The final specification for a new
memory card format, dubbed XQD, was announced
last month. The cards use PCI Express, a technology mostly used
in computers, as a data transfer interface, and, as a result, will
offer high speeds and high capacities – above 2TiB sometime in the
has announced two of the first XQD cards to be made available –
16GB and 32GB capacities, and appropriate accessories to match.
The cards boast 1Gbps (125MB/s) read
and write speeds, and they are priced at $129.99 for the QD-H16 and
$229.99 for the QD-H32; not cheap, but this sort of hardware never
is. Sony will also be offering a card reader with the USB 3.0
interface (model MRW-E80) and an adaptor that plugs into a notebook
ExpressCard/34 slot (model QDA-EX1) for $44.99 each; the whole family
will hit stores sometime in February.
As far as new format adoption goes,
Nikon's upcoming DSLR, the
D4, is going to have both a CompactFlash slot and a XQD card
slot, making it the only device unveiled so far to use the XQD
format. More are likely to follow. Apparently, according to the
PR, the cards will be able to handle up to 100 frames of constant
shooting at a time, under the camera's RAW photo format. Pretty
impressive. This figure should also improve as the cards are upgraded
with new PCI Express versions in the future.
UPDATE: The Sony Media 16GB and 32GM XQD Media Cards are now available at Amazon and other retailers.