Author Topic: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards  (Read 1483 times)

Michael Erlewine

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XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« 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.
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #1 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.

stavrosf

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #2 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.

Jan Anne

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #3 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 :)
Cheers,
Jan Anne

Akira

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #4 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.
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MILLIREHM

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #5 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
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Jan Anne

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #6 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
Cheers,
Jan Anne

Eddie Draaisma

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #7 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.

Hugh_3170

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2021, 09:16:58 »
I wish that they were not so dammed expensive!

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Jan Anne

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #9 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
Cheers,
Jan Anne

Jan Anne

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #10 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 :)
Cheers,
Jan Anne

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #11 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.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #12 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.

Jan Anne

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #13 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.

Cheers,
Jan Anne

Tom Hook

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Re: XQD VS. CFexpress Cards
« Reply #14 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.