Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best cf card 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated September 1, 2020
Best cf card of 2018
Following is the list of top three cf card of 2018. You can make a choice based on the my list as you shop.
The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. Not all cf card are created equal though.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this cf card win the first place?
The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this cf card come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this cf card take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
cf card Buyer’s Guide
UDMA stands for Ultra Direct Memory Access and is a storage interface standard originally developed for hard disks. If your camera supports UDMA then the use of fast UDMA cards can mean quicker buffer clearing, thus allowing longer bursts of high-speed sequential shooting to be achieved. The earliest UDMA cards were rated between 200 and 300x, where 1x = 150KB/sec. Therefore, 200x cards, in theory, could reach a transfer rate of 30MB/sec, and 300x cards up to 45MB/sec. Today, 600x (90MB/sec) and even 1000x cards (150MB/sec) are available.
Whether or not your camera can really make much use of the faster speeds is a moot point. The first step is to check the specifications of your camera for any mention of UDMA compatibility. Still, as with faster SD cards, with a fast card reader and fast connection to your computer via ports like USB 3.0 and FireWire 800, you will at least be able to get your images off a large card with a significantly reduced waiting time.
CFast and XQD
Compact Flash isn’t going away any time soon, but alternatives are already available in the form of XQD, which is being backed by Lexar and Nikon, plus CFast, backed by SanDisk and Sony, among others.
XQD is a new high-performance memory card format aimed at professional users, and it’s been officially adopted by the independent CompactFlash industry association. It is based on PCI Express bus protocols, which many PCs use for connecting expansion cards. Nikon currently has the only digital camera compatible with XQD, the Nikon D4.
CFast is a similar form factor card to CompactFlash, although it uses the serial ATA bus standard (SATA) and the data connector used is the same as that for SATA hard disk drives. Power connection is not the same, however, and requires an adapter for use on standard SATA ports. SanDisk, which originally had plans for XQD cards, is now focusing on CFast, along with Sony and others.
Performance and performance ratings
Some memory card manufacturers use megabytes per second (MB/s) to indicate card performance but most use a speed rating based on compact disc and recordable compact disc performance. A music CD transfers data at 150K bytes per second. This is 1x speed. A memory card rated at 100x can transfer 100 x 150K per second, or 15MB/s, and so on. Conversely if a card is rated at 100MB/s, its equivalent speed rating is 100MB divided by 150KB, or 667x. It should be noted that basic speed ratings like these indicate the maximum ‘burst’ transfer rate possible and this is rarely matched by the card’s capability to sustain a transfer rate over a period of time.
SD card speed Class ratings
The Class of an SDHC card indicates the guaranteed write speed in Mb/s – something worth thinking about if shooting a lot of high-definition video.
Practical speed limitations
If all that wasn’t complicated enough, MB/sec speed ratings actually only indicate an ‘up to’ data transfer rate. In other words a 95MB/sec card should be able to hit 95MB/sec but not necessarily sustain this rate. There are lots of reasons behind this.
Even with quoted speed ratings from the manufacturer, you may never see the sustained performance of a card peaking at these speeds. For example, if you use a card reader connected via a standard ‘High Speed’ USB 2.0 cable, the theoretical top speed of the cable is 480 megabits/sec (60MB/sec) – but, because of various factors, the speed may be limited to a maximum of just half that.
If you want to benefit from the faster speeds offered by fast cards you need a card reader designed to connect via a very fast interface, such as USB 3.0. Even so, sustained rates of 90-95MB/sec by cards rated at these speeds is rarely achieved. One reason is that data files stored on the card are probably fragmented, requiring the controller to retrieve many constituent parts of the file from its memory store, which is less efficient than with one contiguous file. Even with a very fast card reader connected to a super-fast port you may find that 50-60MB/sec is a more realistic real-world rate.
Many SD cards now available are emblazoned with ‘U1’ and ‘I’, which stands for Ultra High Speed level-UHS-I cards have high-speed controllers that can enable very fast read and write times, up to a theoretical 50MB/sec. A later iteration of UHS-I also supports faster transfers of up to a little over 100MB/sec. But once again, be wary of UHS-I cards that appear to have fast read rates but also slow write rates. UHS-I cards will only be of full value if your camera supports the UHS-I protocol. It’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s specifications of your camera to confirm whether or not UHS-I is supported. Nevertheless, you can use a UHS-I card in a camera that doesn’t support UHS-I.
Building extra performance into a camera’s memory card interface adds to the manufacturing cost of the camera. Part of this is down to the use of larger memory buffers in the camera. Less expensive cameras tend to have smaller buffers and slower bus speeds. What this boils down to is less frames-per-second and a shorter sustained rate of sequential frames shot at the maximum frame rate when shooting continuously. Some cameras will be able to sustain higher frame rates for longer when shooting JPEG images, which are relatively small, but shooting large Raw files and simultaneous Raw+JPEG burst sequences can really test a camera’s memory sub-system and the card attached to it.
Those using a continuous shooting mode for sports and other action photography should remember that achievable burst depth is partly dependent on the speed of the memory card.
If your camera is capable of fast continuous shooting, and you need to be able to shoot long sequences at high frame rates, you’ll require a card which has the fastest possible write performance. Not only will you be able to shoot more frames in one burst before the buffer fills and stalls the camera, but the camera will be more responsive because the buffer can be emptied faster, enabling you to resume shooting after a shorter wait compared to a when using a slower card.
Only really old computers have USB 1.0 ports. At just 1megabits-per-second theoretical maximum transfer rate, the real-world speeds can be as little as half or a third of that, meaning transfer speeds as slow as half a megabyte-per-second. This would mean a modest 2GB card would take over an hour to copy across.
Be aware that USB 2.0 operates at the same lowly speed as USB 1.0 unless it’s a ‘Hi-Speed’ port. USB 2.0 Hi-Speed has a theoretical maximum data transfer rate of 480 megabits-per-second, 40 times faster than standard USB 1.0 or USB 2.0, but real world speeds can vary widely depending on the card reader and the card, with typical sustained transfer speeds varying between and 30MB/s. The system bottleneck is still going to be the USB port rather than the card.
USB 3.0 is over six times faster than USB 2.0 Hi-Speed. With a USB 3.0-compatible card reader and a fast card it should be possible to sustain 95MB/s transfers, or even faster rates. This means you can empty a 2GB card 2seconds, or a 64GB card in just over 1minutes, assuming the card’s rated maximum speed can be sustained. A possible dampener is the speed of the hard drive onto which your files will be copied on your computer. If it’s a low-spec drive it may become the system bottleneck and erode transfer speeds.
A £SD card from a supermarket will give you the same results as using the latest generation of card from Lexar, SanDisk or Samsung. The difference, however, is that the cheaper card may do it much more slowly, be less reliable, have fewer backup measures, different components, and, in terms of memory card data recovery, may not be such a wise choice if things go wrong and your images go missing.
You can sometimes help increase the read speed of your card to your computer if you are using a USB or FireWire accessory such as the Lexar UDMA Dual Slot (CF and SD) model or the SanDisk ImageMate Multi-Card USB 2.0 Reader.
From the Samsung Pro line, this card offers quick speeds of 80MB/s, and at 16GB you can save plenty of photos and HD videos, plus use it as storage to transfer files to different devices. With a very reasonable price this ticks all the boxes.
On SD cards you also get
Speed class: The minimum write speed for the card, also measured in MBs. Filming a video? This is essential for you to consider as a dramatic drop in write speed could cause loss of frames and reduce video quality. This means action footage could look jumpy or distorted.
UHS class: This is another measure of write speed. UHS stands for ultra high speed. Cards with a UHS rating can work fast enough to capture HD and 4K images, if your device is compatible (check speeds below).
On compact flash cards you also get
UDMA rating: Ultra direct memory access enables more rapid write and read speeds, allowing the card to support HD and 4K images. Cards are graded from 0-7, with offering the highest performance.
Just want the highest speed possible? Be sure that the speed of your device supports the speed of the card, otherwise the benefits are lost.
VPG: Stands for video performance guarantee and is very similar to an SD card’s speed class. There are only two classifications, VPG-20 and VPG-65, with the latter offering the minimum possible risk of frame loss.
Write protect on SD cards
Often memory cards will have the write-protect logo displayed. This means you can lock your card so that it cannot be written on. To be able to record data on your card again, you would need to move the tiny lever at the top of the card down to make it ready to use.
The two most common card formats have been Secure Digital (SD) and CompactFlash (CF) cards. SD cards are used in all types of cameras – from point-and-shoots to pro digital cinema cameras. The smaller microSD cards are now often utilised in cameras such as HD camcorders and aerial cameras. CF cards are more robust and durable and are often used in pro DSLRs and cinema cameras.
Many of the current cameras that record digital video offer dual memory card slots. For example, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR includes one SD card slot and one CF card slot, whilst the EOS C100 Mark II digital cinema camera features two SD card slots. Probably the key advantage of dual card slots is that once one card is full of data you can continue recording to the other.
Read and write speeds
The speed of a memory card pertains to both its read speed and its write speed. Write speeds describe how quickly images or video can be saved to a card. The read speed denotes how fast data can be retrieved from a card – for example, when transferring footage to a computer. Generally read speed is always faster than write speed but write speed is absolutely essential for video as you will need your cards to have both the speed and capacity to deal with recording large amounts of digital video data.
The CFast era
As you’ve no doubt gathered, speed is of the essence for shooting video and CFast 2.0 cards are the current leaders in terms of speed. The original CFast 2.0 card, launched in 2013, promised read speeds of 450MB/sec and write speeds of up to 350MB/sec. Both CFast and XQD cards were created by the CompactFlash Association to replace the CF card format as it had reached its maximum performance capabilities. In their current 2.0 versions XQD cards have a theoretical limit of 500MB/sec and CFast cards 600MB/sec. Both are ideal for shooting 4K video and beyond.
The required write speed
For write speeds memory card maker SanDisk recommends Class cards for standard video, Class for HD Video, Class and upwards for Full HD video, UHS Ufor Full HD video supporting real time video recording and Ufor Full HD and 4K Video supporting real time video recording.
Who should get this
If you own a camera or camcorder, you’ll probably need an SD card to store photos and video. SD cards can also be used to add more storage to your laptop, portable scanner, ebook reader, or gaming console. Check your device to make sure you need an SD card (not a microSD card) and that your device doesn’t include one that works well enough.
If you already have an SD card that gets the job done, you shouldn’t upgrade. Our pick isn’t leaps and bounds better than anything that’s been available for the past couple of years. But if you need another SD card, or you’re having issues with the speed of your card—maybe you burst shoot photos in raw format, or want to shoot 4K and it can’t keep up—consider our picks.
Four of the SD cards we tested for this update.
The most important features of an SD card are speed, reliability, price, and warranty.
SD cards are most commonly used in cameras for storing image and video files as you shoot them. Because most cameras can take photos faster than they can write them to storage, images are first saved to a small but speedy buffer in the camera. Once the buffer is full, the images must be written to the SD card before you can shoot any more. The faster the device can write data to the card—the card’s write speed—the faster this buffer clears and the sooner you can shoot more photos. So write speed is the most important spec for SD cards that are used in cameras.
If you use burst mode a lot, it’s important to know how fast a card needs to be to keep up with continuous shooting raw. We did some back-of-the-napkin math to find out, multiplying Wirecutter’s camera recommendations for burst frames per second by their average raw image size to figure out a ballpark image bit rate in megabytes per second.
How we tested
We tested each card’s speeds with a USB 3.0 card reader and in two cameras.
We tested the real-life burst shooting performance of this year’s contenders on a midrange mirrorless camera, the Sony a6300. We also tested the burst-shooting performance of our UHS-I picks against UHS-II cards on a Fujifilm X-Tto find out if any of these faster, more expensive cards are worth recommending yet.
We used the same methods to test SD cards this year as we have in previous years. But the cameras, card reader, and laptop we used to test in 201are different than the tools we used in 201This means that last year’s test results are still useful, but they’re not directly comparable to this year’s benchmarks.
Shorter intervals indicate better SD card performance.
In the Sony a6300, the SanDisk Extreme Pro had the fastest practical write speeds, followed by the much more expensive Lexar 1000x. The Transcend W60MB/s ranked third, and the Lexar 2000x came last.
The 6GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is much less expensive per gigabyte than the 3GB model as of this writing—55¢ versus 72¢ for its smaller counterpart. But if your device does not support SDXC (extended capacity) cards, get the 3GB SanDisk Extreme Pro. If you need more space, the 12GB capacity is the most affordable at 50¢ per gigabyte.
SD cards are more durable than hard drives, because they lack moving parts, and they can survive being bumped around and dropped. Like many SD cards, the SanDisk Extreme Pro is rated to survive up to 7hours in meter of salt or fresh water, can withstand temperatures ranging from –1ºF to 18ºF, and is immune to airport X-rays. It’s also backed by a lifetime limited warranty, which covers the SD card as long as it wasn’t used improperly.
What to look forward to
In March 2016, the SD Association announced a new standard for memory cards that will support 360-degree, 3D, and 8K video. These V60 and V90 cards will feature minimum sequential write speeds of 60 MB/s and 90 MB/s, respectively. Cards with these Video Speed ratings are not widely available just yet, except from SanDisk’s website, but we plan to test them when they’re more common.
In February 2017, the SD Association also introduced its UHS-III interface to provide further support for 360-degree, 3D, 4K, and 8K media content. With potential read and write speeds of 62MB/s, UHS-III doubles the performance of UHS-II cards. We expect it will take a year or two before we see memory cards and devices that support UHS-III.
We only looked at Class 10, Ucards, because they’re fast enough to shoot both 1080p and 4K video. We also eliminated any cards with quoted read speeds below 8MB/s and write speeds below 60 MB/s, because faster cards aren’t prohibitively expensive.
1000x and the Lexar 2000x. The Lexar 1000x is reasonably priced, but it was slower than our top pick, the UHS-I SanDisk Extreme Pro, in both practical and benchmark tests.
We tested the continuous high-speed shooting performance of our top pick, the UHS-I SanDisk Extreme Pro, against the UHS-II Lexar 2000x.
Samsung has discontinued all of its SD cards, including our previous pick, the 6GB Pro Plus.
The 6GB Lexar 633x is less expensive per gigabyte than our top picks, but its write speeds were 48.MB/s slower than the SanDisk Extreme Pro and 2MB/s slower than the Transcend W60MB/s.
Last year’s 6GB SanDisk Extreme Pro, our previous recommendation, performed identically to the 201SanDisk Extreme Pro. The older version now costs nearly twice as much as the newer model, and we don’t recommend it unless it’s cheaper than the new one. The older Extreme Pro lacks a V30 rating on the upper-right side of the card’s label.
Last year, the 6GB SanDisk Extreme Plus had slower write speeds than our picks, and fell behind them in burst shooting tests. It also costs more than twice as much.
The 6GB Transcend W85MB/s and the 6GB Toshiba Exceria UHS-I are more expensive than the SanDisk Extreme Pro, and were slower in last year’s practical and benchmark tests.
The 6GB SanDisk Extreme was consistently the slowest of the six cards we tested in four different cameras for last year’s update.
The 6GB PNY Elite Performance had the worst sequential write speeds of the cards we tested last year.
How much memory do you need? A lot depends on the resolution of your camera’s sensor, the type of camera you use and whether you shoot JPEG or Raw image files (or both together). The table below shows the approximate number of pictures you can store on a range of memory card capacities for compact digicams of different resolution levels. The figures provided are based on JPEG images taken at the highest resolution and quality settings with typical compression levels.
The actual number of pictures that can be stored on a card will depend on the camera model and how much the JPEG files are compressed. Compression levels can vary greatly from one model to another, although advanced digicams usually support lower compression rates than point-and-shoot models. Details of JPEG compression levels and the number of files per card capacity for specific cameras should be provided in each camera’s manual.
Photographers who use DSLR cameras will find they need higher storage capacity than digicam users. Not only are JPEG compression levels lower than for digicams but image files will be substantially larger if they shoot Raw files (or Raw+JPEG). Compression ratios vary for Raw files, depending on whether and by how much the files are compressed, although all manufacturers provide lossless compression. In current DLSR cameras, 10-megapixel Raw files can range in size from 17.66MB to 9.8MB.
If your camera has a TIFF capture setting you’ll need even more memory capacity to take advantage of this file format. TIFF files, which are usually uncompressed, are approximately three times the resolution of the camera’s sensor in size (eg, around 30MB for a TIFF file from a 10-megapixel camera).
Digicam users who wish to shoot video need much more memory than is required for shooting stills. We recommend at least 4GB, which is the limit most camera manufacturers put on video capacity. The compression ratio and file format used by the camera for video recording will dictate the size of the video files and how much video you can store. The table below shows typical video recording times for three different video formats with three card capacities.
Flash memory is very robust. According to the CompactFlash association, as long as cards are adequately cared for, a properly-manufactured CF card could be expected to provide more than 100 years of normal usage with no loss of data. Other types of memory cards should be just as durable.
Keep cards in dust- and water-proof cases while they are not in use.
Format each card in your camera before you use it, making sure you have transferred any data it contained to an archive folder.
Don’t open the camera’s card compartment while the files are being written; it will almost certainly cause shots to be lost.
Always carry at least one back-up card in case you run out of memory on a shoot.
Regardless of the capabilities of the memory card you use, data transfer rates are primarily dictated by the camera’s internal processing system. There is little point in paying more for a fast card unless your camera is able to take advantage of it. Fast cards can be advantageous for shooting action, when the continuous shooting mode is used. They can also be worthwhile for video capture. For normal picture-taking, they offer minimal benefits over standard-speed cards.
Photo Review has recently tested five CompactFlash cards in several of the latest DSLR cameras we have reviewed. Each card was formatted in the camera, which was set to the manufacturer’s default processing settings. Our test target, which contained a moderately high level of detail, was evenly lit and the camera’s batteries were fully charged. Bursts of shots were taken using the fastest burst speed available in each format and we timed how long it took to empty the buffer memory. Timing started when the camera’s card status light went on and ended when it went off.
Testing involved three cycles of exposures, the first using JPEG at top resolution and quality, the second using Raw format and involving simultaneous capture of Raw and JPEG files. These cycles were repeated three times and the results averaged. The results are shown in the tables below.
Beware of Counterfeit Cards
Some memory cards that are sold online or offered through discount outlets may appear to be from a leading manufacturer but beware: they lack the warranties of the genuine products. Check the Photo Review website before buying memory cards for up-to-date prices on different card types and capacities. Examine card labels very carefully and only buy from reputable re-sellers. If the deal seems too good to be true it probably is.
Compact Flash cards come in various storage sizes. Starting from 3GB going all the way to 25GB. If you use a camera that consistently churns out high-resolution RAW image files or 4K videos, you will need the beefiest Compact Flash card you can find.
Price will depend on storage, build quality, transfer speed and a few other aspects. This is not in your control and honestly, the price should not affect your decision. I have seen far too many photographers losing their day worth of work because the card dies on them. It is like buying the best off-road vehicle and then buying a set of stock tires. If you need the best camera and lens insist on the best Compact Flash card that you can afford.
CF cards are labelled with speeds like 1066x, or 800x and so on. Along with them, there is another speed rating mentioned on them 120MB/s, 50MB/s, etc. The first speed label dates back to their inception. They belong to a time when compact discs were state of the art and then everything faster that came about used the CD speed as a reference. So, 50x basically means 50 times the read speed of 150KB/s (the read speed of a CD).
Write and Read Speeds
Write speeds affect the buffer speed of your camera. The slower the write speed, the faster the camera will run out of memory when shooting. When shooting fast action or continuous sports, you don’t want to fall into this situation.
Lexar 3GB Professional 1066x
Compact Flash card comes with two internal ratings. The first one is the traditional rating that is based on the read / write speed of compact discs.
The card is compliant with the VPG 6standard which suggests that the minimum write speed is 6MB/s. That is what you need for a smoother performance when shooting 4K / full HD videos. This guarantee is however available on some compatible devices only.
Lexar 6GB professional compact flash card
Lexar Professional 1066x comes with a storage capacity of 6GB.
It has two-speed ratings printed on it. Just as the smaller brother the 3GB.
The Lexar 6GB is no different. It basically gives a steady 6MB/s shooting speed, which comes in handy when shooting videos in 4K and full HD format.
Lexar 12GB Compact Flash card
Thanks to its compliance with the VPG benchmark, the Lexar 12GB promises a minimum write speed of 6MB/s. Again, that is perfect for shooting full HD and 4K videos.
Rajib’s love for the road is second only to his love for photography.Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly. He has been writing for over years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.
How they test
The 5Ds is mounted on a tripod and a remote timer is used for 30 second shooting intervals. A manual lens is used and focused using live view at maximum magnification. The subject is a static test scene under controlled lighting.
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 32GB CF 99.MB/s
EaseUS free data recovery software coming with Windows and Mac versions is our recommendation for CF card data recovery. It offers you full data recovery solutions which allow you to recover formatted CF card or recover lost or deleted files such as pictures, audio files, videos and any other files from your corrupted Compact Flash card in other data loss cases. As a free data recovery software for home users, this tool comes with an intuitive interface. So, every one can understand and use it to perform Compact Flash data recovery successfully with no effort. And except for CF card, it also supports to recover data from many other memory cards including PC card, Smart media, Memory stick, Memory Stick Micro M2, Multimedia card, MMC micro Card, Secure Digital card, miniSD card, microSD card, xD-Picture Card, Intelligent Stick, etc.
Step Launch EaseUS free data recovery software and select the file types you want to recover on the CF card. Then click “Next” button to move to the next step.
Step Select the Compact Flash card where you lost your data and click “Scan” button, the software will quickly scan the selected disk to find all your target files.
Technical specifications and vendors
Based on the Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) interface, CF cards measure 42.mm by 36.mm (about the size of a matchbook) and are available with storage capacities ranging up to 51gigabytes (GB).
CompactFlash cards support 3.3V and 5V operation and can switch between the two. This varies from other small form factor flash memory, which can only operate at 1V.
There are two types of CF cards, in varying thicknesses, to accommodate different capacities: Type I CF cards are 3.mm thick vs. 5.0 mm for Type II cards. The extra thickness of a Type II CompactFlash card is because almost all of them were Microdrives, a tiny spinning hard disk format originally developed by IBM.
SanDisk is still one of the largest suppliers of CF cards in the world, but it has plenty of competition. Consistently getting high reviews from digital imaging websites are cards from Kingston Technology, Lexar and Transcend Information. Other suppliers include Delkin Devices, KomputerBay and Verbatim Americas.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your cf card wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of cf card
- №1 — Sandisk Extreme CompactFlash Memory Card – 64 GB
- №2 — SanDisk Ultra 16GB Compact Flash Memory Card Speed Up To 50MB/s
- №3 — SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card UDMA 7 Speed Up To 160MB/s- SDCFXPS-032G-X46