Trigger-happy shutterbugs are sure to like this news. Sandisk has just announced its latest in Compact Flash cards, the Extreme IV. What? CF cards are out of fashion, you say? Of course not! CF cards are the preferred media of professional photographers and serious amateurs who use digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. These excellent shooters need fast and large storage that only CF can provide. Traditionally, the larger CF cards (4 Gigabytes and up) were the realm of CFII cards, which are usually thicker and traditionally hard-disc based.
However, the problem with hard-disc based CF cards is that these consume more power than flash-based cards, and having moving parts, were prone to damage with long-term use (or when dropped or mishandled). Disc-based solutions also needed a few seconds to power up before being used. This is not a problem with solid-state storage, such as Flash-based ones.
One limitation of Flash, though, is the capacity and speed. Flash-based drives had maxed out at 1, then 2, and then 4 Gigabytes. Flash access has been slower than disc-based access, too. So in mission-critical activities, like photographers’ shooting their scenes at six frames per second using RAW format, Flash just won’t do.
Until now, that is. With the development of fast NAND chips, Flash is now faster than hard discs. And capacity is increasing by the moment, too. Just yesterday, leading storage media manufacturer Sandisk announced its Extreme series IV CF card series, which come at 8 Gigabyte maximum and can transfer data up to 40 Megabytes per second.
The SanDisk Extreme IV cards are available in capacities of up to 8-gigabytes (GB)1 and deliver minimum read and write speeds of 40 megabytes per second (MB/sec.)2 making these the fastest flash memory cards in the world.
The Extreme IV series is priced as follows: $160 for the 2GB, $320 for the 4GB, and $640 for the 8GB. That’s pretty affordable for fast, reliable storage. This would be a welcome addition to any serious photographer’s arsenal.
I want one! And I want a new Digital SLR, too!