Memory cards have various speed classes and specifications. With SD card specs, for example, we’ve got things like V30 to guarantee 30MB/sec sustained write speeds. For UHS-II SD, that goes up to V60 and V90, denoting 60MB/sec and 90MB/sec, respectively.
With CFexpress, “V” has become “VPG”, the Video Performance Guarantee. But we’ve only got the manufacturer’s word for it that these cards meet these specifications. The CompactFlash Association has now published a list of the ones they’ve tested and approved.
What is Video Performance Guarantee (VPG)?
Much like the V30, V60 and V90 specifications for SD cards, CFexpress has a similar annotation for minimum guaranteed right speeds. It’s called the Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) and current specifications exist for VPG200 and VPG400. These specifications offer 200MB/sec and 400Mb/sec minimum guaranteed write speeds, respectively.
The Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) is a standard established by the CompactFlash Association to ensure that memory cards can handle the high data rates required for video recording.
The VPG classes marked by the logos on the card (e.g., VPG200, VPG400) indicate the minimum number of megabytes per second (MB/s) that the card can write continuously. Higher VPG ratings are indicative of better performance enabling more demanding video formats like 4K as well as allowing high-frame-rate recordings to be captured reliably.
Until now, we’ve only had the manufacturer’s personal guarantee that their cards meet the required specifications. Now, The CompactFlash Association has put some cards through their own tests to ensure they do indeed meet with their approval.
Why is it important?
VPG specifications are required to ensure that a camera is able to save data at the speed your camera requires. If you use a card that’s too slow, your footage may appear garbled and choppy, your camera might randomly stop recording, or it may not start recording at all.
So, making sure that cards meet the required specifications, earning them the right to display various logos, is important.
The list contains many names you’ll be familiar with. Delkin, Exascend, Lexar, Nextorage, ProGrade, SanDisk, and Sony are all there, along with lesser-known Phison. Surprisingly, however, SanDisk only has a single card in the list.
Just because a manufacturer or specific card does not appear on the list, however, does not necessarily mean that it does not meet the specification requirements. It may simply mean that the card hasn’t been tested yet. The ones that are on the list, however, have been confirmed by the CFA, making for a very attractive selling point.
A Sony-heavy list
Out of the 48 cards currently on the list, only 8 of them were manufactured by Sony. However, 34 cards are CFexpress Type A – a card type that is exclusively used by Sony cameras. The remaining 14 cards are CFexpress Type B, with two of them being made by Sony.
Amongst the manufacturers, Delkin (buy here) & ProGrade’s CFexpress Type A cards (buy here) are on the list, as well as both Type A and Type B cards from Exascend (buy here), Lexar (buy here) and Nextorage (buy here). SanDisk’s only entry into the list is the 256GB Pro-Cinema CFexpress Type B (buy here).
There are some noticeable omissions from this list. OWC and AngelBird are two that immediately spring to mind. And while SanDisk is having its issues at the moment, I can’t believe that only one of their cards meets the specifications.
So, I expect we’ll start to see this list growing quite rapidly over the coming months as the backlog gets cleared through. The CompactFlash Association says that the list is being updated in realtime as soon as new products are introduced.
You can view the complete list of tested cards on the CompactFlash Association Wesbite.