The Compact Flash Association (CFA) finally published a list of all VPG certified memory cards that provide a guarantee that they will work with certain functions of all supported cameras, including Sony cameras that require the certification.
Memory cards have always been confusing with their huge list of amorphous icons, speed promises, and other logos. With the advent of CFexpress it got even more confusing with the addition of the Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) certification and, further, actual requirements for it in certain cameras. However, while these requirements are listed found in camera manuals, it isn’t front-and-center. Adding to the issue, most photographers aren’t used to looking for anything beyond promised speed marks at the point of purchase.
This is particularly important for Sony photographers as some cameras actually require a specific firmware flag that confirms it has at least VPG200 certification in order to allow access to the highest video recording levels. If that flag isn’t detected, the camera will “gray out” the selection in the menu.
Unfortunately, some companies have faked this firmware flag without actually getting their cards certified, which could cause the card to fail under the stress of those higher data rates without the photographer understanding why.
From previous coverage of this issue:
The entire point of the VPG logo is to give consumers some level of confidence that what they’re buying will actually work as advertised. Other memory card formats work on an honor system: a company tests internally and says it will perform a certain way and that’s the end of the story. The CFA wanted to actually hold companies to a real standard and that means consumers should have more confidence in a product.
Unfortunately, this isn’t really communicated well to the buyer and as a result, some companies have been able to treat the space like the wild west.
The CFA was, previously, not publishing verified card manufacturers on its website, instead relying on the consumer to check for the little “VPG” logo on cards themselves, which didn’t help clear the muddied waters much. That, gratefully, has changed.
The CFA has published a complete list of manufacturers who have actually passed its rigorous VPG testing and only eight manufacturers have made the cut, some with as few as one card that made the cut: Delkin, Exascend, Lexar, Nextorage, Phison, Prograde Digital, SanDisk, and Sony.
The list above only contains the cards that passed VPG certification as of February 2024. Expect this list to grow over time.
Before purchasing their next card, photographers should check the CFA’s official list to assure the performance they’re looking for is supported by the card they’re about to buy. With the high price of CFexpress cards, this step is one photographers and filmmakers shouldn’t skip.