And that explains the whopping price tag that SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) is forced to attach to the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I memory card. The unveiling of the mega-storage SD card came yesterday at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam. It comes exactly 10 years after SanDisk unveiled its 512 megabyte card that went on to become the industry standard storage means in cameras. That card, ten years ago, had 1,000 times less storage than the card shown yesterday.

sandisk 512GB memory card

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) was one of three companies that were key to the development of the format, along with Matsushita and Toshiba. The Secure Digital (SD) format was introduced in 1999 to replace MultiMediaCards and while SanDisk was a pioneer, over 400 different companies have produced SD cards since.

Serious niche market

At $799.99, SanDisk can’t possibly be thinking that they will be selling many of these cards but are appealing to photography industry professionals and ultra-high definition video users. With 128 GB available for considerably less, they are clearly targeting this card at a very small niche market and it could be argued that the card is no more than a novelty at that price point.

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) had this to saw at yesterday’s unveiling, “The new offering is designed to meet the demands of industry professionals who require the most advanced gear available for shooting 4K Ultra High Definition (3,840×2,160p) video, Full HD video (1,920×1,080) and high-speed burst mode photography.”

The card also offers transfer speeds of 95 megabytes to facilitate the quick movement of data to desktop for buyers of the card. The “Extreme” in the cards name refers to the fact that it is temperature, water, shock, and x-ray proof.

SanDisk: Early testimonial

With yesterday’s announcement also came the first testimonial for the new card.

“The new 512GB SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I card offers incredible speed and capacity,” Grant Petty, CEO of video post-production house Blackmagic Design, said in a statement. “Our Pocket Cinema Camera customers shoot in every type of circumstance and location, and get amazing wide dynamic range RAW images capturing the brightest highlights and darkest shadows at the same time. The additional capacity of the SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-I card will extend the creative freedom for our customers shooting in RAW and open up the ability to use wide dynamic range RAW files with even more productions.”

The card will be available late this month and for those who preorder the card the will bring the price down to $729 if ordered through Adorama. Those who wait will undoubtedly see a reduced price in the coming months as is the norm for SD cards.