Most cameras today use SD cards as their primary storage. However, on higher-end DSLR cameras, you can still see a couple of brands and camera models that use compact flash memory cards for storage.
The reason for this is that compact flash memory cards are a lot faster compared to ordinary SD cards. Not only that it is faster, compact flash cards are also more reliable and less susceptible to flash memory failures and data corruption.
Today, we are going to review some of the best performing compact flash card that are being sold currently on the market.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Top 5 Compact Flash Memory Cards
Here are our top picks when it comes to compact flash cards. We have selected these cards on the list based on their price, performance, and build quality.
#1: SanDisk Extreme PRO Compact Flash Memory
SanDisk has remained to be the top distributor of CF (compact flash) cards. One of their best models is the SanDisk Extreme Pro compact flash card. It is included in the UDMA 7 category. It is also capable of reaching up to 150 MB per second write speed for a smooth 4K video recording experience. When it comes to transferring files, you can rely on the SanDisk Extreme Pro’s 160 MB per second read speed which can speed up large file transfers. You can get the 128 GB variant of the SanDisk Extreme Pro CF memory on Amazon for $120.
#2: Lexar Professional 1066x Compact Flash Memory Card
Here’s another compact flash memory that is reliable and can deliver fast performance. The Lexar Professional 1066X CF card has a VPG-65 rating which gives a guarantee that it will perform well on video recording. In terms of transfer speed, this compact flash card can reach up to 160 MB per second read speed. This is great for transferring 4K videos from your memory card to other storage devices. The Lexar Professional 1066X is ideal for capturing videos with a max resolution of 4K and continues RAW captures. The 128 GB storage model of this card is available on Amazon for $115.
#3: SanDisk Extreme UDMA 7 CF Memory Card
If you want a budget-friendly compact flash memory card, the SanDisk Extreme memory card is the one for you. For $65 you get a large 128 GB storage capacity which is half the price of the SanDisk Extreme PRO model. It features a 120 MB per second data transfer speed to ensure that large file transfers would not take forever to complete. In terms of write speed, the Extreme compact flash card is capable of sustained 20 MB per second encoding speed and a maximum write speed of 85 MB per second. The SanDisk Extreme CF card is available on Amazon for $65 on the 128 GB variant.
#4: Delkin Devices Prime Compact Flash Card
The Delkin Devices Prime memory card is another good option if you want a compact flash memory card that is all about performance. It packs a 160 MB per second read speed which comes handy when you are transferring large video files and photos from your card to your computer. In terms of video recording performance, the CF card can handle 4K videos and high-framerate videos at a speed of 120 MB per second. You can get the Delkin Devices 128 GB CF card on Amazon for $95 and comes with a VPG-65 rating.
#5: Kingston CF Canvas Focus Compact Flash Memory Card
Made specifically for content creators, the Kingston Canvas Focus compact flash card features a VPG 65 rating which ensures you that the card will perform on any video recording settings. It has a 130 MB per second write speed that is ideal for recording 4K videos with high framerate and continuous RAW frame captures. When transferring large files, you can rely on the Kingston Canvas CF card to move files from its flash memory fast thanks to its 150 MB per second read speeds. You can get the Kingston CF Canvas Focus compact flash memory card on Amazon for $63.
What Should You Consider When Buying A Compact Flash Card?
If you want to look for other CF cards in the market, here are some tips that will help you evaluate what compact flash CF card you need for your device.
The most important thing to consider when buying a CF card for your camera is the speed. Now, there are two types of speed ratings for a compact flash memory card. The first one is write speed. Write speeds determine the ability of your card to accept data from your camera. To give you an idea, a mid-tier camera that records a 4k 30 frames per second video requires at least 18 MB per second data transfer speed from your card. Using slow memory cards for your camera causes file corruption and even memory card failures.
Now, the second speed rating that you should look for is the read speeds. This determines the capability of a memory card to transfer files from its flash memory to another storage device. It is important to have a card that has fast transfer speeds so that you won’t need to wait for long periods of time when transferring large 4k video files from your compact flash card.
If you want a compact flash card that performs great, then you should also expect that it will cost a few bucks. However, you should also consider whether the price you are getting for the card is reasonable for the performance it gives. When buying a CF card make sure to consider other budget-friendly compact flash cards and try to compare if the extra $10 or $20 dollars is worth it for the high-end cards.
The last thing that you should consider when buying a compact flash memory card is the storage capacity. Try to determine what are your needs and priorities. If you are going to shoot 4k videos often then it is practical to invest on large storage capacity flash cards. However, if you are just going to record a couple of videos on your camera and take a few shots then even a 64 GB compact flash memory card would be enough for your needs.