[News] New XQD Memory Cards Announced by Sony

Card of the future or just another format we need to buy? Time will tell. Sony, tonight, alongside the Nikon D4 announcement, announced their plans for a new memory card based on the new XQD format that the D4 supports. The XQD format is based on a smaller form factor and Sony's boasts write and read speeds up to 1Gbps(125MB/s) with future theoretical speeds reaching up to 5gbps. While this might help ultra-high resolution video professionals, it could also help still photographers capture up to an unprecedented 100 images in burst modes with cameras such as the Nikon D4. And for starters, prices seem 'under control' at 16GB for $129.99 and 32GB for $229.99. Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Full press release:

PARK RIDGE, N.J. , Jan 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Giving photo enthusiasts and professional photographers a new level of speed and performance, the new Sony XQD™ memory cards support the recently adopted XQD specification for high-speed, high-performance digital image capture.

Using the XQD memory cards, XQD compatible high-end DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera users can capture up to approximately 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode. In addition to outstanding high-speed data transfer capability, the new cards are highly reliable to protect users’ data and images.

“Advanced shooters want to capture the moment in the highest quality possible, and that often means dealing with massive files like RAW images,” said Viviano Cantu , Director of Consumer Media for Sony Electronics. “Memory card technology has done a great job of keeping pace, but these new cards give an entirely new meaning to speed and performance.”

The new Sony cards are based on the XQD memory card specification, which the CompactFlash Association recently approved and licensed as an open format. With its ultra high write-speed performance, and when using Nikon’s new DSLR “D4,” the XQD memory card can record up to approximately 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode*.

The Sony XQD memory card achieves stable continuous shooting of RAW images and blazing fast data transfer rates of up to 1Gbps/125MB/s write and read (based on Sony tests and dependent on host hardware) through the PCIe interface, a computer expansion card standard for serial interfaces.

A unique controller and optimized flash memory enables high-speed data processing, resulting in faster write speed and performance that can’t be achieved by conventional compact flash cards.

Sony is also introducing a USB 2.0/3.0 compatible XQD card reader (model MRW-E80) so users can quickly and easily transfer large quantities of very high capacity data to their PC. Also, an XQD ExpressCard Adapter (QDA-EX1) will be available for use with computers with an ExpressCard™ 34 card slot.

“As users’ needs continue to evolve,” Cantu added, “Sony will also continue to enhance the XQD memory card line-up to meet the future requirements of the high-end digital imaging market.”

The new Sony products are planned to be available in February and are estimated to sell at the following retail prices:

QD-H16 card, 16 GB, $129.99
QD-H32 card, 32 GB, $229.99
Card Reader, MRW-E80, $44.99
ExpressCard Adapter, QDA-EX1, $44.99
For information, visit www.sony.net/Products/memorycard/en_us/xqd/index.html.

* When used with Nikon “D4,” with capture of compressed 12-bit NEF (RAW) images; based on Nikon research.

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Lee Morris's picture

I am shocked the price is reasonable. Thank you for not ripping off all of the early adopters!

I don't know where I saw it, but I do recall reading somewhere some weeks ago that one of the benefits of XQD was the cheaper cost of manufacturing (not sure on the reason, but yay).

Patrick Hall's picture

Well Eye-fi is adamant about SD being the future and now this comes along. Hopefully they will release a wifi card for this new format