The Need to Look Ahead

One of the major considerations for me to either moving camera brands or even upgrading to the Canon R series concerns my current lens collection. True you can pretty much adapt any lens to any camera system though how well that works will vary however, that said apparently the Canon EF lenses work very well on the R series bodies.

The above is very obvious but the other costs to many other components concerned with ‘upgrades’ can be quite expensive too and these are often overlooked in the excitement of getting a ‘new toy’ to play with. On my Canon 1DX MkII this only concerned memory cards.

The Slots

The 1DX has dual card slots, the first a CF card of which I have quite a number and a CFast 2 card of which I had none because I have never previously owned a camera that used them so, something else to buy…

However there is a reason for these different kinds of card which is mainly to do with how fast a particular card can ‘write’ the images which in still photography equates with how many frames per second your camera can take pictures in a burst. With video it can mean what frame rate in 4k you can use for taking video or, what high speed frame rate in HD you can shoot slow motion in.

Obviously any card type is designed to optimise the performance of the camera body you are using which is the main factor in terms of performance but I have always believed in buying the fastest cards I could anyway to help things along.


My existing SDXC II cards and CF cards run at about 150/160 mbs ( megabits per second ),which is fast enough for 4k video on both my Canon M6 MkII and my Lumix G90. However and because of the way the 1 DX MkII shoots 4k video, it really needs the Cfast 2 cards which run at 540mbs, quite a lot faster.

Bearing in mind that the 1 DX is a six year old design, progress doesn’t stop and things have moved on with cameras being able to do 8k video and far higher frame rates. As a consequence memory cards have been considerably upgraded too with CF Express cards replacing the CFast 2 cards, CF Express cards are now typically writing in the 1,000 to 1,700 mbs and have a different form factor to Cfast 2. A final comment would concern the price which has risen along with the improvements in memory card technology.

Where This Matters

Although I have no intention of trading my 1 DX MkII anytime soon and nor did I imagine using the 1 DX for video, experience can change things. Not the trade in, I still no intention in that direction but I might experiment with using the camera for video. The reason for this is that rather by accident I discovered that this quite heavy camera body is actually rather a steady platform hand held where video is very possible so I needed to get a Cfast 2 card.

However because the format is restricted to a handful of cameras and no further models going forward will use it opting instead for the faster CF Express format, I needed to buy sufficient Cfast 2 cards but not too many.

The first card I bought was a 64Gb Integral (brand) from Amazon for £50 but then I decided to get a couple more and got lucky on Ebay picking up another 64Gb and a 128Gb card for £30 each both were also Integral and work fine. I was pretty strict with myself and focused on this particular brand which I have bought in the past and still do use in SDXC form as memory cards, I am not a label queen !

Probably the two main brand labels in these type of memory cards are Lexar and Sandisk which normally charge a reasonably higher premium price new. The problem with people selling these brands of Cfast 2 cards on Ebay is that they are still mesmerised by the original price when sold new which is largely irrelevant. It seems silly to me wanting over £100 for a second hand Lexar 128Gb card when you can buy a brand new equivalent Integral card on Amazon for £90 without the risk of it being a dud.

O oops !

I had to add this footnote : Such is the way of bidding on things on Ebay, I had bid on another 128Gb card some days before and there were other people bidding at the time, so I just stopped expecting to be ‘out bid’… Not quite what happened it seems, I got a “You Have Won” notification which means “Pay Up” so for £40 I am the proud owner of another 128Gb memory card it appears, a bit of overkill in terms of storage but still, that’s the way it goes sometimes 🙂