Update (Dec. 26, 2015)
It’s been two years since I wrote this article and I thought I’d revisit my opinion/knowledge of the CF vs. SD card debate. I still think CF cards are a waste of money. I shoot professionally with many cameras, the Nikon D810 being one of them, and I rarely use the CF slot (if I do it’s purely to back up the SD card but it seems redundant to me). I have never had an SD card fail on me (I’m knocking on wood as I type this) and trust them wholeheartedly.
I stopped shooting with PNY SD cards sometime ago… SanDisk makes an amazing SD card that is blazing fast. Ignore the fancy Extreme, Extreme Pro, Speed Of Zordon, etc. names and look at the tiny little MB/s number (the higher the better). SanDisk makes the SanDisk Extreme PRO which I love. With write speeds up to 90 MB/s you can get the 32GB without having to worry about snail pace uploads… It’s quick as a bunny and only costs about $25.
If you are a pro photographer that shoots sports photography primarily (6+ fps) then you may be able to make a small case for the CF cards but I’d just think you must hate your money. At the end of the day it’s going to come down to what you are used to and what you are willing to spend. Either type would work but the SD card is more cost-effective and durable.
What do you think? Should we give CF cards another look? Drop a note below in the comment section and give us your 2 cents.