Nikon video test shows off how much faster XQD cards are compared to CF cards

by Gannon Burgett

posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 3:03 PM EDT

Last week Lexar announced a new lineup of memory cards, including the world’s fastest XQD card, capable of read speeds up to 440MB/second. While few cameras possess a slot for this new format, Nikon Asia has shared an impressive video showing just how capable XQD cards are compared to the more ubiquitous Compact Flash format.

As a third-party disclaimer, it’s worth noting Nikon Asia doesn’t use one of the latest CF cards available, making it somewhat of an uneven battle to begin with. In this particular video, Nikon Asia pits up a 32GB Sony XQD G-Series card (400MB/s) against an unnamed 32GB UDMA 7 CF card (160MB/S). For comparison, Lexar’s new XQD cards are capable of read speeds of up to 440MB/s, while the new CFast 2.0 cards clock in at 540MB/s.

That aside, the four and a half minute comparison is still interesting to watch. Nikon Asia uses a D4S body as the host for the comparison, running both cards through a series of tests, memory-to-card speed tests, buffer image counts and transfer times between card and computer.

The XQD format is still in its infancy compared to CF, so there’s plenty of room to improve, both in speed and reliability. Furthermore, its success as a format will greatly depend on what manufacturers decide to make room for it in upcoming cameras.

Right now, Nikon is the only major still camera brand utilizing the format, so unless Canon and other manufacturers hop on board, there’s a slight possibility XQD will be dead before it has a chance to show off its true capabilities.

(via ISO 1200)