Nikon is still working on a D4 fix when using SanDisk 160MB/s and Sony XQD memory cards

SanDisk-256GB-EXTREME-PRO-CF-CARD-160MBS Sony-XQD-S-Series-64GB
Few months ago I reported that there is an issue (error message) when using Nikon D4 cameras with any of the SanDisk Extreme Pro CF 160MB/s and Sony XQD S memory cards at the same time. In a recent response to a reader's email, Nikon confirmed that they are working on a solution (most likely a firmware update). In the mean time they suggested using only a CF card (without XQD in the other slot) or using a CF card with a lower write speed, such as the 90MB/s SanDisk versions (with XQD card in the other slot).

I have the feeling that the new D4 firmware update will be announced together with the D4s in February.

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  • broxibear

    “I have the feeling that the new D4 firmware update will be announced together with the D4s in February.”…
    I have the feeling Nikon wished they had just stuck with two CF slots, lol.

    • 🙂

    • yrsued

      AMEN!! This issue is the only thing I don’t like about the D4

      • lord eels


        • Aldo

          fair movie

      • itsmyname

        Case closed.

    • Mansgame

      I don’t get why they didn’t pick one or the other or offered 2 of each slot. people hate mixing and matching.

      • Andrew

        Because of the few complaints, Nikon will next time include three slots – 2 XQD and 1 CF.

  • Dave

    The problem has indeed already been fixed by sandisk. I purchased one of the cards and contacted sandisk, they had me ship it back to them and they then sent me a new card that works like a charm. It did take about a month, but they gave me the next higher storage card for my troubles.

    • So I guess Nikon did not get the memo.

      • Spy Black

        Nah, they’re using it as a cover to make a firmware that won’t allow third-party products to work with the D4/s

        • Phill A Sheow

          I would have thought the D4 owners wouldn’t be as cheap as to put 3rd-party crap on their D4’s.

          • Spy Black

            When you realize the third-party “crap” gives superior results to the Nikon crap, you’ll put it on your D4 too.

            • Phill A Sheow

              If you don’t get superior results with the current Nikon’s product, you’re most likely doing something wrong, or you’re just trying to justify yourself for going the el cheapo route.

            • Spy Black

              Is that what it is? Damn, all this time I could been using a Polaroid and saving a bigger bundle!

            • Phill A Sheow

              Surprise, surprise!

        • lord eels

          let’s start calling them what they are. generic products. yes quantum trio’s are nice, but I’d bet the vast majority of 3rd party nikon system compatible goods are sold on price advantage alone. aka they are cheap.

        • El Aura

          Yeah, no more non-Nikon branded memory cards.

  • why?

    i guess this capacity card is for war photography in Afghanistan or Antarctic… when you are not coming back to a metropolitan store soon….

    • Truth

      But…I get over an hour of video time!

    • yrsued

      Well, When I am on the Road for one week, Shoot a sporting event that takes four to Five Days and I end up shooting 18K – 20K RAW Images, I need all the cards I can get my hands into!! And they are not erased until all the Images are safe on one of My DROBO’s at home.

      Everyone has a Different need for their gear, I have a very specific need for my D4 Bodies and I wish I had two CF Slots

  • Up $#!t’s creek!

    Isn’t Nikon M.O. to pretend the problem doesn’t exist and release a new model?

    • Ronan

      Nope, that’s just what a few trolls on a internet forum bitch & moan about in every single thread/topic.

      • Sebastian

        Well, Nikon deserves some harshness for their ignorance!
        The D4s would have been a good time to wave good bye to the XQD. Nikon D4 is probably the only device in the world using this Sony standard. Now, that it’s speed advantage has vanished, there is no point left to stay with XQD. Even SD card can keep up as of now. But I bet, Nikon will still go for XQD.

        • Theodoros Fotometria

          Obviously you have never used a D4 or an XQD… and NO D4 is not the only device… Actually Sony’s latest prosumer camcorder uses 2xXQDs.

          • yrsued

            I have three D4 Bodies, and I have shot over 75K Images on them from May 2013 until Today,

            My issue is NOT XQD, it is having to travel with Two different kinds of Cards and Readers. It is a pain!!

            I have three XQD’s and I haven’t used them once since I got the bodies in April and May 2013.

            But I do Have over 25 Hoodman 16GB CF Cards and two Hoodman 32 GB CF cards and I use those exclusively.

            • Theodoros Fotometria

              That is a joke …no? The same file sizes can be covered with only 3-4 XQDs with 1/20th of the space needed. I don’t see how one can spend 18k for three bodies and cripple his bodies to save for the cards,,, I only have one D4 and one D800E (and a 2 bodies-all lenses Contax645 with multishot capable MFDB), obviously we do different photography, but how one can’t find space to add 3 extra tiny cards in his bag which take as much space as only one out of his 27 CFs sounds silly to me! Leave one CF at home! You’ll only make your files safer and save time when emptying your cards! As of me, It’s superb to be able to use the same card on both the D4 and the D800E at a common project which requires the use of both cameras alongside and thus group the files better with respect to the project.

            • yrsued

              OK, Please enlighten me how 25 CF Cards given to me by my Gear Sponsor can be easily replaced with 3 or 4 XQD Cards, I fail to see the Math there!

              I am NOT crippling the bodies with Hoodman Cards, they are about the best in the Market and actually MORE expensive than Sandisk and with better Customer Service

              Again, are your XQD Magic or something?? Because 25 16 GB Cards don’t fit into Three 64 GB Cards, even three 128GB Cards!!

              Oh, BTW, have you heard of he old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in One Basket”???

              These Sporting events I cover, at a National Level for ANY Client, happen only once a year, IF ONE card fails and I have a lot of Important data in it, Guess who is Boned??

              As of today, I have yet to buffer out on my Hoodman Cards, and I get them as part of my Sponsorship Deal. I am Happy.

              You are happy wit XQD, good for you.

            • Theodoros Fotometria

              You are not very good at counting are you? I suggest a calculator… 25×16=400, 128×4=512 Thanks.
              Aaaah, (almost forgot) no matter how good Goodman are, they CAN’T be better than XQD.

            • yrsued

              Hoodman are the best…

              THEY ARE FREE!!

              THAT is what Sponsorship means!!

              So,,$0.00 vs Paying money…

              Let me think….

            • Theodoros Fotometria

              Sooooo… CF is better than XQD… because you don’t have to pay for it! …Good logic, Nikon shouldn’t think of what suits best the design but rather of who has a contract for CF cards! ….I doubt very much you are a working pro buddy! …not with that TROLL/BS logic, you can’t be one!

            • yrsued

              Good is what I trust and what works for me.

              If at the end of the week, I deliver my clients what they want, it works great!!

              You can use what you want,

              Now, Who’s the TROLL

              BTW, who do you work for?

              Published lately??

            • Theodoros Fotometria

     & I don’t work for him… I am …him!

            • yrsued

              We are both Him!!

              You do it in Greece and I don it in the US!!

              We work for different clients.

              My BIG Client is in Japan!!

            • yrsued

              Working Pro, I don’t know



              and my Video


              Even B&H carries it


              So, Yes, after 29 years as a working Pro, YES, I am a working Pro!!

          • Sebastian

            Obviously you have a problem to accept opinions different to yours!
            By the way, I critizised company philosophies: the XQD may have had an advantage when it was introduced. But to me it seems that the advantage it had, has melted away. Plus there are problems (solved?) using both SanDisc and XQD.
            Reading the discussions back then, it was obvious to me, that neither Sandisc nor Lexar would jump on the XQD standard. And Sony has already a track record of standards that the buyers had to trash after a while. Now you mentioned 1 (!) more product using XQD – that makes it just two in the camera world! Great! Thus I bet in a couple of years few people will remember that it once existed. And you may have trashed yours…
            You are right: I’ve never bothered to buy into XQD. And frankly, observing the development in SD cards with speeds above 160 MB/sec I tend to believe they are the future.
            But if XQD have payed of for you, it’s fine with me.

      • Andrzej Lukowiec

        Forgot to add, regarding Nikon. And some of “us” are moaning only about any 3rd party stuff… Bloody trolls 😉

    • Andrzej Lukowiec

      D4.10? 😉

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    …waiting for someone to complain that the D4 firmware update doesn’t add video to the Df….

    • Jolly Roger

      It won’t happen. The Df is pure photography.

      • MB

        Df is DSLR with crippled firmware to disable video.
        And D4 firmware update does add video to Df, you just need to shoot video on your D4 and leave Df at home …

  • photographer4

    Its obvious to me that Nikon do not listen to there customers . No XQD

    • Theodoros Fotometria

      Its obvious to me that Nikon do not listen to there customers. Leave the cards the way it is and make D6 or D7 with 2xXQDs when the use of the card will have a wider spread to lower cameras… (which it inevitably will, given the video spread and the video files growing all the time). Sony’s latest prosummer camcorder has only 2xXQD and Sony (the video leader in the market) is expanding the use of XQDs lower all the time.

      • Phil A Sheow

        “It’s” obvious to me that Nikon do not listen to “their” customers.

  • Freddy

    Who care? What a waste!
    This CF is overkill and not needed. XQD is another joke from Sony.

    • IKnowURTrollBut…

      CF overkill? So, you’re suggesting floppy disk instead?

  • Ricky

    The era of CF now is coming to the end. Bulky and more expensive. Why still support it?

    • Zeke

      What’s missing from these conversations is acknowledgement that a DSLR, particularly a pro DSLR, is typically just one of the owner’s many tools accumulated over many years – so it needs to interoperate with whatever the guy’s already using in his workflow.

      All these one-true-standard arguments are missing the point. The perfect D4 is the one that has the interface the customer wants. This is why I think Nikon should make a modular media interface, and offer CF, SD, and XQD modules. Maybe even SATA. Who knows.

      Up until 10 years ago, all top-of-the-line Nikon SLRs had interchangeable viewfinders so they would work in any photographic application. What I’m proposing is in the same spirit, except it’d be much simpler to do and I bet there’s far greater demand.

  • Ineluki

    I am using a 32Gb Lexar high speed cf-Card 150MB/s and the Sony 16xqd 125MB/s and have no problem at all.

  • art17

    I bought two extreme pro 160mb/s at bhphotovideo in late december. the 32gb is ok on my d4, so appearently Sandisk had worked on the issue. Unfortunately the other card (which is a 256gb) doesn’t work neither in my d4 (error message) nor in my d800E, where i wanted to use it. Specifically, the camera ‘suggest’ me to format the card (which is obvious, and generally not required directly by the camera): when i do it the camera works, but the card is formatted as a 128gb one, you loose half the capacity. At the moment i contacted my sandisk centre (italy, i’m italian), appearently i have to send it in czech republic for a possible fix-change… The problem, though, is whether a d800(e) can host a 128gb + card. Which is sort of absurd, because 256gb card have existed – since 12-18 months (at least on sd format) and they should be tailored for a camera that produces 75mb files (and vice-versa)

  • click

    The Memorycard-Slots should be an exchangeable Module. And the customer can choose between Double CF, Double XQD and Double SDXC.

    • Theodoros Fotometria

      Good idea! ….takes some space and increases cost considerably, but the benefit is crystal clear! One can change his opinion on his previous decision too!

  • Cosmin

    how about fixing the problem when using Tamron lenses on D600 and D800 ? With my 24-70vc and 70-200 vc it reconises in the af fine tune menu only the 70-200 ,so I can’t make individual changes.This problem started being discusesed in forums since summer and it hasn’t a fix yet!

    • MB

      Actually this is problem with Tamron lens firmware and how it presents the lens to camera.

    • Phill A Sheow

      That’s the risk of buying 3rd-party crap. It’s well warned all over the map and people are still doing it. Go figure.

      • click

        I hope you will never have trouble with your car when you are using non-Porsche-certified-Fuel.

        • Phill A Sheow

          First off, I’d wish I had a Porsche. Second, I’m pretty sure Porsche doesn’t certify fuel but recommends fuel. The same is done by my car maker. I don’t know where you’re from, but here in the US most of the gas stations have 3 different types of gasoline based on their octane grade. My car maker recommends one of them for my car. If I used a non-recommended or Diesel, I’d be taking the risk of damaging my car. I don’t know about you but when I invest in the order of thousands of dollars, I don’t take worthless risks.

          • click

            It’s the same where I came from.

            But if I buy an expensive camera (Porsche) and I use a 3rd-party Lens (Fuel) it should be work together. And I think 3rd-party stuff is not generally crap. And of course: Nikon recommends Nikon-Lens. This would be the same if Porsche sells fuel.

            But in this case: every company blames the other company. And the customer is the fool.

      • Zeke

        Photo equipment should work together. Vendor lock-in is nonsense. Don’t be so gung-ho to defend a company that’s working to limit you, not help you.

        Anyway, photographers rely on Nikon products interoperating properly with numerous 3rd-party products and inventions, some good and some less good, such as standard filer thread pitches, ISO 518 (hot shoe), ISO 1222 (1/4-20 tripod thread – or should they invent their own?), CompactFlash, USB, Ethernet, NEMA 5-15R (the outlet for all their US chargers), ISO 519, EXIF, FAT32, ASCII, and on and on and on.

      • Andrzej Lukowiec

        That 3rd party crap performs better then 1st party… I guess bigger crap. It can be only trolling answer to trolling post, I’m afraid 😉

  • Stan Burman

    If Nikon really wanted to fix this they would offer an option for 2 CF card slots. The two different card slots is the most ridiculous feature of the otherwise very nice camera.

  • Spy Black

    You call a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 a generic product?

    • lord eels

      absolutely. it has really horrible secret trade offs like its terrible performance at infinity and it’s bad AF accuracy. yes it is sharp, but so are the samyang primes, that means little. not to mention sigma renders like canon L glass with amped reds. me no likey. you get what you pay for Einstein. you get what you pay for. you get what you pay for. got it?

      • mikeswitz

        why do you have to be such an unpleasant asshole? Einstein.

      • Spy Black

        What if you don’t like the color you get from the Nikon? What if you like amped reds? Different strokes.

        I haven’t heard anything of your claims of infinity performance and AF accuracy (except for Nikon’s deliberate sabotage), sounds like fanboy sour grapes to me.

        • matt g
          • Spy Black

            You guys can’t actually serious. How sad a bunch of fanboys are you? This is obviously ONE bad sample, that appears to be decentered. As one poster put it, “you have a bad copy, my sigma is not like that”
            Get over it guys. The Sigma is a superior lens to the Nikkor.

            • lord eels

              did you really just bust out a “nuh-uh” response to video evidence? I rest my case.

              sigma has done to you what they always do to their customers, convinced you that SOMEHOW they are cheaper and “better”. sorry man, pick one.

              you get what you pay for.

              the sigma 35mm is a test chart lens like the cheap samyang primes. anyone can make a “sharp” prime, Einstein, look at the iPhone!!! but does your prime have the right contrasts, bokeh, and color? that’s the hard part.

              it’s not my job to convince you or to correct you. just know that I am 100% correct, and you are just another cheap a-hole buying sigma lenses.

            • Spy Black

              Keep believin’…

          • KnightPhoto

            Thanks Matt, clearly the Nikon 24-70 is annihilating the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 at infinity and same f-stops; several good insights there, much appreciated.

      • mikeswitz

        Why do you have to be such an unpleasant a**hole?


  • Rafa R

    I have that problem even with my Sandisk 90mb/s cards and XQD.. I would much rather have two CF cards than that Betamax I mean XQD format.

    • kassim

      Actually Betamax was better. But you know, people don’t always pick the better choice.

  • Ed

    And the $6000 new format in the other card slot test fails.

    They made this decision too early and put a lot on the line doing it in the d4.

  • Neopulse

    Probably errors in being able to write 2 different high-speed writings in 2 different formats. Probably craps itself when it does that. That card though wasn’t around when the D4 was released. Just needs a firmware update. Kinda like being able to use SDXC when only SDHC was around at the time. And XQD kicks ass btw.

    • jk

      do not care how fast or how good the XQD card is because it will not survive as Sony is the only one manufacture to supporting it.

      until Sandisc supports it , no rational people will buy the crap.

      • Neopulse

        “… will not survive as Sony is the only one manufacture to supporting it.” Are you dense? Lexar, is also a company that makes XQD cards. Research a bit first before you comment. “…until SanDisc supports it” – not gonna even try to comment on that because it would be too easy to bash you there.

  • jk

    shouldn’t be digging their own grave with sony by going for the shitty XQD card crap.
    it is the new gen XD card from Oly/Fuji a decade ago.
    no one buys into it and the XQD will die, San Disc and others are not supporting it.

  • Leonardo


    Only memory compatibility issues will be resolved or we have some other improvements in the AF system?

    I would like a firmware that would bring fixes and improvements also.

    Some D4 and D800 showed the famous “left focusing issue”

    But at least with the D800 there is another focus problem being discussed in some forums: “D800 AF issues w / Speedlight AF assist”
    Issue: Speedlight Assist AF-ON = terrible backfocus

    I think this issue deserves to be studied by

    I would like a post stating the possible issue with the AF system of the D800. This way more people would test their cameras and would take knowledge of what is causing backfocus!

    Thank you!

  • Surprisingly, my SanDisk Extreme PRO 32G CF card works well with with the Nicon Coolpix 4300 camera! So hopefully Nicon will fix that glitch… or make workaround for ScamDisk errors.

    What I hate is the impossibility to switch the CF card into a fixed mode instead of being removable device 🙁 Suxx.

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