NikonGear

Gear Talk => Camera Talk => Topic started by: Michael Erlewine on November 11, 2019, 14:06:15

Title: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Michael Erlewine on November 11, 2019, 14:06:15
I kind of lost track of these two options. Of course I have the XQD and need another one. Should I wait for the CFexpress on the Nikon 7? Any idea when that will be here? Will the CFexpress then need its own reader. Probably can't use my XQD reader, etc.

Is the CFexpress that much faster. Any info would be appreciated.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Ilkka Nissilä on November 11, 2019, 14:13:22
CF Express is potentially much faster than XQD but it is not clear if the existing Nikon cameras benefit from the additional speed since firmware update hasn't been put out yet to support the CF Express so that people can test.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: stavrosf on November 11, 2019, 19:26:09
I have the same question, but as far as I have read possibly Nikon Z6 and Z7 will use that extra speed.

CFExpress protocol seems to support backward compatibility with XQD, so I expect that if you have an approved XQD reader to support the newer protocol. But, I think that I will buy the new reader as it should be much faster than the XQD one.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 04, 2021, 19:20:54
Did anybody test these two card types and their effects on buffer size in a D500 or Z6?

Currently sharing one Sony G 440MB/s XQD card between the two cameras and with the borders slowly opening up its time to make the camera kit fully operational again :)
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Akira on July 04, 2021, 21:35:36
XQD is being obsoleted by CFexpress.  So long as the writing speed is fast enough for your stacking work, XQD would be good enough and could be cheaper.

But the potentially faster CFexpress card may be advantageous when you transfer the hundreads of image files onto the computer.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: MILLIREHM on July 04, 2021, 23:27:21
I have bought two San Disk Extreme CF-Express cards for my D6. Currently they are my only CF-Express cards and I havent tested them yet with other camera bodies., although the Z6 the D850 and the D500 should be able to take it after firmware upgrades (btw. I'd like to have a firmware upgrade for the D4S too - that would reduce the need of thinking about what cards to take. I probably will buy more CF-Express Cards but not throw away all the aquired XQDs but keep them in use.

I bought a CF-Card Reader from Sandisk-it was the only one available at my dealer (plus an USB adapter cable as it comes with just an USB-C cable) but I was told that it can NOT read XQD cards. That is a nuissance as it is the same card size and contacts but just two differerent protocols. And if the cameras can be made to read both it should be possible to provide a reader that supports two systems - I hope a device like that will become available
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 00:34:24
The readers seem to be a bottleneck like with NVMe SSD’s, either the reader or the interface generation limits the trough put potential of the memory itself.

To read 1700MB/s you need a 20Gb/s interface where most readers seem to have a 10Gb/s USB 3.2 interface, a Thunderbolt 3 or USB 4 reader should work at max speeds though but haven’t found those readers yet.

This Sony reader does both formats btw but is limited to 10Gb/s, I would rather wait for a full speed alternative:
https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/card-readers/mrw-g1#product_details_default
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Eddie Draaisma on July 05, 2021, 08:07:32
The reader I have is the Blackjet TX-1CXQ. Thunderbolt 3, 40gbps. It reads both XQD and CFexpress (Sony XQD driver needs to be installed on MacOS).

https://www.blackjetusa.com/product-tx1cxq

I did not buy it for speed however. Two Sony readers died (probably) due to getting too hot, so I went looking for something else. This one is well built in metal housing.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Hugh_3170 on July 05, 2021, 09:16:58
I wish that they were not so dammed expensive!

Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 09:51:05
I wish that they were not so dammed expensive!
Hence the need to buy one which is future proof haha
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 09:59:43
The reader I have is the Blackjet TX-1CXQ. Thunderbolt 3, 40gbps. It reads both XQD and CFexpress (Sony XQD driver needs to be installed on MacOS).

https://www.blackjetusa.com/product-tx1cxq

I did not buy it for speed however. Two Sony readers died (probably) due to getting too hot, so I went looking for something else. This one is well built in metal housing.
Thanks Eddie, looks like a solid solution but I do read in the fine print that it only supports XQD cards from Sony and not from other brands while the Sony driver is only compatible with non M1 Macs for the moment.

Thunderbolt 3 supports 40Gb/s which is more than sufficient as CFExpress type B has a max theoretical speed of 2000MB/s so you should be fine for the coming years :)
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Ilkka Nissilä on July 05, 2021, 10:03:14
Did anybody test these two card types and their effects on buffer size in a D500 or Z6?

When the firmware updates came out to support CFexpress, many people did post their experiences on various forums and websites.

The general picture is that in Nikon cameras which the CFexpress support was added by firmware update, writing to CFexpress cards can be slightly slower than XQD cards. In those Nikons which had CFexpress support from FW 1.0 (Z6II, Z7II, D6), CFexpress is somewhat faster and gives better burst performance, although this difference is nowhere near the difference in the specified speeds for the cards. I guess it may take many generations of cameras before the maximum speeds are actually realized in practice. The same is true of card readers and computers.

Quote
Currently sharing one Sony G 440MB/s XQD card between the two cameras and with the borders slowly opening up its time to make the camera kit fully operational again :)

There is no acute need to switch to CFexpress. If you need to buy new cards, factor in the cost of the reader(s) into the purchase price if buying CFexpress. Or you could buy another XQD card and use the readers that you have, saving a bit of money.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Ilkka Nissilä on July 05, 2021, 10:07:23
Hence the need to buy one which is future proof haha

I don't think there is any digital media which is truly future proof in the sense that long life and compatibility across devices is guaranteed. Notice that although Nikon and Canon now use CFexpress type B, Sony do not. Sony use CFexpress type A and did not upgrade their XQD cameras' firmware to support CFexpress type B. CFexpress Type A and B are physically different cards.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 10:59:17
Thanks Ilkka, slower writing speeds might indicate a protocol translation instead of native support for the new protocol. The older XQD cameras can’t technically use the extra data channel of the CFexpress cards but was hoping for a little more speed but it seems the cameras themselves are the limiting factor here.

The latest Zee cameras do support CFexpress type B natively now but somehow made the second slot SDXC instead of a dual CFexpress type A / SDXC slot like Sony did with their latest iteration of the a7 series. It should be fine when splitting RAW and JPG files over the two slots but I expect the camera to slow down drastically when writing RAW or RAW+JPG to both slots simultaneously.

Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Tom Hook on July 05, 2021, 12:30:43
The reader I have is the Blackjet TX-1CXQ. Thunderbolt 3, 40gbps. It reads both XQD and CFexpress (Sony XQD driver needs to be installed on MacOS).

https://www.blackjetusa.com/product-tx1cxq

I did not buy it for speed however. Two Sony readers died (probably) due to getting too hot, so I went looking for something else. This one is well built in metal housing.

I bought the same Blackjet reader after suffering what happened to you, having had other cheaper readers die for one reason or another. This is a solid piece of equipment and has never failed me. It's a bit more expensive but so far I haven't had to replace it, which for me is a better way to save money. Loading the driver for my Mac was easy even though the instructions require reading carefully as they are in both Japanese and English! Finally, it is pleasingly heavy and firmly planted on my desktop, which is reassuring.
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 12:45:01
The Blackjet also seems futureproof as Thunderbolt 3 is part of the upcoming USB 4 protocol which uses the same USB-C connector :)
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Eddie Draaisma on July 05, 2021, 13:39:27
The Blackjet works fine with all my Sony, Nikon (the one that came with the Z7) and Lexar XQD cards; non-compatibility of the Sony XQD driver with M1 macs is currently indeed an issue (as is updating Sony cameras/lenses with M1 macs). I am not hurt by that, not yet...
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 13:43:10
Thanks for the clarification Eddie :)
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: MFloyd on July 05, 2021, 20:33:10
I have only a couple of CFE cards; the remainder are XQD ones. In terms of still image usage, no perceived difference. Downloads to personal computer is faster with CFE’s. Problem was the reader. At the time of the D6 arrival, I found only one expensive reader which could handle both XQD and CFE, ie the Sonnet, illustrated hereunder:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50273230182_364bdb596f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2jAtrQJ)
Sonnet - SF3 Series - CFEexpress/XQD Pro Card Reader (https://flic.kr/p/2jAtrQJ)

These readers are more targeted towards the video industry; they are very fast; up to 10 can be chained, but they need a heavy transformer, so for traveling it’s a real nuisance. I recently purchased the new Sony reader, which is compact, doesn’t need a power feed (beside the USB-C) and which travels now with me.

(https://www.missnumerique.com/images/produits/large/sony-lecteur-cartes-mrwg1-1-76.jpg)
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Eddie Draaisma on July 05, 2021, 23:26:02
Thanks for the Sonnet reader info, good to see that there is another fast TB3 XQD/CFexpress reader.

Apparently it needs the same Sony driver for XQD as the Blackjet, so it does also not work on M1 macs (yet).
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 05, 2021, 23:46:44
Here's one from ProGrade, formally known as Lexar:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1548491-REG/prograde_digital_pgrwcfxxqdana_digital_cfxb_xqd_thunderbolt_3.html

Also needs the same Sony driver to make it compatible with the Sony XQD cards, something tells me they all use the same chipset haha
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Tom Hook on July 06, 2021, 19:25:22
The Blackjet works fine with all my Sony, Nikon (the one that came with the Z7) and Lexar XQD cards; non-compatibility of the Sony XQD driver with M1 macs is currently indeed an issue (as is updating Sony cameras/lenses with M1 macs). I am not hurt by that, not yet...

I asked BlackJet and got this response:

"TX-1CXQ is compatible with Apple M1 if you use CFexpress cards. The Sony’s XQD driver currently is not compatible with Apple M1 as we are waiting for updated driver to support M1 chip".
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: David H. Hartman on July 07, 2021, 19:05:36
I'm tired and maybe not do a good job of comparing but I'm not seeing much of a price advantage for XQD over CFExpress. I think XQD is going to be supplanted so why buy XQD at this time.

Dave
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: Jan Anne on July 07, 2021, 23:51:11
Good question, guess the timing to adopt the new standard depends on personal requirements and limitations.

My D500 and Z6 are not going anywhere anytime soon, might add a second Zee camera to the collection to replace the Sony a7S but I see no point in selling these two gems. Both use XQD and work best with these cards, CFexpress can be used but are slower and have a smaller buffer size as a result.

Then there’s the lack of suitable future proof readers, don’t mind spending money but hate wasting it unnecessary. I mainly use the iPad Pro 12.9 2020 for my photo editing so out of the four dual format readers the three thunderbolt 3 readers are out by default, also the XQD fix won’t work on iOS and the two readers with confirmed solid performance by trusted forum members are heavy duty desktop models not suitable for travel.

The Sony is USB-C and suitable for travel but two members here reported issues plus it is not fast enough to use the cards at their max speed potential on the Macbook which kind of defeats the point of using these cards when the camera’s can’t utilize the extra speed neither.

This leaves the two single format readers from Transcend and Lexar:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/products/Card-Readers/ci/1096/N/4093113321?filters=fct_a_memory-card-type_5618%3Acfexpress%2Cfct_usb-version_7132%3Ausb-3.2-20-gb-s

These are both USB-C for the iPad Pro and fast enough to read the 1700MB/a cards on the MacBook Pro at full speed because they are USB 3.2 2x2 which supports 20Gbps transfer speeds. The fact that they cost less than the cards themselves is also a nice bonus, they are future proof as USB4 is backwards compatible with older protocols but the downside is traveling with multiple readers when both cameras come along for the ride.

But it’s still early stages and I am in no rush so will probably buy a CFexpress card when the first travel size dual format USB4 readers come to market like I just did for my NVMe M.2 SSD cards.

That all being said, buying CFexpress cards when owning the latest cameras which natively support them is a no brainer, just be aware which reader you buy :)
Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: chambeshi on July 12, 2021, 12:44:54
I have decided to use XQD with CFExpress side by side but not buy any new XQD.  Last week, i learnt the hard way most CFExp readers including   do not read XQD cards trademarked Lexar (now part of Prograde). This is contrary to what a sales guy in Pretoria told me over the phone! And reading feedback on BandH, neither does Lexar v3.2 reader : Lexar 3.1 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1643021-REG/lexar_lrw550u_rnbnu_cfexpress_usb_3_2_gen.html/qa

So currently, BandH list only 3 dual readers for CFExp b and XQD. 2 models of blackjet by Atech Flash Tech and 1 Prograde - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1548491-REG/prograde_digital_pgrwcfxxqdana_digital_cfxb_xqd_thunderbolt_3.html
But they do seem widely avaialble, and not yet in S Africa

I will stick with one brand of card ie Lexar/Prograde, and carry on with both XQD and CFExp readers until the driver firmware is sorted out. Note to ROM - pack both in camera bag for a trip!

Title: Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
Post by: chambeshi on July 12, 2021, 12:57:40
The other option is a portable backup device with a dual XQD - CFexp cardreader

I have  DJI Lacie, which can only read XQD via the USB port, and I have still to test it but it should work with a CFExpress reader. A promising option is the Nexto DI NPS-10-XQD (NPS10XQD) portable backup, which I aim to try out. On paper this sounds better than the pedestrian DJI 'block' I've been using in the field since 2018 (instead of a computer)
https://www.nextodi.com/products/nps-10

http://robyoungsonphotography.com/new-blog/2020/4/20/fast-and-reliable-photo-backup-in-the-field-review-of-the-nextodi-nps-10

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1481555-REG/nexto_di_nps_10_xqd_portable_all_in_1.html/reviews?gclid=Cj0KCQiA1KiBBhCcARIsAPWqoSp_-zfGSffeUPdbRJv1RMYAh8OArhBz3ajHNHN9jMd22IdrJJiO0aAaAppHEALw_wcB

This model has -

1 XQD / CFexpress card slot
2 two UHS-II SD card slots
1 microSD card slot
and both types of USB 3.1 ports

It works with 2.5" SATA harddrives and also SSD. Drives can be swopped, and apparently files can be copied to an external drive - even a RAID unit - without a computer

https://www.nextodi.com/drive-compatibility/nps-10