Pro Camera Manufacturers Need to Get on the CFast Bandwagon

Lexar Pro CFast Memory Card

I was shooting some video using the Atomos Ninja Star yesterday, which uses CFast cards. When it came time to download my footage, I had 27GB of footage. It took 2 minutes to transfer to my Mac Pro using a USB 3.0 card reader.

I hate plugging in a CF or SD card to a card reader and look at 10+ minutes of transfer time remaining. CFast cards are still pretty pricey but there’s just not much demand because the more popular cameras don’t support them yet. Right now, they seem to be mostly limited to pro video cameras.

The pins on devices that use CF cards are the worst design possible and expensive to repair when bent ($275 in a Canon 7D if you’re wondering). CF cards are reaching their limits in terms of transfer speeds. SD cards are even passing them up with the new UHS-II bus and we’re seeing more and more cameras add UHS-II compatibility. I’d like to see CFast cards implemented in cameras that are on the level of the Canon 5D series and higher.

CF cards have served their purpose well but it’s time to move on.


Atomos Releases Affordable CFast Cards for Ninja Star ProRes Recorder

Atomos Ninja Star

The Atomos Ninja Star was announced at NAB 2014 and touted as a ProRes recorder for the GoPro. The immediate downside that everyone saw was that it only recorded to CFast cards.

CFast cards are great from a speed standpoint; however, a 60GB SanDisk CFast card still costs $650! That’s a tough pill to swallow for a $300 recorder. While some more recently released cards are lower, they are still well above CF card prices. [Read more…]

SanDisk Introduces the Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 Memory Card Into a Very Odd Format Civil War

SanDisk CFast 2

SanDisk has unveiled the world’s first CFast 2.0 memory card with its new Extreme Pro model that is available in 60GB and 120GB capacities.

The Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 just laid claim to the world’s fastest memory card, with read speeds of up to 450MB/s and write speeds up to 350MB/s, offering up to double the shot speed of today’s fastest cards. [Read more…]

SanDisk Developing CFast2.0 Memory Cards, Not XQD Cards

SanDisk revealed at Photokina 2012 that it will be pushing toward memory card production on the new CFast2.0 specification memory cards and will not be delevoping XQD cards.

As of today, the only camera to support the XQD memory card format is the Nikon D4.  And while it is a great camera, no doubt, the single high-end model is not enough to push the demand in the market towards XQD as “the other memory card.”

CFast2.0 is a specification from the CompactFlash Association, which also designates the specification for current CF cards and the newer XQD cards.  CFast2.0 specs offer a theoretical performance up to 600MB/s data transfer speeds.

SanDisk is currently sampling new CFast2.0 cards to camera manufacturers to see if they will bite on the new specification in spite of the overwhelming move toward the SD card standard.  Medium format camera maker Phase One has already committed to putting the CFast2.0 cards to work in new cameras due to the higher performance over other card formats.

Pretec CFast Compact Flash Card – Transfer Rate of 160MB/s

I think Pretec just dared Canon, Nikon or anyone else to produce some higher resolution video and faster frame rates.  The new Pretec CFast series of compact flash cards quadruples the write speed of the SanDisk Extreme IV.

And, if the performance lives up to the specs, the CFast series will eat as much HD video as your Canon 5D Mark II can throw at it.  Maybe we can stop referring to CF card specs as 133x, 266x and so on, since the CFast will be something like 1064x speed card.

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