New adapter allows the usage of M.2 NVMe SSDs on DSLR cameras

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The big picture: In an era where phone cameras continue to improve and even begin to see professional usage, some photographers still prefer their trusted DSLRs. One downside to these cameras is the expensive expandable storage options. However, Icy Dock may have the solution to those problems.

Icy Dock is a company that specializes in producing storage enclosures for many different form factors, such as 2.5″, 3.5″, and M.2 drives. While mainly focusing on server-related products, Icy Dock’s latest creation branches out to camera storage.

For years, DSLR cameras used SD cards as a standard for expanding camera storage. The solution combined high storage capacities with a small form factor. However, the industry has recently begun to adopt a new storage medium: CFexpress.

CFexpress cards have one notable benefit compared to their predecessors: overall speed. The fastest SD cards max out at around 300 MB per second, whereas a standard CFexpress Type B card can reach speeds of up to 2 GB per second. Unfortunately, CFexpress cards are costly, usually costing over $1 per gigabyte.

Icy Dock hopes to solve this problem with the CP130, which converts the CFexpress port into a standard M.2 slot. Since M.2 SSDs have seen significant price drops lately, typically having costs of $0.04–$0.06 per gigabyte, the company’s solution provided photographers with fast storage at a hefty discount.

The CP130 supports many different M.2 sizes, including 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110. The adapter only allows PCIe 3.0 drives and is limited to two of the four available PCIe lanes, restricting SSD speeds to a maximum of 2 GB per second, which is still as fast as CFexpress.

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Icy Dock supports numerous cameras, including:

  • Canon EOS R3
  • Canon EOS R5
  • Canon 1DX
  • Canon C300 Mark II
  • Canon C500 Mark III
  • Nikon Z9
  • NikonZ7II
  • NikonD500
  • NikonD850
  • Fujifilm X-H2S
  • Panasonic LUMIX GH6

It is also compatible with “most” DSLR/MILC cameras and camcorders with a CFexpress Type B slot.

The adapter features a screwless design to allow easy storage swaps and supports many mounting options. The CP130 hasn’t launched yet, but an Icy Dock competitor recently began selling its own M.2 adapter, which retails for $210, so it’s fair to expect a similar MSRP upon release.

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