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Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Gold Series card review

Lexar’s Gold Series CFexpress Type B cards come in a range of capacities offering speed at competitive prices

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Gold Series card review
(Image: © Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Lexar’s Gold Series cards deliver consistent in-camera performance and are much faster than an SD card. There’s also a good range of capacities starting at 64GB and going up to 512GB, which means you can pick one to suit your pocket as well as your storage requirements. So if you’re thinking taking advantage of that second slot in your Nikon Z 7II or Z 6II, say, they are good option.

Pros

  • +

    Attractively priced

  • +

    Good range of capacities

  • +

    Solid build

Cons

  • -

    More expensive than SD cards

  • -

    Still only used in a few cameras

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    Comparatively slow write speed

The Lexar Gold Series CFexpress Type B cards feature a PCIe Gen3x2 interface which plays a part in enabling the fast data transfer speeds. While the maximum read speed of 1750MB/s is up there with all the other recent CFexpress cards, the maximum write speed of 1000MB/s is a little behind some of the other offerings that are currently available. Nevertheless, the Gold Series cards are on Nikon’s recommended list of CFexpress media that work with the Z 9. However, Nikon used a ProGrade Digital Cobalt 325GB CFexpress card to obtain the buffer capacity figures quoted for that camera.

Lexar quotes an operating temperature range of -10°C to 70°C and a storage range of -25°C to 85°C for these cards, which should be more than enough for all but the chilliest conditions.

Specifications

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Gold Series card review

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Max read speed: 1750MB/s

Max write speed: 1000MB/s

Available capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Build and handling

With quoted dimensions of 29.60 x 38.50 x 3.80mm, Lexar’s CFexpress Type B Gold cards are inherently less losable than an SD or microSD card. They also feel a lot more robust. This is particularly true here as the rear metal casing extends around the edges. 

I tested a 512GB Lexar Gold Series CFexpress Type B card in the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z7 II. It pushed smoothly and easily into the card slots on every occasion, and pops up promptly after being pressed to release it. As with the other cards, a thin lip on the end of the card gives some purchase when it comes to removing the card from the camera.

Performance

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Shooting with the Lexar Gold Series CFexpress Type B card in the Nikon Z7 II, I was able to capture 146 Fine-quality Jpegs at 10fps, and 46 14-bit compressed raw files in around 5 seconds. Nikon quotes a maximum of 113 Large Fine-quality Jpegs and 48 Uncompressed 14-bit raw files, so the card actually performs significantly better with Jpegs than is forecast. 

The Gold Series CFexpress Type B card also proved capable of recording 4K 60p footage for 30 minutes without a problem. Also, as I had the Z 9 in for testing, I was able to verify that the Lexar card is up to the task of capturing 8K ProRes video at 30p.

Connecting the card to a 2019 iMac via a Lexar Professional CFexpress USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 card reader plugged into one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports, I was able to measure a read speed of 908MB/s and a write speed of 870MB/s with Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test. As usual, the figures are impressive but some way behind the claimed maximum figures.

In another real-world test, it takes less than 33 seconds to transfer 100 raw files and 100 Jpegs (with combined sized 10.33GB) shot on the Nikon Z7 II from the card to my computer when using the Lexar Professional CFexpress USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 card reader.

Verdict

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Gold Series card review

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

At less than $100/£100, the 64GB Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Gold Series card offers great value for money while the 512GB card is one of the most affordable cards of its type. And while it’s easy to get swayed by large capacities, it’s worth remembering that you can expect to get around 700 uncompressed 14-bit raw files or 2000 large fine-quality Jpegs from the Nikon Z 7II on a 64GB card.

The Lexar Gold series cards also enable the same or better burst depth as some of the more expensive CFexpress cards and causes no issues when it comes to recording 4K 60p video.

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Angela has been testing camera gear from all the major manufacturers since January 2004 and has been Amateur Photographer’s Technical Editor and Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio (Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoPractical PhotoshopPhotography Week and Professional Photography magazines, as well as the Digital Camera World and TechRadar websites).