October 26, 2021


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ProGrade Versus Sony CFexpress Type A Cards: Is There a Difference?

ProGrade Digital just released the 1st CFexpress Kind A cards that aren’t produced by Sony and while they aren’t “cheap” by any stretch of the creativeness, they are much more economical than Sony’s providing. But does that discounted arrive at a performance charge?

At the time of publication, CFexpress Kind-A memory cards were only utilized by Sony in a number of of its more recent cameras like the Alpha 1. The format is a lot scaled-down than a CFexpress Kind B card and while Kind A cards will by no means be as quick, Sony chose them for its line of cameras due to the fact they have a secondary benefit: the little dimensions allows them share a card slot that can also be utilized with legacy SD cards.

SD cards are essentially even larger than CFexpress cards, which allow Sony develop a slot in the two its cameras and its CFexpress card reader that allows the 1 slot pull double responsibility. For photographers, this suggests that Sony could aid a lot quicker browse and publish speeds to get the most out of its new cameras while also not forcing photographers to choose up all-new media.

That preference is good due to the fact Sony’s CFexpress Kind A cards are — at the time of publication — $400 for 160GB of capability, a considerable expenditure.

As you can see higher than, ProGrade elected to keep its two memory card reader slots different.

Although the format isn’t prevalent but, ProGrade Digital believes it will come to be much more common in the long run and as this kind of has determined to sign up for the get together and just released its variation of the media.

What’s the Variation?

Effectiveness-sensible, the two Sony and ProGrade assure the identical browse and publish speeds and physically the two products appear nearly similar — in actuality, the two cards notice the state of origin as the identical as nicely: Taiwan. The only serious differences between them appear to be small style choices on the again of the cards and a $70 selling price margin.

The only serious way to consistently check and ascertain if there is a variation between these two cards is to run them each through speed assessments. Theoretically, I could hearth a burst of pics on camera with each card and time how lengthy it will take to clear the buffer, but there is no rationale to imagine that the speed assessments right here would give a diverse end result primarily considering that — as I’ll demonstrate down below — I utilized two diverse card audience. On top of that, this process is a lot much more repeatable and controlled.

For this check, I have the two the Sony and ProGrade CFexpress cards as nicely as the official card audience from the two providers: the Sony MRW-G2 and the ProGrade Digital CFexpress Kind A and SD Reader. I ran the two cards through the two of the audience in get to the two see if there was any benefit to working with a card reader and card from the identical manufacturer, but also to assure that there was no unfair benefit that would appear by working with a Sony card on a Sony reader, for illustration. I did not imagine 1 would exist, but it is safer to be confident.

I ran speed assessments working with the BlackMagic Pace Take a look at application on an Apple MacBook Professional numerous moments. Both card audience were related via USB-C cables into the reader and into the laptop computer — I did not use the cable that converts the USB-C style to USB-A. Testing speeds on cards may differ with each run that the card goes through and performance will vary a little depending on personal cards and more than time, but the screenshots down below are fantastic total averages of what you can be expecting from the cards.

Sony Versus ProGrade via ProGrade Card Reader

To start with I want to present the benefits from jogging the two cards through the ProGrade Digital mixture CFexpress Kind A and SD card reader:

ProGrade Digital CFexpress Kind A Card
Sony CFexpress Kind A Card

As you can see, the two cards fell small of the promised “up to” 800 MB/s browse spends and 700 MB/s publish speeds. The ProGrade Digital card averaged all over 679 MB/s publish speeds and all over 785 MB/s browse speeds with the ProGrade reader. The Sony card done rather equally, averaging all over 683 MB/s publish speeds and all over 780 MB/s browse speeds through the ProGrade reader.

Although it seems the ProGrade Digital card browse info a bit a lot quicker than the Sony and the Sony wrote info a bit a lot quicker than the ProGrade, the variation right here is inside a tolerable margin of error of all over 5 MB/s, which suggests that there is proficiently no variation in performance between these cards with the ProGrade reader.

Sony Versus ProGrade via Sony Card Reader

Upcoming, I ran the two cards through the Sony mixture CFexpress and SD card reader:

ProGrade CFexpress Kind A Card
Sony CFexpress Kind A Card

The Prograde CFexpress card averaged all over 654 MB/s publish speeds and 730 MB/s browse speeds when analyzed through the Sony reader. The Sony card averaged all over 651 MB/s publish speeds and 731 MB/s browse speeds through the Sony reader. The benefits right here are a lot nearer than when the cards were in comparison through the ProGrade card reader and are certainly inside the expected margin of error.

As far as I am involved, this confirms that the cards ought to proficiently complete identically throughout mediums and cameras.

Curiously, the two the ProGrade card and the Sony card done even worse through Sony’s reader than through ProGrade’s reader by a aspect of approximately twenty MB/s in the two browse and publish, which is much more than I really feel cozy attributing to just a margin of error. I am not acquainted with the inner workings of card audience and what could possibly make 1 complete better than the other, but in my testing, ProGrade does get the earn right here as far as media audience.

Hunt the Most effective Price, Not the Model

If you were afraid that the $70 discounted in selling price between the Sony and the ProGrade cards would end result in even worse performance for ProGrade, I have fantastic information: the two cards ought to complete rather a lot particularly the identical.

1 point worthy of noting however is that as far as card audience go, ProGrade Digital’s CFexpress Kind A and SD card combo reader seems to be a bit better than the Sony MRW-G2 Cfexpress Kind A reader. Sony’s reader is also $120, while ProGrade’s is $80. So while I can comfortably suggest you can get both the Sony or ProGrade card (whichever is on sale) and get the identical performance, it seems the ProGrade card reader will give you better performance, albeit just a minor.

That mentioned, ProGrade’s reader is produced of typically plastic while Sony’s is an all-metallic housing. I haven’t ever encountered a predicament exactly where I essential my card reader to be tricky as nails, but if which is critical to you, Sony is very likely the better preference even if it is just a hair slower.

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