Determining useful life of a Sony XQD memory card (64 GB)?

If you would like to post, you'll need to register. Note that if you have a BCG store account, you'll need a new, separate account here (we keep the two sites separate for security purposes).

AtTheLake

New member
Number of photos taken? Or number of years in service? In this case Nikon D500 with 33,000 photos taken over 3 years.
 

tclune

Member
Memory devices are more likely to fail at the beginning of their life (due to manufacturing problems) than any other time. So, to my mind, there is no point in replacing them until they actually fail in use. If you're taking photos that you really need to keep safe, you might consider setting up your second card for duplicate images. Just my $0.02.
 

BillW

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I’m not an engineer or other expert. I asked this question of Thom Hogan a while back about my Lexar and Sony XQD cards that I bought to go with my D500 and D850. I had a dozen of them (one failed in camera) and estimated that I had shot at least 10,000 frames on each card, maybe more. They were at that time maybe 3-4 years old. Thom noted that the types of solid state circuitry used in cards has a limit to how many read-write cycles it will do in general. He did not say what that was, but said he would view my cards as “middle aged” and recommended that I watch for any issues with them and replace them if I saw a bad frame or the like. I have generally decided to get a new set of memory cards (now CFe cards) for each new camera, even if I keep older cards for backups or for storing camera settings.
 

RichF

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Let’s say a card can hold 2,000 images. That is 15-20 writes to the card (assuming usage across the card is random). The card is a spring chicken
 
Last edited:

Charles Loy

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have a 64gig Sony XQD that had a piece of plastic break away. It was at the camera business end, but I noticed it when I removed the card and simply turned the camera to have the piece fall out. I still use that card. Had no other concerns.
 

John Navitsky

Well-known member
nonvolatile memory is typically rated in terms of numbers of writes. in real world terms it tends to be longer than the useful life of the product. for example i got rid of my first ssd (128gb!) because it was no longer useful (too small) rather than any other reason. this trend continues with me aging ssd drives out of my system to replace them with larger ssds
 

Hut2

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have a 64gig Sony XQD that had a piece of plastic break away. It was at the camera business end, but I noticed it when I removed the card and simply turned the camera to have the piece fall out. I still use that card. Had no other concerns.
All 3 of my Sony XQD cards have broken plastic on the dumb end, still work good tho.
 

Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
I'm no expert but wouldn't it come down to how the card is used, for example if some one was to clean / delete all photos after ever shoot I am guessing the card will not last as long as one that never gets deleted until the whole card is full first.
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have two 120gb Sony XQD cards that I use in my D850s. I've probably shot over 30,000 frames over the past two years, and have never had a single problem - they're still going strong, and I have no concerns about them. I routinely reformat each card after a shoot, and after downloading the images to my computer. When and if they do fail, I probably would replace them with CFE type B cards since this technology is the future but, for the time being, I'll just keep using the XQDs. I also keep standard SD cards in each camera for "overflow" but have never had occasion to use them because of the high capacity of the XQD cards.
 
Last edited:

MartyD

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I don't know the specifics for the Sony XQD cards in terms or rated read/write cycles but I do believe that most cards have circuitry that balances the read/write cycles across the entire card to reduce wear. If you have 30,000 images of about 45MB written to the card you about 1.35TB total read/write from the card. If that is distributed fairly evenly across a 64GB card you have performed less than 25 read/write cycles to the card. I have read that some cards are rated at 100,000 read/write cycles so your cards are barely used. Another way to look at it, the card should hold about 1500 14bit RAW images, you shot 30,000 images, so you have filled the card completely about 20 times.

That being said the card could fail tomorrow, but it probably isn't because the card was worn out. It is also possible that a card you purchase today could fail tomorrow as well.
 

dabhand16

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I'm no expert but wouldn't it come down to how the card is used, for example if some one was to clean / delete all photos after ever shoot I am guessing the card will not last as long as one that never gets deleted until the whole card is full first.
I think it is good practice not to fill any storage device right up from HDDs to memory cards. Fixation - a UK authorised repairer for Nikon and Canon and maybe others - as well as being camera dealers published this article on caring for memory cards:


The part dealing with capacity reads:

Keep space on the card
The golden rule for computer hard drives is to always leave around 30% of the space free, and exactly the same principle applies to memory cards. The performance of the read/write speed will start to suffer as the card becomes full and you run the risk of data corruption as the remaining space becomes fragmented.
 

AtTheLake

New member
Thread starter
I want to thank everyone for their insight. I especially like the Tips & Tricks Memory Card Maintenace. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
 

MorganP

Well-known member
I'm not sure who is giving you information but it sounds like someone is trying to sell you a load of.... There are no mechanical parts to break. Think about the memory in your computer it cycles thru millions and millions of reading and writing cycles every time you turn on your computer. As far as not filling your card to the top it make no different if you fill it to the top the camera is smart enough to deal with it. The memory setup in your computer is a little different setup then the card but is the same principal.

What is boils down to is follow the manufacturers information for card care. When not in use store it in the case it came in or some other container, not metal.
ESD Eletro static discharge, Don't touch the card contacts unless you are grounded.

If your cards are still failing it maybe time to buy a better card.
 
Top