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XQD or CF Express?

tcdeveau

Well-known member
I actually liked the snow, but maybe that’s just cause as someone in the southeast US we don’t see much of it. Shrug.

Back on topic, I looked into it awhile back and decided to go forward with CFe for some is the same reasons people already mentioned. Had thought about going sandisk just because I’ve almost always used sandisk traditionally. Kinda curious about Angelbird at the moment, although I have no substantive rationale behind that curiosity....

Still on XQD for now but will prob be buying into CFe in 2021
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
I actually liked the snow, but maybe that’s just cause as someone in the southeast US we don’t see much of it. Shrug.

Back on topic, I looked into it awhile back and decided to go forward with CFe for some is the same reasons people already mentioned. Had thought about going sandisk just because I’ve almost always used sandisk traditionally. Kinda curious about Angelbird at the moment, although I have no substantive rationale behind that curiosity....

Still on XQD for now but will prob be buying into CFe in 2021
My 2 CFexpress cards are both Sandisk - 1x128G and 1x256G - and I am absolutely happy with these (y)

I might add 2 more higher capacity card in 2021 - 512G or even 1T ... also Sandisk!
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I bought a Sony 256 GB CF Express after reading the Petapixel performance review. https://petapixel.com/2020/09/22/cfexpress-a-real-world-performance-comparison/ (I would've been okay with a couple 128's but they are oos and did not want to spend yet for a 512 even though the Sony and Sandisk at that size seemed to perform best.) Anyway, then I find a UTube review where the guy says his XQD card was faster and loaded more images before he hit the buffer (35 vs 40). WTF??? So I'm going to buffer fill test tomorrow when I have both in front of me and will report back... I hope this doesn't end up as a another one of my gear optimization exercises that never really nets me anything LOL.
 
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Darin Marcus

Well-known member
Anyway, then I find a UTube review where the guy says his XQD card was faster and loaded more images before he hit the buffer (35 vs 40). WTF??? So I'm going to buffer fill test tomorrow when I have both in front of me and will report back... I hope this doesn't end up as a another one of my gear optimization exercises that never really nets me anything LOL.
I did warn you, didn't I? ;) :
The cameras released for XQD (Z6/7, D850, ...) will not benefit from CFexpress, and in some cases they would actually write slower due to software emulation instead of hardware circuitry. Card readers will import CFexpress files much faster to the computer though.
On the plus side, downloading to computer with a card reader will be much faster.

Your next Z camera (which will have a CFexpress slot :)) will definitely be faster with CFexpress cards than with XQD cards.

And the one after that may not even be compatible with XQD :D
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I did warn you, didn't I? ;) :
Yes you did! And why I did the research to hopefully choose a "good" card :oops:

On the plus side, downloading to computer with a card reader will be much faster.

Your next Z camera (which will have a CFexpress slot :)) will definitely be faster with CFexpress cards than with XQD cards.

And the one after that may not even be compatible with XQD :D
I hear this too! But my bigger concern is the camera after my next one may not even be compatible with CF Express!!! :eek:
 

Darin Marcus

Well-known member
Yes you did! And why I did the research to hopefully choose a "good" card :oops:


I hear this too! But my bigger concern is the camera after my next one may not even be compatible with CF Express!!! :eek:
You chose a very good card (I got a Sony Tough 128G). The speed issue cannot be helped with the first gen Z 6 & 7. I haven’t seen any talk about card speeds in the Mk 2 cameras - I am curious about that.

We know CF is done, and CFast will follow at some point, just like XQD.
It looks like the CFexpress camp wants to replace everything (well, except for microSD) - Type A is roughly the size of SD cards, and Type C appears to be targeted at the Pro Video cams. We should be safe with Type B for a while...
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Thought I would pass along some information FWIW. My CF Express card arrived so I compared in-camera performance directly to my XQD card. I decided a simple write test was pretty easy by seeing how many frames I could capture in continuous-high until the buffer in my Z7 stuttered. For the test I shot in manual focus so the lens and image content did not affect the actual image being written and I had camera pointed at the same stationary spot for capture consistency. I shot in RawL+JpegLF* mode (largest file sizes) and repeated the test 6 times with each card. Average for the XQD card was 21 frames; average for the CFex card was also 21 frames. Only difference of any note is there were a few frames less extreme variation with the CFex card, though my sample set was too small to draw any solid conclusion -- and I had no interest in pursuing it ;)

End of day I am comfortable saying there is no disadvantage to using the CFex card in my "old" Z body, but then there is no real net capture advantage either. There is obviously the computer side read benefit with the CFex cards, so at least some gained benefit from the changeover going forward. It will be interesting to see how well the new Z-ii cams utilize the technology.
 
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D&A

Well-known member
Jack, just a thought. Is it possible you reached the limit of the cameras processing and/or read out speeds so that even if you used a card of either type with faster write speeds, you'd still be limited to 21 frames on average. If this was the case, then the results of your test would have different implications. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Dave (D&A)
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Jack, just a thought. Is it possible you reached the limit of the cameras processing and/or read out speeds so that even if you used a card of either type with faster write speeds, you'd still be limited to 21 frames on average. If this was the case, then the results of your test would have different implications. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Dave (D&A)
Dave, I think that is precisely what my simple test revealed! IOW, *EITHER* memory platform currently exceed my camera's ability to fully utilize them. Going forward, who knows? But worst case is my computer with USB/TB-3/c can utilize the enhanced read speeds of CFex. If one has an older USB/TB-2 computer system, maybe not...
 
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tcdeveau

Well-known member
Thanks for sharing @Jack !

That was my understanding, at least on the gen 1 Z6 and Z7, that the limiting factor was the write speed in the camera - so you wouldn’t see much of a difference (if any) in cam between XQD/CFe, but you would see a difference at offload on the computer side.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Okay, just received my CFexpress reader -- a USB C Prograde Dual Slot CFex/SD. What I can say is CFexpress is FAST at the computer! I got 939 MB/s read, 825 MB/s write. In comparison, the fastest external drive array I've ever clocked was a dual SSD in RAID0 at 785 - 750 MB/s.

I am happy I made the switch at this time -- thanks for all your input.
 

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msstudio

Member
I’m all about the upgrade, looking forward, therefor I go with an end without pain rather than pain without ending. The CFexpress is quite amazing for download speeds. I Can’t recommend this enough if you have the volume (Shooting Vers. II Z’s).
 

msstudio

Member
When the Z6/7 II came out I did switch to CFexpress and the download speed with the Sandisk reader (and cards) is extremely improved. I got the 128GB versions and don't need to change cards during a shoot day, which is brilliant for data integrity, exposure to the elements etc. Obviously, I'm slowing myself down by backing thing up to the SD cards, but thats my workflow, better safe than sorry. And I'm using the CFexpress for quick data transfer. BTW, never had any issues with QXD single slot ever (but I feel better like this, potentially not letting paying clients down).
 

jlancasterd

Member
When the Z6/7 II came out I did switch to CFexpress and the download speed with the Sandisk reader (and cards) is extremely improved. I got the 128GB versions and don't need to change cards during a shoot day, which is brilliant for data integrity, exposure to the elements etc. Obviously, I'm slowing myself down by backing thing up to the SD cards, but thats my workflow, better safe than sorry. And I'm using the CFexpress for quick data transfer. BTW, never had any issues with QXD single slot ever (but I feel better like this, potentially not letting paying clients down).
Which make of CFexpress card did you buy? I've recently taken delivery of a Z7II and am thinking of going with CFexpress rather than XQD for the extra speed with large RAW files.
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
John, I bought Sony CFexpress cards simply because I trust them. Others are probably just as good.

Joe
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
Another endorsement for CFExpress cards:


Joe
 
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