Ever since the new XAVC-S code was made widely available across the Sony Alpha range, we’ve had a spike in personal messages from users reporting SD cards that no longer work with their camera (when using the XAVC-S codec to record video).
Most of these reports came from shooters using SDHC cards, and they were wondering if they just needed to get faster SDHC cards. Turns out, the speed of their 16/32/64 GB card was not the problem.
The XAVC-S file format just doesn’t work with the FAT32 disk format used in SDHC cards.
Codecs such as AVCHD split large recordings into smaller chunks so that each file stays within the 4Gb limit imposed by FAT32. XAVC-S does not do this, resulting in large files that can grow to be much bigger than 4Gb. These larger files call for a different storage format, called exFAT.
Simply formatting a SDHC card to exFAT will not work either, as the XAVC-S codec only works with SDXC cards.
Now, the smallest SDXC cards available are 64Gb and have been very expensive. Larger cards are around, but they’re even dearer.
This has flustered wallet conscious shooters as adopting the new codec has meant ditching their existing SD cards and switching to much more expensive media.
The cost of SDXC cards has been even more of an issue in Australia, where we’ve seen prices for 64Gb SDXC cards up near the AUD$200 mark with some retailers.
It comes as welcome respite to early adopters that Sony has come to the party with a range of Class-10 (i.e. high speed) SDXC cards that will not break the bank.
The range includes a 128Gb SDXC card for under USD$59 (approx AUD$82).
Check out this range of SDXC cards at B&H Photo Video:
– 128GB High Speed UHS-I SDXC U3 Memory Card (Class 10)
– 64GB High Speed UHS-I SDXC U3 Memory Card (Class 10)