You might not be in any hurry to upgrade your gear for 4K content, but the industry is – from TVs to camcorders and content providers. In preparation for the latest 4K- and 2K-capable cameras and camcorders down the pipeline, the SD Association (the governing body over the SD format) has unveiled a new SDXC/SDHC card spec, the Ultra High Speed Class 3 (U3), that’s fast enough to handle the high-resolution data.
To qualify as a U3 card, the specification states that it must have a minimum write performance of at least 30 MB/sec, which is enough to handle 4K recording and definitely for 2K. “This means 4K2K video, live broadcasts and content can be recorded on high-performance cameras such as Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR), Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (D- SLM), camcorders and video cameras and then played back smoothly,” the SD Association says. “Consumers will benefit from a single card that is capable of meeting all of their video, photo, music, document and data storage needs.”
One such new capture device is Sony’s FDR-AX1, which supports the rival XQD format for 4K recording; although it can also support SD cards for Full HD, there’s no indication yet if the camcorder will support the new U3 format via a firmware upgarde. Like all new card formats, U3 will probably be pricey in the beginning, as will the first-gen 4K products.
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