The title of "world's fastest SD card" generally isn't held for long, and Sony is the latest company to claim the crown. Available in three sizes and designed for capturing 4K video, its new SF-G line of cards is due to launch this year, boasting read speeds of up to 300 MB/s and write speeds of 299 MB/s.
While cards have been providing those read speeds for a while now, the write speed is where the new record comes in. Introduced a few years ago, the UHS-II (Ultra High Speed II) bus pushed the ceiling for data transfer rates up to a maximum of 312 MB/s, meaning the new Sony cards are starting to brush up against that.
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Sony says the firmware on the cards is responsible for these record-breaking speeds, allowing UHS-II-compatible cameras to quickly throw images and video onto the card without missing a beat. Those same algorithms also help move data more quickly from the temporary buffer to the permanent storage, and keeps those speeds consistent as the card fills up.
"As the continuous shooting of higher-resolution images and adoption of 4K video with DSLR and mirrorless cameras increases, the inherent need for larger, faster and more dependable cards becomes apparent," says Viviano Cantu, Vice President of Sony America's Media and Energy Group. "Sony has met these growing demands with the debut of the SF-G Series, which offers industry leading performance."
Capacity-wise, the SF-G cards aren't exactly leading the industry. Available in 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB versions, Sony's new lineup holds its own, but 256 GB and 512 GB sizes are readily available, and SanDisk already has its sights on a 1 TB card. That said, the data transfer rates of these higher-capacity cards usually sits at about 95 MB/s, so it's a trade-off.
For added security, Sony says the cards are also resistant to damage from water and static electricity, and if data is accidentally deleted or damaged, Sony might be able to save the day with a free program called File Rescue.
Sony says the SF-G Series will be available in (Northern Hemisphere) spring, alongside an SD card reader that can transfer files from the new cards to a PC at higher speeds. There's no word on any pricing just yet.