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Categorized | Articles, Gear, Jason DiMichele

Gear — ProGrade Digital Memory Cards (full review)

ProGrade 64GB memory card

Reviewed by Jason DiMichele

Memory is an essential component of almost all the electronics that we use. Any time an electronic device remembers our settings or stores our photos, it’s using memory. Many photographers often don’t consider the quality of memory card they use in their cameras, but it should be given some consideration. There are many memory card manufacturers on the market, and ProGrade Digital is aiming to be the best. 

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Although ProGrade Digital is a relatively new company, it’s comprised of individuals who are established and knowledgeable in the industry. The founders of ProGrade Digital are former executives from Lexar and Sandisk, companies that most photographers are familiar with. ProGrade Digital states that their mission is to provide the highest quality, professional grade memory cards and workflow solutions available. Given their huge amount of industry experience with design, development and manufacturing aspects, they’ve definitely hit the ground running. 

The ProGrade Digital products (available from ProGrade Digital, B&H Photo Video, and Amazon) most photographers and videographers will be interested in are the CFast 2.0 (from $229.99 US) and SDXC UHS-II (V60: from $54.99 US, V90: from $99.99 US) memory cards, and the Workflow Reader ($79.99 US). The CFast 2.0 is a type of card used in various flagship still and video cameras. Available in128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, with super-fast sustained read (550MB/sec) and write (450MB/sec) speeds, the CFast 2.0 is a beast for creating 6K, 4K, full HD and high bit rate MPEG-4 content with its Video Performance Grade 130 (VPG-130) specification. The SDXC UHS-II cards come in two versions, the V60 and the V90. Almost as capable as the CFast 2.0 for video, these are going to be more popular with still photographers. Both available in capacities of 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, the V60 sports read/write speeds of up to 200MB/sec and 80MB/sec, while the V90 boosts read/write speeds to 250MB/sec and 200MB/sec. The Workflow Reader is a dual-slot CFast/SD card reader, using USB 3.1 (2nd generation) providing transfer speeds up to 1.25GB per second! 

It can copy both cards in the reader simultaneously. The ProGrade Digital warranty is three years for the memory cards and two years for the Workflow Reader. 

Although I haven’t tested the cards out in winter temperatures, the V60/V90 cards are rated with very generous operating temperatures of —25C to +85C. There’s a good chance they’ll operate outside of that temperature range, and I bet there’s also a good chance that not many photographers will be willing to test that theory! 

One of the testaments to ProGrade Digital’s high quality of manufacturing is that they ensure each memory card is tested down to the memory chip level, and they also laser etch a unique serial number for traceability and warranty purposes, which is an industry first. It’s clear that ProGrade Digital takes all details seriously. 

One memory technology fact that some people may not realize is that most memory devices (cards, hard drives, etc.) have a limited lifespan. Memory can only be written to so many times, and once the limit has been reached you’ll experience write failures and corrupt data. Although memory technology has become quite sophisticated, I still recommend replacing your memory cards every 3-5 years, as it’s one of the cheapest aspects of ensuring that your photos come home with you! 

I’ve used various brands of memory cards over the years and have had some issues with some brands. I’ve been using ProGrade Digital exclusively since I’ve had it for review and haven’t  experienced any issues. I’m quite impressed with the product and the company’s dedication to excellence. 

If you’re looking to replace your older cards, or need additional cards, I highly recommend considering the ProGrade Digital cards. 

To read more of this not-to-miss issue please pick up the Fall/Winter 2018 issue today online or at your local newsstand. To never miss an issue you can subscribe here

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