CFexpress Options Bloom: More, Faster, Cheaper

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,678
2,592
I can understand that higher capacity cards are dropping in price but are the smaller capacity cards dropped similarly?
There are some togs who shoot >2500 shots in a session and of course video shooters (or hybrid) but I would suggest that a significant number of stills users that wouldn't need >128GB cards.

At some point they can't drop much more in price before it's simply not worth the effort to manufacture, package, ship, and market them.

Tech prices seem to follow a "swoop" price curve, where the lowest end model of something is at price X (cheap), one twice as good isn't much more, one twice as good as that isn't much more than the second one...but then you get to a point where suddenly the price grows by leaps and bounds as you move up. There's a "bend" in the price curve where you suddenly start paying a LOT for the "very latest." Wait a few months or maybe a couple of years at the outside, and those very expensive items drop in price, but there are new, even better items past the "bend" in the curve. Meanwhile the stuff that was before the bend hasn't fallen much.

This is why I tend to buy right where that "bend" is (buying the R5 being an exception). Below that, you don't save much money, above that you spend a lot more money, only to see that money "wasted" a few months later when the item you spend so much money on, is now dirt cheap.

[Example: When I bought a TV 15 years ago. Every 5 inches of diagonal size added $100 to the cost...until the jump from 42 to 47 inches, which was $250, with the price difference getting even steeper after that. I bought a 42 inch. And the price of a 42 inch hasn't dropped much since then (there wasn't much room for it to drop), but the 47s (and higher) have dropped a lot.]

When the R5 came out it seemed like all the CF cards out there were on the wrong side of that bend. And so when some people complained that Canon didn't put two CF ports on the camera, I was thinking "who are these people to demand Canon set things up so I have to spend huge money on a card I don't need?" Even if it was the same per GB as the newer SD card, you couldn't get less than a quarter of a terabyte no matter what, so they were STILL more expensive than a 64 GB card which was all I needed.

So I'm glad to see lower capacity CF cards coming out...but honestly unless one is taking a zillion pictures or long videos, a 64GB SD card (of the newer, faster type) is likely more than enough. (And even a hypothetical 1TB SD card (again of the newer standard) might be enough for others.)
 
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Didn't Tony Northrup do a survey on card usage across thousands of people, hoping to pick out which brands might be reliable/unreliable? Or was that just SD cards? Just in my head? That's the type of data that would be useful in this sort of discussion.

Aside: I was going to write that YouTube's search function - and video search generally - is pretty poor, but really I'm complaining about most of the industry's content moving to video from the written word. Dagnabbit.
Isn’t that annoying. I want to read an article not watch a movie about it. So much faster to read.
 
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Jul 16, 2012
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I suspect I am like many people in that I am more concerned about reliability than anything else. I've pretty much decided to stick with SanDisk and ProGrade because they have been very reliable for me.

I wish there was some information on the reliability of these new brands. Angelbird prices are very tempting but I can't imagine losing 512gb of pictures because of a card failure.
Id only be using that amount for video and be copying it to SD or elsewhere ASAP anyhow. No matter how reliable the card is, that amount of data in pictures wouldnt be worth risking on one card alone to me.
 
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Nemorino

EOS R5
Aug 29, 2020
837
3,313
I routinely shoot CRaw to the CFExpress slot and jpg to the SD slot as a backup.
Yes, You are right. It is not possible to write RAW to one card and CRAW to the other.
If set one card to RAW or CRAW the other option is greyed out at the second card but JPEG is possible.

I just had a short look to the menu of my R5 but don't use it this way.
sorry for the confusion!
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
1,998
2,438
UK
Yes, if you record different formats on both cards.
If you want to write CRAW on both cards it is possible.
Sorted, thanks. I had both slots set for RAW, and cRAW was greyed out and unselectable.

The way to "unlock" cRAW is to to reset slot 2 to JPEG first - this ungreys cRAW, enabling me to set both cards to cRAW.

Have you tried cRAW? You will fit ~4000 onto a 128Gb card, and from all reports I have seen there is no discernible loss of quality from RAW. Much easier on your hard drives as well.
I've reset both slots to cRAW now, and will see if it makes any difference to DR. It'll help me to get more shots per card (and at £200 each for 128GB CFE-B cards are mighty expensive), although it won't make any difference to hard drive storage, as I usually convert everything to TIFF after editing in LR and Topaz DeNoise.
 
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AlanF

Desperately seeking birds
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
12,408
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Sorted, thanks. I had both slots set for RAW, and cRAW was greyed out and unselectable.

The way to "unlock" cRAW is to to reset slot 2 to JPEG first - this ungreys cRAW, enabling me to set both cards to cRAW.


I've reset both slots to cRAW now, and will see if it makes any difference to DR. It'll help me to get more shots per card (and at £200 each for 128GB CFE-B cards are mighty expensive), although it won't make any difference to hard drive storage, as I usually convert everything to TIFF after editing in LR and Topaz DeNoise.
Tiff files are huge. I store the cRAW files, along with the tiny DxO PL .dop files, and the processed jpegs. Will you lose anything by similarly saving along with .xmp? You can buy me a pint if we meet for saving you money on cards (and drives?)!
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
1,998
2,438
UK
Tiff files are huge. I store the cRAW files, along with the tiny DxO PL .dop files, and the processed jpegs. Will you lose anything by similarly saving along with .xmp? You can buy me a pint if we meet for saving you money on cards (and drives?)!
Yes, they're huge. Until recently I just stored RAWs and corresponding LRcat files, but my workflow includes Topaz DeNoise so I have to convert to a universal format. TIFF seems to be pretty future-proof. My main concern is future-proofing and retaining DR and colour fidelity, so not really interested in JPEG. I haven't conducted any tests with DNG etc or compared the various output sizes. Glad to buy you a pint if we live within a reasonable distance of each other. (y) I'm on Hants/Sussex border.
 
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At some point they can't drop much more in price before it's simply not worth the effort to manufacture, package, ship, and market them.
All products go through a lifecycle of price/time - whether TVs or cars - but that doesn't mean that it isn't "worth the effort" to make them.

SD cards are the classic example and close to the what we are talking about... I can get a 16GB class 10 SD card for ~USD7.50. Still worth it for Emtec (whoever they are) to make them and make a profit. 16GB for most people is still an overkill in capacity but being ubiquitous means that it is worthwhile to make/stock them. Even for R5 users, 16GB = 320 shots per card would be a reasonable landscape session.
I am ignoring Veblen Goods of course.
When the R5 came out it seemed like all the CF cards out there were on the wrong side of that bend. And so when some people complained that Canon didn't put two CF ports on the camera, I was thinking "who are these people to demand Canon set things up so I have to spend huge money on a card I don't need?"
You mention CF but I think you mean CFe cards.
The argument at the time was that if you were paying for a CFe card that could record even a small amount of 8kraw or 4k120 and the UHS-ii cards were close to the same price then why not have dual CFe and unlock dual recording and no buffer clearance issues due to the SD card being slower.
That said, it is much more convenient to download my stills via the SD card slot in my MBP than use a card reader.
Even if it was the same per GB as the newer SD card, you couldn't get less than a quarter of a terabyte no matter what, so they were STILL more expensive than a 64 GB card which was all I needed.
128GB CFe cards were available when the R5 was released but not 64GB. I think that the key issue of capacity of the CFe cards is not the price/GB cost but what the capacity means. The faster CFe cards were needed to record the video that the R5 is capable of so 128GB records ~6 minutes of 8K raw or 8 minutes of 4k/120. I get that you wouldn't "need" the capacity but it was required. You could get slower/cheaper CFe cards if you didn't to record high bandwidth video of course. You can get a Prograde Gold 128GB CFe card for ~USD115 at the moment

The pricing for UHS-ii cards was/is still expensive... but not as expensive as CFe cards.
I had a budget for my transition from 5Div to R5 and was tracking all of my costs and money I got from selling older stuff etc. The card prices blew out the budget (and the RF100-500mm!) but I don't regret it in hindsight.

The Sony A1 with dual SD/CFe type A slots sounds like a perfect solution until you realise that the CFe Type A cards are very expensive and only available in lower capacities and for a long time only from Sony itself. My impression is that there isn't a lot of A1 shooters that need the CFe cards and are mostly using UHSii cards instead as the faster UHSii cards can handle the compressed 8k bandwidth.
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
1,998
2,438
UK
And so when some people complained that Canon didn't put two CF ports on the camera, I was thinking "who are these people to demand Canon set things up so I have to spend huge money on a card I don't need?" Even if it was the same per GB as the newer SD card, you couldn't get less than a quarter of a terabyte no matter what, so they were STILL more expensive than a 64 GB card which was all I needed.

At the time of the R5 launch Canon had to satisfy several demands. Firstly, they needed CFe-B to handle 8K and to minimise buffer issues with repeated 20fps RAW stills bursts. Secondly, they knew that almost all existing Canon users had stocks of SD cards that they didn't want to dump, and that it would enable them to more affordably upgrade to the R5. Thirdly, they knew that the prospect of having to buy 2 or more very expensive CFe-B cards would dissuade a significant number of people from buying the R5.

So, very wisely, they chose for this model to have both CFe-B and SD slots. Canon have judged their user's requirements very well. The price of CFe-B will continue to drop, and I think the next generation of high performance models will be equipped with twin CFe-B slots. Lower end models that only have one card slot will undoubtedly continue to be equipped with SD slots for a few more years.
 
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SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
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All products go through a lifecycle of price/time - whether TVs or cars - but that doesn't mean that it isn't "worth the effort" to make them.

SD cards are the classic example and close to the what we are talking about... I can get a 16GB class 10 SD card for ~USD7.50. Still worth it for Emtec (whoever they are) to make them and make a profit. 16GB for most people is still an overkill in capacity but being ubiquitous means that it is worthwhile to make/stock them. Even for R5 users, 16GB = 320 shots per card would be a reasonable landscape session.
I am ignoring Veblen Goods of course.
Yes, 16GB is now at the bottom of the "worth making" curve. (Come to think of it I might have seen an 8GB card for sale recently.) I wasn't claiming that it was below the bottom. If you were trying to argue against my point, you're not.

I still remember cards that were less than 1 GB. (I even have a couple of old 2GB cards that I use as "floppies.") One might think that if 16 GB is $7.50 you ought to be able to buy a 1 GB card for about fifty cents (almost the same cost per GB). How about 256 MB for 12 cents? But simply linearly scaling the capacity isn't the way it works, because there are fixed costs to getting a card onto the shelf at the store (or warehouse).

Those lower capacity cards have fallen off the bottom of the "worth making" curve; those are the items I was thinking of. It would really cost a lot more than those numbers to package, ship and market those, maybe about five bucks, and someone would have to be very, very tight on money to find it worth taking the huge capacity hit to save a small percentage of the price of a 16 GB card, almost (but not quite) all of which is fixed costs like packaging and shipping. So there's no market for them any more at any price the producer would be willing to charge to recoup the fixed costs.
 
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Same here, speed is nice but reliability is infinitely more important to me. I've been using Delkin and SanDisk 128GB cards without problems - 128GB is enough capacity for about 2000 RAWs on the R5. I always shoot duplicate RAWs to the SD for insurance.
I agree. I've only used the 128 Gb Sony Tough and beyond the shame of putting a Sony in my R5, they have worked flawlessly. With about 2,500 50MB RAW images on a 128 card, I don't see any advantage to going bigger. I'd rather have 2 -128's rather than one 256. The memory card is the weak link in the process and why spend $5-6K for a camera and cheap out on the card? No amount of crying will get your lost images back. I also shoot a large JPG to my Sony SD Card (double shame!) just in case.
 
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SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,678
2,592
You mention CF but I think you mean CFe cards.

You're right. You might have noticed I couldn't remember the precise name of the new SD standard either. :D

At the time of the R5 launch Canon had to satisfy several demands. Firstly, they needed CFe-B to handle 8K and to minimise buffer issues with repeated 20fps RAW stills bursts. Secondly, they knew that almost all existing Canon users had stocks of SD cards that they didn't want to dump, and that it would enable them to more affordably upgrade to the R5. Thirdly, they knew that the prospect of having to buy 2 or more very expensive CFe-B cards would dissuade a significant number of people from buying the R5.

So, very wisely, they chose for this model to have both CFe-B and SD slots. Canon have judged their user's requirements very well. The price of CFe-B will continue to drop, and I think the next generation of high performance models will be equipped with twin CFe-B slots. Lower end models that only have one card slot will undoubtedly continue to be equipped with SD slots for a few more years.
Yes, I think they made the right decision under the then-current (and still current) circumstances. I'm glad to see the circumstances are starting to change.
 
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