Best XQD memory card for the Nikon D5 (Sony and Lexar XQD cards tested/compared)

Nikon D5 XQD memory card test comparison 2
Nikon D5 XQD memory card test comparison
Cameramemoryspeed published their comparison/test results of different Sony and Lexar XQD memory cards with the Nikon D5 - the Lexar Professional 2933x XQD 2.0 was the best performer followed by the Sony G Series XQD:

"For the best performance, the Lexar Professional 2933x 64GB XQD 2.0 was the fastest XQD card tested in the D5. It averaged over 292.9 MB/s write speed during continuous shooting. The runner up was the Sony G Series 64GB XQD Card which averaged 273.9 MB/s write in the D5."

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  • Paul H.

    While the difference isn’t negligible, I’d say they are close enough that Lexar had better not price themselves much more than Sony…

    • whisky

      Sony only recently dropped prices by nearly 50% to match Lexar. I’d argue it was Lexar who pioneered XQD competition.

      • This is correct – in fact, that’s why I bought the Lexar. Ironically enough it is still on back order at B&H …

  • Clifford Martin

    Makes sense since Nikon used the Lexar 2933x XQD cards to come up with their buffer capacity specs and you know Nikon would use the fastest card when doing that spec testing.

  • Why didn’t they test the 128gb cards?

  • When I tested it the D5 got 200 lossless compressed 14-bit RAW files with the 32 GB Sony G-Series card, but “only” 185 RAW files with the 64 GB Lexar 2933x in 16 sec.

    • Thom Hogan

      As I’ve written, card size may influence write speed. Indeed, there are ton of variables that impact write speed and buffer clearance.

      • Yes of course, but normally larger cards are faster, like it is although with SSD storages.
        For me it doesn’t matter.

        • Thom Hogan

          Actually, I’ve found the opposite: smaller cards are faster because they don’t introduce another memory management step in the card.

          • Even the manufacturers say that often the smaller cards are slower.

            Lexar 1400x
            32GB—Up to 210MB/s read, 80MB/s write
            64GB—Up to 210MB/s read, 185MB/s write

            Lexar 2933x
            32GB—Up to 440MB/s read, 390MB/s write
            64GB—Up to 440MB/s read, 400MB/s write
            128GB—Up to 440MB/s read, 400MB/s write

            Sony M-Series
            Read speed up to 440 MB/s
            Write speed of 150 MB/s2 (64/128 GB) , 80 MB/s2 (32 GB)

            Sony G-Series (32/64/128 GB)
            Read speed of 400 MB/S
            Write speed of 350 MB/S

            In the top line there are just a few or no difference.

  • Allen_Wentz

    Back in 2012 both SanDisk and Lexar said they would not be producing XQD. Lexar reneged but apparently SanDisk is still only promoting CFast cards. Too bad, because the SanDisk Extreme Pro series of CF are excellent quality and I would prefer to also buy SanDisk XQD.

    • Thom Hogan

      It’s more complicated than that.

      Originally, XQD was a cooperative development effort by Nikon, SanDisk, and Sony. The goal was to provide cards that read/write faster than the CompactFlash limit, which had been hit. Put another way, to write faster than the UDMA CompactFlash cards, there needed to be design changes. Those three companies cooperated on this.

      Then something happened. SanDisk dropped out of the consortium AFTER the XQD cards had been developed. And lo and behold not very long after that, SanDisk suddenly had a different approach: CFast.

      So what we’ve got–once again–is two Japanese patent conglomerates working hard to be the standard “future media.” In one corner we have Nikon/Sony, in the other Canon/SanDisk.

      Lexar originally opted to sit this all out, and it took awhile before it was clear there would really be XQD demand. It will be interesting to see if Lexar goes both ways (CFast and XQD). They’re actually now better positioned than SanDisk to straddle the fence.

      • Politics_Nerd

        Since they just dropped out of XQD production, I am guessing they will not be making XQD cards as well as CFast. #duh

  • JonHob

    Im presuming Sandisk will start producing XQD cards?

    I’m using Lexar 2933x 32GB XQD cards in my D4s and shoot football in highest quality .JPG. I don’t have image review turned on so manually check images before sending out. I’m finding a long delay for images to show on the screen, sometimes up to 8-10 seconds. I’m only shooting batches of 5-10 images, so nothing that will stress the D4s. Is anyone else having this issue?

    • KnightPhoto

      One theory on that is relatively large size of today’s cards and length of time to navigate thru the controlling structures at the top of the chain before getting to the actual images. I agree that this has gotten slower in recent years. Whether this varies from card manufacturer to card manufacturer and camera maker to camera maker and card size would be an interesting test.

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