Sony A1 Memory Card Guide

Welcome to the New Sony Alpha Shooters Community
Our community was only launched in August 2020 but is already thriving thanks to many amazing and helpful members. We'd love to welcome you on board too!
Join Now

Timothy Mayo

Admin
Original poster
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
128
Following
30
1,462
933
Mar 1, 2020
Name
Tim
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Shropshire
I hired the Sony a1 over Christmas but hardly shot any photos with it due to family commitments and miserable weather, however I did manage to test a few different memory cards to see which are performing the best in-camera.

Obviously the CFexpress Type-A cards are the fastest option. With the Sony CEA-G CFexpress Type-A cards you’ll hit the buffer after around 152 shots shooting compressed raw, which will clear in around 10 seconds. If you use a fast UHS-II card like the Kingston Canvas React Plus then you’ll shoot around 150 shots and clear the buffer in around 26 seconds.

There's really nothing between the Sony and ProGrade CFexpress Type-A cards, but the ProGrade cards are a little cheaper so I'd probably go for those unless you need the toughness of the Sony cards.

If you want to go with the more affordable UHS-II cards then I'd recommend the Kingston Canvas React Plus UHS-II cards. They are pretty much the same speed in camera as the much more expensive Sony SF-G Tough cards. I'd definitely avoid the Lexar Professional 2000X UHS-II cards, they are underperforming quite badly in the a1.

What cards are you using? Have you had any issues?

 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevriano and rōken

AlphaWorld

Well Known Member
Followers
1
Following
0
337
171
Apr 8, 2021
Name
Tony
It's a comprehensive coverage, and you look at some cards I have not seen before - thank you!

One point that might be worthy of note - the Sony card reader does work quickly, but it gets quite hot, almost too hot to hold. Annoyingly, it does this even if not being used! I have resorted to unplugging it when I'm not downloading cards. I might try the Lexar that you pointed to - I have at least one Lexar reader already.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Timothy Mayo

Timothy Mayo

Admin
Original poster
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
128
Following
30
1,462
933
Mar 1, 2020
Name
Tim
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Shropshire
It's a comprehensive coverage, and you look at some cards I have not seen before - thank you!

One point that might be worthy of note - the Sony card reader does work quickly, but it gets quite hot, almost too hot to hold. Annoyingly, it does this even if not being used! I have resorted to unplugging it when I'm not downloading cards. I might try the Lexar that you pointed to - I have at least one Lexar reader already.
Which Sony reader do you have? I have the MRW-G2 and although it gets warm transferring the files it's not too hot, even when stopped transferring. I pointed to the ProGrade reader not Lexar. That does actually get warmer than the Sony one! I try to remember to take my cards out when I'm done transferring files, just in case the heat causes any damage.
 

AlphaWorld

Well Known Member
Followers
1
Following
0
337
171
Apr 8, 2021
Name
Tony
I'm using CFexpress cards (which definitely run hotter than SD) in the MRW-G2, and it gets quite hot - mine's an early one (late January 2021 - bought it before the A1 arrived) - maybe newer ones run cooler. The weird part is it being hot even when not in use, with no card in it. This is running USB-C into an iMac Pro. Maybe the metal case makes the heat more obvious?

Oops, ProGrade, yes - it looks so much like a Lexar, which is such a surprise considering where the ProGrade people came from :) I have a Lexar reader that size and shape (but for SD and CF).

Thank you for the tip about the ProGrade running warm, too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Timothy Mayo

Clix Pix

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
2
Following
0
336
323
Aug 18, 2020
Country
United States
City/State
Northern Virginia Suburbs of Washington, DC
Before I even had my A1 in hand , this past summer in anticipation of finally getting one reasonably soon I went ahead and bought one Sony Tough CF Express Card Type A and then later after I was actually using the camera bought a couple more. I tend to keep a 160 GB one in Card Slot 1 and an 80GB one in Card Slot 2 since I often shoot the geese and ducks on our lake.

At the same time back in the summer I also bought the MRW-G2 card reader and that has worked out well for both my CFE cards and the Sony Tough SD cards that I still use in the A7R IV and the two RX cameras. I keep it plugged in all the time for ease of use since I shoot fairly frequently, and there have been times when I've noticed that it's a bit warm even when I haven't been using it at all. It does get pretty warm when I am using it, especially with the 160 GB card if I've come close to filling the card to capacity, which isn't hard to do when one is shooting in Continuous High + at 20 fps! It doesn't become so hot that it becomes difficult to handle, though. I usually remove the card(s) fairly promptly from it after having gotten the files into the computer, and most of the time I shortly thereafter put the card{s} back into the camera and format so that the card(s) will be ready for the next round of shooting.

So far I have not experienced any issues with either the cards themselves or the card reader -- knock on wood!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Timothy Mayo

AlphaWorld

Well Known Member
Followers
1
Following
0
337
171
Apr 8, 2021
Name
Tony
Before I even had my A1 in hand , this past summer in anticipation of finally getting one reasonably soon I went ahead and bought one Sony Tough CF Express Card Type A and then later after I was actually using the camera bought a couple more. I tend to keep a 160 GB one in Card Slot 1 and an 80GB one in Card Slot 2 since I often shoot the geese and ducks on our lake.

At the same time back in the summer I also bought the MRW-G2 card reader and that has worked out well for both my CFE cards and the Sony Tough SD cards that I still use in the A7R IV and the two RX cameras. I keep it plugged in all the time for ease of use since I shoot fairly frequently, and there have been times when I've noticed that it's a bit warm even when I haven't been using it at all. It does get pretty warm when I am using it, especially with the 160 GB card if I've come close to filling the card to capacity, which isn't hard to do when one is shooting in Continuous High + at 20 fps! It doesn't become so hot that it becomes difficult to handle, though. I usually remove the card(s) fairly promptly from it after having gotten the files into the computer, and most of the time I shortly thereafter put the card{s} back into the camera and format so that the card(s) will be ready for the next round of shooting.

So far I have not experienced any issues with either the cards themselves or the card reader -- knock on wood!
I have filled two cards and switched to two more - ended up with half a terabyte of images. Takes a little while to work your way through that many.
 

Clix Pix

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
2
Following
0
336
323
Aug 18, 2020
Country
United States
City/State
Northern Virginia Suburbs of Washington, DC
That's why I bought the 160 GB card, as I went zipping through my two 80 GB ones very quickly during a shooting session with Hooded Mergansers and geese. The larger card helps. In the spring I may buy a second 160 GB one and have two of those in the camera before setting out to shoot on some occasions. During the winter, though, I tend not to shoot as extensively., do more macros and tabletop photography images which don't require high-speed continuous shooting since there is no action going on.

Yes, wading through a bunch of images, many of which look so similar to each other except for very subtle differences, takes a heck of a lot of time! Whew....
 

Madness

Newcomer
Followers
0
Following
0
16
3
Oct 22, 2021
Name
M Madness
Hmmmm, I opted for Lexar 2000X cards and reading your article I have to say I will be searching for Kingston ones. I didn't notice any problems with them not in A1 nor in a7Smk3. But I see that the speed difference is quite big, comparing it with CFexpress that I have. Well I'll order some Kingstones and test. Thanks Tim for that article!
 

AlphaWorld

Well Known Member
Followers
1
Following
0
337
171
Apr 8, 2021
Name
Tony
That's why I bought the 160 GB card, as I went zipping through my two 80 GB ones very quickly during a shooting session with Hooded Mergansers and geese. The larger card helps. In the spring I may buy a second 160 GB one and have two of those in the camera before setting out to shoot on some occasions. During the winter, though, I tend not to shoot as extensively., do more macros and tabletop photography images which don't require high-speed continuous shooting since there is no action going on.

Yes, wading through a bunch of images, many of which look so similar to each other except for very subtle differences, takes a heck of a lot of time! Whew....
I am still refining my approach, but I know I don’t need full speed all the time - I have already dropped mid speed from 15 to 10 frames per second. Pondering setting a button to temporarily change speed
(if that’s possible) so I could drop down for perched birds.

I know my earlier Sony cameras could be customise, too, but I didn’t worry about it. Now I have to, because there are so many thing to change.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Clix Pix

Sdawes

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
6
Following
0
391
493
Aug 18, 2020
I use Sony cf express cards in my A1 and the Sony reader which I agree with others in the thread that it gets very hot when in use. For that reason I only plug it in when in use and take cards out immediately after downloading images. Interestingly it is only 8 months old but appears to have developed a fault whereby after downloading images to the PC when the cards are then put back in the camera the images are no longer viewable in camera and screen just shows a big question mark saying image cannot be viewed. Its not the cards as I have downloaded images via the cable direct from the camera and they are fine also mt SD cards are fine using my sd card reader so must be the reader. Anyway its going back today for a replacement.
 

AlphaWorld

Well Known Member
Followers
1
Following
0
337
171
Apr 8, 2021
Name
Tony
I use Sony cf express cards in my A1 and the Sony reader which I agree with others in the thread that it gets very hot when in use. For that reason I only plug it in when in use and take cards out immediately after downloading images. Interestingly it is only 8 months old but appears to have developed a fault whereby after downloading images to the PC when the cards are then put back in the camera the images are no longer viewable in camera and screen just shows a big question mark saying image cannot be viewed. Its not the cards as I have downloaded images via the cable direct from the camera and they are fine also mt SD cards are fine using my sd card reader so must be the reader. Anyway its going back today for a replacement.
How are you downloading them? I just use the Mac Finder to copy them, and they are still there when I put the card back in the camera.

If you use some of the photo software packages they “help” by deleting the files from the card, but sometimes they don’t do it correctly, resulting in the effect you report. I would avoid using one of those for that reason.

I have taken to unplugging the reader when not in use, too.
 

Sdawes

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
6
Following
0
391
493
Aug 18, 2020
How are you downloading them? I just use the Mac Finder to copy them, and they are still there when I put the card back in the camera.

If you use some of the photo software packages they “help” by deleting the files from the card, but sometimes they don’t do it correctly, resulting in the effect you report. I would avoid using one of those for that reason.

I have taken to unplugging the reader when not in use, too.
up until the last week I have always downloaded the images from card reader direct into my Lightroom catalogue and this has worked well up until now . I don't believe it is Lightroom doing anything as the images remain perfectly fine off the same cards if I import them direct from the camera via the usb C lead and it is also fine when downloading images from standard SD cards through a different reader into Lightroom. The issue only appeared with the CF express reader on the last two occasions . I can only deduce from that the reader is the problem .
 

AlphaWorld

Well Known Member
Followers
1
Following
0
337
171
Apr 8, 2021
Name
Tony
up until the last week I have always downloaded the images from card reader direct into my Lightroom catalogue and this has worked well up until now . I don't believe it is Lightroom doing anything as the images remain perfectly fine off the same cards if I import them direct from the camera via the usb C lead and it is also fine when downloading images from standard SD cards through a different reader into Lightroom. The issue only appeared with the CF express reader on the last two occasions . I can only deduce from that the reader is the problem .
Wow!

Hope that doesn’t happen to mine. Still, there are other CFeA readers now.
 

Pro Membership Upgrade

  • If you'd like to support this community you can easily do so by becoming a Pro Member and unlocking the following benefits:

    ✓ No Adverts in the Forums
    ✓ Pro Member Competitions
    ✓ Sell Items in the Marketplace
    ✓ Unlimited Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Higher Resolution Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Forum Profile Signature
    ✓ Custom Profile Cover Photo
    ✓ Advertise Your Photography Workshops

    Pro Member Upgrade

Shopping Links

You can also support this site by purchasing gear through the following affiliate links:
Although I would recommend supporting your local camera store if you have one.

User Menu

alpha shooters text logo

© 2020 Alpha Shooters. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Alpha Shooters is an independently run website and is not affiliated with Sony.com
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.