Which Cards Actually Work with the FX6?

The FX6 takes both SDXC cards and CF Express Type A cards.

Sony recommend using a CF Express Type A for the UHD 120fps. For 4K. The CF Express card support all frame rates, but they are expensive, as is the card reader.

For UHD XAVC-I up to 60fps Sony say you can use v90 SD cards, for some of the XAVC-L UHD frame rates Sony support v60 SD cards and for HD you can use a v60 or v30.
 
The camera won’t stop you from trying to use a v90 (or even a v30) SD card at all frame rates and with all codecs. But if using a card outside of the Sony recommendations you get a “not guaranteed media” warning.
 
For example when trying to use a v60 to record XAVC-I at 60p or a v90 to record 100/120fps the camera will try to record but if the card can’t keep up you will get flashing tally lights followed by the camera dropping out of record and a “Recording Halted” message. In my testing most of the time the camera just displays the recording halted message and you have to press the menu button or OK button to remove the message, then you can try to record again. But around 30 to 40% of times, especially if it is a second attempt to record on a card that is not fast enough, after the recording halted message the card capacity will go to zero and the record tally lights will continue to flash until you remove the card.  You will not then be able to use that card until it has been restored and in most cases you will lose the last clip shot as well as other clips where the recording was halted. In some cases you can lose everything on the card.

As a card fills up it becomes significantly slower. So a card that is fine when only partially used may cause problems as it fills up. In addition as cards get older they slow down as the memory cell wear leveling has to skip extra blocks or cells. So a card that works today may not work tomorrow.
 
My advice: Use the cards Sony recommends. You are playing with fire trying to get away with other cards. The big risks are a: losing footage and b: ending up with no media as the capacity has gone to zero.

Get a CF Express Type A if you want to shoot UHD 120fps. For everything else SD v90 will work fine.

6 thoughts on “Which Cards Actually Work with the FX6?”

  1. Hopefully this is one of those occasions when people holding out on this camera until work improves will find that the CFexpress type A’s have massively reduced in pricing.

    I guess failing that there is the 4k SDI to a Atomos for those on a budget / looking for continuous multiple hour recording

    1. I think it will be a while before the price of CF Express cards starts to fall significantly. All these years later XQD cards are still expensive.

  2. Will be nice if you put links to hordes this card with an affiliate link ! Good way to give you something and to be sure to buy the good one 🙂

  3. Anyone know if/tested whether v30 cards work reliably with 4K 25p XAVC-I? I know they won’t with 50p but just wondering if I can use some of my existing cards for 4K 25p (for interviews for example)

    1. Some will work, at least to start with. But I certainly would never count on them as being reliable outside of what they are certified for. There will be a good reason why the manufacturer of the card has only rated it for v30 and not v60 or v90. As cards age they get slower, more cycles = slower speed. So one day it might be fine, the next day you’ve lost that all important shot or worse still everything on the card.

      v30 = 300Mb/s absolute maximum. XAVC-I 25p is 300Mb/s so you have nothing in reserve and no overhead for the metadata or any momentary slow down of the write speed.

      You can try it if you want, you might stay lucky, but v60 or v90 SD cards aren’t exactly expensive.

      1. ok many thanks for your responses – “staying lucky” isn’t really an option in professional work! Will buy some more v90 cards…!

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