XQD Cards with D500

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Larry_G, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. I just got my D500 and have not used the XQD slot. What is your experience with XQD cards? I do a lot of travel photography and have a Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro portable hard drive for moving daily shot-shoots off cards and into the hard drive. The portable hard drive has a USB port where I could hypothetically plug in a XQD card reader. I appreciate learning about your experiences with XQD. I would likely buy one or two 32GB XQD cards with a card reader. Thanks. Larry
  2. I have a fast XQD card and fast SD UHS-II (both Sony 64GB) in mine, with the XQD being primary storage and the SD set for overflow. If I have time, I copy files from the XQD to the SD, so I have a backup without affecting the camera's operation.

    Not sure what info about XQD cards you're looking for--they work fine, don't slow the camera down, are more robust and less easy to lose than SD cards, and copy really quickly into my computer.

    Danny W.
  3. Agree with Danny. Card is blazingly fast (up and down) and has no pins to bend. My only complaint is that nothing else I own or are likely to own uses XQD cards so I had to invest a fortune in new format cards and accessories for a camera that serves as my wildlife/sports body only. Use the D500 maybe 15% of my shoots, but need to pay for and carry an entirely different set of items every time I pack a bag. Major pain in the ass, not to mention the wallet.

    This XQD technology reminds me of the old VHS/Betamax videotape wars back 30 yrs ago. Betamax was better quality, but never gained market share and lost to VHS. Apparently Nikon made some sort of deal with Sony (who developed the XQD format) to force the new format on its users, perhaps in exchange for some pricing consideration when Nikon purchases Sony sensors. So unless you have a D500, D4 or D5 or some Sony video cams, you have no use the new format. In fact, the technology is so underused by consumers that Sandisk (and many other major card producers) doesn't even make an XQD card. VERY annoying.
  4. Sorry to sort of hijack the thread, but copying the contents of the XQD to the SD, while producing a backup in case of XQD failure, does not protect your files if your body is lost, stolen or destroyed. So for backup, I prefer to back up the cards to an external drive daily to protect against all eventualities. My set up is to write raw to the QXD (because it is so fast on the upload/download) and write jpegs to the SD card for easy end of day review and organization. I first determine which are my keepers from the easy to read jpeg and then develop the corresponding raw file when I am in the office.
  5. I use XQD cards on the D5 and hope that all the future cameras from Nikon that I buy will use this format. The card is fast, is of a reasonable size (not too small so it would get lost), cost is about the same as comparable speed SD cards yet the casing is hard so it is not flexing and breaking so easily. My experience with cards which have flexible thin plastic casing (SD and memory stick pro) is that they are unreliable and can stop working much earlier than their expected lifetime is. CF cards have the pin breaking problem (I have not experienced it but some report it) and should be phased out. I think SD cards should not be used in professional equipment.

    The cost of XQD cards is small compared to the cost of the cameras that use them. I don't see why this would be such a problem unless you have a lot of infrastructure for old card types. Nikon isn't pushing XQD actually they only sell two cameras which support XQD cards and one of them has also SD card support, and the other is available in a CF card version. I wish they did push it actually and make the D820 take two XQD cards but this isn't going to happen because there is so much resistance (even if largely irrational).

    And yes, the transfer times from XQD cards to computer are very fast, and this is one of the delights of using them.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The cost for XQD cards dropped drastically in the first half of 2016 but has pretty much stabilized since then. In the US, a fast 64G XQD card (Lexar or Sony) is actually slightly cheaper than a 64G UHS-II SD card from Sandisk. The XQD is fast, robust and doesn't have the vulnerable pins as CF cards do. XQD is also my preferred card type nowadays.
  7. Thanks to all: Danny, Rick Ikka, ShunCheung. The remaining conundrum is whether I can use the USB file on the XQD with a USB XQD reader to download daily files to my portable WD My Passport Wireless hard drive. I appreciate all of your responses. Larry
  8. "The remaining conundrum is whether I can use the USB file on the XQD with a USB XQD reader to download daily files to my portable WD My Passport Wireless hard drive."

    USB is a connectivity protocol, not a file format. The XQD card will store NEF or JPEG files just like any other type of storage card or medium.

    However, whether your portable hard drive has the ability to act as a USB controller or not is the real issue. A quick check would be to see if the HDD case has a standard rectangular USB master port, or whether it only has a micro-USB socket. If it has a master socket then you should be good to go. If not, you may still be able to transfer files via WiFi. Best course of action is to read the WD "my passport" manual and try out any transfer method before travelling on location.

    If it were me I'd be happier having the reassurance of a portable computer with me.
  9. erik_christensen|3

    erik_christensen|3 Self-employed

  10. Of course I copy files to an external device as soon as I can, but not when I'm actually out shooting. :)

    Danny W.
  11. From the spec of the My Passport -

    "Interfaces1 x USB 3.0 (client mode)
    1 x SDXC card slot
    Built-in wireless-N with MIMO"

    Client mode won't allow it to control an XQD card reader over USB. It needs a controller or host mode port.

    Maybe transfer can be done over WiFi from the camera.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  12. Ah! The My Passport Pro wireless models do have a USB host port. Only USB 2.0 though, so it may take some time to transfer 64 gig of files; no matter how fast the card and card reader are.
  13. I use Sony 64 MB and 32 MG XQD cards with my D500. I much prefer the 64 MB size. I second the above comments--very fast read and write speeds and card is well built and not as "injury prone" as some other card formats. I use a Sony USB 3 XQD/SD card reader to download the images to my pc. After that I back them up to external hard drives.

    I do not know of any way to download the images from the XQD card directly to a backup device. I have a Sanho UDMA2 Hyperdrive that I use to back up images on CF and SD cards. I have emailed Sanho to see if any Hyperdrive product can accept XQD cards directly or with a card reader. I never got a response from Customer Service. If anyone knows of such a product that is compatible with XQD cards I would like to know about it.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unfortunately, XQD is not yet a popular memory card format. Remember it was still extremely expensive in January 2016 when the D5 and D500 were introduced. So far Nikon only has four models that use XQD: D4, D4S, D5 (XQD version) and D500, and only the D5 uses dual XQD cards but it also has a dual-CF version. Otherwise, only some high-end Sony camcorders use XQD cards. Even the new Sony A9 doesn't use XQD (only SD instead).

    Meanwhile, Canon and a few other brands use a competing CFast format on some high-end cameras and camcorders.

    In other words, the market for XQD and CFast is still very limited to the high end. SD (UHS-1) is still the much cheaper and far more popular format. I doubt that hyperdrive manufacturers and laptop manufacturers have much incentive to include a built-in slot for XQD.
  15. An easy, if slow, way to transfer to a laptop is to copy in-camera to an SD card and pop that into the laptop.

    Danny W.
  16. "I do not know of any way to download the images from the XQD card directly to a backup device."

    The WD MyPassport Pro Wireless claims to be able to host a USB 2.0 card reader. You should also be able to "push" files across to it wirelessly from the camera.

    I have a similar wireless enabled portable HDD that requires no intermediate computer for transfer. It's not as fast as using a portable computer with USB 3.0 connectivity though. Quite slow in fact.
  17. I do pretty much what Danny does. It doesn't make a lot of sense to have the exceedingly fast shoot and write capability of the camera without a card that can use it.
  18. Regarding devices like the Hyperdrive, I have wondered why they do not have a USB port so images can be loaded onto it from a card reader with a USB port.

    I will check out that WD wireless device. I am not familiar with it.
  19. My portable wireless HDD makes no claim to be "Pro". In fact it was a cheap Medion brand offer from a well-known (in Europe) supermarket chain. Yet it has a USB host connector that can take a card reader.

    I just did a timing test on it. Transferring files from a Samsung pro 64GB UHS 1 class (10) SD card via a fast card reader plugged into its USB 2.0 socket gave me about 10MB/s upload time. Plugging the same card directly into its SD reader port more than doubled that speed to an estimated 25MB/s.

    I monitored the transfer via my smartphone connected by WiFi to the HDD device. The monitoring may well have slowed the process down, but not by much I expect.

    FWIW, the same card and reader peak at over 75MB/s read speed when plugged into the USB 3.0 port of my laptop.

    Based on the above: It may well be quicker, or at least no slower, to copy files to a spare SD card in the camera, and then transfer those files using the SD port of the HDD. However, personally I'd feel more reassured doing the transfer directly from a card reader plugged into the slow USB host port. At least that way the transfer can be monitored and there's no 2nd generation copy issue. Even though it's darned slow.
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    That is the trick I sometimes use when I forget to travel with an XQD card reader, or one can plug the camera (D500) directly to a computer via an USB cable.

    Of course, the trick to copy in camera from an XQD card to an SD card is only possible when the camera body has both type of card slots. Currently only the D500 has both type of slots, and of course the D500 is the subject in this thread. This trick also works with images captured onto an XQD card using a different Nikon body other than the D500.

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