As cameras reach 8K resolution and beyond, they are stretching the limits to what an SD card can do for read and write speeds. But while some are moving to the CFExpress to handle the high performance needed to keep up with 8K, there’s still a little more speed left in the legs of the SD card spec, and ProGrade is mining it with a new Cobalt 512GB v90 UHS-II card.
With rated speeds of up to 300 MB/S reading and burst-write speeds of 250 MB/S, ProGrade’s Cobalt V90 UHS-II card states that the speed will never dip below 90MB/S.
The cards are designed for peak performance of ultra high definition video, which requires a faster and sustained speed in order to prevent dropped frames. Consequently, it’s likely that the ProGrade card, since it has a solid reputation with content creators, can keep the speed up to within the rated range in order to keep up with the massive data workflow.
Moreover, the higher resolution requires larger memory card capacities. As cameras reach the 8K pinnacle, the days of 64, 128, or even 256GB memory cards for capturing video are rapidly becoming a size whose time has come.
SD cards at a minimum need to have a half-terabyte or above in order to be of any appreciable use (although they still do offer the smaller sizes).
“With the extensive range of recording options in today’s high-end professional camera market, such as RAW 8K, 6K, 5K, 4K, UHD, High Bit Rate MPEG at varying frames per second (fps), many of which require high capacity, and high-performance memory cards,” said ProGrade’s CEO Wes Brewer.
“We have added this higher capacity 512GB, SD V90 memory card to our SDXC Cobalt product line to serve these needs.”
Other features include:
- Required for use with the Panasonic GH5S, Panasonic AU-EVA1, and Canon Cinema EOS line cameras
- Streamlines Motion JPEG for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Optimized for 6K, 5K, 4K, UHD 4K, and high bit rate MPEG-4
- Pro level 512GB capacity
- Error correction to detect and correct data write and data transfer errors
- Wear-leveling for longer life
- X-ray proof and shockproof
- Operating temperature range of -13 to 185°F
- Storage temperature range of -40 to 185°F
Furthermore, ProGrade has special software known as ReFresh Pro, which offers the ability to monitor the life of ProGrade cards and to reformat the cards back to factory condition in order to guard against corruption.
It’s pretty clear that while the aging SD card spec is nearing the end of its designed lifespan, there’s still a little more life left. It’s unlikely that the spec will be able to keep up with CFexpress for sheer speed and performance, but the current 4K models are still holding on to the SD card spec because it’s more affordable.
Until manufacturers abandon it completely in favor of CFe, look for them to squeeze every byte of speed and space they can out of it. The ProGrade Cobalt 512 GB V90 UHS-II retails for $$459.99, with shipping TBD.
- ProGrade Digital 512GB UHS-II SDXC Memory Card (B&H)
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