We have too many memory card standards

dolina

millennial
Dec 27, 2011
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I wouldnt mind having so many memory card standards if the 2010 high of 121 million shipped cameras would be double today. Alas shipments has dropped to 23 million in 2016.

On BH we have CF, SDHC/SDXC, Micro SD, CFast and XQD to choose from. There are more standards still being sold there but I will skip them as they're too niche already.

Couldnt the industry consolidate CF (167MB/s), CFast (600MB/s) and XQD (500MB/s) to SDXC UHS-III (624MB/s) and eventually SD Express (985MB/s)?

There are specs for faster CFast and XQD using PCIe 3.0 and NVMe but I want it unified as soon as the replacement of 1D X Mark III, 5Ds Mark II, 5D Mark V and 7D Mark III.

MicroSD is the default standard for drones, smartphone and action cameras.

SD is the default for the now threatened compact cameras, APS-C cameras and mirrorless.

CF cards are now a dead end at 167MB/s throughput. I do not expect new cameras will use CF cards anymore and favor XQD or CFast instead. Unless of course Canon's being Canon and foot drags for another decade.

Consolidation would allow for cheaper cards and devices over time. Not to mention an easier time finding memory cards at brick & mortar stores.
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
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Isle of Wight
Hi Dolina.
Whilst I agree that consolidation would probably lead to reduced manufacturing costs of memory and definitely make it easier to find memory on the high street, I cannot see (brand) manufacturers passing those savings on, they already have proof that we will pay current prices, I don’t see prices of trusted brand memory falling due to consolidation, not withstanding the possibility of a short lived price war reducing prices momentarily! :)

Even with my purchasing power, buying 1 Unit of each connector the price difference is fairly insignificant, if I were buying thousands I could probably have any connector I wanted for within a few tenths of a penny difference in cost, therefore I don’t see the price of devices falling due to consolidation of standards, sorry! :)

Cheers, Graham.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
i would like to see memory cards and batteries in *consumer electronics* be standardized to a minimum number of types and OPEN STANDARDS by law. so total prohibition of any nin-standardized proprietary stuff only designed for customer-milking purposes. at least for all of EU. and including companies like notorious Apple for instance. they need to be shown, who's boss: we, the customers. it would also stop companies likeSony/Nikon from totally lunatic attempts to force-feed their unsuspecting customers with useless, hyperexpensive XQD cards all of a sudden, when it was clear from the start that those would never become "industry standard".

memory cards in 1 physical size (micro sd size) would totally suffice and as few physical sizes abd types of batteries in CE products (eg 1 "button" type, 1 flat, rectangular type, 5 sizes round cells AAAA, AAA, AA, C, D) everything within exactly defined open standards. connectors, voltage, pin-outs, firmware standards/functionality, APIs etc. - to match desired energy needs of device (V, A) simply use the appropriate number of cells in parallel or series connection. where is the problem?

if not fully compliant with documented open standard,those products should be rounded up and destroyed by customs along with "counterfeit" warez. it would be a milestone achievement towards more consumer-friendly and more environmentally friendly products. it wokld not stifle innovation, because industry could at any time supply improved products compliant with standard or try to get changed stabdard agreed and implemented as new norm. it woild just preclud proprietary solo-runs by greedy corporations trying to turn excessive profits at the expense of their customers and the environment. oh, did i mention, that stupidities like "one-way cameras" should be legally banned worldwide?

personally i try to standardize in our household as much as possible. am using a few older CF cards in my "last ever" mirrorslapper (5D3) and will not buy new "CF-sized" cards or cameras/devices using them. everything else i have standardized a few years ago on Micro-SD cards, currently all in UHS-I, 95MB/s since those are dirt cheap - currently 35 euro for 128 GB - abd because Canon cameras cannot handle better standards anyways. mostly i have to micro-SD with the supplied simple and easy SD adapters. :)
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
@valvebounce
prices would come down with stringent, legally required standardization/harmonization. plus there would be many more benefits in terms of more consumer-friendy and more environmentally friendly products if "proprietary "solutions" were pushed back massively, when they could easily be replaced by an open standard.

by banni g "proprietary stuff", CE industry would be forced to FIRST agree on common new standards rather than just going ahead and spewing out all sorts of *proprietary junk* like idiotic Sony memory sticks or XQD cards. or even worse, forcing that proprietary junk down their unsuspecting customers' throats.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,698
1,665
As time goes on, new technologies result in change. SD cards have mostly been backward compatible, but there are a few exceptions, so some older products cannot use newer cards simply because there was no practical way to make them work in older products.

CF cards are more standardized, but its still the case that older cameras cannot use higher capacity cards.
At least, some of the cards are no longer made, or are seldom found - Smart cards, Xd cards, microdrive cards, pcmia cards (I have all of these). Then, there are the Sony Memory Sticks. I think Sony still sells a few products that work with them. The number of different versions of memory sticks make my head swim!
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,346
552
fullstop said:
i would like to see memory cards and batteries in *consumer electronics* be standardized to a minimum number of types and OPEN STANDARDS by law. so total prohibition of any nin-standardized proprietary stuff only designed for customer-milking purposes. at least for all of EU. and including companies like notorious Apple for instance. they need to be shown, who's boss: we, the customers. it would also stop companies likeSony/Nikon from totally lunatic attempts to force-feed their unsuspecting customers with useless, hyperexpensive XQD cards all of a sudden, when it was clear from the start that those would never become "industry standard".

memory cards in 1 physical size (micro sd size) would totally suffice and as few physical sizes abd types of batteries in CE products (eg 1 "button" type, 1 flat, rectangular type, 5 sizes round cells AAAA, AAA, AA, C, D) everything within exactly defined open standards. connectors, voltage, pin-outs, firmware standards/functionality, APIs etc. - to match desired energy needs of device (V, A) simply use the appropriate number of cells in parallel or series connection. where is the problem?

if not fully compliant with documented open standard,those products should be rounded up and destroyed by customs along with "counterfeit" warez. it would be a milestone achievement towards more consumer-friendly and more environmentally friendly products. it wokld not stifle innovation, because industry could at any time supply improved products compliant with standard or try to get changed stabdard agreed and implemented as new norm. it woild just preclud proprietary solo-runs by greedy corporations trying to turn excessive profits at the expense of their customers and the environment. oh, did i mention, that stupidities like "one-way cameras" should be legally banned worldwide?

personally i try to standardize in our household as much as possible. am using a few older CF cards in my "last ever" mirrorslapper (5D3) and will not buy new "CF-sized" cards or cameras/devices using them. everything else i have standardized a few years ago on Micro-SD cards, currently all in UHS-I, 95MB/s since those are dirt cheap - currently 35 euro for 128 GB - abd because Canon cameras cannot handle better standards anyways. mostly i have to micro-SD with the supplied simple and easy SD adapters. :)

So you don't want development then? You want to ossify the status quo.
With your viewpoint, no micro SD, no CFast (despite it has been a standard in the video industry for years) . Probably no XQD.

Coming from someone who moans about Canon's lack of innovation I find this amazing.
 

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
1,327
434
Mikehit said:
So you don't want development then? You want to ossify the status quo.
With your viewpoint, no micro SD, no CFast (despite it has been a standard in the video industry for years) . Probably no XQD.

Vinyl and VHS used to be standard, we have other standards today. There should be a balance between development and standardization, your extreme "innovate, do not standardize" is a straw man argument.
 

Freddell

EOS M50
Oct 2, 2014
46
5
SD express has the perfect form factor, compatible with UHS-I, and should be the Canon standard in all cameras.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
Mikehit said:
So you don't want development then? You want to ossify the status quo.
With your viewpoint, no micro SD, no CFast (despite it has been a standard in the video industry for years) . Probably no XQD.

No XQD. Yes. yes, yes. ftw. Not needed. Piece of junk. Mankind should be spared that kind of "progress".

Technical progress - yes, no problem. Whenever the industry feels they have something "really worthwhile" in terms of better performance/functionality ... as opposed to "some weirdo company comes up with some weirdo, marginally iterated different proprietary spin on some old stuff" ... then CE industry can agree on a new OPEN standard and it shall be implemented. No problem. Or otherwise, whenever regulators see technical progress would be there but is being held back by companies like Canon, they can set new standard.


Kind of similar to "emissions and car industry". State of California DICTATES car makers the objectives they have to meet. Car makers have to dutifully comply. Or else! They won't sell any cars. At least not in California. I want the same regime for entire CE industry. EU-wide.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
Freddell said:
SD express has the perfect form factor, compatible with UHS-I, and should be the Canon standard in all cameras.

no. [something like] Micro SD is perfect form factor. Can do anything SD can. Same capacity, same speed. Much smaller size. Dual card slots will fit into even the most compact mirrorless FF bodies. No more excuses and apologies. :)
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,346
552
fullstop said:
Mikehit said:
So you don't want development then? You want to ossify the status quo.
With your viewpoint, no micro SD, no CFast (despite it has been a standard in the video industry for years) . Probably no XQD.

No XQD. Yes. yes, yes. ftw. Not needed. Piece of junk. Mankind should be spared that kind of "progress".

Technical progress - yes, no problem. Whenever the industry feels they have something "really worthwhile" in terms of better performance/functionality ... as opposed to "some weirdo company comes up with some weirdo, marginally iterated different proprietary spin on some old stuff" ... then CE industry can agree on a new OPEN standard and it shall be implemented. No problem. Or otherwise, whenever regulators see technical progress would be there but is being held back by companies like Canon, they can set new standard.


Kind of similar to "emissions and car industry". State of California DICTATES car makers the objectives they have to meet. Car makers have to dutifully comply. Or else! They won't sell any cars. At least not in California. I want the same regime for entire CE industry. EU-wide.

Given that you want anything that does not confrom to standard to be shredded how do you develop new and better formats?
And who decides it is better?

Excluding you, of course.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
Regulatory authority decides. Enough experts around. No problem. Me not needed on that one. :)
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,346
552
fullstop said:
Regulatory authority decides. Enough experts around. No problem. Me not needed on that one. :)

I'm the expert in what I need or want, not you. If you don't like a camera that uses a certain format, don't buy it.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,717
248
Beyond the form factor, there are different technologies and different uses in play. These cards are not for photo/video only.

Different form factors allow to use different internal technologies, and re-use some (CF uses the same protocols and interfaces used by computer mass storage, unlike SD). CF Express is going to reach 2Gb/s soon, and 8Gb/s in the near future. Maybe useless for photo, other usages may find need that. Some technologies may be rated for harsher/longer usages than others.

Maybe cameras will standardize on a single form factor if it's fast and reliable enough - different ones will still exist for other needs, and maybe a new camera will find it can't work with a standard one...
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
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444
54
Isle of Wight
Hi fullstop.
Sounds like communist crap to me! Everything equal just some more equal than others?
I have spent the last couple of hours playing with a toy camera that uses micro sd cards, I don’t like that crap, I have large hands, (I can carry a car battery across the top one handed large hands) and this fiddly little crap that disappears if you sneeze is not for me, you standardise on what you want, just don’t ask government to interfere with my life more than they do already! Fortunately the UK will be rid of Brussels interference in the fairly near future so you have Brussels restrict your choice if you like, because I’m sure this will restrict choice!

Cheers, Graham.

fullstop said:
@valvebounce
prices would come down with stringent, legally required standardization/harmonization. plus there would be many more benefits in terms of more consumer-friendy and more environmentally friendly products if "proprietary "solutions" were pushed back massively, when they could easily be replaced by an open standard.

by banni g "proprietary stuff", CE industry would be forced to FIRST agree on common new standards rather than just going ahead and spewing out all sorts of *proprietary junk* like idiotic Sony memory sticks or XQD cards. or even worse, forcing that proprietary junk down their unsuspecting customers' throats.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
hehe. go ahead then with proprietary stuff like ... memory sticks and XQD cards.

There is more than enough room for both technical progress and price/feature/performance competition when basic standards are set and strictly enforced.

e.g. 12 V car batteries are "open standard", same connectors and very few standardized sizes and capacity ranges, but still many makers/brands and different price points. :)

If cars were made by Canon or Sony, almost every other car would come with their own different type/style model-specific proprietary battery. And Apple cars would have battery built in and when it is no longer functional you'd have to scrap the entire car. :)
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,346
552
fullstop said:
hehe. go ahead then with proprietary stuff like ... memory sticks and XQD cards.

There is more than enough room for both technical progress and price/feature/performance competition when basic standards are set and strictly enforced.

e.g. 12 V car batteries are "open standard", same connectors and very few standardized sizes and capacity ranges, but still many makers/brands and different price points. :)

If cars were made by Canon or Sony, almost every other car would come with their own different type/style model-specific proprietary battery. And Apple cars would have battery built in and when it is no longer functional you'd have to scrap the entire car. :)

What a dumb analogy.
Batteries come in different sizes (like memory cards) and have different power capacities (like memory cards), and have different power delivery (like memory cards). You cannot put a battery from a Smart car into a Land Rover or a Tesla. However, you can put a SD card in any (modern) camera that takes SD cards and a CF card into any camera that takes a CF card.
And car battery technology is probably as varied as memory card technology. For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFRM98koEkU

https://www.searsauto.com/car-care-101/different-types-of-batteries-for-your-car


Your ignorance of car battery technology matches your ignorance of camera battery technology.
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,556
444
54
Isle of Wight
Go in to your local motor factor and ask for pads and discs for your “EU approved” renault and they will ask you if they are Bendix or Girling, they can’t do it from the year, they can’t even do it from the vin for most as renault in particular are terrible for flip flopping between manufactures and don’t keep records of what was fitted! Ask for discs for the back of your Bmw 5 series and they will ask you 295mm or 300mm diameter!
A battery is one of very few things that might be vaguely standardised on cars, but don’t expect an exide 038 to be the same height as the Bosch, and what about the Ford flat posts, or the Japanese smaller posts, all standardised pah!
Car parts are all down to the lowest tender for the parts, why do you expect Samsung to develop a phone to use a battery that will fit an iPhone or vice versa? Bonkers?

Graham.

fullstop said:
hehe. go ahead then with proprietary stuff like ... memory sticks and XQD cards.

There is more than enough room for both technical progress and price/feature/performance competition when basic standards are set and strictly enforced.

e.g. 12 V car batteries are "open standard", same connectors and very few standardized sizes and capacity ranges, but still many makers/brands and different price points. :)

If cars were made by Canon or Sony, almost every other car would come with their own different type/style model-specific proprietary battery. And Apple cars would have battery built in and when it is no longer functional you'd have to scrap the entire car. :)
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,265
1,945
Canada
fullstop said:
e.g. 12 V car batteries are "open standard", same connectors and very few standardized sizes and capacity ranges, but still many makers/brands and different price points. :)

If cars were made by Canon or Sony, almost every other car would come with their own different type/style model-specific.......

Got about a dozen vehicles at work..... none take the same battery.....

I regularly deal with a local company that specializes in batteries.... They have a warehouse full of batteries. Batteries for vehicles.... batteries for trailers.... batteries for tools..... batteries for UPS’s..... batteries for generators..... there is a wide variety of technologies, sizes, shapes, and connectors...
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,329
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Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
Trying to add a touch of sanity to this.

The car battery analogy is not a good one. Better would be fuel. Consumers have choices of fuel, but government regulations dictate standards that assure that fuels can be used in all brands of vehicles. So regulations that dictate standards that allow for backward and forward compatibility isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But, this role is already being performed by the industry itself, so no real reason for government interference. SD Cards are the best example. The industry has done a really good job of making them backward compatible, which is always the major risk/concern.

Reducing the various types of cards sounds good in theory, but who is going to tell all the people who own cameras that use a "banned" card that their cameras are no longer supported?

There really isn't that much variation in cards. I don't know why it should be a problem. Most enthusiast and pro cameras use one of four types: SD, Compact Flash, CFast and XQD. Compact Flash seems to be dying a slow natural death. New players like ProGrade are not making CF cards (only CFast and SD). Finding CF cards in stock seems to be getting harder. But, I certainly want them to be available as long as possible, so that I can continue to use them in my 5DIV and 7DII.

XQD cards were a gamble that will likely negatively impact Nikon and Sony owners, but have no effect on Canon buyers. Good for us that "stupid Canon" was smart enough to use CFast.

The market may eventually settle on CFast and SD as the two most widely used cards for photography. Not sure why that would be "too many standards."