Angelbird Discontinues Its 1TB Sony CFe Card 10 Months After Launch

Angelbird CFexpress

Angelbird has discontinued its massive 1TB capacity CFexpress Type A card. The $500 card was not only cheap, it promised full compatibility with Sony cameras. That might be the source to the “why” it has been taken off store shelves.

CFexpress cards are confusing, which is perhaps why Angelbird’s card design is so appealing. Simple, with very little text and just the company’s logo, the cards sell themselves on two tenets: low cost and high performance. Mix that with a $500 asking price that was less than half what Sony was charging for three-quarters the capacity, and it had a formula for success.

That simplicity along with those claims is what might be behind Angelbird’s discontinuation of that 1TB card, a fact initially reported by Sony Alpha Rumors. In its marketing at launch (which was less than a year ago), Angelbird noted full compatibility with Sony cameras, including 4K recording at 120 frames per second in 4:2:2: 10-bit.

On the surface, the promised 820 MB/s read speed and 720 MB/s write speed look like plenty to achieve that, but there is one more bit of information Sony cameras require: VPG certification.

VPG, or video performance guarantee, is the Compact Flash Association’s (CFA) way of promising camera owners that a card is up to the most demanding of tasks. It tests and confirms that a card meets sustained read and write performance metrics instead of relying on peak numbers — the ones companies like to print on the label. Sony agrees, and codes its cameras to require a rating of VPG200 or better in order to access the highest frame rate and resolution options.

In December, PetaPixel reported that multiple companies were cheating the system and faking the firmware flag that tells Sony cameras that a card is VPG certified when in fact they were not. PetaPixel has been told that actually getting VPG certification is not easy (it requires days to verify a card over which time it is hammered with a ton of data), which is probably why there are only a few cards that are officially recognized as VPG certified.

Bringing the conversation back around to Angelbird, its promised support, below, notes 4K at up to 120 frames per second at high data rates. According to both the a7S III and Alpha 1 user manuals (both cameras Angelbird’s card specifically claimed to support), those settings require VPG certification. That means if Angelbird was claiming compatibility with these modes without VPG certification, questions needed to be asked.


PetaPixel reached out to Angelbird for comment and will update this story if the company responds.

Sony filmmakers who are looking to find VPG verified cards that are assured to work without problems should check the CFA’s official list.

Image credits: Angelbird