The memory card slots in the Nikon D5 camera (XQD or CF) can be exchanged

A quick update: the memory card slots in the Nikon D5 camera (XQD or CF) can be exchanged at a Nikon service center (for a fee of course). This info can be found on page 15 of the D5 brochure (thanks RMJ and akkual).

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  • KT

    Very interesting, that should eliminate concerns over “buyer’s remorse’ in case you make the wrong choice upfront. It’s never too late to correct that initial error.

    • Aldo

      Yes… but they should have taken it a step further and just let anyone swap the port altogether…. maybe D5 owner may own both CF and XQD ports. They could have sold the ports as an accessory. That would have been great!

      • KT

        I’m sure they could but then everyone will be complaining about the incomplete dust and weather sealing brought about by the ability to switch the card ports, and the poor electric contact that will develop after a few port switches due to dirt and slime build-up. Nikon can never win.

      • neonspark

        that would be ridiculous. this is a camera, not a lego set.

        • Aldo

          Not at all. First.. it would make a camera more versatile… and it will better hold its value over time. Second… people talk about swapping sensors in the future.. this is only the card port. Have you forgotten the “lego” sets of hasselblad cameras? I certainly have not. Third… you constantly already replace and switch a much more critical part of the camera, the lens.

    • Kiboko

      Intersting is the word. If you are new in top end Nikon going from D800-isch Nikon … you can start with CF-card D5 … And when you feel the prices for XQD reached a price you can afford. You are not locked on CF for ever.

      This also opens for other cards, if Nikon likes it. C-Fast?

      • br0xibear

        “This also opens for other cards, if Nikon likes it. C-Fast?”
        yeah, that is interesting isn’t it.
        If the module can be switched between CF and XQD, I wonder if the internal architecture allows any future Cfast module to be added ? hmmmmmmmmm

        • PhilK

          I would guess not. Completely different interface logic.

          It’s bad enough that they had to make compromises to support both card types as it is, trying to support a 3rd would be nuts.

          For example, take a look at that big gap underneath the XQD cards when the memory door is open. All that space could have been put to other uses (or eliminated, making the camera smaller) if it were not required in order to accomodate CF as well.

          • neonspark

            CF is dead anyway. This will be the last nikon flagship to even offer this. The demand for higher datarates will not go away and CF cannot keep up.

      • David Peterson

        XQD cards are surely already at prices a D5 owner could afford?? They’re cheaper than ever!!

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    You need to purchase the other “card module” at a sevice center, then they replace it for you. I wonder if they give you the other one back (they should..). I think technically you could swap them again by yourself if you had both models, but I suspect it also requires a different firmware/firmware update or firmware settings change to let the camera know which module is installed.

    • KT

      You should just invest in a few cards of one type (CF or XQD) and live with it, it will be far cheaper than switching back and forth.

      • neonspark

        this. I can’t believe people rather pay for this silly modification rather than just invest in the proper gear. You buy a camera this expensive and this fast to cheap out on the media.. stupid, as photographers always go. Reminds me of the same argument about S-RAW and the D800 so they wouldn’t have to buy a new PC and CF media but still own the D800 just because they could shoot the house cat a few times at 36MP then go and work at 12MP.

  • silmasan

    In the spirit of modularity, they should also offer to swap ISO and Mode buttons for those who want it. 😉

    • Ken Elliott

      I wish they made all the buttons programmable, and offered software to do the setup on a computer, then generate a config file to update the firmware.

      • silmasan


    • Luke_86

      The video record button can be swapped to be the mode button.

      • silmasan

        Which I would do if/when I lay my hands upon one of these new bodies.

    • neonspark

      this would be in the spirit of modularity: the pipe dream of non engineers which fail to realize the cost of modularity would be more expensive than your XQD card.

      • silmasan

        Relax sir. I’m merely pointing out that these buttons are inherently programmable (firmware = software), and therefore the only ‘hardware’ to be “swapped” are some sort of… labels. 😉

  • Nikon should have offered the same XQD/SD options in the D500, and every pro body moving forward.

    • David Peterson

      Yup, XQD for the raw files. SD for cheap JPG back up

      • That’s what I do now (with CF/SD), but the less types of memory cards to deal with the better.

        • neonspark

          so you are arguing for MORE card types instead of just one card type. funny how you just contradicted your own statement 🙂

          • No, I’m saying that by offering the option to have XQD/XQD or SD/SD or CF/CF for multiple bodies, you could choose to have all your cameras with the same card type across the board.

    • neonspark

      and absorb the cost or pass it to you? yeah right. It is bad enough they will have to stock keep two units and nobody knows the demand ratio. stores will have to guess too. This is a disaster that should NEVER be repeated. If photographers were allowed their way, they would probably force Nikon to bring back a film option. move on.

      • You do realize the card module can be switched post-purchase, right?

  • CV

    For a fee.

    So; $400?

    Either way; the bigger question is;
    do the slots work both at the same time, or is writing done
    sequentially? Like with the D810; if you put JPEG on one card and NEF on
    the other; half the time your CF card will do nothing while the JPEG is
    written to the SD card. And vice versa

    • neonspark

      I hope it is as much as it costs to buy the XQD cards so that people will learn to let go of that 8GB CF card you bought 5 years ago.

    • waterengineer

      So you buy a $6,500 camera and complain about a bill that is about 6-percent the price. Got it.

      • CV

        $400 buys a complete PC. It’s a ridiculous “fee” to change a cardreader slot.

  • Hari Vemula

    Can Nikon Service center swap out the existing card bay in the Nikon D4s to dual CF/XQD?

    • neonspark

      nobody knows but likely no. The D4s never supported dual CF or dual XQD. The software and drivers need to have this added and there is a 0% chance nikon will bother to do this when they released a superior body. And if the ports are soldered to the mobo you can forget about it completely even if you dropped a 15K check on them just because you don’t want to do the right thing and buy a D5.

  • malchick743

    Not really big news and I knew it since the camera’s reveal by reading the online brochure back then. Good thing though since some in the pro ()or high-amateur) field are not ready to embrace XQD just yet.

    • neonspark

      let them. The joke is on them when the cost of this will be more than it would have been to just buy the cards they will have to buy anyway ha ha ha. servers them right.

  • neonspark

    CF with its inferior data rates is done for. The gap is only going to keep getting wider and no doubt canon will be forced to adopt them to keep up. Thus force the industry to move away from CF once and for all.

  • Andy

    Nikon – please also make a combined Cf and XQD replacement module for those of us who want this option as well

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