Lexar Media today has announced they've begun to ship their Pro Series 4GB 40X card. If digital nirvana means never having to change cards, this high-capacity card may be for you.
The Pro Series 4GB 40X is one of only a small number of CompactFlash cards to skip past the 2GB limit imposed by the FAT16 file system capabilities of many digital cameras. That's because media with a capacity greater than 2GB must be formatted FAT32, a variant of the FAT file system which only fairly recent digital SLR and compact cameras support.
A 4GB 40X info page on Lexar's web site includes a list of FAT32-compatible cameras, ones that are also capable of accepting a CompactFlash card that is Type II in thickness. Missing from the list is Nikon's D100; though this camera doesn't officially support FAT32, it is in fact capable of writing to, reading from and FAT32-formatting the Pro Series 4GB 40X without incident in our testing.
There are a couple of D100/FAT32 quirks worth noting however: FAT32-formatted cards can take considerably longer to be recognized by this camera when first inserted, while the D100's in-camera format function slows to a snail's pace (though it will apply a FAT32 format successfully).
For more information on the Lexar Media Pro Series 4GB 40X CompactFlash card, including important formatting and usage tips, download a 4GB White Paper from Lexar's site. The author of the white paper will be familiar to regular readers of this site.
The highest-capacity CompactFlash card currently available is expected to sell for about US$1499 in the US, says a Lexar press release. A quick survey of two US dealers and a web search this morning reveals a US street price closer to US$1230-US$1390.
The CompactFlash Performance Database on this site was recently updated to include performance data for the 4GB 40X card.