Sony Announces First XQD Memory Cards
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 future. Sony 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.