Sony announces ‘world’s toughest and fastest’ SD cards

Sony has taken the wraps off a new set of SD cards designed for the adventurous outdoor photographer. 

The Sony SF-G TOUGH specification UHS-II SDXC cards are billed as being 18x stronger than standard SD cards, drop-proof up to 5m, waterproof, dustproof and even bendproof to 180N (which is 18-times stronger than the standard SD card bendproof rating of 10N) and make the perfect accessory for the best action cameras on the market right now.

Read more: The best SD memory cards for your camera in 2018

According to Sony, the reason these cards are so much stronger than their competition is an all-new method of construction. The SF-G TOUGH specification cards use the ‘world’s first monolithic structure’ for SD cards, a one-piece moulding that leaves no empty space in the cards and means they aren’t susceptible to common SD card wear-and-tear issues like broken plastic casing or broken connector ribs. This one-piece structure is also what creates the sealing that makes the cards waterproof and dustproof, with ratings of IPX8 and IPX6 respectively.

In another nice touch, Sony has also given the cards a bright, distinctive yellow and black design, making them easy to spot even if you were to drop them while on an outdoor shoot in the pouring rain.

Sony's video showing just how enable its new SDXC cards are

'World's fastest' SD memory card

Of course, the other half of Sony’s boast is that these cards are the ‘world’s fastest’, and on paper at least they’ve pulled it off – with write speeds of 299MB/s and read speeds of 300MB/s, these cards are clearly designed to keep up with the intense memory demands of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless line, whether it’s the shooting speed of the A9 or the high-resolution files of the A7R III. These are all bold claims for sure -- we’ll have to wait until we can get some samples of the cards to test before we can say whether they live up to these boasts.

Read more: Why do some SD cards have two rows of pins?

It’s interesting that Sony has made this announcement now while we’re still digesting the news of Nikon’s new Z series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, each of which currently uses a single XQD card slot. Given that XQD cards are well-regarded for their toughness and speed, this could be Sony’s way of assuring its full-frame Alpha users that their cameras will be keeping up with the competition in every respect.

Sony SF-G TOUGH SD cards – availability

The Sony Tough cards are available in three capacities

The Sony Tough cards are available in three capacities

The Sony SF-G TOUGH SD cards will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variations. We have no word on exact pricing yet, but they’ll be launching in Europe in October. In the meantime, head to Sony’s website for more details. 

Feature: How to understand everything written on your memory card

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Jon Stapley

Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.  

An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.