SD cards can be pretty flimsy, and that’s a problem — because cameras are increasingly favoring them over the aging-but-durable CompactFlash alternative.
But Sony says its new Tough cards can take an unprecedented beating. They’re the world’s toughest, according to Sony, thanks to a single-piece design, instead of the typical three-piece sandwich you’ll find practically everywhere else.
The design allows the cards to resist a force of 180 newtons, compared to the mere 10 newtons of force required to be resisted by the SD standard. (One newton is equal to 1 kilogram meter per second squared.) Plus they offer IP68 dust and water resistance.
How much force is that really, though? Well, a handy Sony comparison video (below) shows that 50 newtons is enough to snap one of Sony’s cheaper SD cards clean in half:
And even Sony’s previous Professional series cards started bending at the 50 newton mark, according to a similar video from 2016. Meanwhile, a competitor’s cracked before reaching 100 newtons.
Part of the Tough series’ success, Sony argues, is that they have fewer points of failure, as you can see here:
The new Tough cards are the fastest ever, too, according to Sony. But perhaps only on a technicality. Their 300MB/sec read speeds and V90 video recording spec are also found in competing high-end cards, while their 299MB/sec write speed is shared by Sony’s same line of cards without the Tough label. (As far as we can tell, competitors haven’t promised quite that write speed yet; but they’re not far off at 260MB/sec or even 275MB/sec.)
Either way, Sony’s new cards are nowhere near the 985MB/sec speeds and multi-terabyte capacities promised for future SD cards, should they ever appear. Sony’s cards will ship in October in fairly standard sizes of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, starting at $73 (roughly £56 or AU$100 converted) and topping out at $276 (roughly £212 or $378).