The best CFexpress cards in 2024: ultra-fast Type B and Type A cards compared

The best CFexpress cards - a selection of CFexpress Type B cards
(Image credit: James Artaius)

CFexpress is now the memory card format of choice for professional cameras, as the best CFexpress cards are significantly faster than even UHS-II SD cards. Evolving from the XQD card format, CFexpress Type B cards share the same outer design as XQD cards, but pack faster memory inside, making them some of the fastest memory cards available today. 

Almost all cameras that originally supported XQD cards have now been firmware-updated to also work with CFexpress Type B cards, so cameras like the Nikon Z6 and Z7 are no longer restricted to XQD cards alone.

Sony has muddied the CFexpress waters by bring to market CFexpress Type A cards (yup, A comes before B, and yet we got Type B cards first - confusing, isn't it!). The Type A CFexpress card variant is physically smaller than the Type B standard, and therefore you can't use a Type A card in a camera designed for XQD/CFexpress Type B cards. You wouldn't really want to though, as the drawback of CFexpress Type A's compactness is a reduction in read/write speed, compared to Type B cards. At present, very few cameras use CFexpress Type A cards: most notably the Sony A7 IV, A1 and A7S III.

Both Type A and Type B CFexpress formats are based around the same super-fast PCI express Gen3 interface and NVMe 1.3 technology, much like the best portable SSDs. However, they differ in the amount of PCIe data transfer lanes available, with Type A cards using one PCIe lane for a theoretical maximum 1000MB/s data bandwidth, whereas Type B cards have 2 lanes allowing for 2000MB/s max speeds.

Here we're listing the best CFexpress Type B and Type A cards available right now. Don't expect to find any cheap bargain buys like you can with SD cards - CFexpress is still a premium card format, and therefore commands premium prices. But you can rest easy knowing all the cards on this list offer top-notch performance and will do justice to your camera.

Best CFexpress cards: Our top picks

The best CFexpress cards in 2024

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Best overall

Recommended

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)
The absolute best CFexpress card right now, but you'd better have deep pockets

Specifications

Max read speed: 1700MB/s
Max write speed: 1500MB/s
Available capacities: 325GB, 650GB

Reasons to buy

+
Fast max read/write speeds
+
Impressive minimum write speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two capacities available
-
High price per gigabyte

ProGrade Digital was one of the first companies to champion the CFexpress format, even before cameras supported it. Its top-of-the-range Cobalt range of CFexpress Type B cards set new standards for CFexpress performance. Headline performance stats of 1700MB/s read and 1500MB/s write rates are certainly respectable, but rival cards can match or even slightly exceed that. 

However, where the Cobalt cards really shine is that ProGrade doesn't just advertise their peak read/write speeds, it actually guarantees the minimum sustained write speed (host device permitting). In this case, that's 1400MB/s - just 100MB/s shy of the 1500MB/s max write rate, which is hugely impressive. Two capacities are offered - 325GB and 650GB - and both are 'reassuringly' expensive for their size, but when has top performance ever been cheap?  

See full ProGrade Digital Cobalt CFexpress Type B card review for more details

Best budget

(Image credit: Integral)

2. Integral UltimaPro X2 CFexpress Memory Card Type B 2.0

A great value CFexpress Type B card

Specifications

Max read speed: 1700MB/s
Max write speed: 1600MB/s
Available capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Very well priced
+
Hugely fast read/write speeds
+
Multiple memory capacity options

Integral's UltimaPro X2 CFexpress card stands out by offering stunning performance at a price that's appreciably less than most rivals. Despite it costing less than the competition, you get 1700MB/s max read and 1600MB/s max write rates, which are some of the fastest on the market. 

Is this all too good to be true? Well, unlike some more premium CFexpress cards, minimum write rates aren't specified, but these are minor quibbles with what's otherwise the best value CFexpress card you can buy right now – and comes in a huge range of capacity options from 64GB right up to 2TB.

Best high capacity

(Image credit: Angelbird)

3. Angelbird AV Pro MK2 CFexpress 2.0 Type B

Fast, and available in very high capacities

Specifications

Max read speed: 1785MB/s
Max write speed: 1550MB/s
Available capacities: 1TB-2TBGB

Reasons to buy

+
Large capacities
+
Fast read/write speeds
+
1300MB/s sustained write speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Predictably expensive

Angelbird produces several distinct ranges of Type B cards, but we reckon the AV PRO Mk2 range offers the best combination of speed and high capacity. Available only in 2TB and 4TB capacities, you'll need to regularly be shooting high resolution footage to justify these high-capacity cards, but then you won't have to worry often about running out of storage space.

Both capacities boast very respectable 1785/1550MB/s maximum read/write speeds, putting them on par with some of the fastest Type B cards on the market. But most impressive - and likely most important - is the 1300MB/s sustained write speed, which makes these cards fast enough for 12K raw video recording.

(Image credit: Delkin)

4. Delkin Power CFexpress Memory Card

Superb minimum write speed - great for high res video recording

Specifications

Max read speed: 1730MB/s
Max write speed: 1500MB/s
Available capacities: 128GB-2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Loads of capacity options
+
Superb warranty
+
Very quick

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher capacities are predictably expensive

Boasting max read/write speeds of 1730/1540MB/s respectively, you'll be hard-pressed to find a faster CFexpress card. What's more, with capacities ranging from 128GB right up to a humongous 2TB, there's sure to be a Delkin Power CFexpress card to suit your storage needs and budget. 

What's more, with Delkin being a premium brand for enthusiasts, its CFexpress cards are backed by a lifetime warranty and a stunning 48-hour card replacement service in the US and Europe – impressive stuff, and valuable peace of mind for working pro shooters. It's also worth noting that Nikon specifically told us that this card produces the best speeds and results when shooting with the Nikon Z9

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)
Fast Type B cards with plenty of capacity options

Specifications

Max read speed: 1750-1900MB/s
Max write speed: 1500MB/s
Available capacities: 128GB-2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar max read speed
+
Good range of capacities

Reasons to avoid

-
Write speed could be slightly faster

Lexar Professional CFexpress GOLD Series cards can be had in capacities from 128GB all the way up to 2TB. The 128GB-512GB versions boast speed ratings of up to 1750MB/s read and 1500MB/s write, while the top 1TB and 2TB cards have a slightly higher max read speed of 1900MB/s. These two top-end cards also have a higher minimum sustained write speed of 1300MB/s, whereas the 512GB and lower capacities are only rated for 1000MB/s sustained write.

We've tested an earlier version of Lexar's Type B GOLD card, with slower speed ratings, so our test results are not necessarily representative of how new-generation cards will perform. Even so, here's our full Lexar Professional CFexpress Type-B Card review

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)
A decent enough CFexpress Type B card, but avoid the 64GB version

Specifications

Max read speed: 1700MB/s
Max write speed: 1400MB/s
Available capacities: 64-512GB

Reasons to buy

+
512GB card is very quick
+
Lifetime warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller capacity cards are slower

SanDisk's Extreme PRO memory cards are often class-leading, but in the CFexpress sector SanDisk is up against some intense - and faster - competition. Available in 64-512GB capacities, read speeds top out at an impressive 1700MB/s, and write rates a decent 1400MB/s. 

However, those speeds only apply to the top 512GB card. Go for the 256GB or 128GB versions and peak write speeds drop to 1200MB/s, though this is still plenty fast enough for most scenarios. However, you'd be wise to avoid the base 64GB card, as it is only rated for 1500/800MB/s read/write speeds, which is significantly slower than most competing cards.

Read our full SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Type B review

(Image credit: ProGrade Digital)

7. ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B 1700 Gold

A very good CFexpress card from a respected brand

Specifications

Max read speed: 1700MB/s
Max write speed: 1500MB/s
Available capacities: 128GB-1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Fast max read/write speeds
+
Lots of capacities available

Reasons to avoid

-
Min write speed much less than ProGrade's Cobalt CFexpress cards

Compared to ProGrade's top-end Cobalt CFexpress cards, the cheaper Gold product line looks very tempting, as they're rated for the same 1700MB/s max read speed, and their 1400MB/s max write rate is just 100MB/s down on the Cobalt. 

However, while ProGrade rate the minimum sustained write speed of the Cobalt at 1400MB/s, the Gold version is guaranteed for just 400MB/s - significantly less. There are more capacity options though - 128GB to 1TB, and pricing of the Gold cards is a little more palatable than the Cobalt range.

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)
Fast across the board, and backed up by an industry-leading warranty

Specifications

Max read speed: 1725MB/s
Max write speed: 1530MB/s
Available capacities: 75GB, 150GB, 325GB, 650GB

Reasons to buy

+
Superb warranty
+
Very quick
+
Fast minim write speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher capacities are predictably expensive

Delkin Device’s Black CFexpress Type B cards are a bit more expensive than some of the competition, but the promise of a replacement within 48 hours without the company actually needing have received your faulty card is reassuring. 

You need to pick the right capacity to get the performance you want - the entry-level 75GB card is a little slower than large capacity cards in the Black range. 

Whilst Delkin's Power cards are designed for 6K and 4K raw video recording, the Black cards that are designed to meet the increased data speed needed for 8K raw video recording. This is backed up by an exceptionally fast 1530MB/s minimum sustained write speed (1240MB/s for the 75GB variant).

See our full Delkin Devices Black CFexpress Type B review for more details.

The best CFexpress Type A cards

(Image credit: Sony)

9. Sony Tough CFexpress Type A card

The best CFexpress Type A card you can buy

Specifications

Max read speed: 800MB/s
Max write speed: 700MB/s
Available capacities: 80GB, 160GB, 320GB, 640GB, 960GB, 1920GB

Reasons to buy

+
Rugged build and water/dust resistant
+
VPG400-compliant
+
Compact size

Reasons to avoid

-
Very high price per gigabyte
-
Slower than CFexpress Type B cards

CFexpress Type A cards are a rarity right now, being supported by very few Sony cameras. Though the Type A standard suggests a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 1000MB/s, Sony's cards are capable of 800MB/s read and 700MB/s write. However, that is more than twice as fast as a top-end UHS-II SD card, and should be fast enough for shooting 4K 120p high bit rate video. 

Sony's CFexpress Type A cards are also VPG400-compliant (video performance guarantee), ensuring stable video recording at 400MB/s, and are also claimed to have increased bend and impact resistance, as well as IP57-rated water and dust resistance - hence Sony's 'Tough' branding. Various capacities are available, from 80GB, right up to a class-leading 1920GB, though all are relatively expensive for the storage you get.

ProGrade Digtal Cobalt CFexpress Type A

(Image credit: ProGrade Digital)

10. ProGrade Digital Cobalt CFexpress Type A

A cheaper CFexpress Type A card, if you can find one

Specifications

Max read speed: 800MB/s
Max write speed: 700MB/s
Available capacities: 160GB

Reasons to buy

+
Cheaper than Sony equivalent...
+
...yet just as fast

Reasons to avoid

-
High price per gigabyte
-
Not widely available in some regions

Boasting read/write speeds of 800MB/s and 700MB/s respectively, ProGrade's Cobalt CFexpress Type A offering matches its Sony 160GB counterpart for speed, yet it'll cost you around 10% less. That's a handy saving if you're in the US where ProGrade cards are readily available, but in other territories a Sony card might still be your only available option for CFexpress Type A.

CFexpress Type A vs Type B

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CFexpress types compared
Header Cell - Column 0 Type AType B
Dimensions:20mm x 28mm x 2.8mm38.5mm x 29.8mm x 3.8mm
PCIe interface:Gen3, 1 laneGen3, 2 lanes
Maximum theoretical performance:1000MB/s2000MB/s
Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.