D850 + CFExpress = faster than XQD write speeds?

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Disco John New Member • Posts: 21
D850 + CFExpress = faster than XQD write speeds?

Hey,

So, without going into unnecessary details I need a new fast, large capacity card for my D850. I needed one, like, last year but then the COVID thing happen, so I didn't really need one for a while. But now I'm back at it.

To save some posts on back and forth: I sometimes use this special technique that requires A LOT of frames ASAP. I feel that I have to illustrate. It usually goes something like this:

25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 5 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 5 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 5 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 1 second pause, 25 frames non-stop, 5 second pause...and so on.....

Usually, by the time I'm done it's between 40 and 60 GB but often more. *It is not a time lapse. Shutter speeds can be anywhere between 1/15 and 1/4000 and I do need to grab those 1000 to 2000 RAW frames as fast as the equipment will allow it. (been waiting for YEARS for a proper electronic shutter).

In the CH mode (duh) the buffer fills up pretty quickly and my current card can't keep up, I have to wait on it, which screws up my s***.

Right now I have the Sony's 64GB XQD + their SD card which I use for 'overflow' when the main card fills up. I then have to do an in-camera file copy to cheap Sandisk SD cards to free up the XQD.

I clocked the Sony's card at 253 MB/s in-camera write speed inside my D850 and this is what I'm interested in: real-world IN-CAMERA WRITE speed, not some lies that are printed on the box.

I need a larger capacity card, no matter what. Because, top-speed aside, I just don't have enough space on my 64GB for a single capture session. I've been waiting for Nikon to issue a firmware update, so that the D850 could finally take those CFexpress cards, and now, it looks like it's coming. If there was no update, I'd be buying a 240GB XQD, like, yesterday, again, speeds aside, 64GB is just not enough. My question is: Should I even have to do anything with CFexpress?

• All current XQD cards are rated at 400 MB/s.

• Reality: My camera can write only at 253 MB/s to an XQD.

• CFexpress cards are a lot faster on paper.

Will it be (much) faster writing to a CFExpress card? Or is the current bottleneck has to do with the internals of this body and not the storage technology?

Switching over to CFexpress is expensive: the card is 200-300 bucks (at least) + a new reader. And then I would buy another one, or even a couple, because I won't be using my current XQD anymore. It adds up... However:

Am I even waiting for the right thing, or am I being stupid expecting my D850 to write at upwards of 360 MB/s?

I need a tech-guy's opinion here, because I don't know anyone who has a D850 that takes CFExpress, so, it's not like we can do a field test..

Thanks!

Nikon D850
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