We have not yet tested a CFexpress Type B card that is unable to keep up with the Canon R5’s 8K RAW recording requirements. In all cases, the R5 overheated before a memory card failed.
Burst Photo Test
In this test, higher is better. ProGrade Digital Cobalt, Angelbird AV PRO, and Delkin Black were all within a margin of error, though Delkin eeked out the overall win with an average of 19.43 seconds of continuous shooting before we filled the buffer. ProGrade was hot on its heels with 19.4 seconds.
Insights, Takeaways, and Recommendations
This might be a good time to mention why the speeds we saw in testing are nowhere near the speeds any of the companies put on the packaging. Just about every CFexpress card promises read speeds at or above 1,700 MB/s, but the best we saw didn’t even get to 900 MB/s peak speeds or go beyond 400 MB/s of sustained speed.
This is because those peak speeds were most likely obtained in laboratory environments with the SSD bus plugged directly into a host PC. While this will give the absolute maximum performance the silicon is able to produce, it’s also not anything close to a real-world situation. Our tests aim to give you a better idea of what to actually expect.
Let’s get to the good news: every card we tested worked to our satisfaction when it comes to recording high-resolution video data. Every card, regardless of the speeds promised, was able to ingest 8K RAW video footage until the camera overheated, which means it’s highly unlikely that anyone would run into any issues with the cards when shooting in the field — the camera will fail before the card does.
Even if a card doesn’t even come close to the promised peak read or write speeds seen on the side of the box (which none of them did, by the way), it doesn’t matter. For video, Acer, which promised the least when it comes to read and write speeds, performed identically to Angelbird which promised the most.
Of note, some of these brands promise high sustained write speeds, but none of them seem to qualify for the Compact Flash Association’s VPG400 certification which requires 400 MB/s sustained speeds — which is probably why none of them have that certification unlike the latest card from Exascend or Lexar, neither of which we have tested as they are not yet available. So while AngelBird promises some seriously high sustained speeds on its website and in marketing materials, we weren’t able to replicate them using industry-standard software.
That said, there may be a reason for that. Angelbird is extremely nitpicky about which cards are designed for which cameras which could mean that it does have some kind of special tuning to work with cameras better than with computer software. This seems like a stretch, but we have no way to tell.
For the most part, these cards were all pretty consistent in their performance during our benchmarking with the exception of Acer, which was a lot more frenetic in how much it jumped from high speeds to low speeds and gives us pause recommending it for video workflows.
Some brands separated themselves from the pack in the photography section, however, and there are clear winners and losers when it comes to long periods of burst photo performance.
Almost every card we tested would be able to handle what we consider “normal” burst photo shooting. It is very rare for a photographer to need to fire continuously for 20 seconds and more likely to fire in bursts of five to seven seconds with a few seconds of inactivity in between. As such, the only card we would recommend buyers shy away from is ProGrade’s Gold series, which won’t be able to hold up to what we consider realistic burst photo requirements.
The Best Options
All this means that of the cards we tested, we recommend going with SanDisk’s Extreme Pro, Angelbird’s AV PRO, ProGrade Digital’s Cobalt series, or Delkin’s Black Series. These cards posted excellent performance in both video and photo testing as well as our computer-based benchmarking. You will be safe to pick up any of these, so shop for what is on sale.
Of these, if capacity is your biggest concern, Angelbird is probably the best bet since it currently is the only brand to offer a whopping 4TB in a single card. But if you force our hand and make us declare one overall winner…
The Best CFexpress Type B Card in 2022
If you are looking to buy the best card with the most reliable performance, then we recommend the Delkin Devices Black Series. Across testing, Delkin took the most wins when it comes to performance in our computer benchmarks as well as real-world use cases.
It’s also the most recent CFexpress card to be announced, which has us hopeful that coming cards from competitors will continue to raise the bar on performance. Its only downside is capacity where Delkin offers a maximum of 650GB.
PetaPixel’s Choice: Delkin Devices Black Series CFexpress Type B memory card