Sony has announced what it is describing as the world’s fastest SD memory cards with the launch of the new SF-G series. The three cards under the new label are capable of reading out at a rate of 300MB/s, but more significantly for camera performance they can accept data at a write speed of up to 299MB/s. Such speeds equip them to receive high resolution video as well as to cope with the new wave of extreme frame rates in DSLR and mirrorless cameras – such as that produced by the Olympus OM-D E-M1 ll.
Sony says that it isn’t just the physical properties of the cards that assist getting long bursts of high resolution images recorded, as the company has also developed a new algorithm that it says ‘prevents loss of speed in data writing even after repeating burst shooting, and contributes to the camera’s speed of burst shooting’.
Sony will launch three different capacities in the SF-G range; 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, and says the very high read rates possible will reduce the time it takes users to copy large amounts of data from the cards - so long as a suitable card reader is used. Conveniently then, Sony has also announced a new card reader that uses USB 3.1. The MRW-S1 is claimed to be the fastest card reader in the world too, due to its adoption of SuperSpeed USB and a direct, cable-free connection between the reader and the PC’s USB port.
No pricing has been released with the news, but the SF-G cards are due to go on sale in March while the card reader is expected for April.
It's interesting to note, however, that the card is still rated as U3 speed class, meaning that it's only guaranteed to be able to sustain a writing speed of 30MB/s, which is significant if you're attempting to shoot video (30MB/s is 240 Mbps). It's unclear whether this is because the card can't dependably write fast enough to earn a V60 rating or if Sony simply hasn't fully adopted the SD 5.0 standard yet.