Pre-CES: Sony has become the first company to offer a range memory cards in the XQD format. XQD was recently announced by the Compact Flash Association and is based around the PCI Express specifications, allowing write speeds of 125MB/sec and beyond. Sony claims that, when used in the brand new Nikon D4, (currently the only camera supporting the format), the cards can record up to around 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode. The first cards will be available from the end of January. Sony has also announced a USB 3.0 card reader for the format.

Press Release:

Sony unveils new high-speed XQD™ memory cards

1Gbps for faster write speed and superb reliability create new possibilities for advanced photographers

Giving photo enthusiasts and professional photographers a new level of speed and performance, the new range of XQD memory cards by Sony supports the recently adopted XQD specification for high-speed, high-performance digital image capture. Using the new cards, XQD compatible high-end DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) users can capture up to approximately 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode. In addition to outstanding high-speed data transfer capability, the cards are highly reliable to protect users’ data and images.

“Advanced photographers want to capture the moment in the highest quality possible, and that often means dealing with massive files like RAW images,” says Benoit Delfau, European Marketing Manager, Sony Media & Peripherals Europe (MPE). “These XQD cards give a whole new meaning to speed and performance for digital imaging enthusiasts.”

With its ultra-high write speed performance, and when using with Nikon’s new DSLR “D4”, XQD memory cards can record approximately up to 100 frames in RAW formatin continuous shooting mode.

XQD memory cards achieves stable continuous shooting of RAW images and blazing fast data transfer rates (up to 1Gbps; 125MB/s, write and read) through the PCIe interface. A unique controller and optimised flash memory enables high-speed data processing, resulting in faster write speed and performance that can’t be achieved by conventional compact flash cards.

Sony is also introducing a USB 2.0/3.0 compatible XQD card reader (model MRW-E80) so users can quickly and easily transfer large quantities of very high capacity data to their PC. Also, an XQD ExpressCard Adapter (QDA-EX1) will be available for use with computers with an ExpressCard™ 34 card slot.

“As users’ needs continue to evolve, Sony will also continue to enhance the XQD memory card line-up to meet the future requirements of the high-end digital imaging market”, adds Benoit Delfau.

The new family of XQD™ Memory Cards by Sony is available from end of January.