Exascend’s New Memory Cards for Sony Cameras Can Handle 8K/120p

An exascend essential pro 1 tb cfexpress memory card, displaying its capacity and speed details on a plain gray background.

Exascend’s new Essential Pro series of CFexpress Type A memory cards — a format that, at the time of publication, only Sony uses — use the new 4.0 standard, meaning they can promise some ridiculous speeds to support high resolution and high framerate shooting.

The new cards promise read speeds of up to 1,800 MB/s and write speeds of up to 1,650 MB/s across the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities. That’s great, but sustained performance is more important and there Exascend still doesn’t disappoint. Not only are its cards VPG400 verified with the Compact Flash Association — a specification Sony requires in order to unlock maximum frame rate capture settings — but Exascend also promises performance that vastly outpaces the baseline for the certification.

VPG400 only requires that a memory card never fall below a sustained write speed of 400 MB/s but Exascend says its 1TB card will sustain 1,650 MB/s while its 512GB and 256GB options will sustain 850 MB/s. All of these specifications are enough to handle 8K video shot at up to 120 frames per second, Exascend says.

This performance is only made possible thanks to the CFexpress 4.0 standard, and while there are a wealth of Type B memory cards that are starting to use this much faster standard, there are significantly fewer for the Sony-specific Type A cards; OWC launched some last month, but they’re only VPG200 certified.

That means Exascend is one of only a few options for the highest-level performance memory cards for Sony shooters, although it should also be remembered that at the time of publication, no camera supports the full speeds being provided by CFexpress 4.0. They will max out at CFexpress 2.0 speeds which is still plenty fast though, and offloading cards is much quicker as long as a 4.0 reader is used. For the most part, CFexpress 4.0 cards are best considered supporting current cameras and they’ll also be future-proofed for many years to come.

Exascend is pairing its new cards with a very unusual adapter that allows them to not only work in Sony cameras and compatible Type-A card readers, but also in Type B devices. The Type A to Type B adapter may be particularly helpful to photographers and filmmakers using multiple camera systems and Exascend says no speed or performance drop should be expected from using the card as is or through its adapter.

This level of performance does not come cheap. Exascend’s new Essential Pro cards are slowly becoming available but at the time of publication, only the 1TB version was available to purchase for $699.