SanDisk Corporation today launched the SanDisk Express line of high-performance flash memory products, based on the ExpressCard technology standard. SanDisk Express products aim to deliver best-of-class solutions for professional videographers and photographers who demand speed, durability and reliability.
The first product in the SanDisk Express line is the SanDisk ExpressCard, a flash memory card designed for a new generation of professional camcorders that record to ExpressCards rather than magnetic tape, hard discs or optical discs.
The SanDisk ExpressCard is expected to be available in November, in 8Gb and 16Gb capacities. Recording time for high-definition video capture, at 35Mbit per second, will be approximately 30 minutes on the 8Gb card and 60 minutes on the 16Gb card.
Sony is the first major video equipment manufacturer to adopt ExpressCards as video recording media, with its new XDCamex camcorder. SanDisk and Sony have jointly developed SxS, a specification to verify that ExpressCard memory cards will support the high-speed performance required for professional video. The SanDisk ExpressCard carries the SxS logo, and is expected to be fully compatible with the XDCamex, which has two ExpressCard slots.
“With the SanDisk ExpressCard, professional videographers for the first time will have access to a high-speed, solid-state digital recording solution,” said Wes Brewer, vice president of SanDisk’s Cards and Accessories Division. “What’s more, because the PCI Express interface is an open industry standard, and because of the continuing decline in the cost of flash, we expect other video equipment manufacturers to adopt this compelling new format.”
ExpressCard is a standard created by the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) as a successor to the PC Card standard. By connecting directly to a computer’s PCI Express bus, ExpressCards can read and write data at least 2.5 times faster than PC Cards. Also, ExpressCards are half the size of PC Cards – allowing slimmer designs in notebook computers and ExpressCard-based camcorders.
Solid-state recording using flash memory is widely viewed as the future of video. Camcorders become lighter, more durable and gain battery life without the many moving parts required for turning tape reels or disc spindles. Digital video can also be quickly transferred into computers for processing with non-linear editing (NLE) applications.
Tanya Chuang, director of worldwide retail product marketing for the high performance imaging market at SanDisk, said: “The SanDisk ExpressCard has been designed for super-fast downloads of large video files and is ideally suited to editing in the field. Video can be quickly off-loaded to a notebook computer, with no extra cables or readers required, so the card can go back to work in the video camera as fast as possible.”
“I’ve been using SanDisk Extreme cards for several years in my still photography work, because their high performance reduces shot-to-shot time and accelerates the process of downloading images from card to computer,” said Robert Farber, an award-winning fine-art and fashion photographer and videographer. “I’m looking forward to trying out the SanDisk ExpressCard, so I can gain the same kind of workflow advantage when I’m shooting video.”
Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk ExpressCard is expected to be available in November in North America and Europe, in two capacities: 8Gb, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $499.99 (£250) in the United States; and 16Gb, with a U.S. MSRP of $899.99 (around £450).