Wise’s New CFexpress Cards: Best in Class; Other Line Ain’t Bad Either

Oct 11, 2021 | Accessories, Canon, News, Nikon, Panasonic, Reviews

It was reported a three weeks ago that Wise launched three new CFexpress Type B cards in a new Pro line. Now we have some cards in hand, borrowed from the company in Taiwan, and can show some test results: they’re quite fast. Pricey, but fast. Wise also still offers its mid-range line, which we tested as well. It proved to be better than average in speed and much better than average on price.

Here is the breakdown comparison of the Wise 320 GB Pro card we tested versus all the similar cards available on the market. You’ll notice that it is faster than the others, but for the Lexar card we tested (which later failed, and in part due to sanctions placed on the company by the US government, we were unable to get it replaced. Until Lexar comes back into compliance and is able to offer normal service, we are leaving it out of our recommended rankings).

CFexpress card performance comparison speed

The 512 GB Wise card from their original line tested toward the middle of the pack, but the price is tied for second best cost per gigabyte, and only by a few cents at that. The cards shown in salmon are the ones added in the past week. This includes a larger size of the Delkin Power line, a 2TB card.

Memory chips capacities come in factors of two, which means that the 320 GB card is really a larger card that is “over-provisioned” to allow for more extreme wear. This is why our chart for “big cards” costs includes those above 300 GB. Cards of 256 GB and smaller tend to have cheaper components included – although this isn’t universal – and can be significantly slower than their larger cousins, as can be seen in the speed comparison below.

A Wise representative confirmed by email to Camnostic that the new 320 GB Pro card is built on a higher capacity drive with “customized firmware algorithms and sacrificing capacity to allow it to perform in line with native SLC NAND” as opposed to more typical TLC NAND. This means that it’s using software to make a triple-layer memory chip perform as reliably as a single-layer memory chip. The Pro line reaches speeds well above the minimum needed for shooting the Canon R5 in 8K. The overprovisioning helps a bit with this, but isn’t solely responsible for the added speed.

The rep confirmed that its non-Pro lineup should also have minimum write speeds adequate to shoot at least 325 MB/s (Canon’s highest video throughput) so long as you stick to the higher capacity cards, 512 GB and up. The lower capacity cards are designed for stills work.

Big CFexpress Cards Price per GB

These data will be added to our CFexpress card review article that has proven popular ever since the Canon R5 launched two summers ago. That page is currently going through an overhaul, as new versions of firmware appear to have sped up that camera’s speed in interacting with CFexpress cards.

The Canon R3 will be shipping at the end of November, and its CFexpress Type B port will very likely see similar performance across cards as has been seen by the R5. When we tested Panasonic cameras and tested Nikon cameras across our growing collection of CFexpress options, there were some brand differences. We expect to have one of the first R3 cameras shipped and will check to see if there are any significant differences.

The new Wise Pro cards include a 160 GB ($263), 320 GB ($448) and 640 GB ($750) version.

Pin It on Pinterest