Amateur Photographer verdict

Lexar’s Silver Series CFexpress Type B cards offer excellent performance that outstrips SD cards. They’re not as quick as the firm’s Gold series, but to many users that may not matter.
  • Much faster than SD cards
  • Robust construction
  • Good value
  • Not the fastest CFexpress card available

With the latest generation of professional cameras offering high-speed, high-resolution shooting for both stills and video, conventional SD cards are no longer always able to keep up. Getting maximal performance therefore requires the use of CFexpress cards, which come in two different sizes. Sony uses the smaller Type A cards, but the other major camera makers have all adopted Type B. Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Silver Series cards are designed to offer fast, reliable performance at a relatively attractive price.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Card Silver Series 128GB at a glance:

  • $100 / £134
  • Up to 1750MB/s read speed
  • Up to 1300MB/s write speed
  • Capacities up to 1TB
  • Operating temperature -10°C to 70°C
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Lexar website

Lexar offers CFexpress Type B cards in two variants, labelled Silver and Gold. Just as with its SD cards, the latter are faster but more expensive. The difference in RRP isn’t huge – £159 vs £169 in the UK – but in practice, the Silver cards tend to sell at a significantly lower street price.

Unpicking their specifications line-by-line reveals that the most significant difference lies not with peak read or write speeds, but with sustained write speeds. Silver cards are rated for 480MB/sec for the 128GB and 256GB options in this respect (larger versions are faster), while Gold cards are much faster, promising 1300MB/sec. In context, though, the Silver cards still handily outperform the very quickest UHS-II SD cards, which are limited to 300MB/sec.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Silver vs Gold cards
Lexar’s silver cards offer slower sustained write speeds than Gold, but are still faster than SD cards. Credit: Andy Westlake

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Card Silver Series 128GB key features:

  • Compatibility: CFexpress Type B cards are used by high-end cameras from most brands except Sony
  • Capacity: Alongside 128GB, Lexar makes 256GB, 512GB and 1TB versions of this card
  • Warranty: Lexar says it will repair, replace, or refund a card that is found to be defective during use by the original owner
  • Robust: CFexpress cards are physically more robust than SD cards, with Lexar using a metal casing

Lexar does say the Gold cards offer ‘rugged durability for added protection against the elements including extreme temperatures, shock, and vibration’, while making no such claims for the Silver cards. However, examining them closely side-by-side reveals no visible difference in terms of construction. When it comes to operating temperatures, both Gold and Silver cards are rated to work from -10°C to 70°C.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Card Silver Series 128GB
CFexpress cards are thicker than SD and use recessed contacts. Credit: Andy Westlake

In terms of user benefits, the faster Gold cards should in principle do a better job of supporting extended high-speed burst shooting, or internal RAW video recording. So they’ll be the better choice if you know you’ll regularly be pushing your camera to its limits. However, the question is whether using the cheaper Silver cards imposes any significant limitations on camera performance in less strenuous use.

I’ve used the Lexar Silver cards while testing a number of cameras, including the 100MP Fujifilm GFX100 II and the 60MP Leica SL3. In practice, they’ve been perfectly reliable and I’ve struggled to identify any real-world limitations. There’s no significant difference in speed compared to Gold cards when copying files to my computer, either. Both are limited to about 1000MB/sec with the card readers I have available. 

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Card Silver Series 128GB packaging
Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Card Silver Series 128GB packaging. Credit: Andy Westlake

Camera compatibility

Many high-end cameras now use CFexpress Type B cards. This includes the Canon EOS R3 and R5; Fujifilm X-H2, X-H2S and GFX100 II; Leica SL3; Nikon Z 9, Z 8, Z 7II and Z 6II; and the Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R. If in doubt, check the manual or manufacturers’ website.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B Card Silver Series 128GB: Our Verdict

While Lexar CFexpress Type B Silver Series cards aren’t the fastest you can buy, they may well be the best value. If you want something faster and more robust than SD cards, they’re a fine choice.

Amateur Photographer Recommended 4.5 stars

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