When it comes to photography and videography, the best CompactFlash cards are essential for storing digital media. Not only do they provide the necessary speed and storage capacity needed for capturing high-resolution images or videos, but they also ensure that your data is secure.
With so many different CF cards on the market today, knowing which one is right for you cannot be easy.
We have compiled this guide to help you find the best CompactFlash card for your needs. We will cover what features to look out for when choosing a card and our top picks of the best CompactFlash cards available today.
We will discuss what makes a sound CF card before diving into critical features, such as read/write speeds, storage capacity, durability, etc. We will examine some of our favorite models from trusted brands like SanDisk and Lexar.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with a few tips on how to get the most out of your new CF card once you have purchased it.
Related: Best SD Cards for Photography
What Makes a Great CF Card?
When it comes to photography and filmmaking, having the right CompactFlash card can make all the difference.
CF cards are an essential tool for professionals and hobbyists, and, with so much choice in terms of memory speed and capacity, it can be challenging to choose.
Thankfully, everyone should look for a few critical features if searching for the perfect CF card.
Firstly, shooters should prioritize reliability over anything else. No one wants to risk losing work hours due to a faulty memory card.
To ensure fast transfer speeds, select a card with a minimum write speed of 60 megabytes per second; this will keep your workflow running smoothly even when shooting large RAW files or 4K footage.
Depending on your preferred shooting style or budget, you may purchase smaller-capacity single cards of up to 64GB or higher-level dual cards that offer up to 128GB storage and increased performance.
Aim to get shockproof, waterproof, temperature-proof, and x-ray-proof cards to protect your photos and video from external damage.
Lastly, choosing a card with low power consumption, such as UDMA 6 cards or higher, is essential to record professional video and audio.
Finally, make sure you shop from reliable brands with a good warranty policy so you can count on their products when it matters most.
CF vs CFexpress: Whats the Difference?
CompactFlash (CF) cards and CFExpress cards are vital digital photography and videography components.
While both use a form factor that is similar in size, their capability to store data dramatically differs.
The main difference between the two types of cards is the speed at which they can write or transfer data onto or off the card.
CF cards rely on Serial Bus (SB) protocol, while CFexpress cards utilize PCIe Gen3 x2 interface, providing three times higher speeds than CF.
This not only produces much faster download speeds when used with a camera but also substantially impacts buffer performance, allowing photographers and videographers to capture more images faster and with less delay.
CF card technology is available in various storage sizes, ranging from 8MB to 512GB. CFexpress cards are designed with the latest technology, provide faster read and write speeds, and range from 32GB to 2TB — far superior to the standard CF card for speed-dependent operations like 4K video or burst mode shooting.
Though more costly than standard CF cards, any photographer or videographer serious about their craft should consider investing in a CFexpress-compatible camera because the benefits far outweigh its cost.
Best CompactFlash Cards for Photography and Filmmaking
For most digital cameras, you’ll need a Type 1 CF card, which are 3.3mm thick. Newer cameras are starting to use Type A and B CFexpress cards. Always double-check with your camera specifications for what type of CF card is compatible.
Now here’s our review list of the best CF and CFexpress cards:
1. SanDisk Extreme PRO CF Memory Card UDMA 7
The SanDisk Extreme PRO Compact Flash Memory Card is a powerful, reliable tool for any photographer’s arsenal. It delivers data transfer speeds up to 160 MB/s and works with UDMA 7 devices. This card boasts extreme durability and reliability, making it ideal for taking pictures in even the most demanding conditions.
This CF card has an incredible storage capacity of up to 256GB, allowing you to store all photos or videos at high resolution without worrying about running out of space.
It’s also the fastest card on the market with its read and write speeds — you won’t have to wait for your images or videos to be saved when capturing that perfect moment.
Thanks to its proprietary Power Core Controller technology and enhanced Super-Parallel Processing (ESP) feature, you can rest assured knowing that all your data transfers are secure and blazingly fast.
For unmatched performance, functionality, and durability under harsh environments such as cold temperatures or wet weather conditions, the SanDisk Extreme PRO Compact Flash Memory Card is by far one of the best options out there today; designed specifically for professional photographers who need a dependable memory solution without sacrificing speed or quality.
With this CF card, you can capture the highest quality images and videos with absolute confidence, knowing your data is safe and secure. It’s also backward compatible with any UDMA 7 devices, so there’s no need to worry about compatibility issues.
So if you’re looking for a robust and reliable flash memory card, the SanDisk Extreme PRO Compact Flash Memory Card UDMA 7 is undoubtedly one of the best options on the market.
This CF card will never let you down when capturing those special moments, along with its impressive read/write speeds, large storage capacity, enhanced durability, Power Core Controller technology, and ESP feature. Even in demanding conditions such as cold temperatures or wet weather conditions, it will still deliver excellent performance without fail.
2. Lexar Professional CF 1066x UDMA 7
The Lexar Professional 1066x Memory Card is a powerful compact flash (CF) card with fantastic performance and reliability. It has read speeds of up to 1066x, allowing you to quickly transfer data from the memory card to your computer or device.
It also has write speeds of up to 633x, which makes it great for high-dynamic range (HDR) photography and 4K content creation.
The Lexar Professional 1066x Memory Card UDMA 7 uses UDMA technology, which allows it to support larger file sizes without sacrificing speed or efficiency.
Its superior build quality ensures reliable operation in all kinds of weather conditions and temperatures ranging from -13°F (-25°C) up to +185°F (+85°C).
Thanks to its incredible storage capacity of 256GB, the Lexar Professional 1066x gives you plenty of space for storing raw images and videos taken with your camera or DSLR.
Additionally, the included Image Rescue software will recover accidentally deleted photos and videos, so there’s no need to worry about losing important files due to accidentally pressing delete.
What sets this memory card apart from other CF cards is that it provides exceptional value for its price. With all its features and performance, it easily rivals the SanDisk Extreme PRO CF. This makes the Lexar Professional 1066x Memory Card UDMA 7 an excellent choice for photographers who want a reliable memory card without breaking the bank.
The Lexar Professional 1066x Memory Card UDMA 7 is an ideal compact flash (CF) card for professional photographers and videographers because of its fantastic speed and storage capacity.
Its superior build quality ensures reliable operation in all weather conditions, while Image Rescue software provides peace of mind in case any data is accidentally deleted or lost.
Finally, its competitive pricing makes it an attractive option for those looking for a top-notch memory card.
3. Transcend CompactFlash 133x
The Transcend CompactFlash 133X is ideal for entry-level DSLR photographers on a tight budget. The memory card offers up to 32GB of storage, 50 MB/s read speeds, and 20MB/s write speeds while maintaining a low price tag.
It’s much less expensive than comparable memory cards from established industry leaders like SanDisk or Lexar, making it great if you want to spend your photography budget wisely.
This CF card is made with quality components that are durable enough for everyday use in demanding environments such as extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions.
Its okay transfer rates help ensure quick response times so you can capture important moments without delay or disruption to your workflow during shooting sessions.
Additionally, the Transcend CompactFlash 133x has been tested for compatibility with a wide range of digital devices, such as cameras and camcorders, to guarantee reliability when changing or upgrading equipment.
Overall, the Transcend CompactFlash 133x memory card delivers reliable performance at an affordable price that won’t break the bank. With its superior build quality combined with fast data transfer rates, it gives users peace of mind knowing their files will be safe even in challenging situations while they focus on capturing stunning images and videos.
Whether you’re a budget-minded professional or an amateur enthusiast, the Transcend CompactFlash 133x memory card is an excellent choice for your photography needs.
4. Cloudisk CF Budget Memory Card
Introducing the Cloudisk CF memory card, the perfect affordable solution for photographers on a budget. With up to 32GB of storage space and compatibility with entry-level digital cameras and HD videos, this is truly an ideal choice when saving money is a priority.
The Cloudisk CF boasts 5-year warranty coverage, making it an even better value — peace of mind that your data is secure.
This product will provide you with year after year of worry-free use, so you can rest assured that your photos and memories are safe. It also offers convenience by being small enough to fit into most camera bags or pockets easily.
Plus, transfer speeds are decent, meaning less time waiting for your images and videos to appear on the screen.
For those who want quality at a fraction of the price point, this Cloudisk CF Memory Card should be on their list.
In addition to its unbeatable affordability, having such a lengthy warranty means any potential problems or malfunctions can quickly be taken care of, ensuring minimal disruption to whatever project happens just happened! Whether capturing travel moments from abroad or simply shooting beautiful scenes at home, this cost-effective technology ensures maximum enjoyment without stretching the budget.
5. Sony TOUGH CFexpress Type A
The Sony TOUGH CFexpress Type A Memory Card is the perfect addition to your digital camera — engineered for enhanced performance and durability.
With write speeds up to 700MB/s and reading rates as fast as 800MB/s, you can rest assured that every bit of data from your photos or videos will be recorded quickly and accurately.
This memory card also offers superior protection for peace of mind- it boasts an IPX7 water ingress protection rating and an IP5X dust ingress protection rating (IP57), so you don’t have to worry about any damages affecting its quality.
It even has a redesigned heat sink that maximizes heat dissipation while recording, ensuring you won’t suffer any interruptions no matter how long you’re shooting, even 4K/120p content.
The best part? The Sony TOUGH CFexpress Type A Memory Card is compatible with several brands, such as Sony a7S III, Sony A1 cameras, and more. This allows compatibility across multiple devices without switching cards constantly, all while maintaining top-notch performance levels each time.
If you’re looking for a reliable CFexpress Type A memory card specifically designed for digital cameras, the Sony TOUGH CFexpress Type A Memory Card is the best choice.
With its top-tier performance, durable construction, and compatibility with multiple devices, you’ll never have to worry about missing out on memorable moments.
6. Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Gold Series
The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Gold Series is a top-of-the-line storage solution that offers lightning-fast read and writes speeds. With a sustained read speed of up to 900MB/s, this device can easily capture large files.
It also provides an unprecedented sustained write speed of up to 800MB/s, allowing you to edit photos or videos without waiting for your data to be written onto the card. This ensures smooth, high-speed capturing for 8K and 4k 120FPS video and high-quality images.
Built for durability, the Lexar Professional has temperature resistance and shockproof construction, so it can handle any environment, whether you are filming in extreme temperatures or shooting on location outdoors.
Its unique design ensures that no matter what film or shooting situation you encounter, the Lexar will keep your footage safe from harm’s way while providing multiple layers of protection against bumps, drops, and other damage sources like water immersion or dust accumulation thanks to its patented technology built into each device.
In short, if you’re looking for a reliable storage solution capable of handling both fast files reads/writes and rough environments, consider checking out the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Gold series. With its fast speed and durable design, you can capture your next project without worrying about data loss or other potential problems.
Plus, with its temperature resistance and shockproof construction, you won’t have to worry about environmental damage. This makes the Lexar Professional a must-have for professional filmmakers and photographers alike who need top-of-the-line storage solutions at an affordable price.
7. SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Type B
The SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Type B is the perfect solution for photographers and videographers who want superior performance when capturing 4K and 8K video.
Compatible with the Nikon Z7, Nikon D850, and Panasonic S1R, as well as other popular cameras like Canon EOS 1D X Mark III and Fujifilm GFX 50S, this card offers faster transfer speeds up to 1700MB/s compared to traditional CompactFlash cards.
With up to 512GB capacity, you can store hundreds of high-quality images or hours of footage in one card — enough space for an entire day’s shooting.
This next-generation memory card features maximum reliability thanks to its robust, shock-proof, and temperature-resistant construction. It must also write protection with an integrated Error Correcting Code (ECC) technology that reduces data corruption during recording, so your files stay safe even if you experience unexpected power interruptions.
Plus, it comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty from SanDisk which includes complimentary 24/7 technical support should you ever need assistance.
8. Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B
The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B is an ideal choice for those needing reliable, high-speed storage capabilities.
With up to 512GB of capacity, this memory card offers ample space to store your essential files and documents on the go.
It is capable of data transfer speeds that reach up to 1750MB/s read and 1000MB/s write, allowing quick loading times for all your digital content. This USB-C-based card helps deliver higher performance for extended 4K video recording and raw file support for fast action shots and time-lapse videos so that you get professional results every time.
Furthermore, its thorough error correction ensures a secure connection even when dealing with demanding workflow settings. The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B also offers backward compatibility to give photographers resilience across various devices.
Last but not least, it also comes equipped with downloadable Image Rescue 6 software just in case any of your images become deleted or corrupted due to unforeseen events like power surges or other reasons outside your control — making sure that valuable work never goes missing.
9. ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B
Introducing the ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B, a powerful, reliable storage solution for all your digital needs.
It offers up to 2TB of capacity and a breakneck transfer speed with write speeds of up to 1,500 MB/s and read speeds of up to 1,700 MB/s.
With performance like this, you can quickly store and access larger files without worrying about lags or slowdowns that can interrupt your workflow. This card is ideal for professional photographers who rely on quick transfers to meet their deadlines.
The ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B also delivers advanced data protection through built-in ECC error correction code technology, which ensures accuracy while transferring stored data more securely over longer distances and faster timescales than ever before.
The durable build also helps protect your valuable data from heat damage or physical shocks such as drops or bumps during transportation thanks to its shockproof exterior design and stable temperature range environment.
Finally, it features plug-and-play compatibility so that you don’t have to worry about the time spent trying to configure different setups or downloading additional programs for use; connect your device via USB 3.2 Gen2x2 interface cable (not included) immediately after opening the box, and you’re ready to go.
The ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B is an excellent choice for anyone who needs reliable, high-performance storage that can handle large file sizes with speed and accuracy.
With its superior speeds, data protection capabilities, and sleek design, this card will be a must-have addition to your digital toolkit. Get it today and start maximizing your workflow and productivity.
10. INDMEM CFexpress Type B
The INDMEM CFexpress Type B Memory Card is an incredible tool for photographers and filmmakers. It’s compatible with various popular cameras, including the Nikon Z6, Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, and many others.
This card provides increased data storage capacity so you can have more room to focus on your creative projects without worrying about running out of space halfway through a shoot.
It also reduces the buffering time between shots, allowing you to capture images faster and move quickly to the next subject or action shot without delay.
One of the most impressive features of this card is its ability to transfer data at high speeds (1700MB/s read and 1600MB/s write), which makes it ideal for transferring large image files and video clips from one device to another quickly and reliably.
Additionally, it offers enhanced protection against power surges via built-in safeguards that protect your stored content in case of any sudden voltage changes or fluctuations in current flow during transfers.
This memory card has been designed with durability in mind; its robust construction means that even if dropped accidentally while working on location, there will be a minimum risk of damage or loss of data inside the card itself — making it incredibly reliable when capturing actual footage under pressure.
Overall, the INDMEM CFexpress Type B Memory Card is an incredible tool for photographers and filmmakers; its high-speed data transfer capabilities and increased storage capacity make it perfect for any on-the-go creative project.
Additionally, it offers enhanced protection against power surges and a robust construction that ensures minimal risk of damage or data loss even in the most challenging environmental conditions – making this card a must-have for anyone serious about capturing quality content.
As you can see, when it comes to photography and videography projects, having the best quality CF cards on hand is essential.
When choosing a card, consider the camera’s capabilities and your budget and needs. In the long run, a premium CF card will save you time and hassle over a budget CF memory card.
With this in mind, you’ll be able to get the kind of card that will give you superior performance for any upcoming project, whether photos or videos.
Remember these factors the next time you need a CF card and make an optimal choice for your photography or videography career. Investing in a quality CF card is an investment in your success.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do people still use CF cards?
In the days before cloud storage, Compact Flash (CF) cards were a handy way to store digital photos and videos. But are they still relevant in today’s world full of digital convenience?
Despite their age, CF cards are still widely used by photographers and videographers as reliable and durable forms of data storage.
In addition to being fast and still relatively affordable, many cameras also support several capacities when it comes to CF cards, even though they tend to be larger than other memory card types.
However, with the advances in cloud-based technology and smaller chips that are capable of storing large amounts of data, it might not be long before CF cards become obsolete.
Are CF cards faster than SD cards?
Comparing speeds between CF and SD cards can be difficult, as there are many different class ratings for both.
Generally speaking, however, CF cards tend to have faster read and write speeds than SD cards.
This means they are ideal for tasks requiring quick data transfer, such as transferring large files or recording 8K video.
Additionally, all CF cards can use the UDMA protocol together with the correct reader equipment; this makes them especially well-suited to tasks like quickly capturing still images or engaging in burst photo shoots. All in all, it’s easy to see why CF cards are the go-to choice when users need extra speed.
Why are CompactFlash cards so expensive?
CompactFlash cards remain among the most popular storage solutions for digital cameras, PCs, and other digital media devices. Unfortunately, these solutions often come with a hefty price tag, raising the question of why they are so expensive.
The answer lies in the materials and labor used to produce them; high-quality components must be used to meet demanding standards of performance and reliability while skilled engineers assemble every card by hand, resulting in a final product that can cost up to three times more than an equivalent-sized microSD card.
But with their durability and reliability, CompactFlash cards remain one of the most dependable data storage methods today — worth every penny spent, given the peace of mind they provide.
What’s the best CF card for Canon 5d Mark IV?
Canon 5D Mark IV photographers know that the right memory card is essential when it comes to capturing the professional quality images they desire. The SanDisk Extreme PRO is the best CF memory card that provides them with the necessary reliability and power. It offers a fast write speed of up to 160MB/s and a read speed of up to 150MB/s so that users can transfer their photos quickly, even in large file sizes.
Furthermore, the SanDisk Extreme line has passed rigorous stress tests conducted in-house and is certified as weather-proof, shock-proof, temperature-resistant, and x-ray-proof – perfect for keen photographers who want to capture a moment without worrying about failure from their hardware.
With an extensive range of storage options from 16GB to 256GB, you’ll find exactly what you need for your pictures or videos; be it in sports photography or studio-grade shots. So for those looking for a dependable CF card for their Canon 5D Mark IV camera, there is no better choice than the SanDisk Extreme PRO CF Memory Card.