Memory card technology is continually advancing. We have a myriad of different card types with an exciting new card type that is becoming increasingly popular being XQD cards.
XQD cards are still relatively new, and there are a limited number of cameras and video recorders that use this storage type. Nikon and Sony are two early adopters of the technology. Nikon, for example, is releasing new cameras that support XQD storage.
So what are the benefits of this type of card? Firstly, the technology inside allows for much faster read and write speeds. Furthermore, the potential storage capacity is much higher than a standard SDXC card – we can expect to see 2TB XQD cards in the future.
In the guide below, we have outlined the best XQD cards currently available. Please note that at this time, the variety of XQD cards is still limited.
1. Sony XQD G Series Memory Card (Overall Winner)
Sony has ventured into the realm of XQD cards and has several high-quality models available. The Sony G Series is a high-rated, fast XQD card that is suitable for XQD compatible Nikon DSLR cameras and Sony video recorders that accept this card format.
Although relatively expensive, the performance of this XQD card is phenomenal. The card is capable of read speeds of 440MB/s, and 400MB/s for write speeds – this is achieved via an advanced PCI Express Gen.2 interface.
Aside from the brilliant transfer speeds, this XQD card is extremely durable and robust. It has been tested to withstand five-meter drops and is reported to be five times stronger than standard-grade XQD cards. Furthermore, the device is shock-proof and resistant to static.
There are currently five storage capacity sizes available – 64GB, 120GB, 128GB, 240GB, and 256GB.
Nikon is another early adapter of the XQD card – it has a range of cameras that support this storage medium. The Nikon D4, D5, D500, D850, and Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras all use XQD cards. Furthermore, it looks as if future new Nikon releases will use this storage mode as well.
Currently, Nikon only has one type of XQD card, but it offers excellent performance. It uses a PCIe 2.0 interface and USB 3.0 which enables ultra-fast transfer speeds. This includes a maximum read speed of 440MB/s, and a write speed of 400MB/s.
The card itself is made from durable materials and features an extremely strong shell. This protects it from damage and wear-and-tear and ensures a long usage life.
Furthermore, the contact pins are recessed which further helps protect from damage, shock, and a buildup of debris. With such fantastic transfer speeds, Nikon XQD cards are ideal for burst photography and 4K video recording.
Delkin Devices has also entered the market for XQD cards. Their Delkin Premium XQD card is one of the best available and is suitable for use with compatible Nikon and Sony devices. Furthermore, its excellent transfer speeds make it ideal for snapping photos in RAW as well as high definition video recording.
The card utilizes the 2nd Gen PCI Express Interface and EB stream functionality. This enables excellent transferal speeds and performance. The maximum write speed is 400MB/s, whilst the maximum read speed is 440MB/s.
This Delkin product comes with a 48-hour replacement guarantee which is reassuring if you should receive a faulty item.
In terms of design, it follows the trend of other XQD cards with a durable exterior shell. In addition to this, the Delkin Premium XQD card is available in three different storage capacities – 64GB, 120GB, and 240GB.
Lexar is renowned for creating some of the best SDXC and SDHC cards available. It stands to reason that they have also created an excellent quality XQD card. The Lexar Professional 2933x XQD 2.0 is perfect for high-quality photography and video and is one of the best XQD cards available.
The PCI Express Gen 2 interface enables max transferal speeds expected from XQD cards. It has a write speed of 400MB/s and a read speed of 440MB/s. There will certainly be no delay when taking photos or downloading media to external devices.
The Lexar Professional 2933x XQD card is also exceptionally durable. It has been extensively tested and is water, shock, vibration, and temperature resistant. Remember that to get the fastest transfer speeds, you must use an equivalent XQD 2.0 reader.
This XQD card is available in three different sizes – 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Lexar has also released a high-quality XQD card reader.
5. Sony XQD M Series Memory Card (Budget Winner)
Finally, we have a brilliant budget option. The Sony XQD M Series presents a slightly cheaper option to the G-Series. It is still a highly functional XQD card but is better suited for people with a smaller budget.
This XQD card uses PCI Express Gen 2 interface and supports USB 3.0. It has excellent performance but does not offer the same transfer speeds as more expensive XQD cards. The write speed is 80MB/s, and the read speed is 440MB/s – this is still extremely fast.
The card has the same design features and durability as the G-Series and is damage resistant. Furthermore, the contact pins are recessed which prevents debris and dirt from damaging the internal components.
If you don’t want to splash out on a G-Series model or one of the other XQD cards listed, the Sony XQD M Series could be the perfect alternative. It is also available in three storage capacities – 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.
Create High-Definition Media With XQD Card Storage
We hope you have found this guide useful. Whilst XQD cards are still emerging, we expect this type of card to become more widely used.
As large manufacturers like Nikon and Sony adopt the technology, we can expect to see other companies follow suit. Furthermore, be sure to look out for XQD cards with increased storage capacity in the near future.