ProGrade Digital: a new CFexpress for cinematic capture of RAW 4K video

The industry seems to be getting behind CFexpress, with the form factor gaining broad industry adoption. ProGrade Digital announces its solutions with capacities up to 1TB.

ProGrade Digital introduces new CFexpress

Ideal for uninterrupted, cinematic capture of RAW 4K video, CFexpress memory cards are the next-generation form factor for high-performance capture and workflow. They are coming in 2019.

ProGrade Digital just introduced its CFexpress cards, with capacities ranging from 120GB to 1TB and performance levels which provide read speeds up to 1600MB/second – ideal for quickly off-loading high volumes of video or RAW photos and burst write speeds up to 1400MB/sec – ideal for uninterrupted, cinematic capture of RAW 4K video.

Before you run down to the closest shop to get one of these cards… read this. ProGrade Digital is distributing evaluation samples of ProGrade Digital CFexpress cards and readers to qualified partners only. This means the general public will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the next-generation of memory cards. ProGrade Digital says that “cards and readers will be available for purchase by the general public as soon as firmware for existing compatible cameras is updated or when new devices are introduced into the market.”

ProGrade Digital: a new CFexpress for cinematic capture of RAW 4K video

PCIe with NVMe are the future, for now

Faster cards are coming, as I suggested in previous articles and news here at ProVideo Coalition, and they may arrive faster than expected. At the same time it is good to see that the industry seems to be behind a product, as is the case with CFexpress. In fact, the form factor is forecasted to gain broad industry adoption starting in 2019 due to its backward compatibility with XQD, and its open industry standard support from major device manufacturers.

Independently of form factor – because we will also have, as I wrote, SD Express and microSD Express cards – what we’re seeing is the adoption of a new, faster interface as a common denominator.  PCIe, Gen 3 interconnect with NVMe host controller interface is present in the CFexpress 1.0, offering users next-generation memory card performance.

ProGrade Digital: a new CFexpress for cinematic capture of RAW 4K video

The ProGrade Digital CFexpress family

ProGrade Digital first demonstrated its CFexpress 1.0 cards in April 2018, at NAB, in Las Vegas, and now the company announces broader sampling of its CFexpress 1.0 Type B cards. ProGrade Digital CFexpress cards provide read speeds up to 1,600MB/s, and burst write speeds up to 1,400MB/s. Two performance levels are available: Cobalt label: delivers a minimum sustained write speed of 1,300MB/s; Gold label: delivers a minimum sustained write speeds of between 150MB/s and 400MB/s depending on card capacity.

“Having demonstrated the capabilities with CFexpress early last year, ProGrade Digital is pleased to invite development partners globally to evaluate this new card standard for use with their next generation products,” said Wes Brewer, founder, and CEO of ProGrade Digital. “The CFexpress form factor provides extremely fast data read and write speeds with very low latency, which makes it ideal for imaging, as well as a range of industrial, computational and enterprise applications.  Our new CFexpress high-speed USB 3.1, Gen 2 reader, adds immediate access of high-speed data transfers from camera to any workstation utilizing commonly available USB ports.  Through our new sampling program, plus our ongoing work with imaging industry leaders, ProGrade Digital continues to advance the market adoption of this important new standard for removable storage.”

ProGrade Digital: a new CFexpress for cinematic capture of RAW 4K video

ProGrade Digital CFexpress portfolio:

  • CFexpress Cobalt

o Maximum read speed 1600MB/s

o Burst write speed 1400MB/s

o Minimum sustained write speed 1300MB/s

o Capacities: 325GB, 650GB

  • CFexpress Gold

o Maximum read speed 1600MB/s

o Burst write speed 600MB/s – 1000MB/s

o Minimum sustained write speed 150MB/s – 400MB/s

o Capacities: 120GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

CFexpress 1.0 Cobalt and Gold both deliver:

  • Fully compliant with CompactFlash Association 1.0 specification
  • NVMe host interface with PCIe Gen3 X2 interconnect
  • Extended battery life and low standby power through NVMe PS0 – PS4 support
  • XQD host interoperable with firmware support
  • Metal enclosure for improved durability and heat dissipation
  • Thermal throttling protects card from overheating
  • Optimized controllers specifically designed for use in professional-grade motion and still capture cameras
  • Unique serialized tracking of every card enabling identification of key components and manufacturing data for the highest quality control
  • Rigorous 100% full card testing down to individual memory chips for optimal quality
  • X-ray proof, shock-proof
  • Temperature ranges: operating 14 to 158°F/ -10 to 70°C; storage -4 to 185°F/ -20 to 85°C
  • Dimensions: 29.6mm x 38.5mm x 3.8mm
  • 3-year warranty

ProGrade Digital has a recovery software compatible with its memory cards, Recovery Pro, which I wrote about recently here at ProVideo Coalition. It is expected that the software will also work with the new CFexpress form factor, as it already works with CFast, SDXC, microSDHC/XC and CompactFlash cards.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…