Sony CFexpress Type B TOUGH 240 GB and 480 GB memory cards announced – CineD

Sony CFexpress Type B TOUGH 240 GB and 480 GB memory cards announced – CineD

Sony announces two new CFexpress type B TOUGH memory cards. The new duo offers slightly faster maximum write speeds compared to Sony’s previous offerings. The 250 GB card will reach 1600 MB/s and the 480 GB card will increase this speed to 1750 GB MB/s. Both cards offer a read speed of 1850 MB/s to offload your data quickly and are robust to resist the elements and daily abrasion.

As better codecs and formats trickle down to various mirrorless and cinema cameras, better, faster, and more spacious memory cards are needed. While most low- and mid-range cameras can work with UHS-II SD cards, high-end mirrorless cameras often require faster cards. Type B CFexpress cards are probably the most common in the premium segment.

Ironically, it is mainly non-Sony who will benefit from the new 240 GB and 480 GB TOUGH cards. Type B is absent from most of the Sony range, which has opted for the more compact CFexpress type A for the range Alpha hybrid. But if you own a Canon R5, R5C, or R3, a FUJIFILM X-H2 or X-H2s, a Nikon Z 8 or Z 9, or a Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K, these cards deserve your attention.

The BURANO is a Sony camera that uses CFexpress type B cards. Credit: CinéD

HARD construction

As with all of Sony’s TOUGH series, these cards are built to the highest physical standards. Resistant to bends, drops, X-rays, UV exposure and temperature extremes, the TOUGH duo’s operating range extends from -13 to 158°F / -25 to 70°C and Storage ranges up to -40 to 185°F / -40 to 85°C. Sony makes many claims about the rigidity of the cards, but I haven’t found any verified information on weather resistance. Although most cards are quite sturdy and generally won’t come out in harsh conditions, keep that in mind.

Great speed

The new CFexpress Type B TOUGH duo offers incredibly high read/write speeds. This is the case with most CFexpress cards, but these two are fast even compared to this segment. The PCIe 3.0 x2 bus increases the maximum write speed of the 240 GB and 480 GB to 1,600 MB/s and 1,750 MB/s respectively. Although no minimum write speed is specified, it appears that these cards will meet rather extreme requirements. Read speed is also high at 1,850MB/s for the fastest data offloads. While more relevant to high-end video, these specs will also help photographers, especially with the recent crop of high-resolution/high-speed flagships like the Sony a1, Leica SL3, etc.

Not a CFexpress Type B camera, the a1 demonstrates the importance of fast cards for photography


Alternatives to memory cards are naturally numerous, and CFexpress Type B has been a standard for high-end memory cards for some time, which is why many of them are readily available. These two new cards face some pretty tough competition from Sandisk and Pro Grade, both of which offer competitive pricing and specs. The ProGrade 512 GB CFexpress 4.0 Type B Gold offers faster speeds with a maximum write speed of 3,000 MB/s and a minimum write speed of 2,400 MB/s. It’s also much more affordable at 179 $. Sandisk also offers its 512 Extreme PRO CFexpress option for $139, but this is a slightly slower card than Sony’s current TOUGH duo with a maximum write speed of 1,400 MB/s. The Sandisk card is also on sale at the time of publishing this article, so the price may vary depending on when you read it. Pro Grade and Sandisk cards are not tested in the same extreme conditions as the TOUGH series. Although memory cards are relatively durable compared to other filming equipment, Sony has gone the extra mile with the TOUGH series.

Pricing and availability

Both cards are available for pre-order and will ship on May 9 and 10. The 240GB version will cost $200, while the larger 480GB version will set you back $320, a better value.

Will you choose such fast cards for your next video production? Are such speeds excessive or do you prefer to use the most efficient external recording options? Let us know in the comments.


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