Never heard of XQD cards? You're not alone. All that is set to change, as the format looks like it's well and truly here to stay.
(Credit: CompactFlash Association)
XQD was designed to be the successor to Compact Flash, which is a format primarily used in high-end digital SLRs. It allows for much faster data transfer speeds, but at the moment, only one camera on the market supports the new format — the Nikon D4.
Sony was previously the only company making XQD cards, which gave high-end photographers very little choice. Lexar has now announced that it will start manufacturing the cards, available from the third quarter of 2012. No official pricing, capacities or speeds have been quoted yet.
Other memory card manufacturers, such as SanDisk, have been coy on whether or not they will jump on the XQD format train, but no doubt we'll hear a similar announcement from the company soon.