After reviewing all of the CFexpress card options available at the time in 2020, we went for more than a year without seeing significant new offerings. That’s all changing, with both Mark II versions of the older players starting to pop up, and completely new brands and lines are appearing.
We were sent a 512 GB card from the company selling Acer branded CFexpress cards. Announced just a few months ago, the cards were not actually available until just a few days ago.
Our copy was immediately opened and subjected to the standard torture tests we employed against all the others. The upshot: it’s a pretty good card. Its stills photography performance is in the high-middle of the pack, shooting an average of 302 still images in 30 seconds on the Canon R5. [Camnostic tests emphasize throughput as shown through current camera bodies, rather than computer bench tests, and our relative results will often differ from the rankings shown on some other sites, which provide additionally-useful computer and card reader bandwidth data.]
The cadence of the shots was very evenly spaced, without the long delays and sudden bursts that some cards have. This is important for wildlife, journalism and
The graph below shows the Acer card with a yellow highlight. As can be seen, the speed performance is right in the middle of the pack, more than 90 percent as fast as the fastest card. The price – acquirable right now only at the full retail price because it’s a new card model – is also in the middle of the pack.
MSRP for the CFE100 cards are $130, $270 and $460 for the 128, 256 and 512 GB models. We tested the 512 GB model only, which showed an alread-discounted price on Amazon.com of $430.
In our video test – a pretty simple timing test to see how long it will shoot R5 8K without hiccuping* – it kept shooting until the heat limit was encountered at an average of a very impressive 26:47. In all tests, the heat warning came six to seven minutes prior to stopping.
Unlike all the other cards tested, Acer’s card came with a back sticker label, in addition to the front sticker label. Knowing that this could act as an insulator (one of the reasons we like the Angelbird cards is their use of direct printing on the card rather than using an insulating label), we removed the back sticker and did another round of testing. Do note that the sticker explicitly warns: “Warranty void if any label is removed or broken.” Oh well. It proved worth it. Subsequent video timing tests showed an improvement of slightly more than a minute and a half; averaging 28:18.
Our current favorite cards in terms of a balance of performance and price per gigabyte are the Angelbird AV Pro 2TB card and the Delkin Power 2 TB card. The new Acer card’s throughput performance placed it between these two, but with a higher price per gigabyte – a bit of an unfair comparison because they are not in the same size class. In fact, the only 512 GB card that shows a cheaper cost per gigabyte is the relatively poor-performing Transcend card.
In sum, this is a very reasonable choice for someone looking for above-average performance in stills and close to best pricing among the 512 GB competitors. For video shooters, the performance for sustained throughput hasn’t yet been beaten in our testing. We were able to essentially fill up half the card with 8K video before it gave in to the R5’s heat.
* The video test used 8K-U/24p/All-I video shot with the back screen tilted off of the back of the camera. Ambient temperature for all tests across cards is 70 degrees F. Power saving and Eco modes were on.