In October 2012, astrophotographer Raymond Collecutt of Whangarei, New Zealand shared a new (and risky) idea he was playing around with: converting a standard DSLR into a sharper monochrome camera for photographing space.
When XQD memory cards were announced in December 2011, the CompactFlash Association touted the format as the successor to CompactFlash cards. We definitely seemed to be moving in that direction at first: one month after the unveiling, Nikon’s flagship D4 DSLR was announced with XQD card support. The day after that, Sony became the first major memory card maker to announce a line of XQD cards. Six months later, Lexar also announced its intentions to join the party.
Since then, things have died down to the point where you can hear grasshoppers chirping. Not a single XQD-capable camera was announced at Photokina 2012 this past week. Despite being the first to make them, Sony strangely decided to leave the cards out of its top-of-the-line cameras as well.
Perhaps in response to the growing capacities and falling prices of SD cards, the CompactFlash Association has announced a new format to replace CF cards for professional photographers. It’s called XQD, and has a size that falls between CF and SD cards (it’s thicker than SD cards, but smaller than CF cards). The interface used is PCI Express, which has a theoretical max write speed of roughly 600MB/s, though the target for real-world write speeds at first will be 125MB/s. It’ll start making public appearances at trade shows early next year, and will be licenced out to card makers around the same time.