Reviews |Manfrotto CFexpress 128GB Type B

Manfrotto CFexpress 128GB Type B Review

Manfrotto Professional 128GB CFexpress Type B
Review

Price when reviewed

£189

$199
Check current price

Our Verdict

It’s good to see Manfrotto expand into the memory sector as it gives a little more choice as well as another trusted name for reliable storage.

Through the test, the card’s build quality and design was solid enough, and the performance in and out of the camera met the company’s claims.

At present CFExpress is still incredibly expensive compared with SD and older CF cards. Still, the speed potential and durability make this a good future proof solution if supported by your camera.

For

  • High Capacity
  • Ultra-fast Speed
  • Well made

Against

  • Very Expensive

What is the Manfrotto Professional 128GB?

Available in two capacities, the release of the Manfrotto CFExpress 128GB builds on the companies continued growth and expansion. Better known for premium quality tripods and studio gear, Manfrotto has in recent years been steadily growing it’s product ranges with a series of acquisitions and own-brand products.

These new CFExpress cards, 128GB and 256GB, mark a natural progression – and a direction many smaller accessories manufacturers have already taken. While the market leaders SanDisk and Lexar have launched their CFExpress lines with multiple capacity choices, Manfrotto has kept to the two.

In this test, I’ve looked at the Manfrotto Professional 128GB CFexpress Type B card. This has been designed to fit into the latest range of Canon and Nikon bodies, but more manufacturers are adopting the format with compatible camera releases coming in 2021.

The new format is rapidly taking over from the old SD Cards, which is welcome. Personally, I have never felt that the SD format is durable as it should be, so a slightly larger more durable option for the future can only be good.

The new CFExpress cards are far more durable and slightly larger than SD cards, and the overall handling is more akin to the old CF card.

Another major advantage of the new card format is the speed, read and writing speeds that are far superior to that of SD cards, even UHS-II.

Specification

  • Capacity: 128GB, 256GB
  • Read Speed: 1730MB/s
  • Write Speed: 1540MB/s
  • Operating temperature: -20° to 70° C
  • Weight: 5g

Performance

It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced real card speed issues in a camera. More commonly, it is overheating that’s the major issue, rather than waiting for the camera buffer to clear as it waits for overly slow cards.

However, as the resolutions, bit rates and speeds of cameras increase the storage demands are again coming to the forefront.

The new Manfrotto Professional 128GB CFexpress Type B has been designed with the latest cameras in mind and slotting into a Nikon Z6, with a firmware update, the card keeps up with every demand placed on it.

From 4K resolution video to fast shooting, there was seemingly no delay in the speed of the camera or Manfrotto Professional 128GB CFexpress Type B storage.

While the card keeps up with the Nikon Z6 without issue, there’s no way in-camera to test the actual speed of the card. To do this, I used the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and the Lexar USB 3.1 card reader.

While the Lexar is a great card reader, it is limited to a maximum read-write speed of 1050MB/s, so this should be considered when looking at the following results.

Read Speed: 925MB/s
Write Speed: 890MB/s

These results are impressive, although limited by the USB 3.1 reader rather than the speeds of the card. Getting results this high shows that the card is capable of far more, and as soon a Thunderbolt 3 card readers are widely available I’ll update the scores.

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