CFAST cost rant

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Dave Monak

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CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 4:10 pm

Cfast card prices are outrages, for the price of a 500gb cards I could by a decent laptop!
This is absolute gorging :(
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timbutt2

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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Dave Monak wrote:Cfast card prices are outrages, for the price of a 500gb cards I could by a decent laptop!
This is absolute gorging :(

Have you looked at ProGrade Digital? On B&H you can buy a single 512 GB CFast 2.0 Card for $699.99 or buy a 512 GB Two-Pack for $1,199.99. So buying the Two-Pack saves you near $200 compared to buying each card by themselves.

Personally I have the 256 GB Cards and they work great on my URSA Mini 4.6K. I bought a Two-Pack when there was a deal at $545.99, which makes it that I got 512 GB of space at a great price per card.


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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 5:11 pm

Dave Monak wrote:Cfast card prices are outrages, for the price of a 500gb cards I could by a decent laptop!
This is absolute gorging :(


No, it is supply and demand, and the deman is low, so cost is high on low volume output. CFast are like CF cards 10-years ago, being used by mostly by pro market, not consumer market.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 5:20 pm

Yes, they came down a couple of years back then never moved. I’ve still got the 4 64gb cards I got with my big ursa four years ago.

Fortunately the mini pro does braw using £20 Sandisk cards at 4.6k res and I’ve yet to see a dropped frame and that’s pretty much all I shoot now and can’t see me going back to prores
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 7:24 pm

I fully agree that CFast cards are way overpriced. If they were reasonably priced when compared to SSDs, then demand would increase measurably.

I have two Samsung T5 1TB cards that cost less than a 256GB CFast card. And I don't need a CFast reader to connect to my PC for editing/file transfer.

All I can say is kudos to Blackmagic for implementing an option to use external SSDs.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 7:45 pm

Australian Image wrote:I have two Samsung T5 1TB cards that cost less than a 256GB CFast card. And I don't need a CFast reader to connect to my PC for editing/file transfer.

All I can say is kudos to Blackmagic for implementing an option to use external SSDs.


Exactly. Don't buy CFast cards. We are the market, we create the demand and therefore should determine what an acceptable price is. We do that by not paying what they are asking. The only advantage to using CFast cards is that your USB-C port becomes available. Also, much nicer for gimabl setups, but the workarounds are quite reasonable so I've given up on CFast cards. If the prices drop dramatically, I may reconsider. By dramatically I mean the same as UHS-II SD Cards. Once BRAW is available we'll have no need for them anyway.
Last edited by Que Thompson on Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Vess Stoytchev

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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 7:58 pm

Gavin_c_clark wrote:Yes, they came down a couple of years back then never moved. I’ve still got the 4 64gb cards I got with my big ursa four years ago.

Fortunately the mini pro does braw using £20 Sandisk cards at 4.6k res and I’ve yet to see a dropped frame and that’s pretty much all I shoot now and can’t see me going back to prores


what braw do you shoot on sd cards? Considering you are saying 20 pounds, those aren't extreme version?
SSD module is a charm, but cards are easier for steady cam.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 8:02 pm

Vess Stoytchev wrote:
Gavin_c_clark wrote:Yes, they came down a couple of years back then never moved. I’ve still got the 4 64gb cards I got with my big ursa four years ago.

Fortunately the mini pro does braw using £20 Sandisk cards at 4.6k res and I’ve yet to see a dropped frame and that’s pretty much all I shoot now and can’t see me going back to prores


what braw do you shoot on sd cards? Considering you are saying 20 pounds, those aren't extreme version?
SSD module is a charm, but cards are easier for steady cam.

I believe someone said the 4.6K 12:1 BRAW is smaller than HD ProRes HQ.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 8:11 pm

I can shoot RAW 4K DCI 4:1 on my 256GB micro-SD card (which costs a fraction of the price of a CFast card) without any issues (it's all that I use with my SSDs), so why would I pay through the nose prices for CFast cards? Once BRAW becomes available, there's even less reason to buy CFast cards.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 8:24 pm

- Ssd recorder from Blackmagic Design
- adapter from cfast to esata (that allow you double recording on dual ssd)

You not need cfast for every pro cam of ursa series, and for pocket4k you have usb-c option.

Cfast are good ten years ago, but for me, for problems happened with it, with simple photo camera (and loss of data recorded on famous brand) I avoid it like evil.




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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Jack Fairley wrote:I believe someone said the 4.6K 12:1 BRAW is smaller than HD ProRes HQ.



https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicraw

1/3 of the way down the page you can see a chart with all the data rates on it.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 9:21 pm

Vess Stoytchev wrote:
Gavin_c_clark wrote:Yes, they came down a couple of years back then never moved. I’ve still got the 4 64gb cards I got with my big ursa four years ago.

Fortunately the mini pro does braw using £20 Sandisk cards at 4.6k res and I’ve yet to see a dropped frame and that’s pretty much all I shoot now and can’t see me going back to prores


what braw do you shoot on sd cards? Considering you are saying 20 pounds, those aren't extreme version?
SSD module is a charm, but cards are easier for steady cam.


4.6k 12:1 on the sandisk extreme 95MB/s. The 64gb version gets 28 minutes on a card, prores 444 HD gets the same. Honestly, braw is amazing.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 9:42 pm

Jack Fairley wrote:I believe someone said the 4.6K 12:1 BRAW is smaller than HD ProRes HQ.
On a 256GB Card at 23.98fps you can record:

115 mins @ 4.6K 12:1 BRAW
164 mins @ UHD 12:1 BRAW (note, however, that since it is a raw format the UHD is a crop of the full sensor)

127 mins @ HD ProRes444 (downscaled from full sensor or cropped)
190 mins @ HD ProResHQ (downscaled from full sensor or cropped)

Depending on the scene, you might get a longer or shorter running time in 4.6K Q5 BRAW compared with 4.6K 12:1 BRAW
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostMon Dec 10, 2018 10:47 pm

The pricing is stupid gouging. Inside of that form factor are the same memory chips.

Sure vendors can charge whatever they think the market will bear, but the market won't accept current prices. We run to SD or SSD. If prices were even in the same ballpark I'd choose CFAST for the convenience, but as it is I can't justify it when a Samsung T5 is only slightly less convenient.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 2:09 am

Carlo, CFast cards did not exist 10 years ago, you are thinking of CF cards and the issues they had. CFast cards fixed the pin connection issue on CF cards. CFas 1 csme to the market in late (4th Qtr) 2009, but we’re nit really available until 2010. The CFast 2.0 specification was released in the second quarter of 2012, updating the electrical interface to SATA 3.0, thus increasing read and record speeds. So CFast 2 cards have only been out for six years or so.

Still, even though more expensive than a SD card, they have come down in price... :roll:
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 2:43 am

Okay. In 2014 when the URSA was introduced a 256 GB CFast 2.0 card cost around $1,300. By December 2015 a 256 GB card cost around $600. Now in 2018 I bought 2 256 GB cards for $545, which means $275 per card maybe. Prices for CFast 2.0 cards have dropped.

I don’t know where this complaining is coming from. Obviously anyone complaining about current costs are new to CFast 2.0 cards. Please relax because the prices are far better than they were and will continues to improve.


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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 3:13 am

The point to consider is that the Samsung T5 1TB SSD now costs around US$200 or less (I just bought another one). You're paying US$1100 for the equivalent capacity, and unless you exclusively shoot uncompressed RAW, it's hard to justify CFast cards at that price.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 4:35 am

No one is forcing you to buy CFast 2 cards as there are other options. Although never perfect, CFast tends to be physically durable and reliable to sustain high data rate continuous recording. My SDXC card always feels like I could accidentally snap it in two.

You do have to be careful that you give the CFast 2 card a few moments before yanking the card out of the camera or card readers. You always need to eject it and wait before removing from a card reader. Best practice is unloading and loading it in the camera with the camera turned off. That’s not mandatory but safe.

And BRAW 12:1 and Q5 doesn’t require you use CFast 2, but Q0 probably does for complex scenes since it can be comparable to about half the data rate of uncompressed raw. So CFast 2 ends up being one of the best solutions because it is versatile and has fewer limitations. I can’t wait to try Q5 for client shoots, but I also want to be able to do Q0.


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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 4:53 am

rick.lang wrote:No one is forcing you to buy CFast 2 cards as there are other options. Although never perfect, CFast tends to be physically durable and reliable to sustain high data rate continuous recording. My SDXC card always feels like I could accidentally snap it in two.


I don't think anyone is suggesting CFast cards are mandatory, but given their price and capacity, they don't really offer value for money. As for reliability, I'd suggest SSDs are pretty reliable, especially given that many high end cine cameras use nothing but SSDs.

I recently did a half hour continuous recording (RAW 4K DCI 4:1) under a full and hot sun without a hitch. My rig was outdoors under an awning every day over several day where the temperatures got as high as 43.7C in the shade, so the camera stood up pretty well also. SD cards have survived some pretty terrible environments, so they aren't all that fragile.

On a side note, I much prefer SSDs given their capacity, as on several shoots recently I would have had to juggle four CFast cards rather than one SSD. Having to note which cards are used and which are empty was always a pain in my photography days, so I'm very glad that requirement is minimised with the ability to use high capacity SSDs. The other benefit is being able to plug the SSD directly into my PC and not have to deal with the vagaries of card readers.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 8:24 am

The high end cine cameras that use SSDs are using special proprietary SSDs, designed for those cameras.
CFast is the end of the CF memory card formfactor. SD cards are unreliable, and the new issues with recent SanDisk cards are an example. SSDs while reliable, are continuing to evolve into smaller form factors, and a new system will come along and replace the lot.

XQD cards are small like SD cards, are more reliable, and have begun to replace SD cards in some Pro still cameras, “XQD card is a memory card format primarily developed for flash memory cards. It uses PCI Express as a data transfer interface. The format is targeted at high-definition camcorders and high-resolution digital cameras.”

But they too are just a stepping stone to CFexpress, “a standard for removable media cards proposed by the CompactFlash Association. The standard will use PCIe 3.0 interface with 1 to 8 lanes where 1 GB/s data can be provided per lane.” So, as the song goes, the times are a changing!
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 8:54 am

Don't write SD cards off too soon. The new card specification is going to increase memory of 128TB and speeds of 985MBps: https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/28/17514660/sd-card-128tb-storage.

Who knows where all of this will lead.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 2:17 pm

joe12south wrote:The pricing is stupid gouging. Inside of that form factor are the same memory chips.


That is just absolutely NOT true. There are several different types of flash memory cells and the cheap ones used in the Samsung T5 are consumer grade, while you get industrial grade cells in CFast cards.
I totally understand not everyone wants to pay the higher prices for industrial grade cells, but so you have to take the higher risk. And yes, there are cases of dead CFast cards, I know.
The question is, how reliable will the new generation of 3D NAND be under the datastream and summer heat stress with a camera writing maybe even several TBs per day. That SSD was not meant to be used in that kind of scenario.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 4:46 pm

The race to the bottom.


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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 5:03 pm

carlomacchiavello wrote:- adapter from cfast to esata (that allow you double recording on dual ssd)
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I am using this adapter to a Samsung 1TB 860 Evo SSD housed in an Atomos "Master Caddy" housing. I just velcro them to the back of the battery. Power is via a usb to D-tap adapter that plugs directly into the Evo. So far I have tested every resolution and codec and it works for all of them including Braw at 4.6K.

Anyone else using this set up? :idea:
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 7:59 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:That is just absolutely NOT true. There are several different types of flash memory cells and the cheap ones used in the Samsung T5 are consumer grade, while you get industrial grade cells in CFast cards.
I totally understand not everyone wants to pay the higher prices for industrial grade cells, but so you have to take the higher risk. And yes, there are cases of dead CFast cards, I know.
The question is, how reliable will the new generation of 3D NAND be under the datastream and summer heat stress with a camera writing maybe even several TBs per day. That SSD was not meant to be used in that kind of scenario.


The CFast memory technology is the same as for other formats, but in a smaller form-factor with a SATA interface. There is no military grade tech in consumer CFast cards. Also, because SSDs are a recognised format for removable storage, they have been made sturdier for that very reason. They are portable and will be inserted and removed frequently.

As I noted, I was using mine for a week in temperatures rising to over 40C with no issues. Consumer grade technology has reached such a point that it's extremely robust nowadays. How much can your camera, field monitor, batteries (or you) stand in such conditions?

CFast will simply die if the prices remain as they are, few will be prepared to pay the premium for the smaller size and minor speed advantage.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 8:25 pm

CFast is already dying, as the CF/CFast interface is being replaced with the smaller XQD/CFexpress system currently being used in new cameras that previously supported CF/SD cards. Not that many cameras adopted CFast in the first place, so the market share small.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 10:35 pm

Australian Image wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:That is just absolutely NOT true. There are several different types of flash memory cells and the cheap ones used in the Samsung T5 are consumer grade, while you get industrial grade cells in CFast cards.
I totally understand not everyone wants to pay the higher prices for industrial grade cells, but so you have to take the higher risk. And yes, there are cases of dead CFast cards, I know.
The question is, how reliable will the new generation of 3D NAND be under the datastream and summer heat stress with a camera writing maybe even several TBs per day. That SSD was not meant to be used in that kind of scenario.


The CFast memory technology is the same as for other formats, but in a smaller form-factor with a SATA interface. There is no military grade tech in consumer CFast cards. Also, because SSDs are a recognised format for removable storage, they have been made sturdier for that very reason. They are portable and will be inserted and removed frequently.


Ok, so we just have to take your word for it that it's all the same?
So tell me, what is the Samsung T5 using, and what is a high grade CFast card using? SLC, MLC, TLC, 3D MLC, 3D TLC? How many nm is the lithography? How many P/E cycles do they support? Which storage controller are they using?

The T5 uses Samsungs cheaper 3D VNAND cells, is only rated to be used inside and in a temperature range of 5 to 35° Celsius and 10% to 80% humidity. The Angelbird CFast 2.0 cards are using the robust but more expensive MLC cells and are rated to work inbetween 0 to 70° Celsius and 5% to 95% humidity.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostTue Dec 11, 2018 11:19 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:
Australian Image wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:That is just absolutely NOT true. There are several different types of flash memory cells and the cheap ones used in the Samsung T5 are consumer grade, while you get industrial grade cells in CFast cards.
I totally understand not everyone wants to pay the higher prices for industrial grade cells, but so you have to take the higher risk. And yes, there are cases of dead CFast cards, I know.
The question is, how reliable will the new generation of 3D NAND be under the datastream and summer heat stress with a camera writing maybe even several TBs per day. That SSD was not meant to be used in that kind of scenario.


The CFast memory technology is the same as for other formats, but in a smaller form-factor with a SATA interface. There is no military grade tech in consumer CFast cards. Also, because SSDs are a recognised format for removable storage, they have been made sturdier for that very reason. They are portable and will be inserted and removed frequently.


Ok, so we just have to take your word for it that it's all the same?
So tell me, what is the Samsung T5 using, and what is a high grade CFast card using? SLC, MLC, TLC, 3D MLC, 3D TLC? How many nm is the lithography? How many P/E cycles do they support? Which storage controller are they using?

The T5 uses Samsungs cheaper 3D VNAND cells, is only rated to be used inside and in a temperature range of 5 to 35° Celsius and 10% to 80% humidity. The Angelbird CFast 2.0 cards are using the robust but more expensive MLC cells and are rated to work inbetween 0 to 70° Celsius and 5% to 95% humidity.


No, if you check like I have, the technology is ostensibly the same. You're splitting hairs with your examples, which do not reflect real world use (memory cards are just part of a camera system), and as Denny and many tech sites note, CFast days are numbered. Also MLC isn't the super hero some may think it is: http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-hardware/slc-vs-mlc-vs-tlc-nand-flash.html. The Samsung T5 is looking pretty good.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostWed Dec 12, 2018 1:02 am

Too bad you didn't read your linked article till the end:
As with practically all facets of IT, NAND flash continues to evolve. Nowadays, even TLC is punching above its weight class.

In a 2016 examination of the high-capacity SSD market, Enterprise Storage Forum noted that "things have moved on in the high capacity SSD space, and the stigma around anything that isn't made of SLC has gone. It's now pretty standard for high capacity SSDs for enterprises to make use of MLC or even TLC (triple level cell) flash."

For all practical purposes, "MLC is arguably just as good as SLC" in enterprise use cases, he concluded, a sentiment shared by Jim Handy, a semiconductor analyst at Objective Analysis. "Today's MLC is better than yesterday's SLC," Handy declared.
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Re: CFAST cost rant

PostWed Dec 12, 2018 1:28 am

Robert Niessner wrote:Too bad you didn't read your linked article till the end:
As with practically all facets of IT, NAND flash continues to evolve. Nowadays, even TLC is punching above its weight class.

In a 2016 examination of the high-capacity SSD market, Enterprise Storage Forum noted that "things have moved on in the high capacity SSD space, and the stigma around anything that isn't made of SLC has gone. It's now pretty standard for high capacity SSDs for enterprises to make use of MLC or even TLC (triple level cell) flash."

For all practical purposes, "MLC is arguably just as good as SLC" in enterprise use cases, he concluded, a sentiment shared by Jim Handy, a semiconductor analyst at Objective Analysis. "Today's MLC is better than yesterday's SLC," Handy declared.


I read the entire article and your quote isn't from the end. Did you miss this part:

One of the biggest innovations to hit the flash storage market is 3D NAND or Vertical NAND (V-NAND). As the term implies, it uses a stacked architecture to arrange the memory cells within an SSD, instead of the planar or flat arrangement in past implementations.

In effect, this architecture enables vendor to pack more capacity into less physical space at lower cost, compared to 2D NAND. It also yields faster speeds, improved longevity and lower power requirements.

Most major SSD vendors today offer 3D NAND SSDs.


My point and reason for the reference is that your assertion that CFast is superior is flawed. Would you be able to provide a reference that substantiates your assertion that CFast is superior in all respects to say a T5 SSD?
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