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San Disk introduces SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash

Twice the speed of current SanDisk Extreme III cards, ideal for medium-format digital cameras and backs, high-performance and high-resolution DSLRs

Press Release
SanDisk Corporation today introduced the new SanDisk Extreme IV line of CompactFlash digital film cards for professional photographers. The line is targeted at photographers who require the highest possible performance and the largest capacities for their medium-format and high-end digital SLR cameras. The SanDisk Extreme IV cards are available in capacities of up to 8GB and deliver minimum read and write speeds of 40MB per second (based on SanDisk internal testing), making these the fastest flash memory cards in the world. This exceptionally fast card speed is critical when shooting large numbers of high-resolution images.

SanDisk also introduced the new SanDisk Extreme FireWire reader that can transfer images from the SanDisk Extreme IV cards to a computer at up to 40MB/sec. for significantly improved workflow efficiency. These new products were announced at a press conference held today at the NASDAQ Market Site in New York City.

SanDisk Extreme IV cards use SanDisk-developed ESP (Enhanced Super-Parallel Processing) technology that combine fast NAND flash memory chips and controller designs, 32-bit RISC processing and advanced algorithms in an architecture that streamlines every aspect of read and write data transfer operations. In addition, SanDisk works closely with major camera manufacturers to ensure the speed and compatibility of its cards.

"The SanDisk Extreme IV line is the direct result of SanDisk's passion and continued drive to provide the highest possible performance for professional photographers" said Tanya Chuang, senior retail marketing manager at SanDisk. "On behalf of SanDisk, I would like to personally thank our major partners and leading manufacturers of professional digital cameras such as Canon, Hasselblad, Leaf, Nikon and Phase One. Without their strong support and inputs, development of the SanDisk Extreme IV line would not have been possible."

Medium-format cameras such as the Hasselblad H2D-39 and digital backs, such as the Leaf Aptus family, produce enormous files that must be quickly processed and then saved to the card. Their advanced firmware lets photographers save RAW and high-end JPEG images faster so they can continue to shoot without losing their rhythm.

High-end digital SLRs may also show increased performance with the SanDisk Extreme IV cards.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad, said, "The speed and capacities of the removable storage cards can have a serious impact on the overall performance of Hasselblad cameras. Our most advanced digital camera is the Hasselblad H2D-39, the world's first 39-megapixel (MP) digital auto-focus camera that can capture one image every two seconds. Using a SanDisk Extreme IV card, the initial burst rate is dramatically improved from 6 frames to 10 frames versus a SanDisk Extreme III card. This is a huge gain that can mean the difference between capturing the shot or not."

Dov Kalinski, general manager of Leaf, part of Kodak's Graphic Communications Group, said, "Leaf, as a leading supplier of digital camera backs for professional photographers since 1992, has consistently led the market with innovative solutions, quality and ground-breaking speed. Integrating the new SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash cards allow us to take a leap forward in terms of mobile storage performance. Our customers will now enjoy increased portability, which is of utmost importance to a significant portion of the market."

While the speed of the card is important for in-camera performance, card-to-computer transfer rates are becoming an increasingly important workflow consideration. The time it takes to transfer images to a computer can be a bigger bottleneck now that card capacities have expanded into the multi-gigabyte range.

The SanDisk Extreme IV cards and SanDisk Extreme FireWire 800/400reader combine to form a high-speed "system" that dramatically decreases card-to-computer transfer time. Images are transferred at up to the 40MB/sec. speed of the SanDisk Extreme IV cards. For a limited time, the company will offer an introductory bundle pack that includes a 4GB SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash card and a SanDisk Extreme FireWire reader.

In the U.S. and Europe, a free 30-day trial version of Adobe Photoshop CS2 software is bundled with each SanDisk Extreme FireWire Reader.

SanDisk Extreme IV cards are designed to withstand the industry's widest guaranteed operating temperature range from minus 13°F (minus 25°C) to 185°F (85°C).

The cards also include RescuePRO® software that allows photographers to easily recover accidentally deleted images, lost digital images or data. The included software is compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms.

Pricing and Availability
SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash cards and new reader will be available at the following suggested retail prices:

SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash
2GB, $159.99
4GB, $319.99
8GB, $639.99

Introductory Bundle Pack
2GB Card & Reader, $239.99
4GB Card & Reader, $399.99

SanDisk Extreme FireWire Reader
$79.99

SanDisk Extreme USB 2.0 Reader
$24.99 (available in August)

SanDisk Extreme IV cards carry a lifetime limited warranty. Photographers who purchase the cards also will have access to a dedicated toll-free number for technical support questions.