Sony XQD memory cards now available for pre-order

As you probably already know, the new Nikon D4 is the first and only camera (for now) to use the new XQD memory cards. So far Sony is the only XQD cards manufacturer and Adorama just started taking pre-orders for the 16GB, 32GB versions and the new XQD card reader:

The Sony XQD cards are expected to start shipping in February 2012:

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  • Today only Nikon D4 use this card?

    • yes, as of today only the D4 uses XQD memory cards

    • venancio

      …tomorrow it will be on a Sony FF camera, and on any major offering of stills/video players who use Sony sensors and who can accommodate a friendly twist on their arms by Sony if the business quid pro quo understanding is too subtle…

      • T.I.M

        and another new card format……there is not enough choice yet ?

      • Kon_head

        Just like those very popular (not) memory sticks used only in sony P&S ?

        • WoutK89

          Do you still know XD-cards? Used in Olympus and Fujifilm cameras long ago.

      • Andrew

        Actually, this is a good thing. It shows that the technology is getting so advanced so quickly that the old stands are being made obsolete. It’s like going from DVD to Blu-ray. Low def to High Definition – who can complain!

    • Andrew

      This shows the close relationship between Sony and Nikon. I am sure the release of the card would have been delayed had Nikon not scheduled shipment of the D4. If Nikon ever needed financial help, you know what company will come to their rescue!

  • do you have to use them or can I use my other SD cards?

    • BenCK

      SD cards won’t work in the D4. Only XQD and CF cards (one of each).

  • BenCK

    I’m disappointed that Sandisk isn’t making these for the time being. Also, these first XQD cards are only going to get better, so it’s a little disappointing that in order to fully use the D4 we have to use these “experimental” cards. If these do happen to catch on (which they better otherwise the D4 will look really silly), then they will probably be replaced in 6 months by faster versions or other (better) brands. Hopefully this untested technology really works as advertised in the D4.

    Anyone know if we use the XQD for Raw and the CF slot for Jpeg, will the buffer or speed of the camera be limited to the CF slot? Will we still get close to 100 Raw shots before the buffer fills up in this configuration? I suppose in either case it’s still going to be much better than the D3s in that regard.

    • John Richardson

      Experimental … untested… surly you are not serious lol. What makes you think they haven’t been tested? Do you seriously think Sony will put their reputation on the line on untested? Do you seriously think Nikon hasn’t tested the shit out of them before they decided to go with it? Do you seriously think they did not coordinate the releases to the general public?

      Wake up. These cards have been available in various stages for a while between Sony and Nikon engineers. Right now the patent belongs to Sony, if Sandisk would have come up with the idea they would been making them, but they didn’t so deal with it. When Sonly LETS someone else make them (legally) then you can shop elsewhere.

      • BenCK

        By untested I simply meant they have never been used in public. There are probably only a handful of people on the planet that have used XQD cards out in real world scenarios. If you had to bet your photos/video on CF or XQD at this very moment, which one would you trust more?

        Also, Sandisk helped develop XQD as a standard alongside Sony. I’m quite certain they could manufacture the cards at this time if they wanted to. I’m betting they don’t want to invest all the equipment costs into developing a product at this time that only people who purchase a $6,000 camera can use.

        • FM2Fan

          its called innovation – what is wrong about it? one may argue: why are there two different slots, but Nikon representatives explained already the simple reason: many people have CF already and in the field it may be simpler (for the time being).

          if it is about trust: what is the alternative? the HDMI out allows you to record the video with your favorite device. for stills: CF and XQD will do …


            Nothing wrong with inovation. This could be a vhs beta cam scenario. The d4 is too much money for a non established format.

        • John Richardson

          Yes, I would trust to use one TODAY if my camera used one. And since I don’t I can’t. I don’t have a D4 on pre-order, and if I did I would be ordering this cards and reader TODAY. However if you would like to get a D4 for me I will order the cards today and be ready to use it the day I get it. No problem. Technology moves on, embrace it.

          Did it ever occur to you that maybe ScanDisk CAN manufacture them? Maybe they ARE, maybe they pre prevented form shipping them until a certain amount of time passes?
          Do you honestly think that the D4 will be the only camera to use them?? LOL that pretty funny.

        • jorgen

          lame whining! if you had the need and money for a D4 you would never even think about this superstitous BS.

        • Eric


        • Andrew

          “Untested”? – think again!

          This is one area where Sony has its smarts on. Remember the release of the PS3 with the new Blu-ray technology. It was brand new technology, and pretty awesome when released. It was perfect from the day it was released… it shows that Sony knows “memory”, it just does not get any better!

          …also, these are solid-state devices – and in electronics, solid-state devices are as solid and reliable as they come, because they have no moving parts.

      • @John Richardson, “Do you seriously think Sony will put their reputation on the line on untested?”

        I agree with you that all parties tested the hell out this new memory card as much as they possibly could. But as BenCK points out, this product is still in its infancy as a technology. Most likely, there will be little gotchas for other XQD devices that the QA group hadn’t tested for. Fortunately for the D4 buyers, Nikon worked closely with CF working group on intigrating XQD into their latest DSLR. I personally won’t buy into XQD until another manufacturer, other than Sony, steps up and starts producing these memory cards; competition is a good thing for us consumers. I still have bad memories of propreitary Sony memory sticks like the “Memory Stick”, “Memory Stick Select”, “Memory Stick Pro”, “Memory Stick Duo”, “Memory Stick Pro Duo”, “Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo”, “Memory Stick Micro (M2)”, and “Memory Stick XC”!!!!! With all these flavors of memory sticks, the only thing Sony was interested in was “STICKING” it to the consumer! The fact that “XQD” is a registered namebrand of Sony, tells me that they are up to their old tricks again. Although SanDisk and Lexar may be able to manufactur XQD, I suspect they will still have to pay extoritionist licensing fees to Sony. I hardly call that progress…. In the meantime, I will take the wait and see approach. The fact that the initial pricing for 16GB and 32GB XQD cards is 60-90% more expensive than current 600X Lexar CF cards which can write at 90mb/s, proves propreity pays! I will wait a bit longer before vesting into XQD memory. But I supose this price hike can be expected with the release of a new technology which brings a 25% increase in bandwidth over that of the latest and greatest CF can offer. In the meantime, I will wait until people with bigger budgets than I can confirm/deny the hyperbole.

        • John Richardson

          Agreed, on many points. But I have to look at it this way. This is their flagship and they ponied up for the card.
          I liken it to when I was working on the pre-release Mac, one day I was given a new version to test … it had this little tiny floppy disk drive , and little plastic disks with metal doors on it…I was told “Here give this a run through it looks like we are leaning towards this ….” We went with the drive and suddenly everyone had it. An industry standard was born, between, Apple, HP and Sony. I see this as the same thing, untested to the general public but a solid commitment from Nikon in their new $6000 flagship. I am betting we will see plenty more of these in the future.

          The memory stick lesson has been learned. Sony has learned from the blu-ray inserted in their PS3 toys. These two big boys are out for money and are cooperating and honestly at this point there is no looking back. Sure let guys who can afford it tell us what they think, but Nikon already has. Canon will follow if they haven’t already had this in their pipeline, but I am guessing they have. New media, ladies and gentlemen, it’s here to stay.

          People here crapped on the J1/Vi too and for stupid selfish childish reasons. Nikon is laughing all the way to the bank on that.

          Yeah the initial card price is high, it always is. Hell I’m stoked, wonder if the D800 will have it???

          • BenCK

            I’ll try to be more clear. I have pre-ordered a D4. I have also pre-ordered these XQD cards. I also think the price is fair considering they are about the same price as Sandisk’s Extreme Pro CF cards. I was also the one who brought it to the attention of the admin that these were available for pre-order. So I’m definitely embracing this technology, however, I can’t help but feel like we, the people who will be using the D4, are going to be a little bit like guinea pigs. I love progress in technology, but I don’t generally like to be the one that has to work out all the kinks right off the bat.

            For example, are you aware of SSD’s? It’s a new great technological advance for hard drives, right? But it’s taken a good two or three years before those drives have finally begun to be as reliable as mechanical hard drives. It’s a great technology, but they were prone to higher failure rates than the previous technology (HDD’s). Technological advances are rarely perfect from the start and Nikon users are being asked to make their workhorse camera be the test subject.

            So all I was saying is that this new XQD technology would simply make me feel more comfortable if more manufacturers were producing the product so we have more choice and it would make me feel more comfortable if it wasn’t first generation technology. I prefer technology that has had a chance to mature a bit so any kinks can be worked out. That’s it. You may enjoy the bleeding edge of technology, but it can have its risks associated with it.

            • Andrew

              You are generally making a good point, but I imagine that SSD is orders of magnitude more complex than the XQD cards (not necessarily more advanced) because they have to perform as a hard drive and operate under a set of complex constraints including “garbage collection” based upon how the operating system write data to memory. I bought a number of SSD drives last year, two drives went into a server operating with a raid 0 configuration, another SSD drive went into my laptop, and the third installation of SSD drive went into my desktop PC. They have all worked perfectly! So I feel that they have become much more reliable; and I expect to now get a greater reliability from them than my hard drives.

          • Jk

            Then a flagship camera should be just that. If compact flash is so yesterday than why even include it.

            The d4 is a transition camera and abit of a guinea pig. No one knows what the future holds.

            I would gladly buy a d4 with two xqd slots but to have just one is sloppy imo. I wonder if the cf slot is in case xqd backfires. If xqd is so great then let it be so.

            • Andrew

              You my friend are a risk taker, I have a project for you climbing Mount Everest! Cheers.

        • Richard

          @Dr SCSI

          The potential technological benefits of the new format are pretty straight forward. The PCIe interface eliminates the bottleneck in write speed. It is now a matter of the card’s capability and the camera’s ability to feed it. (No more using cheap, slow buffer chips.)

          Now the reality. I think it a major, fundamental error of judgment to use a proprietary card format, especially a Sony one. Sony’s track record in such matters is abysmal. It seems to me that the fundamental technology and concept (such as eliminating the troublesome pins of CF cards) are obvious “next steps” in card development and should have been treated as such by all concerned. The CF card consortium should never have approved the XQD card as a standard under these circumstances. There should have been ownership of the standard by the consortium with minimal licensing fees charged equally to all.

          One has to wonder just how much influence Sony exercised over Nikon in this matter because of the fact that they are Nikon’s primary sensor supplier.

          What happens if Sandisk and Lexar do not produce XQD products? Nikon could come to regret this decision. I think it in Nikon’s interest to convince Sony to transfer any rights to the consortium before this situation becomes a Betamax – VHS or Blu-ray – HD-DVD war that damaged the market. I could easily see Nikon being forced to relent and install a second CF card slot. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that Canon, Pentax and the rest could create their own card format incorporating the essence of XQD cards into it. It would be clever of them to make the physical form factor sufficiently smaller than a CF card so that an adapter could be used with existing CF card slots for convenience.

          Nikon should act quickly and decisively to remedy this situation. Do I think they will? No.

          And then there is the matter of CF card development. The newly released 100x CF cards are reasonably competitive with XQD card performance.

          What a mess.

          • Richard

            Make that 1000x.

          • Steve Starr

            Make than another 1000x +1.

            Sony’s “Track record” comment especially!

            I can see Canon going to the newer SDHS format that is supposedly close to a 100MP/s transfer speed. Cameras can be made smaller to allow for more additional stuff inside them (like a wireless-flash controller) and it would be universal among the larger DSLR, smaller P&S, tablet, laptop, crowd as well. None of the later will move to a XQD format.

            Another Sony-only branded MemoryStick is not the answer with shrinking devices. A Coolpix with a XQD slot? Really? Talk about an instant sale killer.

          • Andrew

            It is not necessarily a mess. If Sony incorporates this card in a lot of their products, and Sony gives Nikon the assurance that the pricing of the card will stay competitive, then that may be a win-win situation. Sony then is free to innovate with limited constraints, and the consumers get the latest technology much faster.

            Look at the iPhone 4S, its camera uses a Sony CMOS image sensor. Apparently Sony is pushing aggressively to work much-more cooperatively with the industry. The idea that everyone should share patents does not make sense; not everything should be done by committees, this is one sure way to slow progress.

          • Andrew

            Richard, your quote…

            “It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that Canon, Pentax and the rest could create their own card format… What a mess ”

            Did you read the following quote?

            “The XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging application, and widen the memory card available to CompFlash users such as professional photographers,” said Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon, chairman of the board, CFA [Note: CFA stands for “CompactFlash Association].

            I just wanted you to know that your concerns are not valid. Canon will be using the XQD Standard.


            • Richard

              We will see, Andrew. Thanks for the quote. I have noted that Canon have listed Type II CF cards on the specs of their 1DX compared to Type I on the D4. I have to wonder just why Nikon made that choice.

              I am still concerned that if Sandisk and Lexar don’t get on board (and it certainly appears that they are not in a rush to), a single source provider situation is not good from a number of perspectives. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that a different card format could evolve, especially if the royalty situation is not “right”.

              Of course, the other determinant is what the camera companies do. If all of them install XQD slots then you will buy XQD cards whether there are technically superior card formats available or not, unless somebody comes up with a clever adapter.

              Apple managed to kill of Firewire (aka IEEE 1392) because of their insistence on a royalty.

              I realize that Sony’s offering is the first of a first generation product, but 125 mb/s is not really very fast when compared to the current speeds of chips used in SSD drives. I am aware that there are restrictions on physical size and so on as well as the management of the chips, but that is really not that much of an improvement in the card itself. Nevertheless, moving to the PCIe interface will “pave the way” for faster speeds as everyone recognizes.

              I am just not convinced that we have seen the card that will truly replace the CF card. As you will recall, for a while it looked like HD-DVD would be “the next thing” as Blu-ray was just too expensive and wasn’t worth the difference in price for the difference in cost either to the consumer or the producer. The Blu-ray folks got their act together just in time and brought out players that were a lot more reasonably priced and brought the price of the discs down as well…resulting in booming sales.



      • paf

        if my memory serves me right (no pun intended) it’s not the first time that Sony ventured in pioneering flash memory formats – and we know how that ended…

        I am optimistic about the format though… it will catch on (might not be THE format, but it will be out there), it’s called progress and to deny it is foolish…

      • sjms

        you all need to wake up. the XQD spec is open source

    • Tiger1050Rider

      Who really needs these new cards when the Sandisk 128Gb ones are becoming more widely available?

      I’d expect most pro’s will pas on the XQD cards until there is at least a second source for them. I know one who won’t buy anything with a SONY label on it after the episode of their infamous rootkit rendered his PC next to useless.

  • I feel like D800 need it more since it is going for the 36mp, however, it doesn’t have have fast fps. Well, I guess it will by useful for the Olympic

    • @Martin, +1000 – If you add the optional battery grip to the D800, I am certain the FPS will go up. So you are absolutely right about the D800 could benefit from this faster memory.

  • Ray

    I am waiting on B&H to preorder. We should see them for pre-order at B&H very soon…

  • Ray

    Couldn’t Resist, just pre-ordered the 32GB and card reader…

  • Ray

    Now just waiting on the new Lexar 1000X 32GB card pre-order…

  • couldn’t resist either… I figure if I’m in this deep with the d4 already, may as well leverage it’s full capability. I fully expect this investment to depreciate almost instantly. I don’t think XQD will go the way of the memory stick duo… All I have to base that on, though, is that the MSD didn’t go into any flagship camera. Admittedly, that’s swiss cheese theology.

  • Art

    Ah….. The eternal question…
    Which came first? The camera or the card?

    • +1 🙂

    • Zoot

      The eternal answer: a different kind of camera. And card.

  • John M

    It’s like the Memory Stick, only shorter!

    • Berlinhouse

      yes-and it will end with the same success…

  • frAnk

    If Sandisk and lexar decide not to pay Sony for the patent, then, we are looking at the lone wolf D4 using the XQD card.

    The business world is a doggy dog world, anything could happen.

    • Why would Sandisk or Lexar pay Sony anything? For what?

    • Claustral

      “Doggy Dog”!! Hilarious. I think you mean “Dog-Eat-Dog”.

      • Well, there’s Nate Dogg,, Snoop Doggy Dogg (his original stage name) and Warren G. Wait, that last one doesn’t fit.

  • Last I heard the D800 will have CF+SD memory card slots (rumor) or maybe two CF slots. If true, some here will scream this is proof that XQD is dead. If it winds up having an XQD slot, then they will scream about that.

    Either way, it should be fun reading. 😉

    • people tend to scream at everything 😀
      i for myself, would welcome it, and i hope D800 will have it too…
      CF(6.0) + XQD or 2x CF

  • The only complaint I have about XQD (aside from the introductory price) is the name.

    I mean common, could they have come up with something that was less catchy?!?!?

    • Mike

      I say we nickname it the Zquid card. 🙂

      • Graham

        You stole my thunder. I was going to post the exact same comment!!


    • Zoot

      Yes – but think how highly you can score in Scrabble if it catches on.

    • @Steven Georges,
      1.) Sony, SanDisk, Lexar and many others, are all members of the Compact Flash Association.
      2.) I have read somewhere that CFA members will pay licensing fees for XQD.
      3.) The XQD name stands for “Xtra, Quick, Dollars!” for licensed CFA members. 🙂

      We will see if XQD catches on, but it does look promising with a theoretical bandwidth of 500MB/s.

      • 1 & 2. Yes, but my original question is why would anyone pay a licensing fee to Sony? SandDisk I believe is an equal member with Sony and Nikon. If there are any licensing fees to be paid, it will be to CFA, not Sony, and for far less than if Sony had a monopoly on it.

        3. That roll-off-your-tongue name sounds like something only the Sony marketing department could come up with. 😉

  • joe b low

    16gb sony price-rape card, or sandisk 32gb extreme CF card for virtually the same price? I’ll have the sandisk please, and sony can go pack some fudge.

    • Zoot

      “Price-rape”, “Extreme CF” and “Pack some fudge”, all on the same posting.


      If you make the movie, will it be on a D4/XQD combo?

      • Gareth


      • joe b low

        I’m sure YOU will enjoy a fudge-packing movie, but I’ll pass….

    • Then I guess you’ll only be using one of the two available slots in the camera, seems a bit of a waste to me…

  • sorry but no sony for me. i hate that company from bottom of my heart

    • Eric

      I don’t like them either, but they manufactured the sensors of all my cameras…

    • paf

      oooh. a fellow believer!

      Don’t get me wrong — there are great sony products out there, it’s just that I refuse to sponsor the business practices of the GREATER SONY corporation.

      I vote with my wallet and Sony is not on my ballot….

  • JC

    I smell another beta vision…

    Well, at least I know if I ever jump ship from Nikon to Sony, I’ll be able to take my cards with me.. and I will be posting the reversed scenario over at the Sony Alpha Rumors website 🙂

    • Minolta, er, I mean Sony is putting Squid in their new cameras?

  • R!

    I really don’t care about big expensive cards, I use SDH/XC cards they are fast not expensive smaller and lighter plus card readers are easier to find ? for the big toys I am buying only 8 g cards that cost less and are faster ,and transfer it on a hard disk via an express card lexar reader for portable and FW or USB 3.0 now for homework,now tell me why there is no f…§//!:! USB 3;0 ON THIS DAMN NEW CAMERAS!!!!!!!!!!

    • jodjac

      I was hoping for thunderbolt.

    • Yes, but the Nikon tech specs says it has “Super Speed USB 2.0”
      It’s not just USB 2, this has Super Speed!!!

  • Gareth

    I wonder i the D800 will have one of these. If it does it better another slot for CF!

  • Komalkumar

    I would say don’t place the pre order for XQD even if u have ordered for D4….just wait Sony will get the price down to equal CF

  • RAY

    I think I fall into the latter. I still cannot find my pop-up-flash on my D3S…

    • Nicole

      It’s called the SB-400, and it’s probably tucked away in the bottom of your bag. (Seriously, I carry an SB-400 around in my bag for those occasions where a little bit of flash is all you need. It’s incredibly light and compact, and quite versatile too. My D3S would feel lost without it.)

  • The real question is – will Sony install a root-kit on your camera OR your computer?
    Because even them, will not be evil enough to install it on both.

    For you who don’t know Sony, they included a root-kit with their program that you had to install if you wanted to play Sony music CDs on your computer.

  • NikonJEAN

    The reader will work to MacOs?

    • Yes, dumbed down to “Supper Speed” (that’s Nikon’s quote) USB 2.
      At least until someone comes out with a Thunderbolt-to-USB 3 adapter.
      Or a Thunderbolt reader.

      Nikon – Sony seems to have dropped the ball. Could you please make a card reader that has both XQD and CF in one reader? I don’t see why I need to carry two card readers just to use the D4.

  • Bullsnot

    I don’t think paying an extra $500 for a new pair of 32gb cards and reader is going to hold back the typical D4 buyer… they’re already spending $6k on the camera, likely more if you consider extra batteries etc.

    The only thing I don’t understand is why Nikon didn’t put 2 XQD slots in? Kind of a pain to use two card formats in one camera (an advantage Nikon has had over Cannon, but now the tables have turned). If you’re going to commit to a format, jump right in with both feet and don’t look back.

    I wonder if Nikon will offer a dual bay XQD module as an upgrade in the near future? Probably not, but the D4S will likely come that way.

    • @Bullsnot, “If you’re going to commit to a format, jump right in with both feet and don’t look back.” – I disagree, I think Nikon played it right on this one. Could you imagine all of the pre-order D4 cameras being delivered in February, and all of those people having to wait until March to get the XQD memory cards. They would be livid; I know I would be. And if XQD memory fails as a standard, who is going to provide them the cards four years down the road. At least with CF, you have another option.

      • Bullsnot

        Well, if I were Nikon (and I’m not, obviously), I wouldn’t put out a high profile camera like this that depends on a card format that’s not yet on the market. If Nikon really wanted XQD in this camera they should have insisted Sony have it out well before the camera was available just so there were no supply issues to deal with. People have gotten very used to having double card slots backing up their work and I can’t imagine why a pro photog would head off to shoot the Olympics without that base covered. Sure the camera will work with one (cf) card, but no backup without a functional XQD in the other slot.

        The more I read about this XQD in D4 issue the more it seems like Sony wanted their new card slot in the D4 more than Nikon did? I could be wrong… Is there any litterature stating that the read/write of the camera is actually faster when using XQD?

  • I’m really surprised they aren’t more expensive than that. And when is the Thunderbolt reader coming out 😉


  • anyway is brave from nikon to put in a flagship untested technology available from one company only. what if there is some compatibility issue, or 6 months later major redesign of the card specs?
    i would understand it if there would be 2xCF and XQD or if XQD would be backward compatible, but so?

    • jake

      I laugh everytime someone says untested, LOL LOL. Untested by whom? You?

      I’m quite sure nikon has done some serious testing before they would release their flagship camera with this technology in it.

      I bet there was a working D4 using XQD cards at least 8-12 months in advance of the release.

      I’m not sure how people’s brains work. Do you think Nikon designed and built the D4 this year? No, it h as been being developed since, most likely, before the D3X was announced. You know, plans in the making and whatnot.

      Same with the XQD. This just didn’t pop up untested. I’m sure they have been developing these cards for some time now. Large tech companies have technology designed that is far ahead of what is available, they have to wait untill they can produce it at a price point that their consumers are willing to buy.

      They probably could have released the XQD years ago, it just would have cost 5-10 times as much or more.

      • trust me nowadays the QC tests, especially at nikon or sony, or basically all electronics is close to nothing. besides QC tests are not even close to real world usage

  • broxibear

    The success or failure of XQD has nothing to do with speed or if they’re new technolology, it depends entirely on the number of new cameras that have the slot.
    Camera manufacturers could force the issue by making models that only have XQD slots, the question then becomes would they do that and when would they do it. Are they going to start introducing XQD slots in cameras where normally they’d have SD cards ?…if Nikon start making coolpixes with XQD slots and other manufacturesr do the same then SanDisk, Lexar etc will start to make them and they’ll be seen as the new standard. If XQD is limited to a one or two flagship models at Nikon and Sony while everyone else uses CF and SD it’ll be a failure.
    If you’re a D4 user then you’ll either have to accept the new slot and buy XQD cards if the way you work involves writing to two cards, or like some do already use one CF slot and change cards slightly more often. (that’s the way I work…I just find it avoids potential card mix ups, everyone works in different ways?)
    As I posted before it’ll be interesting to see which other manufacturers decide to use the XQD format and for which models in their range.

  • DR

    You say “untested”. When Nikon worked with Sony once, they come up with D3s and D4 sensor. XQD and D4 may turn out the most reliable and compatible with each other tandem ever. Troubles will come with other brands of memory cards, who relay on paper specification only… XQD are now for D4 only. It’s like world with out crappy Sigma, Tamron and Phottix spare batteries! In 4 years time you all will be praying for D5 with double XQD slot..

    • I agree, it won’t be long (in my opinion) before people start saying that the problem with the D3s is it doesn’t have XQD.

      And the problem with the D2h is . . . well, that’s a different story. 😉

  • I will buy the XQD Card. I see it as part of the package.
    Is it possible to run the D4 only on the 1 CF slot? I think the answer is yes but not at the higher write/read speeds.

  • longzoom

    Situation is more or less clear with cards. My main concern is a battery – Why? Why, Mr. Anderson, why?

    • BornOptimist

      The old battery does not comply to regulations in Japan.
      Same with the batteries in D300/D300s/D700. Neigther do they meet these regulations, so a new battery is comming for their replacement as well.
      And they were not made backward compatible because the old charger could not charge the new battery safely.

  • joe b low

    Were they that small? Look at the ammount of details and how much clearer the D4 pictures look. I think nikon has done a good job with the D4 looking at those pictures.

    • broxibear

      Hi joe b low,
      I suppose people will decide for themselves if the differences are great enough.
      For some it will, for others not…1 stop after 3200 was being suggested by a Nikon tech on one of the video previews.

  • Curious George

    Whatever Nikon… as if the production version of the D4 is going to be dramatically different.

    The D4’s focus is all bout video. I doubt that still are going to be all that MUCH better than the D3s.

    • Ray

      You may very well be correct in the D4 not being $6000.00 more better than the D3S, but if you look at it as I did, it made sense. I pre-ordered the D4 and recently sold my D3S for $4250.00. Now I am upgrading for $1750.00 plus new XQD card and reader for the new D4.

  • And nobody else is going to make these souped up cards.

    • Ken Elliott

      I’m betting SanDisk will. The format was first announced in November 2010 by SanDisk, Sony and Nikon. I’d expect SanDisk to be pretty quiet and downplay the format until they have their product ready. I suspect they might be aiming at a faster write speed than Sony.

      In an interview with Nikon D4 engineer Toshiaki Akagi, (posted on

      “The main reason is the XQD format is faster than CompactFlash. We worked with Sony (the maker of the first XQD cards) to get better write speed in the D4. Sony says their first XQD cards will be capable of 125MB/s, and the D4 will be able to take advantage of that level of performance. In fact, the camera’s XQD slot can go much faster than that, well over 200MB/s, as higher-speed XQD cards come out in the future.”

      • broxibear

        Hi Ken Elliott,
        You said “I’d expect SanDisk to be pretty quiet and downplay the format until they have their product ready.” but the interesting thing was that they weren’t quiet about it, infact both SanDisk and Lexar made a point of saying they had no plans to make XQD cards. These are the two big players, they wouldn’t say that unless something else was going on…it sounds as if there’s been some sort of disagreement, wheter it’s between Sony and the other card manufacturers or Nikon I don’t know but the statements suggest some friction.
        All SanDisk, Lexar and Kingston neeeded to say was something like “we’re not working on XQD cards at the moment” or “we’ll look at them in the future”…their statement muddied the waters, there must have been a reason they did that ?

        • Ken Elliott

          BB – you are correct. Sandisk did say that, but…Marketing guys don’t always know what R&D is up to. I seem to recall Nikon denying they would offer full-frame until the D3 was announced.

          Google “osborne effect”. You don’t want to drive all potentional XQD customers to Sony, or hurt your sales for existing CF cards, so you stay quiet about future plans. You don’t want your marketing guys to lie, so you just don’t tell them anything to put them in that position.

          I for one don’t put a lot of stock in the words of marketing guys who might be in the dark about secret projects. Sandisk may have no plans to MAKE the cards, because they are still DEVELOPING the components. Once development is complete, they make their production plans based on the market at that time. If the D4 is a flop, then they might not bother. But if it is the new ‘hot’ thing, they will move quickly. I’ve been in product R&D and that’s exactly what we did.

          • broxibear

            Hi Ken Elliott,
            I don’t think it has anything to do with the D4 being a success or not (I think it will be as successful as the D3s)…it depends on which other camera manufacturesrs decide to use the XQD slot in their models.
            As I said it’s an odd statement to come from one company let alone two of the biggest card makers.

  • Jabs

    I see this new XQD memory card issue as basically something simple.

    Every time new Technology gets introduced or a newer version and better performing item comes out, the users of the older item rail as their previous position as ‘top dog’ has been usurped.

    Basically many D3 owners who were at the top of the heap now cannot ‘brag’ or feel smug that they are the best Pro camera on the market, so they try and justify some supposed failure aspect of the newer D4.

    You see this all the time in Technology – users of the older then top of the line gear try and take down the newer gear when it clearly surpasses them and they can no longer brag about them using the latest thing.

    Sort of like when a newer Mac comes out and replaces the previous generation with say a Thunderbolt connection or a mini-HDMI port or such, then their status changes – LOL.

    Same thing happens with exotic cars too.

  • mikils

    Um, Mr. Admin, should we ask our friend here to change his nick? Sombody out here can read portuguese!

    • C. Estreita

      I’m sorry for the name.. it’s not portuguese, it’s Galician, actually. Is a kind of a joke people do about the name of the place where I live in. A very narrow street.

    • deleted

  • Oldf*rt

    As discussion subjects go this has got to be one of dullest… Come on, CHOP CHOP, back to work you slackers!!!! 🙂

  • CF aren’t going anywhere .Nikon will have to support them in every new model they launch otherwise its useless .

    • “CF aren’t going anywhere”

      And that’s the problem – for future generation cameras.

  • Ken Elliott

    Uh… guys…. do you realize the XQD interface is based on PCI Express? In theory, you could take any kind of storage device that can connect to a PCI Express bus, and repackage it to plug into the XQD interface. I’m sure there’s a few issues to work out, but this may let us take advantage of mass-produced chip sets for things like SATA drives, and PCIe-to-Thunderbolt adapters.

    How about a little box that plugs into the XQD port and provides a interface to a SSD or a RAID Array? How about a wireless iSCSI interface to a remote server farm? Then ask yourself what Nikon might be planning that would need such a fast interface? Can you say RAW 4K video?

    Nikon appears to be laying the ground work for something amazing. Combine XQD, a 36MP sensor, the V1/J1 on-chip phase detection AF and imagine the possibilities.

    • Any idea if XQD is as robust as SXS? Would Sony would replace SXS with XQD on their future hand-held pro camcorders?

    • it is pci express same as CF was IDE, yet nobody did anything with it. Unless supported directly in firmware, make no sense to believe in it.

      besides i would wish nikon would focus on photography and not video. there is lot of pro video companies but only three who really push still 135 photography forward

      • Ken Elliott

        > “it is pci express same as CF was IDE, yet nobody did anything with it.”

        I guess you don’t realize that a lot of products (CNC machine tool controllers) use CF cards as a hard disk replacement. Cisco routers have CF card slots. Embedded controllers use CF cards. You can buy a motherboard with a CF card interface. Google “motherboard CF card”.

        This is why it makes sense for the XQD card to be based on PCI-express. It enables the product to be used in a lot of applications beyond the photography market. It also means a larger market for internal components because they could be used for XQD, SSDs for tablets and laptops, and so on. Photographers get the benefit of the technology, but the development costs are spread across a larger market. That’s a good thing.

  • paf

    The way I read this from beginning — cameras are a huge part of flash memory sales, so Nikon and Sony struck a deal on that (since Nikon is a Sony’s customer on camera sub components). So each sale of a Nikon camera guarantees Sony’s profit in flash memory market (either via royalty or directly via sony products). Win win for both.

    I won’t be surprised if the entire Nikon line will be equipped with dual slots one of the being the XQD and eventually abandon the other formats.

    Nikon is seeking exclusivity in the brad and technology — they feel that they are positioned to be “exclusive”. Hey — it just might work for them.

    (and sadly no, it won’t work for me despite the G’s I invested into the brand so far, this is where I say no, thank you)

    • anonymous

      With the recent changes to make them more “exclusive,” I sometimes get the feeling Nikon is trying to be the next Apple. But going down that path they could end up being the next Bose or Monster or Bowflex too.

      • Earl

        They don’t have Sir Jony Ive working for them.

        Nikon’s design is utilitarian at best.

  • Oldf*rt

    Still dull..

  • —Rich people spending their time trying to find the built-in flash.—

    Cona, man, that was the best laugh I’ve had all week!

  • fordstr

    If I were a pro,I think I’d be ticked about having to replace cards, card reader, new batteries and possibly a second charger as well to upgrade to the D4. Those are the kind of purchases that really can add up and nibble away at a bottom line.I understand the necessity of the battery change after Japan’s new law, but cards and battery at the same time is kinda harsh.

  • frAnk

    For still photography, this new card is an over kill and waste of money.

    • John Richardson

      Keep in mind the D4 and all future cameras will have video, unless you are using Phase One….So how can it be overkill? Perhaps a PJ will be loading video in to the XQD and stills in the CF ….

  • broxibear

    These are the first Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AFS, f/1.8 AFD, f/1.4 AFD comparison images I’ve seen so far

    • Ooops

      Thanks Broxibear, Great to see you still have your fingers on the pulse

  • Richard

    I quite agree about the possibility of an XQD adapted cable for capturing RAW video. If Nikon have used appropriate chips in their PCIe interface a good RAID array will far exceed the XQD card’s write speed.

    The problem will be getting it into the computer without creating a new bottleneck.

  • Zeb

    Urgent need for a SD to QXD adapter.

  • Zoot

    Just been forwarded the slightly amateurish inhouse promotional video for the D4 from Park Cameras, UK.

    No mention at all of the two cards, but UNCOMPROMISING assertions from the Nikon UK rep that the D4 is the best yet for stills, by quite some margin. ISO, focusing, handling…

    Worth watching, if only to hear the Nikon guy’s assertiveness – although the points he makes about handling are also interesting.

    • CKbren

      Is there a link you can share? I would love to see it. Thanks.

      • Zoot
        • Zoot

          Sorry for not attaching the link. I’m not stupid – just preoccupied with looking for the pop-up flash on my D3s.

          Didn’t occur to me that there might be one, until I read this thread.

          I’m onto the base of the camera now.

  • Steve Starr

    With devices shrinking in size across across the board, this monster sized XQD is already set for failure.

    You really think other small cameras, tablets, notepads, cellphones, and the flourish of huge mega-pixel smartphones will accept putting a larger slot in their devices? Even the 12-16MP smartphones are accepting the micro-SD format. The irony is people already complain about the D4 being too big, then they complain about the larger cards in them too? A wiser decision would have been the newer SDHS form factor with the dual row of pins that could also use the slower cards as well.

    Try putting a XQD is some micro-sized Coolpix and watch the sales fall flat. Pulling the same on their Nikon 1 series would have done the same.

    • Steven Georges

      Yea, why can’t the D4 be more like a point-n-shoot? 😉

  • shoreline view

    It’s a fiasco. Canon puts out two Type II UDMA7 CF slots. Any CF card or SD card adapter will work in either slot. Nikon puts out one Type I UMDA7 slot which doesn’t take an SD adapter, and the XQD which to start with is slower than UDMA7 and is only supported by one vendor and doesn’t have an adapter available for it either. Talk about needlessly hobbling the camera.

    • Steven Georges

      Finally a point I can agree with. There was no reason not to put a Type II slot in the D4 or D3s.

  • Oldf*rt

    Losing the will to live now…

  • Yeah, what’s the deal. New battery + new charger + new memory when the Lexar 1000x beats out this new format. I don’t get their thinking. Why would I want to have mixed media formats? Don’t they know what pro means? Given the advancements in video in the D4, in light of cameras like the Panasonic that does 1080p60 without a problem, the D4 is looking more and more like a flop (that I have preordered, of course). There’s just nothing that really makes me say “wow!” and a bunch of stuff that makes me say “huh?”

    • Steven Georges

      1. The new battery and charger was required by Japanese safety regulations.
      2. You can still use your old CF cards.
      3. Everything else about the camera is a wow for professionals. Make that everything period. (except the type I slot and the lack of built in GPS)

      Deciding which pro camera to buy based on the cards you have in your pocket is like deciding which car to buy based on which spare tire you have stored in your garage.

      • I added the tidbit about my preorder in there to convey that the specs are yesterday’s news to someone like me. My beef is that they dual slot the memory in two different types. As a professional, I shoot in a A+B backup mode.

        1. The battery fiasco is pure bs unless they somehow make the new charger backwards compatible with the enel4a. Fat chance. Now, to carry a D3 backup/2ndcam, I need to lug the charger hardware and the 4 batteries I own in addition to the new charger and 4 batteries. Fun!

        2. To use the current D3s backup functionality, you must upgrade to new cards. Like the batteries, I now have to double up on my card readers. Fun! As I mentioned, the 1000x UDMA 7 cards out soon will exceed the speed of these new qxd cards so what the hell is the upgrade? (maybe future spec is higher?) I currently own 6 32GB Lexar cards ($1200 or 20% of the cost of the camera — hardly a spare tire analogy).

        3. Yeah, the -2EV AF and the higher res video is an improvement, but like I said, not WOW! Wow would have been the 60p HD (2011’s $500 FZ150 can do it). Wow would have been integrated CLS radio transceiver controlling Speedlights (if they could ever fix the heat issues). Wow would have been 16MP stills during rolling video. Wow would have been built-in AF assist grid pattern projection. I actually don’t really care either way about GPS. Wow is not integrated HDR.

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