I'm just throwing a curve ball out there, and wondering if anyone can advise me which format to send to which card. I shoot raw and jpg and currently save raw to the xqd and jpg to the compact flash. My theory being that raw files are bigger and xqd is supposed to be the faster format. Is my reasoning flawed?
Paul, Your thinking is not flawed. The images captured are first written to the camera's buffer and then transferred from the buffer to the memory card. The D4's buffer holds 76 14-bit RAW images and the D4S' buffer has been increased to hold 104 RAW images. The camera's fps will slow as the buffer fills and the camera will eventually freeze if the buffer is filled. The faster the buffer can be cleared, the better. The XQD card is the faster of the two card formats so it should be used for the RAW files.
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You are correct that the XQD card has MUCH faster write speed than the Compact Flash card.
However, there are dinosaurs (like me) who have a workflow established when CF cards were Hot Stuff, and dinosaurs really did roam the earth. So I have all my setups write NEF images to my primary CF card, and Large JPEG backups to my backup XQD card.
With neither my D4 nor D4S, does this slow me down a whit. (And, BTW, my D4s doesn't mind writing to a MicroDrive either!)
Know what makes sense, and then do whatever works for you. Nikon will let you do that.
Not exactly a lab comparison, but I ran a three second raw image burst to XQD and then CF and compared time to save via the write light on the D4s yesterday. Which was about thirty three images. The XQD card was faster probably by a couple of seconds overall. Okay, not a massive amount and in the field of work that I do, not critical, but this was just out of curiosity mainly.