Interesting: Lexar XQD memory cards listed as discontinued *UPDATED*

The 32GB and 64GB Lexar XDQ Pro 1100x memory cards are currently listed as discontinued at B&H. Lexar's XQD cards were just one year old. During the 2014 CES the company did not introduce any new XQD models, but they announced the world’s fastest CFast 2.0 memory card that can reach read transfer speeds up to 500MB/s and capacities up to 256GB. Lexar XQD cards are still listed on their own website, Adorama and Amazon.

As of today, the Nikon D4 is the only camera that takes XQD memory cards. Even Sony's own models are still using SD cards (Sony was the first company to produce QXD cards). SanDisk already reported that they will not produce XQD memory cards. Is the XQD memory format dead already?

The upcoming Nikon D4s camera is supposed to have the same memory card configuration as the D4: one XQD and one CF slots.

I contacted Lexar for clarification on their future XQD plans and will update this post once I receive an answer.

Update: here is the answer I received from Lexar:

"Lexar remains committed to the XQD memory card format, and Lexar Professional XQD memory cards have not been discontinued. However, due to the popularity of the Lexar XQD cards, some resellers have sold out, and Lexar is working to re-supply them. We will provide updates when they are available."

Note that B&H has listed them as "discontinued" and not as "out of stock". Based on my previous experiences, when B&H marks something as discontinued, it really is, but all this could of course be just a mistake in their inventory system.

This entry was posted in Nikon D4s and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • manhattanboy

    Another win for Nikon. Where is Thom? He should feel sadly vindicated about the lack of direction at Nikon.

    • Nikon seems to be steadily proceeding with one foot in the CF camp, and another in the XQD camp, and one hand in the SD camp, and the other flailing around hoping to stay balanced. The camps are all on chunks of rock drifting slowly apart in a bubbling pool of lava, and there’s a giant four-tentacled robot named SSD trying to kill them all. Unfortunately for Nikon, it isn’t Mr. Incredible, but just a very confused camera company.

      • Jorge

        The new robot is Fuji. The X Robot Fuji. And Canon, And Sony. And Pentax. And Olympus and. and. and

        • Skipping the overtaxed metaphor…

          Nikon made a half-assed bet on XQD when the correct thing to do was go to multiple SD in parallel, go to SSD, or go wireless/networked in a big way (built-in 802.11ac?). (Another option was to double-down on XQD; who knows? That might have worked better.) Right now, XQD is probably the most expensive way to buy storage capacity there is (for consumers anyway), and it’s significantly slower than SSDs which are 5x cheaper per GB.

  • David

    Well that’s interesting . . . Sounds like the Sony memory stick redux.

  • RMFearless

    Yes it is!

  • George Kalogeris

    Latest 4K camcorders from Sony use XQD as well.

    • rt-photography

      so was beamax players then. whats the point? its sony. of course theyll try to push it. hows that memory stick doing?

      Lexar simply bailed. they saw no income.

      • John

        He was adding a counterpoint to the article. Sony is using them in cameras as well as Nikon.

      • RBR

        It could be as simple as Lexar converting production capacity to CFast 2.0 to build up inventory in anticipation of demand when some new cameras they have information about are released. After the initial rush has settled down, some of the production capacity could be returned to XQD production for existing customers.

        Having the CFast cards from your company available initially places the company in a favorable position to get repeat business from customers who will buy more of the same brand as that which they are using.

        Lexar almost certainly know more than we do about upcoming products.

      • betamax

        Betamax was better. VHS won because it can record longer(for a slightly degraded quality). Sony didn’t want to go that route. What consumer want is cheap and okay enough quality. For high end use, Betamax has become industry standard for video recording.

        • As far as I know VHS won because of the porn industry.

    • Jack S

      Sony are notorious for devising and implementing their own proprietary standards. While QXD may not be as proprietary as their MemorySticks (though its implementation into a wide array of devices is severely lacking in comparison), Sony are one of the co-creators of the format. It is only natural then that they lock their customers into this rather peculiar card format that only a handful of devices use.

      The reason other card formats have been so successful is because they are a standard which millions of devices use (instead of limited to a select few products from two companies). A card for one device can be re-used for another purpose in another device, instead of frequent repeat purchase.

      Remember that modern NAND and EEPROM type memory is manufactured all the same. When placed in a card by an OEM, such as Sony, the only real differentiator is the controller and the shape/size of the connector.

  • Paul

    Bye bye XQD. I blame the failure on the name. It’s difficult to remember. Let’s go CFast!

  • Sincity

    I liked the XQD, it was fast and seemed to be better than CFast in that I can get an XQD at the national photo store like BH/Adorama/Best Buy.. Yeah, I can order it at Best Buy..
    It is too bad no one really took advantage of the new technology (both CFast and XQD).. All I can find in most places is SD.. So things become the chicken/egg. Companies won’t support XQD until users buy more ; while users won’t buy until companies support..

  • broxibear

    You can’t blame Lexar if they pull out of XQD, if there’s little to no market for them then why would they waste money making them ?
    It’s reached the point where it doesn’t matter which slots Nikon put in the D4s it will be wrong…
    Dual CF and peolple will say why not Dual CFast, if it’s dual CFast photographers with a D4 and D4s will have to have three different types of cards, dual XQD and almost everyone will be annoyed, lol…it’s a big mess.
    It’s giving me a headache, let’s go back to film, lol.

    • broxibear

      Here’s the press release from Sept 2013 from SanDisk about their Extreme Pro CFast 2.0
      Judging by “Early adopters and endorsers include SanDisk, Canon, ARRI and Codex. The
      result of this alliance is the CFast 2.0 specification, delivering a
      new level of performance for next generation professional video and
      photography cameras.” and “Canon is also a supporter of the CFast 2.0 standard. Masaya Maeda,
      managing director and chief executive of image communication product
      operations at Canon said, “With extremely fast performance, CFast 2.0
      memory cards will enable us to develop next-generation cameras with more
      powerful features, enabling future 4K Ultra HD video recording
      capability.”” Canon will be using it in their next big DSLR, probably the 7D Mark II
      There’s no mention of Nikon in that press release.

      • Without Knowledge

        The 7D series is nog ‘big’ its a consumer camera positioned towards enthousiast amateurs and semi professionals.

        Canons ‘Big’ camera’s are the C and 1D series.

        • broxibear

          Hi Without Knowledge,
          It’s their top of the range APC camera, which is why I called it a big camera…and the fact that it’ll be their next big release. Probably CP+, Canon were low key at CES…it’s just a few weeks away now.

          • Brice

            broxibear, the 7D line is discontinued. Go join the queue of D700 replacement apologists.

      • RBR

        I just took a look at the Sandisk CFast press release in which they quoted a price of $220 for a 16 GB card going up to an OMG price for a 256 GB card. While I realize that street prices are usually substantially discounted, that is likely to be a pricey little devil for some time. This makes me think Nikon are likely to sit still on the card formats and let someone else be the pioneer this time. You know the pioneer collects all the arrows.

        • broxibear

          Hi RBR,
          Yeah, they’re definitely not going to be priced like CF or SD. If Canon go CFast with their upcoming 7D Mark II and it’s in the D4s then you’ll start to see SanDisk, Lexar and others bring out cheaper cards.
          The larger capacity cards are being tailored for 4K video, most stills photographers would much rather use two smaller capacity cards than one large one as a safety net incase of corruption.
          It’ll be interesting to see if any other manufacturers, apart from Nikon and Canon, bring out photographic cameras that use CFast.

          • RBR

            If the XQD format production is discontinued, it would be a (small) market opportunity for someone to exploit with a XQD to SD adapter.

    • pdm

      At more than double the cost of a comparable Sony Series S card, I wouldn’t stock them either.

    • SomeGuy

      Nikon messed up ROYALLY and they know it.

      They should have just stuck to dual CF.

      I’m very seriously considering a switch to Canon now because of all this.
      As I’m in the market for a body with a very high fps rate and Canon has it with the 1D Mark II.
      Nikon had nothing except the D4s and I’m not buying something that may at one point be obsolete. Unless they go dual CF and Xqd with the d5 but I can’t afford to wait that long either.

      Shooting Nikon for 17 years, had to end sometime.

      Nikons fault. 🙂

  • Don Hogfan

    SD UHS-II –> backwards compatibility

  • Ric

    then I guess the upcoming D400 won’t have any of those 🙂

  • Zinchuk

    And this is precisely why I have been hesitant to buy any additional XQD cards beyond the 16 GB that came with my D4. It’s Betamax, all over again. It may be superior in many ways, but it’s dead, Jim.
    I really wish the D4s had two CF slots, as well as any possible D4x

    • Chris_Gullett

      My thinking is the opposite. I have been buying extra XQD 32 GB cards in case they are discontinued. I am not buying the D4s maybe the D5, so for now I need a working 2 card system for backups.

      • RBR

        Logical and prudent.

    • Alex

      It’s not too late for Nikon to switch back to two CF slots. They have officially announced the D4s, only announced that it was in development.

  • David D. Busch

    XQD cards aren’t going anywhere…in both senses of the term. They’ll continue to be popular among Nikon D4, D4s, and D4x users, but it doesn’t look like wide adoption elsewhere is in the cards. I love my Lexar 1100X 32GB card, and if the company does discontinue them, I’d look forward to picking up a couple 64GB cards as well. Although dual identical slots might be ideal, the mixed-media configuration has actually worked out well for me — I wanted to share some shots with another photographer at a shoot recently, and copied them over to a low cost CF card.

  • … and there goes the nail in the coffin. It was doomed from the start with just the D4 (very limited market) using it.

    After the first batch of D4s is sold: Announcing the D4.5s w/ dual CF slots.

    • Zinchuk

      I wonder if they could re-use the tooling from the D3 and D3s for dual CF?

    • CF formato is dead, whoever is mourning it, must come a bit sheltered with regards to newer developments

  • JonB

    The Lexar website shows the 64 GB card as a current product. Adorama has the 64 GB card in stock. Maybe only the 32 GB card was discontinued and someone at B&H fumble-fingered it?

    • Hung Leica Müll

      Did you read the article?
      You’re just repeating what is already written above.

      • JonB

        The article doesn’t point out that the 32-GB card has disappeared from the Lexar site and from Adorama. Meaning that they have changed, but in a different way than B&H. That may be relevant.

  • Joe chang

    That’s why I don’t buy XQD cards/devices. Stupid decision makers. Any monkey could have seen this would fail.

    • Bananas 4 U?

      Unfortunately, Nikon is not run by monkeys.

      • Zoologist

        You gotta think that the monkeys would make a better job of it though!!

  • IndyReader

    I don’t think this is unique to the Xqd, my speedy 90mb CF cards are discontinued now for the faster 160mb version … Likely they will have a new improved version of the XQD out shortly at about the same pricing.

  • caribousteaks

    Sad to say but the writing is on the wall. XQD is going south. Have D4 love format, cards easy to lose and expensive as can be, but not kidding myself no one is using it and I think everyone could tell from the beginning it was doomed. Nikon/Sony stubbornness and or contracts are the only thing that will keep XQD alive. Oh well, will eat the cost and move on when D5 comes out. Enjoy the speed for the meanwhile until XQD is completely overtaken.

  • Spy Black

    Might be a new gen coming out. Don’t panic yet.


    Nikon can not have got this so badly wrong.
    XQD is the future.
    It’s just that everyone else doesn’t know that.

    • Jorge

      Someone mentioned in a post a while back that maybe, just maybe when Sony and Nikon were coming to an agreement on the D800 sensor, that part of that agreement was for Nikon to push the Sony QXD card… I wonder now if that was in fact what happened? Anyone?

      • Mike

        Not that you’re quoting me, but that was something I speculated a couple of years ago. You scratch my back…. I’ll comb yours. 😉

    • RBR

      No, XQD is plainly the past. CFast 2.0 is faster by more than 2 times the current XQD product and there is no news of its further adoption by anyone. History!

      • NoHabla

        The dude has his tongue firmly in his cheek!

        • RBR

          Thx, sometimes it is not apparent with some of the diehards.

  • neversink

    Are we seeing the death of yet another Sony product???? At the expense of those of us who purchased the Nikon D4

    • Pictor

      XQD was developed by the CompactFlash Association. The article is about Lexar potentially dropping XQD (or at least this particular line of XQD). Where does Sony come in?

      • As far as I can tell it was originally announced by Sony, Nikon, and SANdisk. SANdisk pulled out, Nikon has never been in the memory card business, Lexar got in and seems to be getting out. So it’s a Sony format now in fact if not in theory. A Sony format that Sony doesn’t use for most of its own devices.

        I wonder if Nikon got advance access to some of Sony’s sensor technology in exchange for using XQD in the D4. Sony does love its proprietary storage formats.

        In case anyone is wondering, XQD is essentially PCI Express — kind of like Thunderbolt — except that (a) Thunderbolt is backed by Intel and Apple, (b) Thunderbolt 1.0 is twice as fast and Thunderbolt 2.0 is four times as fast, (c) you can plug more than just memory cards into thunderbolt (and you can daisy-chain them), and (d) quite a lot of vendors support thunderbolt, and the list is growing.

      • neversink

        Tonio gave a great answer. Sony was the original producer and distributor of XQD. From Wikipedia: “The format was first announced in November 2010 by SanDisk, Sony and Nikon, and was immediately picked up by the CompactFlash Association for development…. The final specification was announced in December 2011”

  • And yet, CF(lash) cannot be the future. il this is True nikon got in trouble for innovating, while other companies get rewarded for not doping so. Too bad. Whiners should instead be thankful for the remaining Cf slot

  • Pictor

    CFast is good because it’s — not backward comparable with CF and it relies on inferior technology (SATA) that the storage industry is already *starting* to move away from?! The second point is where the BetaMax analogy can be made but this format isn’t backward compatible so you’ll need to buy new cards anyway. The new CFast 2.0 cards are already close to maximizing the limits of SATA. These things seem obsolete from day one and there will need to be a new format in two years. This is planned obsolescence.

    • ArTourter

      How is SATA an “inferior technology” and where did you see that the “storage industry is already *starting* to move away from” it??? All HDs these days all SATA (or SAS which is SATA compatible). The standard is still being developed with SATA 3.2 around the corner with transfer rate around 16Gb/s and is a merging standard between PCI express (the standard on which XQD is based) and SATA.

      • Pictor

        PCIe. There are high end machines that are putting more into PCIe than SATA. SATA will still be around for a while for low cost storage but the limits are being felt where speed is important such as SSD drives.

    • ArTourter

      How is SATA an “inferior technology” and where did you see that the “storage industry is already *starting* to move away from” it??? All HDs these days all SATA (or SAS which is SATA compatible). The standard is still being developed with SATA 3.2 around the corner with transfer rate around 16Gb/s and is a merging standard between PCI express (the standard on which XQD is based) and SATA.

  • Eric Bowles

    XQD cards are widely used for video cameras.

    If you search on B&H for XQD, you find plenty of cards including a similar product. Lexar XQD seems to be available elsewhere.

    • broxibear

      Hi Eric,
      What’s interesting is that there seems to be a split in the next gen 4k video cameras with XQD and CFast. Sony are the only ones using XQD in two models so far. The rumours are that Panasonic’s GH4 will be CFast along with Canon’s new cinematic cameras…Arri are also going with CFast, it’s in their new Amira model.
      These type of format wars are expensive and never end well.

      • Sonysan

        CFast, like XQD, is a new type of format and is not compatible with CF based equipment. I don’t understand why wouldn’t card makers adopt XQD instead of Cfast. Unless they all hate Sony.

  • Aldo

    Just put dual floppy drives… everyone knows those.

  • Aldo

    Just put dual floppy drives… everyone knows those.

  • RT

    I wonder if there is a problem with B&H’s inventory system. They also list the gitzo 3541L mountaineer tripod as discontinued at it remains in stock at other sites including gitzo’s own site.

  • RT

    I wonder if there is a problem with B&H’s inventory system. They also list the gitzo 3541L mountaineer tripod as discontinued at it remains in stock at other sites including gitzo’s own site.

  • D700s

    I don’t think XQD is going away. Love all the drama here though.

    • Know Knowledge ;)

      Well you might be proven wrong.
      How many camera’s support XQD, how many of them are sold and how big is the market you think?

  • Dibyendu Majumdar

    Apple says on new Mac Pro:

    There’s flash storage, and then there’s next-generation PCIe-based flash
    storage. We’re talking storage that’s up to 2.4 times faster than the
    fastest SATA-based solid-state drive and up to 10 times faster than a
    7200-rpm SATA hard drive.

    1200MB/s versus 500MB/s.

  • Neopulse

    The thing that I kind of find frustrating is that neither Canon, Nikon or Sony offer optional forms of storage as a hook for consumers. If I could I would have 2 XQDs in the D4. Other would like to stick to 2 CF cards. And probably others want 2 SDs or 2 CFasts when i becomes available. Is it that hard to make it? Even an old windows can update it’s OS when a USB card reader of a certain kind is connected to it without faltering in speed.

  • Global

    Is there such thing as an SD-to-XQD converter??

    We may need them for the D4S. =P

  • No Knowledge ;)

    To be honest I think XQD is a dead format.
    This is why I think there is a delay for the D4s.
    Nikon is going to fit it with 2 CF card slots.

    Would not be surprised if they would

  • nikonsniper

    I looked on B&H and they do not even list them any more and Adorama only list one Lexar a 64G.

  • Radu

    I’m not a pro but so my opinion is not all that important but I love my D610 for having same card format in both slots

  • John_Skinner

    At the show in NY when Sony released it’s new body.. Did it support XQD? Nope. You have to question a card platform pretty harshly when it’s own creators won’t implement them in their own new designs…

    The D4 is a bastard child supporting this platform period. The camera processors aren’t keeping up with write speeds of CF with the newer speed CF models coming out.. This is a waste of time and money for both.

    • RBR

      That is a distinct possibility. Nikon are obsessively secret about write speeds when all people want to know is what speed cards actually benefit performance, as if Nikon’s competitors are incapable of testing thei camera as a part of their opposition research. Someone eventually runs tests and publishes the results.

      The only thing Nikon accomplish with these policies are annoying the very customers the company needs to survive. Knuckleheads!

  • Back to top