Can SD card tech keep up with new DSLRs? Nikon is next to confirm a glitch

Nikon D500
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
While Nikon and Canon’s latest DSLRs have been eagerly anticipated, some accessories haven’t yet caught up with the new standards. After Canon confirmed an error last week that corrupts the last few images on SanDisk CFast cards with the 1DX Mark II, Nikon has now released a firmware update correcting a glitch that creates read errors on UHS-II SD cards in the D500.

Both manufacturers said that the errors were from the cards themselves and not the camera — and in Canon’s brand-specific case, SanDisk confirmed the issue was with the cards.

Some UHS-II cards, when used with the D500, are creating read errors. Users reported inserting the card, then seeing an error message. Sometimes, popping the card out and in again fixed the issue, but some said the message keeps coming back. Nikon’s firmware 1.02 for the D500 is a temporary fix for the issue, essentially rendering the UHS-II cards as a slower UHS-I. When the camera powers off, the card will return back to a UHS-II, for users swapping the card into another device.

Along with the error message, some users have said that the camera’s performance isn’t consistent with the cards, varying in buffer speeds, though Nikon hasn’t confirmed the issue.

Nikon says the firmware update is a temporary fix, but also that it may not prevent the error completely. “Card-side read errors may still occur after the update, albeit very infrequently,” the update page reads.

With both Nikon and Canon saying the card glitches are card-based and not from the camera, the fact that it’s occurring across multiple brands and models suggests there’s something about the newer DSLRs that older cards can’t keep up with — or that perhaps the cameras were pushed out too soon. Either way, with these issues, consumers could be seeing some new, updated cards hit the market — the sooner, the better for D500 users. In the meantime, with a firmware update that may not fix the issue 100 percent of the time, picking up a UHS-I card or using the XQD card slots instead may be the better option.


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