Lexar Unleashes the World’s First 256GB SDXC Memory Card

Lexar has set a new bar in SD memory card capacity with its new 256GB card — the largest size offered in the SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) format. SDXC has an upper limit of 2TB, compared to the 32GB cap that restricts the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) format.

The official name of the card is the Lexar Professional 400x SDXC UHS-I. It’s geared towards photographers who need to “capture, store, and transfer a large number of high-quality photos” and videographers who need to record massive amounts of HD video.

Lexar product manager Manisha Sharma states,

Professional photographers and videographers are being tapped to capture more HD video, in addition to still photos, when out on assignment. These new demands often leave them with less time and resources to shoot. High-performance, high-capacity cards like this one enables these photographers to gain back time normally wasted on changing cards or transferring images.

The card is a speedy one, offering a minimum guaranteed read speed of 60 megabytes per second — as long as you pair it with a just-as-speedy card reader. Still, to entirely read 262144MB off a completely full card, it’ll take at least 4369 seconds… or 1.2 hours. Got patience?

Unless you absolutely must have a ridiculous 256GB of storage inside your camera, there are two big reasons not to buy this card.

First off, as is commonly said, it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. If you shoot an entire important event or job using this card, experiencing a card failure would be absolutely devastating. Lexar does state that the cards are extensively tested for compatibility and reliability using more than 800 cameras and devices, and they do offer a free copy of the data recovery program Image Rescue 4 with the card, but still… spread out your eggs photos, man.

The danger of putting all your eggs in one basket.

The second reason is the price: this card will cost a whopping $900 when it hits shelves in October 2012. That’s right: nine Benjamins. To put that into perspective, Lexar’s 32GB 400x SDHC card currently costs about $37. You get 256GB by buying 8 of those cards. Total price? $296. For $900, you could buy 24.3 separate 32GB cards, for a total capacity of 777GB. If you a step down from 256GB and buy a 128GB 400x SDXC, you’ll only pay around $180.

Basically, you’ll be paying a huge premium for the ability to consolidate your eggs. So unless egg consolidation is precisely the thing you’re going for, this card probably isn’t for you.

Still, it’s crazy how large memory card capacities are getting. Perhaps before long, we’ll have 64TB cards in our gigapixel cameras, and will be looking back on these 256GB cards like they were from the stone age.

Image credit: Composite photo created using Secure Digital card in hand by johnmuk. This is your brain on drugs … sub zero by TheeErin

  • Alessio Michelini

    A few times you used MB instead of GB :)

  • Tomáš Ťaptík

    so, 256GB or 256MB ?? Its a BIG difference. Please fix it…

  • Jeff

    And I remember paying well over $200 for my 1Gb CF card

  • Mansgame

    This is good. It will bring down the price of the 64 gig cards. Some people say “oh no, that’s too big! I can’t trust it!” but people were saying the same thing about the 8 gig and 16 gig cards before too and now they’re considered relatively small.

  • icemanyvr

    not too long ago I paid $300 each for 2 Lexar 512mb cards… cutting edge at the time.

  • Popsy

    I’d rather have 8 32GB cards for less amount…

  • Samcornwell

    Slightly off-topic, but something I really dislike about iPhones is the size of the memory chip compared to the file-size of the videos kicked out. Trust me as a former daily vlogger when I say that 32Gb of memory is barely enough for a day’s video shot on the iPhone 4s. One way in which phones with high quality video capabilities can be improved is by providing bigger storage space. This is one of the reasons why I believe the 3Gs was the pinnacle of the iPhone brand.

    The point in as far as this Lexar card is that it’s absolutely ideal for camera systems that shoot photographs or video that produces huge file-sizes such as the HD4, PhaseOne and latest Canon/Nikon FF models.

  • Greg Eisen

    I hope by “not too long ago” you mean at least 8 or 9 years. If not : you got had.

  • icemanyvr

    lol… no that would have been 9-10 years ago, can’t find the invoice… but thanks for making me feel old ;)

  • Mansgame

    Hell, my first digital camera was a 3.2 MP Sony point and shoot which came with a 15 MB memory stick. I think I got a 128 MB Lexar for around $100 but it had a switch because it was 2 64 MB cards in one or some weird thing.

  • Jake

    Ah, but think of all the weight you can shed from your camera bag from not having to carry around those 8 32GB cards! That’s like…almost an ounce!

  • Mike

    This is excessive, you can fit about 3500 RAW files shot in the 36 megapixel D800 on this card.

  • tightsandtea

    HAHA my mom still uses a 256Mb card for her point-and-shoot..

  • mr6

    I dont really worry about loosing data. Professional cameras typically have two slots for two cards at a time

  • xtoph

    Among the good uses for cards of this capacity are as leave-in backup storage for duplicates in twin-slot cameras, and simply as library backup storage for travel. An sd card fits easily behind the label in the waistband of my briefs–better than hotel security.

  • Dean Holyer

    So when they come out with a 2Tera card for $50.00 I’ll be replacing my 3.5 inch Hard drives with these flash cards. But by then we’ll have Petabyte Hard Disks.

    PS. it goes Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Peta, I started with HD’s only having Megabytes back as America turned 200.

  • Dean Holyer

    Also in the future I see someone making a bar that holds 64 of these SD cards and plugs into a USB 3.0 jack and have a very large if not huge Solid State Drive. And hopefully with good RAID drive software.

  • Ben

    Stop confusing GB with MB. It’s annoying.

  • Bijoy

    awesome & impressive !! We want 2TB SDXC memory card !! Yet price must be decrease !! :)

  • Mark

    Here’s the problem I have with cards over 32gb for DSLR stills. The more RAW files you pack into them, the higher chance you will lose more negatives if something goes wrong. By keeping a few sets of 32gb cards, I can have redundancy and at the same time, lessen the chance of a complete loss if a card goes bad. Not to mention, if you were doing a location shoot and you waited until the card was full, the time to ingest the files would be much greater (something I don’t have the time nor laptop battery power to do). So most people would probably dump the RAW files somewhere around the 32gb anyway, otherwise, what’s the point of 256gb of storage? You shouldn’t be treating those cards as any form of backup or permanent storage anyway.

  • iTKe2k

    you can do it now with a usb3 hub + UHS-I class card readers
    you put a virtual disk image in each card (.VHD) format them to exFAT and raid them