Hi guys Have always wondered, why the CF and SD card slots? Is this just a design over site, like "didn't allow room for a second CF card" Or, another reason? I would have thought either/or would have been the best option as I think both are as fast as each other now? ....Gary
I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed
I think Mick hit on the main reasons. Video likes SD cards because of capacity and durability when transferring clips to a computer. The cards get removed very frequently and I don't think CF cards and all their delicate pins are conducive to that.
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
Back when the D800 was rumored to have one CF and one SD, it was said to be a design limitation of space. There isn't enough room in these smaller bodies to put two CF card slots compared to Pro bodies. Now looking at the D800, I think it could have been done, but would have added 3-4mm of thickness to the body. May not have been a bad thing for those with bigger hands, but could have made it harder for people with smaller hands to hold.
I have heard good and bad about both card formats, but I feel it comes down to the user and how they treat their equipment. If you start to force a CF card in, you may bend a pin. On SD cards, the friction contacts may loosen up over time. But who knows if SD cards will take over in the future. I still think the XQD slot in the D4 is the better of the three. Smaller then CF but bigger the SD cards so it would make it easier to handle. They have fast speeds (Only getting started) and if Sandisk makes a Extreme Pro version, would be built well also, not saying the current ones on the market are not though.
CF sockets take up a lot of room inside the camera so with such a packed-full body the space savings was probably an additional consideration. I use both but prefer SD due to being able to carry more of them, they are cheaper, I can download cards to my laptop SD slot and if a pin gets bent, the CF socket is a major camera tear-down to replace. I have had to replace CF sockets before in other equipment myself but parts were easier to get than from Nikon. I would rather lose a card due to damage than a socket.I have had 2 SD cards and 2 CF cards fail. Considerint they I have used 10 times as many SDs, for me, the reliability of SD has been superior. Transcend replaced both CFs but it was a hassle and lost a a day's shooting both times. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Yea, I agree. Having the option to use one type or the other is not a bad thing.
And as a practical matter, the speed is more noticeable in reading the cards than writing them.
Face it, except for the junk ones, all cards are pretty reliable and fast, especially compared to what we had 5 or 6 years ago. It would be foolish to make a decision to buy or not buy a camera based on the memory card format. To me, card format is a trivial,non-issue.
XQD may be the wave of the future, but it isn't here yet.
CF cards are a little more durable by themselves as SD cards are quite thin. As Scott points out, there are things like video and WiFi where SD cards are preferred.
As commented by others, XQD is the next generation of CF card and it will deliver a lot more speed as it matures. The entry level XQD cards tested on the D4 delivered over 50% improvement in speed over the fastest CF card.