SanDisk Unveils 256GB Extreme Pro CF Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB CF

SanDisk has released a new 256GB Extreme Pro CF card with minimum sustained write speeds of 65MB/s and max write speeds up to 140MB/s. Read speeds max out at 160MB/s.

The cards are UDMA Mode 7 compliant for fast buffer clearance on supported cameras. SanDisk touts the new high-capacity card as optimized for 4K video capture, which is further highlighted by the VPG-65 specification (i.e., min. sustained write speed of 65MB/s). [Read more…]


5D Mark III SD Card Speeds are Slower Than They Should Be

5D Mark III w/ SD Card

Image Credit: Jeff Cable

Jeff Cable noted a curious fault of the Canon 5D Mark III and its rather sluggish SD card write speed.

. . . for some reason unbeknownst to me, Canon decided to build the 5D Mark III with one very fast CF slot which supports the newer UDMA7 protocol and a standard SD card slot which does NOT support the high speed standard (called UHS – for Ultra High Speed).

Jeff lays out the full details on his trials with the SD format over on his blog.  Note that Jeff works for Lexar and knows more details about memory card specifications than the average photographer.  Word from the horse’s mouth is also available on page 32 of the 5D3 manual with the express disclaimer that the camera does not support the UHS speed class standard.

I’m with Jeff on this one.  It’s a real head scratcher why Canon wouldn’t support UHS-I in its cutting edge 5D Mark III.  (The standard was announced way back in 2010 and has been pretty widely adopted thus far, including prosumer shooters like the Nikon D7000.)  While it’s not as big a deal as a crippled AF system (ahem, 5D Mark II), this certainly is annoying and makes the SD slot unusable for some shooters out there.

Of course, Canon updated the 5D Mark II to provide support for the CF card spec UDMA-7 over 2.5 years after the camera was released.  So, maybe we can hope a little bit that a similar firmware update would come to the 5D3 in order to put the SD card slot on nearly equal footing with the CF card slot.  However, Jeff says that this could be a hardware limitation and not possible to update.

Has anyone else been plagued by the sluggish SD card problem on the 5D Mark III?

More memory card geekery explanation on Demystifying SD Cards.

Lexar Introduces 256GB CF Card in Pro Line Refresh

Lexar 256GB CF Card

Lexar’s biggest CF card yet just dropped at CES 2012.  The Lexar Pro 400x line of CF cards now includes a 256GB card, along with 128GB and 64GB available capacities.

The new cards are UDMA Mode 7 compliant and offer minimum transfer speeds of 40MB per second.

The 128GB and 64GB cards are priced at $469.99 and $299.99, respectively.  No word yet on pricing for the 256GB CF card; however, Lexar says it will be available in the first half of 2012.

More details in the press release below. [Read more…]

Kingston USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader

Kingston Media Reader USB 3.0

Kingston has joined the ranks of USRobotics and Lexar with its launch of a new USB 3.0 memory card reader that transfers data among CF, SD, microSD, and Memory Stick formats.  The new card reader should be available soon at an initial retail price of $45.00. Check availability on

For those unfamiliar with USB 3.0, it’s much faster than USB 2.0 and even FireWire. [Read more…]

Canon 5D Mark II Firmware Update Ver. 2.0.9

Canon has released a firmware update for the 5D Mark II. The new firmware version 2.0.9 provides the following updates.

  1. Improves writing/reading speeds when using UDMA 7-compatible CF cards.
  2. Fixes a phenomenon where the IS function will not work when custom function C.Fn III-2 is set to [5: IS start] and the lens attached does not have an AF stop button. This is because custom function C.Fn III-2 allows users to assign IS start to the AF stop button on the lens
  3. Corrects misspellings in the menu screens displayed in Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and Thai languages.

The firmware is not yet available on Canon USA’s site; however, you can find it Canon’s Asia site here.