SanDisk CFexpress memory cards now compatible with Nikon Z cameras

(Image credit: Sandisk)

CFexpress memory card compatibility with the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 is nothing new - Nikon made this possible with firmware version 2.20 last year, though only for Sony-branded CFexpress cards. Then in February this year with firmware version 3.00, compatibility was expanded to ProGrade and Lexar Type B cards. However, bugs were present requiring workarounds like the reinsertion of the card, or switching the camera off and on again.

In the case of SanDisk-branded CFexpress cards in Nikon Z cameras, Nikon Rumors reported some users having issues with camera lockups and errors, though these may have been confined to 64GB cards. Whatever the cause or specific products affected, it was clear there were persistent compatibility glitches with some SanDisk CFexpress cards used in Z 6 and Z 7 cameras.

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

But all seems to have been resolved, as Nikon Rumors has just announced that Z 6 and Z 7 cameras are now fully compatible with SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Type B cards. There is slight catch though - this only applies to newly manufactured cards with a specific model number. Fully compatible cards apparently carry the model number suffix "xxxNN", whereas older cards that are not reliably compatible will have a model number ending in "xxxIN". This model numbering applies to all four capacities of SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress cards - 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Maximum read/write speeds remain the same at 1700MB/s and 1400MB/s respectively.

(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

All this is further good news for Z 6 and Z 7 owners who, until the implementation of CFexpress compatibly, had little choice but to drop big bucks on XQD cards - a memory card format owned exclusively by Sony - and with no market competition, pricing remained high. CFexpress, on the other hand, is an open-source card format and looks set to be more competitively priced and the card format of choice for high-end cameras.

(Image credit: Future)

Read more: 

The best memory card for your camera

SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Type B Card and CFexpress Card Reader review

Nikon Z 6 review

Nikon Z 7 review

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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.