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(Pocket-lint) - The Sony XQD memory card has been announced, which will bring super speedy performance to photo enthusiasts and professional photographers for all kinds of image capture.

This timely announcement of the Sony XQD cards sits alongside the launch of the Nikon D4 today, an absolute beast of a DSLR and the first camera to include support for the XQD format.

Using the XQD memory cards should ensure that XQD compatible high-end DSLRs, at this stage just the D4, will be able to capture up to approximately 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode. Couple this with decent high-speed data transfer rates and high reliability and you're left with a very competent system.

Transfer rates will be up to 1Gbps/125MBps write and read (based on Sony tests and dependent on host hardware) through the PCIe interface. There is also a USB 2.0/3.0 compatible XQD card reader (model MRW-E80) available from Sony, so you can quickly and easily transfer large quantities of very high capacity data to a PC.

An XQD ExpressCard Adapter (QDA-EX1) is also available for use with computers with an ExpressCard 34 card slot.

The cards and accessories should all be available in February 2012 and have been priced at $129.99 for 16GB card and $229.99 for 32GB. The Card Reader will be $44.99, whilst the ExpressCard Adapter comes in at $44.99.

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Writing by Ben Crompton.