The Finest CFexpress Reminiscence Playing cards in 2023

Best CFexpress Type B Memory Cards

CFexpress has lastly come into its personal and a number of firms are actually producing all kinds of capacities at a variety of costs. However with so many decisions, which one must you purchase?

Up to date 2/15/2023: We’ve got made important updates to this information, together with the addition of a number of new reminiscence playing cards. Blackmagic up to date its disk pace reader, so all of the playing cards have been re-run as a way to preserve consistency and accuracy. Moreover, we modified our course of for burst photograph seize by rising the info load on the playing cards. We even have eliminated the target video portion of our take a look at — however retained our subjective expertise notes — whereas we decide a greater manner to supply that knowledge to you.

CFexpress Sort B is, proper now, the commonest “subsequent technology” reminiscence card format and has all however completely gained out over the SD Affiliation’s flawed SD Specific format regardless of its lofty guarantees. Whereas CFexpress Sort A can also be coming into its personal, solely Sony is utilizing the format in its mirrorless cameras and on the time of publication, solely three firms are producing that card format.

When extra can be found, this information will develop to incorporate CFexpress Sort A as effectively however, for now, the 2 choices from ProGrade Digital and Sony carry out principally identically. PetaPixel has not obtained Delkin’s possibility to check.

Each different digicam firm in addition to Sony that has up to date to the most recent and best reminiscence card format is utilizing Sort B, and as such there are much more choices within the market.

However all that efficiency comes at a literal price: CFexpress Sort B playing cards can get fairly costly. To save lots of you the wallet-ache of constructing a foul choice, we’ve created a rigorous multi-stage take a look at to place CFexpress playing cards by means of the wringer and make it easier to make the perfect shopping for selections.

Beneath is an inventory of all of the CFexpress Sort B playing cards included in our testing:

PetaPixel will replace these outcomes periodically as we receive extra playing cards, so be certain to bookmark this story and examine again whenever you’re able to make a purchase order.

The Checks

To judge which playing cards carried out greatest, we subjected every to a sequence of checks. Within the case the place a card producer additionally provides a card reader, we used paired these merchandise collectively. If an organization didn’t present PetaPixel with a reader, checks have been carried out on the ProGrade Digital CFexpress Sort B and SD UHS-II twin card reader.

First, we examined the playing cards with Blackmagic Speed Test to get numbers for the common peak learn and write speeds that may be anticipated when loading and unloading knowledge to a pc. We then stuffed the playing cards at greater than three-quarters of every of their capacities and examined the pace once more to be sure that including knowledge to the playing cards doesn’t have an effect on efficiency. These checks present us with a baseline degree of efficiency to anticipate.

The second take a look at goes past peak speeds and appears at sustained speeds, that are quite a bit more durable for reminiscence card producers to hit constantly excessive numbers. These checks are carried out with HD Tune, one of some industry-standard benchmarks for measuring reminiscence efficiency, and are proven as a mean of learn and write pace efficiency, known as switch pace.

The third and ultimate take a look at is essentially the most related for photographers. We examined what number of seconds we might fireplace a Canon R5 at most framerate and backbone earlier than we hit the boundaries of the buffer. This implies we requested the digicam to file each RAW and the very best high quality JPEG and accomplish that firing on the most 20 frames per second with the digital shutter. This take a look at was carried out thrice and the outcomes have been averaged.

The Outcomes

Disk Pace Checks

CFexpress Peak read and write speeds

On this take a look at, increased is best. High performers right here go to SanDisk, Exascend, and Lexar. Whereas the Pergear Extremely saved up on the learn pace entrance, it wasn’t very spectacular when it got here to put in writing pace. Acer, OWC’s Atlas Professional, Angelbird, and Prograde’s Gold sequence playing cards carried out the worst right here, however with speeds which can be in no way “unhealthy.”

Sustained Disk Pace Checks

CFexpress Type B Sustained Transfer speeds

On this take a look at, increased is best and a number of other manufacturers stood out: SanDisk Excessive Professional, ProGrade Digital Cobalt, Sony TOUGH, Lexar, Exascend Nitro, Pergear Extremely, Nexstorage B1 Professional, and Delkin Black Collection. ProGrade’s Cobalt card examined the very best sustained pace, with Sony’s TOUGH card shut behind. Acer scored the worst right here because the divide between its greatest and worst switch speeds throughout the benchmark was very huge.

Burst Picture Take a look at

CFexpress burst photo performance

On this take a look at, increased is best. This was maybe essentially the most telling take a look at, because it tell us not solely how effectively a card was capable of take knowledge as quick as a digicam’s buffer might fill, however it additionally instructed us how effectively the playing cards have been capable of bounce again as soon as that buffer restrict was reached. As a observe, when writing to most sized JPEG and RAW, the buffer of the R5 is 45 frames. Given the 20 body per second most of the R5, the worst playing cards have been capable of write about 100 pictures whereas the perfect have been capable of write greater than 240 — fairly the hole.

The highest performing playing cards on this take a look at have been the OWC Atlas Professional Extremely, Sony TOUGH, Exascend Nitro, Nexstorage B1 Professional, and Lexar Diamond. A number of others just like the Delkin Black Collection and Angelbird AV Professional have been shut behind, whereas past that the dropoff was relatively steep. Of observe, each ProGrade Digital playing cards we examined carried out significantly poorly right here not solely with their most recording time, but in addition of their bounce-back time. After hitting the buffer restrict, it took each playing cards an extra of 15 seconds for the digicam’s buffer to totally get better, whereas the higher-performing playing cards we examined bounced again in below 5 seconds — generally as rapidly as two or three seconds.

Insights, Takeaways, and Suggestions

This could be an excellent time to say why the speeds we noticed in testing are nowhere close to the speeds any of the businesses placed on the packaging. Nearly each CFexpress card guarantees learn speeds at or above 1,700 MB/s, however the perfect we noticed didn’t even get to 900 MB/s peak speeds and sustained speeds have been a lot decrease.

It is because these peak speeds have been almost certainly obtained in laboratory environments with the SSD bus plugged instantly into a number PC. Whereas it will give absolutely the most efficiency the silicon is ready to produce, it’s additionally not something near a real-world scenario. Our checks goal to present you a greater concept of what to really anticipate.

Prograde digital memory card and reader

Video Efficiency

Notice: Whereas this part’s info is not offered within the charts above, it’s nonetheless related and thus we’ve got saved it right here for reference, as the knowledge remains to be correct.

Let’s get to the excellent news: each card we examined labored to our satisfaction in terms of recording high-resolution video knowledge. Each card, whatever the speeds promised, was capable of ingest 8K RAW video footage till the digicam overheated, which suggests it’s extremely unlikely that anybody would run into any points with the playing cards when taking pictures within the discipline — the digicam will fail earlier than the cardboard does.

Even when a card doesn’t even come near the promised peak learn or write speeds seen on the aspect of the field (which none of them did, by the way in which), it doesn’t matter. For video, Acer, which promised the least in terms of learn and write speeds, carried out identically to Angelbird which promised essentially the most.

A majority of the playing cards we examined have been capable of maintain greater than 400 MB/s switch speeds, with solely ProGrade Digital’s Gold sequence and Acer falling under that threshold. The one card we examined that has the Compact Flash Affiliation’s VPG400 certification — which requires 400 MB/s sustained speeds — was Exascend’s Nitro playing cards, though regardless of this they aren’t those holding the very best sustained switch speeds: that goes to Prograde’s Cobalt line and Sony’s TOUGH playing cards. So whereas AngelBird guarantees some significantly excessive sustained speeds on its web site and in advertising supplies, we weren’t capable of replicate them utilizing industry-standard software program.

Angelbird Memory card and reader

That mentioned, there could also be a purpose for that. Angelbird is extraordinarily nitpicky about which playing cards are designed for which cameras which might imply that it does have some sort of particular tuning to work with cameras higher than with pc software program. This looks as if a stretch, however we’ve got no strategy to inform.

For essentially the most half, these playing cards have been all fairly constant of their efficiency throughout our benchmarking apart from Acer and Atlas Professional, each of which have been much more frenetic in how a lot they jumped from excessive speeds to low speeds throughout testing, which supplies us pause recommending both for video workflows.

Picture Efficiency

Some manufacturers separated themselves from the pack within the images part, nonetheless, and there are clear winners and losers in terms of lengthy durations of burst photograph efficiency.

Delkin Devices CFexpress Card in reader

Sony, OWC, Lexar, and Exascend all carried out inside a margin of error, whereas Nextstorage and Delkin have been proper on their tails. All six of those playing cards have been capable of fireplace not less than 200 frames with out dropping under the utmost 20 frames per second that the Canon R5 shoots and have been very fast to bounce again. It’s extremely unlikely {that a} photographer could be holding down the shutter for that lond uninterrupted, however even when they did, these playing cards would be capable of help rapidly firing at that tempo once more after solely a brief few second break.

On the underside finish, nonetheless, not solely have been playing cards like each of ProGrade’s choices, Acer, and the lower-end OWC Atlas not capable of file for practically as many consecutive frames, some weren’t capable of get better quick sufficient to make them even value utilizing in high-stress conditions like sports activities or occasions.

If you’re strictly a photographer who wants the final word burst photograph efficiency and might’t threat lacking a shot, depend on Sony TOUGH, OWC Atlas Professional Extremely, Lexar Diamond, or Exascend Nitro before everything, however don’t be afraid to select up a Delkin Units Black Collection or the Nexstorage Professional B1 Professional both. If any of those are on sale, don’t hesitate to select them up.

The Finest Choices

Total, of the playing cards that we examined, we suggest going with Sony’s TOUGH, Lexar’s Diamond Series, Exascend’s Nitro, SanDisk’s Extreme Pro (which carried out so equally to the SanDisk Pro Cine that we aren’t certain there actually is even a distinction), the Nexstorage B1 Pro, or Delkin’s Black Series.

These playing cards posted wonderful efficiency in each video and photograph testing in addition to our computer-based benchmarking. You can be secure to select up any of those, so store for what’s on sale — except you care about final burst photograph efficiency, during which case we suggest Sony above all others.

I’ll say that whereas the Exascend Nitro reminiscence card carried out very effectively, the company’s 20Gbps card reader is tremendous loud. Whereas it doesn’t appear to have any bearing on efficiency, the reader itself has lively cooling that creates a whopping 65 decibels of noise. If any card is plugged into the reader, it screeches at a excessive pitch that’s extremely annoying. No different reader we examined does this, and it didn’t carry out any higher than our ProGrade Digital commonplace testing reader in trade for all that racket.

Once we introduced this up, Exascend instructed us that the cardboard reader is purpose-designed to ship switch speeds of as much as 20 Gb/s, making its built-in fan a necessity for efficient cooling. Nonetheless, to appreciate that pace, it requires that the consumer’s pc system additionally helps USB 3.2 Gen 2 x2 transfers. That’s not frequent proper now, however the firm says the design future-proofs the reader.

Of all of the out there playing cards, if capability is your greatest concern, Angelbird might be the perfect guess because it at present is the one model to supply a whopping 4TB in a single card. However should you power our hand and make us declare one total winner…

The Finest CFexpress Sort B Card in 2023

If you’re trying to purchase the perfect card with essentially the most dependable efficiency, then we suggest the Sony TOUGH card. Whereas it doesn’t put up the very best marks in all classes, it introduced essentially the most constant learn and write peaks and a few of the greatest sustained efficiency amongst all of the playing cards.


PetaPixel’s Selection: Sony TOUGH CFexpress Type B reminiscence card.