In the world of digital photography, having a reliable and high-speed memory card is crucial. CompactFlash (CF) cards have long been a popular choice among professional photographers due to their durability and fast read and write speeds. These cards offer ample storage capacity and high-speed data transfer rates, making them ideal for capturing high-quality images and videos. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast, investing in the best CompactFlash card can make a significant difference in your photography experience.

When it comes to choosing the best CompactFlash card, there are many factors to consider, such as read/write speeds, storage capacity, brand reputation, and price. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best CompactFlash card for your photography needs.

Keep reading to find out more about the top CompactFlash cards available on the market and what makes them stand out from the rest.

What is a CompactFlash Card?

A CompactFlash card is a type of solid-state memory card that is widely used in digital cameras, camcorders, and other devices. It was introduced by SanDisk in 1994 and has since become a popular choice due to its large storage capacity, durability, and high-speed data transfer capabilities.

Benefits of CompactFlash Cards

CompactFlash cards offer several advantages over other memory card formats. Here are some key benefits:

  • High Storage Capacity: CompactFlash cards are available in larger storage capacities compared to many other memory cards, allowing you to store a vast number of files.
  • Fast Data Transfer: CF cards often have faster read and write speeds, ensuring quick data transfer between your device and the card.
  • Durability: CompactFlash cards are built to withstand harsh conditions, making them highly durable and resistant to shock, extreme temperatures, and water.
  • Wide Compatibility: Many cameras and devices support CompactFlash cards, making them versatile and widely compatible.
  • Longevity: CF cards have a longer lifespan compared to other memory cards, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Best CompactFlash Cards

7. Kingston 8 GB CompactFlash Memory Card

The Kingston CompactFlash memory card is the perfect choice for the beginning or advanced amateur photographer with its high capacity. This card is also an excellent choice for everyday use in PDAs, mp3 players, and audio recording devices. It has high-capacity storage which gives less time to be spent changing cards in the field. In addition, low power consumption improves battery performance in digital cameras and other devices. It offers solid-state memory that has no moving parts which guarantee durability and performance. It combines high capacity with affordability for quick and easy download and transfer of digital files. It is also one-third the size of a full-sized PC card so it comfortably fits in the palm. It can also be used in conjunction with a PC card type 2 adapter not included for quick viewing of footage from a notebook and use in larger format cameras.
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6. Lexar Professional 800 x 64GB VPG-20 Compact Flash Card

Lexar Professional VPG-20 800x CompactFlash card lets you quickly capture and transfer high-quality photos and 1080p, full HD, 3d and 4k video with a read transfer speed up to 800x 160MB/s. the card provides a performance you can trust. It supports the video performance guarantee VPG–65 specification. In addition, the high-speed performance dramatically accelerates your workflow from start to finish. Therefore, you can save time and get back into the business of photography. It includes image rescue software, which recovers most photos and selects video files even if they have been erased or the card has been corrupted. All Lexar Professional line memory cards come with a limited lifetime warranty and are backed by expert technical support.

5. SanDisk Ultra 16GB CompactFlash Memory Card

The SanDisk Ultra CF card enables you to record full HD 1080p video with its class 10 feature. With enhanced data read speeds of up to 50MB/s. This ultra SDHC memory card is designed to suit the needs of compact and mid-range point-and-shoot cameras. You can also save and store a variety of files such as music movies documents and more. In addition, the writable Label found on the card allows you to write down what is saved to the card while the built-in write protects which helps to prevent accidental data loss. Another advantage is that it comes with a shock, temperature, and x-ray magnet, and is waterproof.

4. Transcend 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card 800x

The Transcend 32GB features a 32-gigabyte storage capacity perfect for storing those HD photos and recording HD video. the enhanced 800X speed rating and ultra-fast 120MB/s data read and 60MB/s data write speeds are backed up by an MLC flash chip ensuring enhanced performance and durability. It also helps to maximize your battery runtime as it supports reduced power consumption. it is built using MLC flash chips for guaranteed performance and durability. Besides the built-in hardware, ECC technology helps in detecting and correcting errors. It supports recovery ex-software, which allows you to conduct an in-depth search within your storage device for traces of erased files to be recovered.

3. Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB VPG-65 CompactFlash card

The Lexar Professional VPG-65 features a 128GB storage capacity perfect for storing large files including high-quality photos 1080p full HD 3d and 4k video. With a 1066X speed, the rating is capable of achieving data read speeds of up to 160 MB/s and data write speeds of up to 155MB/s. It supports the video performance guarantee VPG 65 specification, which enables professional-quality video capture at high frame rates with no dropped frames. In addition, it includes the latest version of image rescue software, which recovers most photos and selects video files. even if they have been erased or the card has been corrupted. Its high-speed performance dramatically accelerates your workflow from start to finish so that you can save time.
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2. SanDisk Extreme 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card

The SanDisk 32GB Extreme provides fast reliable photo and video capture. It features a read speed of up to 120MB/s and a write speed of up to 85MB/s. The ultra-direct memory access 7(UDMA 7) ensures optimal performance and when paired with a UTM a compliant DSLR camera. This card guarantees fast high-quality photo and video capture. It comes with a durable design, which is backed by rigorous stress shock and vibration testing and includes an RTV silicone coating for protection against shock and vibration. In addition, it includes VPG-20, which ensures a sustained data recording rate of 20MB/s for a smooth and unbroken video stream.

1. SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB CompactFlash Memory Card

Holding first place in the list of the best CompactFlash cards, we have the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB. It features enhanced data read speeds of up to 160MB/s along with data write speeds of up to 150MB/s. It is designed to support both Full HD and 4k video, as it is VPG-65 certified. The VPG-65 feature offers sustained data write speeds of 65 megabytes a second ensuring a smooth flow of data and keeping video streams crisp and clean. It is also compatible with both raw and JPEG file formats and comes equipped with an RVT silicone coating and a writable label. In addition, it includes RTV silicone coating inside for added protection against shock and vibration. It comes with Rescue Pro Deluxe data recovery software, which makes it easy to recover files that have been accidentally deleted.

Buying Guide

Professional photographers and videographers who need to store their high-resolution photos and videos quickly and reliably often use CompactFlash (CF) cards. It can be hard to choose the best CompactFlash cards because there are so many brands and features to choose from. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when buying CompactFlash cards.

  1. Capacity: CompactFlash cards are available in a range of storage capacities, from 16GB to 512GB or even more. The capacity you need will depend on the type of photography you do and how much storage you require. If you shoot high-resolution images or 4K videos, you’ll need a card with a larger capacity. Consider how often you shoot and how long you can go without offloading your images and videos before selecting a capacity.
  2. Speed: CF cards come in different speed classes, and it’s important to choose one that meets your needs. Speed is measured in MB/s, and it determines how quickly the card can write and read data. Look for cards with fast write speeds if you shoot RAW images or record high-resolution videos. The minimum recommended write speed for video recording is 30 MB/s.
  3. Type: CF cards come in two types, Type I and Type II. Type II cards are thicker and less common than Type I cards. However, some high-end cameras, such as the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, require Type II cards. Check your camera’s manual to see which type of card it supports.
  4. Brand: Stick with reputable brands when buying CompactFlash cards, as they are less likely to fail or corrupt your data. SanDisk and Lexar are two popular brands that offer reliable and high-performance CompactFlash cards.
  5. Price: CF cards vary in price, and you’ll find cheaper options with lower capacities and slower speeds. Don’t skimp on price when it comes to storage, as cheap cards may not perform well and could corrupt your data. Consider investing in a higher-end card to ensure reliability and longevity.
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In conclusion, when buying CompactFlash cards, consider the capacity, speed, type, brand, and price. By taking these factors into account, you can select the best CompactFlash card for your needs, ensuring that your images and videos are stored safely and securely.

Tips for Using CompactFlash Cards Effectively

To make the most of your CompactFlash cards, here are some useful tips:

  • Format the card in-camera before initial use to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.
  • Safely eject the card from your camera or device to avoid data corruption.
  • Store your CompactFlash cards in a protective case to prevent physical damage.
  • Regularly back up your data to avoid losing precious files.
  • Avoid exposing the cards to extreme temperatures or moisture.


Investing in the best CompactFlash card for your photography or videography needs is crucial to ensure reliable storage and efficient workflow. Consider the factors discussed in this buying guide, such as storage capacity, speed rating, compatibility, and reliability, to make an informed decision. Remember to choose reputable brands and select the appropriate card based on your specific requirements. With a high-quality CompactFlash card, you can capture and store your precious moments without worrying about storage limitations or performance issues.


Q: Can I use a CompactFlash card in a device that only supports SD cards?

A: No, CompactFlash cards and SD cards have different form factors and are not cross-compatible. Make sure your device supports CompactFlash cards before purchasing.

Q: What does the speed rating on a CompactFlash card mean?

A: The speed rating indicates the card’s read and write speeds. Higher speed ratings imply faster data transfer and better performance.

Q: Are CompactFlash cards being phased out?

A: While newer memory card formats like SD and CFast are gaining popularity, CompactFlash cards continue to be widely used, especially in professional photography and videography.

Q: How do I clean my CompactFlash card?

A: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the contacts on your CompactFlash card. Avoid using liquids or abrasive materials that may damage the card.

Q: Can I recover data from a damaged CompactFlash card?

A: In some cases, data recovery software or specialized services may help recover data from a damaged CompactFlash card. However, success is not guaranteed, and prevention is always better than recovery.

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