At Photokina next week, Lexar Media will unveil their fastest CompactFlash cards to date, with sustained write speeds in the lab of about 1800K/second.
The cards, which will carry Lexar's 12x designation, will ship in two capacities: 256MB and 320MB. Both will be Type I CompactFlash cards, which is good news for photographers such as myself that shoot with both a pro digital SLR and the Coolpix 990. That's because the Coolpix camera does not accept the larger Type II CompactFlash format.
Actual write speed in the Nikon D1 and Kodak/Canon pro cameras is almost always less than the write speed obtained on the manufacturer's test bench, and the 12x cards from Lexar are not likely to be different. But they should show an appreciable speed gain over the fastest currently-shipping Lexar card, the 160MB 10x. Lexar's 12x CompactFlash cards are to be released in the 4th quarter; in advance of that, the company will begin shipping a 256MB 10x CompactFlash Type I card before the end of the month.
Hitachi, which supplies CompactFlash card components to Delkin Devices, Simple Technology and others, has previously announced faster write speeds in cards that should start to come available in the 4th quarter. For D1 users especially, the card performance gains just on the horizon are something to get excited about.