By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Rummaging around in my media card case, I see a 128MB SD media card. Not able to do much these days, except plug into one of my digital picture frames, that card used to be the go-to recording medium in a digital camera. But now, the SD Association stands to approve a new SD media card specification that will be 128 MILLION times larger. Not only that, but it’ll be able to transfer nearly a terrabyte of data in a single second!
The new SD media card standard is called SD Express, and will offer SD Ultra capacity storage reaching 128TB. The current state of the art in SD cards promises up to 2TB of storage, but that hasn’t even hit the market yet. The standard was adopted in 2016, stating that larger SD cards were necessary to handle the media capacities and transfer speeds of 4K and virtual reality video.
Currently, the fastest SD card is the Sony 128GB, that promises UHS-II speeds of about 299 MB/S. The 128TB spec of the SD association will bring that read/write data transfer speed up to 985GB per second. That means I could transfer the entire contents of my mac in just over a second. Think about that. That’s blazingly fast.
Obviously, those who shoot in 8K HDR or virtual reality are going to welcome that kind of speed and storage capacity, but this is just a standard, mind you, and it could take years before the cards are seen in stores. The 2TB standard was adopted back in 2016, and we’re still only hitting 512GB SD card sizes.
And the cost of a 128TB SD card would be in the thousands, if it hit the market today. Right now, you an buy a 512GB SD card for around $300, but the MSRP had been just under $1000 not too long ago. So initially, the cards will be far too expensive for your average indy to afford.
Additionally, I’m not sure larger is actually better. I would much rather have a few smaller cards that I can switch out every once in awhile to combat Murphy’s Law. I still shoot with 3 64GB Compact Flash cards, that I rotate out of throughout the day, so that I can protect the footage I have already shot, just in case one of the cards gets corrupted and takes a dump.
But when you’re dealing with the huge amounts of data caused by 8K cinema cameras, or multi camera 360°and virtual reality rigs, the larger the cards are, the better. Still, I think the real takeaway here is the exponential bump in speed. And that speed spec will trickle down to smaller cards, and THAT will be the real benefit to ultra high definition shooting.
Hat Tip – The Verge