Thoughts on D500 Memory Cards

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Mary Doo, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. I just noticed at a large local store that they had only delkin for uhs-ii available, no sandisk uhs-ii and no lexar cards at all. They previously always stocked Lexar but the entire product portfolio seems to be currently out of stock and unavailable. They said they ask every month and get the same reply: Lexar cards should be available in 1 month. So also for UHS-II there is a shortage. UHS-I performance in the D850 is disappointing. I am considering the Delkin card now to minimize the impact of dual card writing on speed. Writing JPG to UHS-I (and 12 bit compressed NEF to XQD) shortened the 9fps burst to 27/28 frames. I guess I can live with that but it would be nice to write NEF to both cards.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ilkka, take a look at B&H. They have various UHS-II SD cards in stock, including Sony, Lexar, SanDisk ... and even the new ProGrade brand. I just noticed that while ProGrade cards are not as expensive, they have a slow write speed.

    UHS-II SD is another niche product. Among Nikon bodies, only the D500 and D850 are compatible, plus a few Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus mirrorless cams some some video cams. It is still a small market.
  3. A 1 TB card would still hold 5 hours of 8K video surely? And since it can only be shot in 29' 59" takes, and would likely deplete several batteries in the process, what would be the point?
  4. Yes, but the shipping of such a small item from B&H to Finland would be quite expensive relative to the cost of the card itself. I would need purchase several cards to make it worthwhile in this case. Fujifilm also support UHS-II cards.

    A C700 can record 4K at 810 Mbps (checking some specifications). 8K would potentially then be 3240Mbps, so 1 hour of recording might consume 1.5 terabytes of storage. I guess it depends on how much compression you want to tolerate. Personally I'm quite happy with HD quality video and don't think I need or really benefit from any more resolution in video (although I have a 4K TV).
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  5. "8K would potentially then be 3240Mbps"

    - The bit rate doesn't make any difference to the fact that 8 K 'only' needs 4 times the storage capacity for the same runtime as does 4 K. Maybe less, since compression will almost certainly be more efficient.

    Sony's figures for 4K video say that a minimum of 1h 15m can be recorded on a 64 GB card. Scaling this up gives a figure of 20 hours per Terabyte. Divide that figure by 4 to get the 8 K capacity, and we get 5 hours per Terabyte. With the same 30 minute single take restriction, and that with current battery technology, there's no way that 5 hours of video could be shot without tethering or a battery change.

    So I really can't see the practicality of using 1 TB storage cards anytime soon.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Rodeo Joe, the 30-minute recording restriction is an artificial one for still cameras that can also capture video. When a camera can capture video for more than 30 minutes continuously, some European countries classify it as a video camera and subject it to higher taxes. Dedicated video cameras are subject to the higher taxes anyway and don't have such artificial time restriction.

    Any $1000 memory cards are targeted to pros, who will use larger battery packs or just AC power. For example, in some (high-end) wedding ceremonies you need to capture from beginning to end with no interrupt, and that can easily last an hour or two.

    Additionally, video capture, 8K or not, is not restricted to 24 fps, 30 fps, etc. Some people will capture 60 fps, 120 fps and then play it is slow motion ....

    Clearly a 1T memory card that costs over $1000 is in the fore front of modern technology. Unless you are into very high-end video capture with technology from tomorrow, you won't need it, and I can see why you don't understand some people may need it.

    For me, I mainly capture still pictures. That was one occasion that I was fulling up one 32G XQD card in an hour. Typically I leave a 128G XQD card in the camera as the backup card. In case I accidentally delete some important images from my computer before I have a chance to do maybe a weekly backup to other drives, I can always go back to get it from the card inside the camera.
  7. "...and I can see why you don't understand some people may need it."

    - Oh, I can see that there will be applications for it. I'm just wondering why a card that's not available yet is even mentioned in relation to Nikon still cameras, and especially WRT the D500?

    As you say, anyone that needs that card definitely won't be shooting with a camera that's artificially crippled in its video capture. And the badge on the front most likely won't say 'Nikon'.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Actually ProGrade was demonstrating their up-coming CFX cards at the NAB in Las Vegas this past week. ProGrade shows that their CFX cards can be inserted into Nikon cameras that use XQD just fine; however, Nikon needs to upgrade the firmware for their cameras to use CFX cards.

    Since some people keep on hammering that only Sony XQD cards are available at the current time, the fact that Lexar is planning to resume XQD production soon and CFX cards from ProGrade and Delkin should be additional options are very relivant. Sony needs to supply XQD cards for their own camcorders, such that Sony cannot raise XQD prices to an unreasonable level or they’ll hurt their own camcorder sales. But unlike Ilkka, I don’t like the idea that there is only one XQD supplier or even just two. More competition will bring prices down and will benefit consumers.

    There is more info on XQD and CFX on this current thread:
    Availability of Lexar XQD Cards, Directly from Lexar
  9. ?!!!! I am fairly sure that I never said that having only one supplier for XQD cards is a good thing. I believe XQD card manufacture by Lexar will continue as the company have indicated. All Lexar products seem to be presently hard to find at least in my country, not just XQD, which would suggest that the termination of production by Micron still affects availability and the new owner have not yet gotten production running. Apparently in the US some Lexar products are available - I don't know if they are still running old stock or if there is a distribution problem with the new owner of Lexar and my country.

    Currently XQD card prices are not as high as some lesser performing SD UHS-II and CFast cards which suggests that Sony isn't price gouging thus the idea that competition will automatically reduce prices isn't necessarily true. I think Sandisk doesn't make XQD for the simple reason that Sony XQD are less expensive than Sandisk SD UHS-II and Sandisk CFast 2.0 cards thus they don't see it attractive because who would pay a 30% premium for a Sandisk XQD over Sony? I don't actually believe Lexar XQD will be less expensive (like they used to be) in the future - the fact is they weren't making enough profit for Micron to want to keep the Lexar business which makes it likely that under the new owner the prices are going to be higher - all businesses want to make a profit. So, to summarize my view: the Sony XQD products are currently fairly priced compared to other types of fast memory cards. Thus D850/D500/D5 should not be concerned about Sony price gouging on cards. There is no evidence that this is their intention. Lexar is trying to get their production running under the new owner and we can hopefully expect this soon, but my guess is the prices won't be as low as they used to be. Currently XQD cards are readily available despite the high demand for the D850.

    Prograde digital's 1TB CFX card isn't relevant to D500 users because it clearly is meant for high end video (D500 simply doesn't need the speed) but possible compatibility of Nikon XQD cameras with CFX cards is relevant to some users' faith in future card availability of cards for XQD cameras. I think there is a misguided belief that CFx card availability and compatibility with existing Nikon cameras would push card prices down. My suspicion is that the high performance CFX cards will be priced so high that Nikon XQD camera owners won't be intrerested with the possible exception of the D850 which is perhaps somewhat bottlenecked by currently available cards. If manufacturer competition brought down prices then high speed CFast 2.0 cards and Sandisk UHS-II would be less expensive than Sony XQD which they are not. The market is not so simple. Competition can reduce the sales volume of individual manufacturers and lead to higher costs per unit.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  10. Just to be clear, Red, at least, will currently sell you several video cameras capable of 8K shooting (at a non-trivial cost, and recording to custom media). I've not made enough sense of the Arri and BlackMagic range to know whether they offer the same, but if they don't, they will. And the Dell 8K monitor has been around (in limited quantities) for a while.

    For some images, for video, it's not terribly useful (just as I'm prepared to watch some TV programmes on a "+1" broadcast channel that usually isn't even HD); I suspect the porn industry will continue quite happily in standard def because many things do not improve with detail. For other content, it absolutely is useful to have the pixels - though admittedly, when I once wrote an article making the case for "minimum resolution", the number of things you can't do without at least 8k is relatively small, at least unless you start sticking lenticular screens on the front. To be fair, it typically makes much less difference than HDR and a wide gamut, but those are now becoming relatively mainstream.

    How many (non-iMAX) cinema screens update to 8K is another matter. My local cinema is at most 2K.
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Micron decided to get out of the consumer memory card business and therefore discontinued the Lexar brand. I think the problem is more along the line that low-end SD cards, jump drives ... are not very profitable. However, some of those ex-Lexar management turned around and formed ProGrade, but ProGrade only produces high-end memory cards such as UHS-II, CFast and later on CFX. True to its name, ProGrade doesn't produce consumer-grade products at this point. Apparently high-end memory cards are more profitable.

    Besides the 5 Nikon DSLR models (D4, D4s, D5, D500, and D850), the only devices that also use XQD cards are several higher-end Sony camcorders. Therefore, Sony has to supply XQD cards to support their own camcorder business, and they cannot price it to an unreasonable level or Sony will only hurt themselves. In fact, it is well known that those Lexar 2933x XQD cards are somehow not compatible with certain Sony camcorders. While both Lexar and Sony XQD cards work well on Nikon DSLRs, not all XQD cards are fully compatible with all XQD devices. For owners of those camcorders, there is only one XQD supplier anyway. (Two years ago my wife was considering whether to get one of those Sony camcorders, and that affected my choice between Sony and Lexar XQD.)

    My concerns about having only one XQD supplier is more along the line that if case something happens to Sony's XQD supply, e.g. some natural disaster destroys their XQD factory, it will really affect Nikon and Sony alike. It was like 2 years ago an earthquake damaged Sony's sensor factory, and it affected a lot of digital camera production.
  12. Thom Hogan talked to Lexar at NAB and reports: "According to Lexar, they didn’t get any of the tooling from Micron, so they’ve had to build out their factory new for XQD support. But it won’t be until at least June that you see new inventory show up. Apparently this is just-off-the-press news. They weren’t going to invest in and start a new XQD production line until they had the licensing deal in place. They’ve got the licensing now, so they have started the new line."
    mike_halliwell likes this.

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