We have too many memory card standards

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,265
1,938
Canada
unfocused said:
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."

SD and micro-SD.... they are in everything! I can pull a micro SD card out of a GoPro, put it into just about any p/s camera, snap some pictures, put it into any Rebel, shoot some more, put it into my 7D2, shoot some more, pull it out, and plug it into any laptop, or into my TV to view the images, or through an adapter and edit on an iPad....

And of course, there is now the high speed version (UHS-2) with the extra pins that is still backwards compatible but allows speeds like CF....... this is a standard that is here to stay!
 

RunAndGun

EOS RP
CR Pro
Dec 16, 2011
459
145
fullstop said:
...oh, did i mention, that stupidities like "one-way cameras" should be legally banned worldwide?

Okay, I've gotta ask... What in the heck is a "one-way camera"?
 

9VIII

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 8, 2013
1,843
0
I feel like the title of this thread should read "Why don't camera manufacturers upgrade their memory standards in anything remotely resembling a coherent strategy".

The Nikon D5 is probably the one camera that most resembles an attempt at sanity in its memory card implementation.
Mirrorless manufacturers still can't implement more than one UHS-II memory card slot, and Canon can't even decide on a single type of card.

This is just another moment when I can't help but shake my head at the state of the entire industry as a whole.
 

Hillsilly

EOS R
Oct 16, 2010
1,100
2
Mikehit said:
..... If you don't like a camera that uses a certain format, don't buy it.
My thoughts exactly.

Personally, I opt for cameras that include an SD slot because no matter where I am, I can always buy or borrow a card if needed. That's important to me. Others chasing ultimate performance might have other priorities. I'd shudder at the thought of a government deciding how camera companies are meant to build cameras.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
9VIII said:
I feel like the title of this thread should read "Why don't camera manufacturers upgrade their memory standards in anything remotely resembling a coherent strategy".

This is just another moment when I can't help but shake my head at the state of the entire industry as a whole.

exactly. CE industry certainly does not "regulatr itself" in a way that is good for customers.

i disagree on Nikon/D5. stupid move on the back and to the detriment of their customers buying XQD card cameras. CFast not much better, all a dead end. Micro sd and SD have won the format wars, now all in CE industry should be bound to use it. preferably Micro-SD as it can easily and with no negative effects be adapted to SD form factor.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
fullstop said:
9VIII said:
I feel like the title of this thread should read "Why don't camera manufacturers upgrade their memory standards in anything remotely resembling a coherent strategy".

This is just another moment when I can't help but shake my head at the state of the entire industry as a whole.

exactly. CE industry certainly does not "regulate itself" - at least not in a way that is good for customers.

i disagree on Nikon/D5. stupid move on the back and to the detriment of their customers buying XQD card cameras. CFast not much better, all a dead end. Micro sd and SD have won the format wars, now all in CE industry should be bound to use it. preferably Micro-SD as it can easily and with no negative effects be adapted to SD form factor.

ps. i stand corrected then, car battery was no good example, apparently it's yet another under-regulated industry and consumer nightmare. luckily governments were able to enforce a very few, minimum-standardized types of car fuel. industry can still try to sell high price "premium" fuel to "naive believers". ;-)
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,345
551
fullstop said:
9VIII said:
I feel like the title of this thread should read "Why don't camera manufacturers upgrade their memory standards in anything remotely resembling a coherent strategy".

This is just another moment when I can't help but shake my head at the state of the entire industry as a whole.

exactly. CE industry certainly does not "regulatr itself" in a way that is good for customers.

i disagree on Nikon/D5. stupid move on the back and to the detriment of their customers buying XQD card cameras. CFast not much better, all a dead end. Micro sd and SD have won the format wars, now all in CE industry should be bound to use it. preferably Micro-SD as it can easily and with no negative effects be adapted to SD form factor.

Card manufacturers make cards for a variety of industries. It is the camera manufacturer who decides which card technology to put in their camera. Why should someone who cannot get their head round card technology for cameras dictate the standard for every other industry.
 

9VIII

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 8, 2013
1,843
0
The Nikon D5 is the only camera I know of that actually has fully duplicated memory card slots, if nothing else they succeeded in letting professionals fully utilize the camera they bought.

With the advent of SDUC it might be reasonable to say that XQD and CFast are dead end technologies, but that doesn’t make the current practices of the camera manufacturers any less ridiculous.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,717
248
unfocused said:
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."

I'm afraid CFast will be quickly superseded by CFExpress - for the reason CFast uses SATA and CFExpress uses the PCIe/NVMe interfaces all computers are switching to. It will be a matter of supply chain savings.

It looks to cope with CFExpress speeds SD too is switching to a PCIe/NVMe interface - it looks it will be compatible with UHS-I but not later standards.

CF size is surely useful for those who need to "mark" the cards in some way to know which card is what later - especially those who use several cards on each assignment (especially video) - microSD are the worst in this situation, and also get the larger storage later (and let's not speak about their management when you're in a hurry and maybe wearing gloves...)
 

LookingThroughMyLens81

EOS M6 Mark II
Jun 12, 2013
57
3
14 years ago, we had too many memory card formats with CF and MicroDrive, SD/SDXC, several MS variants, several MMC variants, xD, SmartMedia, and then we got some more in between then and now. Now, we have a few less. I got into digital cameras when CD-ROMs and Floppy Disk media were the norm, then I transitioned to flash memory with MemoryStick on several Sony CyberShot cameras, then I moved to Compact Flash with my first Canon DSLR, then I moved to SD/SDHC/SDXC with Canon and Olympus point and shoots, and then I moved to microSD with my Samsung smartphones. As it stands, CFExpress (The PCIe replacement for Compact Flash and XQD) is the ideal card for the future cameras due to the ever-living SD card design having compromises for capacity and longevity. Even though we've seen a PCIe version of SDXC and this has been carried over into SD Express, the SD card design compromises with it's form-factor in capacity, speed, and longevity. CFExpress cards are slightly larger in physical size and can offer higher capacities with a more robust card design, as XQD was designed to be better, faster, and with higher capacities than SD from the get-go. At this point, we don't know what the future holds in terms of format adoption, but the clear truth is that PCIe in DSLRs and mirrorless will arrive in the next five years, if the manufacturers can make the power consumption work favorably. As it is, mirrorless cameras are battery killers due to the high FPS and write speeds being used in drive mode, so the companies need to squeeze every bit of battery life they can out of what's available.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,697
1,659
9VIII said:
The Nikon D5 is the only camera I know of that actually has fully duplicated memory card slots, if nothing else they succeeded in letting professionals fully utilize the camera they bought.

With the advent of SDUC it might be reasonable to say that XQD and CFast are dead end technologies, but that doesn’t make the current practices of the camera manufacturers any less ridiculous.
Unless SD cards totally change the way they work, their main issue of speeds slowing to a crawl after they are used once and formatted makes them pretty worthless. You must do a low level format to bring them back to speed, that wears them out if you do it every time.
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
Mt Spokane Photography said:
Unless SD cards totally change the way they work, their main issue of speeds slowing to a crawl after they are used once and formatted makes them pretty worthless. You must do a low level format to bring them back to speed, that wears them out if you do it every time.

i have not noticed that at all in my use. almost always i inly do a "quick format" in camera after images have been safely transferred to PC plus at least 1 backup medium.

why exactly should/would this "slowdown to a crawl" happen?

only performance issue with SD i see in real life is due tonstupid Canon's implementation of an SD slot with abysmally sub-par specs in my 5D3. that is a real performance problem as it sliws down the entire camera even when writibg to the faster cf slot. but for that Canon is solely to blame for.

and in 2018 Canon still is not willing or able to put UHS-II SD slots in their latest cameras (M50), ffs. Micro/SD is perfectly fine, it is Canon who are stupid and Nikon was naive to put dead end XQD cards into any of their cameras. and customers have to "pay the price" - in every sense. grrrrr!
 

9VIII

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 8, 2013
1,843
0
Mt Spokane Photography said:
9VIII said:
The Nikon D5 is the only camera I know of that actually has fully duplicated memory card slots, if nothing else they succeeded in letting professionals fully utilize the camera they bought.

With the advent of SDUC it might be reasonable to say that XQD and CFast are dead end technologies, but that doesn’t make the current practices of the camera manufacturers any less ridiculous.
Unless SD cards totally change the way they work, their main issue of speeds slowing to a crawl after they are used once and formatted makes them pretty worthless. You must do a low level format to bring them back to speed, that wears them out if you do it every time.

If there’s any slowdown on a 980MB/s SDUC card, I doubt anyone will notice.

SDUC is still nearly twice as fast as the other two. Given that SD will inevitably be both cheaper and faster, the only competition left is CFexpress, but in this application that won’t actually matter for anything but 8K video.
At this point everyone should just give up on other formats and move to SD for anything but Hollywood quality cameras, and those should be using straight M.2 slots.
(I guess for the sake of labelling “maybe” they would want to use an actual “memory card” and not just the raw memory component. Ok and M.2 slots use a screw to hold the card down so maybe that’s “sort of” a bad idea... or maybe it’s great and camera manufacturers should just get their PC connections sorted out so that you can offload data at full speed without ever unplugging.)
 

fullstop

EOS R
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
153
+100

but it would be "unreasonable" :) to expect that from companies like Canon who "equip" their latest cameras in 2018 still with ancient "data inter feces" like USB 2.0, SD/UHS-I and 802.11b/g/n ... just to save 3 pennies on parts. yuck, it stinks.