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Compact Flash card

Compact Flash card: what do you need to know?

A Compact Flash card is a lot bigger than the (micro) SDs we see more often these days. There are 3 different types, indicating the size. The standard type of Compact Flash card is 3.3 mm thick and is called Type I. Since this is the most common standard you will find it in our assortment. There is also Type II, 5mm thick, and Type III with a 50-pin connector. The latter type of CF card is hardly used, there are almost no manufacturers who have included this connection in their devices. By this time, the SD card was already beginning its advance and that connection was chosen rather than a CF card connection.

Storage capacity and speed


Storage capacity starts from the 8MB range and is available up to a maximum capacity of 256GB. At the beginning of SD card development, these kinds of capacities were not attainable, giving the Compact Flash card an edge. The speed is indicated by a multiplier, which indicates how much faster the writing speed is versus the CD-ROM standard speed of 150 KB/s. The comparison with CD-ROMs says it all a bit: CF is a fairly obsolete way of storing data. However, older equipment still uses this standard.

Why buy a CF card?

These memory cards were initially more popular than the other options because they could achieve higher write speeds and had more options in terms of storage capacity. However, the manufacturers of SD cards were not sitting still either and continued to develop this technology at breakneck speed. As a result, there are now SDs that can write files at breakneck speed and it is now even possible to write files up to 2TB, making this somewhat outdated technique slowly fade into the background. However, if you use an older SLR camera, chances are it still has a CF slot.



Because these products are larger and more robust, they are often a lot more expensive than (micro) SD cards. In terms of performance, there is not much difference these days in terms of speeds and storage capacities. A good alternative is to choose another type of memory card in combination with a Compact Flash adapter. The adapter ensures that the (micro) SD card fits into a Compact Flash card slot. As a result, you no longer need a Compact Flash card at all. Still keen on that old familiar technology for your SLR, for example? Then of course you will find different variants in Allekabels' assortment.