

Many expected that the new memory card format would make it into the Nikon D800 when it was launched, however that features dual slots which take the older Compact Flash and SD cards.

Nikon is the first manufacturer to introduce the memory card format into its cameras, with its professional level D4 camera.

XQD was announced in December 2011 by the CompactFlash Association. It is slightly bigger in physical size than a standard SD card but can offer extremely fast read/write speeds.

James Banfield from Nikon UK told TechRadar that there had been lots of interest around the new card format, “We have had lots of questions about it, but as soon as people see it in action, those questions stop,” he said.

“It’s always challenging introducing a new format of card.”

Rejected

To date, only Sony has announced that it will be producing XQD format cards, with other manufacturers including Kingston, Lexar and Sandisk showing a reluctance to enter the new market.

Asked if limited availability worried Nikon, Banfield said, “It doesn’t actually exist yet, but the Compact Flash Association has already said that it’s the future, so we will see it going forward.”

That said, Nikon has chosen not to include an XQD slot for its semi-pro D800 camera. Banfield says that this is because the new format is being saved for its flagship model, while the D800 is a camera the company expects existing users to upgrade to.

While its a fair assumption that upgrading users won’t want to invest in, what is for now at least, an expensive new memory card format, it does potentially mean that professionals looking to buy a D4 and use another DSLR as a back-up device will have to cart around three different memory formats.

No other camera manufacturers are utilising the XQD memory card format, though the impending Canon 5D X / 5D Mark III would be a potential candidate.

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Samsung launches new memory cards

21.07.2011, 9:07

Samsung has announced a new range of high performance SD and micro SD cards.

All of the cards in the line-up are capable of fast 24MB/s read speeds and have been specifically designed to meet the need for faster data transfer from mobile devices such as smart phones and digital cameras.

Two new categories have been introduced – ‘Essential’ and ‘Plus’, with corresponding price points to meet the needs of different users.

The premium plus range of SDHC/SD and micro SDHC/SD memory cards have the highest available class 10 speed rating, and have been designed with the transmission of full HD video in mind. The write speed of the plus range is 21MB/s and are available in storage capacities of 8GB or 16GB with a 10 year limited warranty.

The essential range of SDHC/SD and micro SDHC/SD memory cards have either a Class 4 or Class 5 performance rating, along with offering write speeds of up to 13MB/s. This range will be available in capacities of 2GB to 16GB and come with a 5 year limited warranty.

Each of the new cards has also been designed to be durable, boasting that they are shockproof, waterproof and magnetproof. Shock-proof technology claims to protect data from forceful impact and high pressure – including being crushed by a 1.6 ton vehicle. An Epoxy Moulding Compound covering provides a shield against dust as well as making them to resistive against sea water for over 24 hours. The cards are also designed to resist X-Ray scanners and magnetic exposure – such as those you might find at airport security check-in.

The cards feature a brushed aliminium finish and will be available from July 2011 in the UK. A class 10 SDHC/SD and micro SDHC/SD memory card with a huge 32GB capacity will be added to the Essential range in September 2011.

Prices for the new memory cards range from £7.99 for the 2GB ‘Essential’ cards to £38.99 for the 16GB ‘Plus’ SD card and 8GB ‘Essential’ Micro SD card.

More information can be found at the Samsung website.

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