SxS flash memory cards for camcorders don't come cheap

  • Milpitas (CA) – Flash memory cards, based on ExpressCard technology, and commonly referred to as SxS cards, are making their way into the market. Expect to shell out a hefty premium for the privilege of using one of those new cards.

    Sandisk is among the first companies to offer SxS (pronounced "S-by-S") cards that so far only have been adopted by Sony and its recently announced XDCAM EX pro-sumer camcorder, which relies on SxS as its only supported storage technology and integrates two slots for SxS Express cards.

    While Sony has not yet announced a release date and pricing for the XDCAM EX camcorder (current speculations put the device into the neighborhood of $7000-$8000), Sandisk today said that it will begin offering 8 GB and 16 GB SxS cards in November of this year. Prices will be steep: The 8 GB card has a suggested retail price of $500 and the 16 GB card will be priced at $900. In comparison, 8 GB Compact Flash memory cards sell for an average of about $150, according to Sony said that increasing support for the format should bring the price of the SxS card down "significantly" over time.

    Sandisk did not release information about the read/write performance of the card (Sony previously said that a data transfer rate of 800 Mb/s is the target), but noted that 16 GB is enough to record about 60 minutes of HD video at 35 Mb/s. The XDCAM EX will support 720p, 1080i and 1080p HD formats.