9 January 2013

Lexar enters the XQD arena

It was already announced a while back, but we finally have another choice for our XQD cards: Lexar has them available now too.

The two new Lexar XQD memory cards come in 32GB and 64GB capacity. Good to hear is that they are extremely fast. With a minimum guaranteed read transfer speed of 1100x (168 MB/s), they match that of the fastest Sony XQD cards (their S-series which I haven't yet been able to spot “in the wild” though). Write speed is lower, of course, but still MUCH faster than any non-XQD card around.  In fact, read performance is even faster than is theoretically possible with Compact Flash, let alone SD!

With no other camera than the Nikon D4 to make use of these super fast cards, it remains to be seen whether or not the XQD standard will survive. But boy, are these cards fast: in my D4 I can continue to shoot full res 14-bit raw files at 3.5-4 frames/sec after the buffer (already a whopping 75 images, good for 7.5 seconds at top speed) is filled up. And this with a previous generation Sony (125MB/s) XQD card…

Together with the cards, Lexar also developed a USB 3.0 XQD card-reader, allow for super fast data transfers between card and computer.

The cards have an MSRP of $299.99 (32GB) and $579.99 (64GB), the XQD USB 3.0 card reader will have an MSRP of $44.99. With these prices, they actually look cheaper than Sony's own offerings!

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