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Author Topic: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?  (Read 5985 times)

dwswager

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What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« on: February 05, 2016, 02:18:05 pm »

As someone looking to buy the XQD enabled Nikon D500, this issue just hit my RADAR.  I think SD is the standard because of low cost, ubiquity and it meets the needs of almost every use.  However, there is certainly a small and important market for high speed cards.  But can the market support 2 different standards?  This could really end in tragedy for some users of one format or the other.  I notice the Nikon D5 has a service center replaceable card module (CF and XQD).  Wonder if they have a CFast module designed and ready to hedge their bets?

Oddly, you would think Sony could work this in their favor.  I like the XQD card size and it looks like better connector than the fin on CFast, but like Betamax and Memory Stuck, Sony has a nasty history of taking the better technology and arrogantly assuming people will pay extra for it.  They just don't understand "good enough" and value.
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razrblck

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Re: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 03:25:58 pm »

XQD provides enough speed in less physical space. Both CFast and XQD are fairly easy to implement as they leverage technologies that we've had for more than a decade in PCs, so all the supporting hardware and software is already out there.

I'm sure that if they will ever need the additional speed provided by top of the line CFast cards they would manage some way to fit them in their cameras. Right now they have to think about people already owning XQD cards from other camera models and moving customers to something faster. CFast has been used mostly in the video industry and there are no still cameras that use CFast that I know of.

Just like with CompactFlash and SecureDigital, we will see both XQD and CFast coexist for a long time until they get replaces by something even better.
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davidgp

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Re: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 04:48:22 am »

As someone looking to buy the XQD enabled Nikon D500, this issue just hit my RADAR.  I think SD is the standard because of low cost, ubiquity and it meets the needs of almost every use.  However, there is certainly a small and important market for high speed cards.  But can the market support 2 different standards?  This could really end in tragedy for some users of one format or the other.  I notice the Nikon D5 has a service center replaceable card module (CF and XQD).  Wonder if they have a CFast module designed and ready to hedge their bets?

Yes, I think the market can support the two standards, It always has done it. CompactFlash and SD in the past... or if you go even back we had MMC, MemoryStick, CompactFlash, SD some years ago... I think SD will continue to be the dominating one for a while. Maybe we will see a separation between SD for "non-pro" level and XQD and CFast for Pro level.

I highly doubt Nikon will do CFast module in the future... the reasons, my next paragraph...

Quote
Oddly, you would think Sony could work this in their favor.  I like the XQD card size and it looks like better connector than the fin on CFast, but like Betamax and Memory Stuck, Sony has a nasty history of taking the better technology and arrogantly assuming people will pay extra for it.  They just don't understand "good enough" and value.

XQD was designed by ScanDisk, Sony and Nikon together ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XQD_card ), so Sony bets will be XQD. They are already doing products that use this format: check the specs for example of their FS7 camera: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1082825-REG/sony_pxw_fs7_compact_4k_xdcam_with.html . Maybe in the future they put it in their E mount FF cameras... but I'm happy they are still using SD for the moment... I have tons of SD cards...

CFast is the natural evolution of CompactFlash format. CompactFlash is based in the PATA standard to connect harddrives or CD/DVD-Roms units in PCs. Since many years ago the PC industry moved to SATA, and CFast is based in the SATA standard (Right now the PC industry is moving again to even faster connectors, mainly for the main harddrive, connected directly to an PCI-E bus). For the moment the companies I'm seeing using CFast are Arri, Blackmagic and, of course, Canon (probably I'm missing someone... I'm not following too much the video world and those guys are the ones that benefit the most with this new formats).

For the moment I'm only seeing Lexar and Sony doing XQD cards (curiously ScanDisk, one of the companies that presented the format back in 2010, is not commercially selling XQD cards at this moment... although this will probably change in the future now that more cameras are using it). Prices are high at this moment for XQD, comparing to CFast, but I expect that they will get lower overtime, as usual.

dwswager

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Re: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 08:21:24 pm »

I understand both your points, but a little clarification:

1. Both XQD and CFast are supported by the Compact Flash Association

2. CF and SD are 2 standards each with different benefits.  SD being cheap and small. CF being fast and larger capacity.

You are suggesting 3 standards will survive.  XQD and CFast as 2nd and 3rd rung standards both going after the same market while SD will retain the lion share of the market because they are cheap, small and relatively fast.  I think XQD should be the standard due to size and speed and especially with CFast not being backward compatible with CF because of different bus and connector even though it is the same size.
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davidgp

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Re: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2016, 04:50:20 am »

The three standards will survive for some years... But yes, you're right, of the three, one one them will die at the end... My bet us the same as you, CFast is the one I think will not survive in the long run... But as it happened many times in the past, the best one not always wins...


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dwswager

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Re: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2016, 11:08:13 am »

But as it happened many times in the past, the best one not always wins...


This is the key. And the reasons vary. 

Obviously Betamax being the key technology that was better than VHS, but did not win. 

While you can argue the Bluray was better than HD-DVD because the disk has larger capacity, it would have been much better for consumers if HD-DVD had won due to simplicity, backward compatibility and price of both discs and players. Of course it was Disney that ultimately tipped the scales to BluRay with exclusive support because they thought it had better encryption (beaten before release however).

Memory Stuck was a great format, but Sony didn't licence it appropriately so it was more expensive and more complicated to use and it died a slow death.

I'm a Nikon shooter, but it just makes sense for all devices that require large capacity or high transfer rates to coalesce around a single standard.  I really don't care as long as it works, but in this case XQD appears to be the better card.  Bigger than SD, but significantly smaller than CFast making it easier to design around.  But will Sony screw it up?
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Colorado David

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Re: What is the current take between XQD and CFast?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2016, 09:49:23 pm »

Although consumer Betamax died, it was the base technology for BetaCam, BetaCam SP, and DigiBeta.  I still have two BetaCam SP machines in my office.  I have a couple of cases of unopened BetaCam SP 30 minute field tapes.  VHS became the base technology for M2.  In the 90s when someone would call asking to book a shoot, they would ask for a BetaCam SP crew, never an M2 crew.  M2 had its users, but I can't recall anyone being wild about it.  BetaCam SP on the other hand was excellent and was the professional standard.  Who knows if or how much more money Sony would have made if Betamax had been the winner of the home video tape standard.  I do remember when Sony had a marketing campaign for their VHS machines.  It was "We'll never say never again."  I started in this business when quad was the tape standard and vividly remember the switch to one inch.
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