RIP XQD: Nikon updates the D850, D5 and D500 to support CFexpress cards

Nikon updates DSLRs to support CFexpress
(Image credit: vector created by freepik -

Nikon, the main proponent of the XQD memory card format, has now updated three of its DSLRs to enable compatibility with CFexpress Type B cards. The Nikon D850, D5 and D500 all pre-date the launch of the CFexpress Type B standard, but since they all incorporate XQD slots, and CFexpress Type B has been designed to be backward compatible with the XQD standard, it was only a matter of time before camera firmware updates enabled the support of CFexpress cards in these DSLRs.

(Image credit: Nikon)

This news comes almost a year after Nikon updated the original Z6 and Z7 to support CFexpress. However, it's definitely a case of 'better late than never', as the newer interface technology behind CFexpress, along with its open-source standard, makes it a far more attractive card format for future development than XQD.

The only XQD cameras in Nikon's range now without CFexpress support are the aging D4 and D4S, leaving just a handful of specialized cameras from other brands still tied to the XQD format. It marks what will likely be the final nail in the coffin for XQD, with CFexpress positioned to be its successor and even Sony, once the driving force behind of XQD, now producing its own CFexpress Type B cards.

(Image credit: Sony)

Nikon's latest DSLR firmware updates for the D850, D5 and D500 also add additional improvements other than CFexpress support. Firmware version 1.4 for the D5 enables users to choose the band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) for the host SSID when connecting to wireless networks via a WT-6 or WT-5 wireless transmitter attached to the camera. Firmware 1.20 for the D850 and 1.3 for the D500 also contain various minor bug fixes to improve camera reliability.

Nikon D500 card slots

(Image credit: Nikon)

Read more: 

The best memory card for your camera

The best memory card readers

The best Nikon cameras

The best Nikon lenses

The best camera bag for your Nikon

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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.