Every time a larger SD card comes out, I kinda laugh, because my very first computer back in the day had a 20 MB hard drive, and I would think “Man, I’ll NEVER fill that up!” Now we have 1TB SD cards from SansDisk for our cameras? WOW.
“Sixteen years ago we introduced the first SanDisk 64MB SD card and today we are enabling capacities of 1TB. The SanDisk 1TB SD card prototype represents another significant achievement as growth of high-resolution content and capacity-intensive applications such as virtual reality, video surveillance and 360 video, are progressing at astounding rates.” – Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product management, Content Solutions Business Unit, Western Digital.
Sandisk is a bit mum on the actual speeds available from this SDXC I card, but one thing is sure, when you’re shooting 4K at 60p and above, you’re going to run out of space really quick. We’ve been seeing an exponential increase in storage sizes in SD cards for awhile now, with the previous record holding card, 512GB, introduced by SanDisk just two years ago. Now they’re doubling that capacity to be able to support not only 4K video, but also 360° and virtual reality video.
“With the growing demand for applications like VR … High-capacity cards allow us to capture more without interruption, streamlining our workflow, and eliminating the worry that we may miss a moment because we have to stop to swap out cards,” said Sam Nicholson, CEO of Stargate Studios and member of the American Society of Cinematographers.
As for read/write speeds, we can take a look at the previous generation to get a hint at how fast it is. Since it’s designed to be used for 4K and above video, it’s not going to slow down. The “SDXC I” logo is reserved for cards with transfer rates of between 50MBps or 104MBps.
The current Sandisk 512GB card can write at 90 MB/s and tranfer files at 95, so it’s reasonable to assume that speed rating won’t change. The real selling point for this new card is its real estate. To get an idea just how much you can store, PetaPixel did the math with a 120 megapixel Canon camera shooting a Raw file weighing in at 210 MB. The Sandisk 1TB card could store 4,700 files at that size. Another way to look at is to go back to my laptop analogy: Most laptop hard drives are smaller than this small card.
How much will the card cost? Well Sandisk says the card is a prototype, so it’s not going to hit the market any time soon. However, looking at the current 512GB model again, it was announced at a price of $800. You can currently buy it for around $350-600. So I’m guessing that the 1TB model will start at the $800 price point, as well, when it eventually comes out. Maybe even a little less.
The only question I have is, how long before this is available in a microSD for the action camera crowd? I’m guessing not long. Sandisk is showing off the 1TB card at their Photokina booth, Hall 02.1 Stand A014. Or you can check it out at SanDisk.com.