Card readers - reviews, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MSM Hobbes, May 9, 2010.

  1. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    80% of my shooting is done w/ Canon 50D, shooting RAW, with balance being SD cards on couple other cameras. Have previous gen white 24" iMac [400 and 800 Firewire ports] and white MB [400 FW port] - plan is to get Mac Pro when they are [hopefully] released sometime this summer, thereby having as many durn ports and expansion as my heart / needs desire :cool:. So, with that all said, as wanting to download as fast and accurate as possible, what would be recommended card reader - something portable, so can take on trips, yet mainly used at the house - for mainly CF cards but also SD cards?

    Have been looking at these two:
    Lexar CompactFlash FireWire 800 Card Reader RW034-001
    Sandisk Extreme FireWire Reader

    Any thoughts [besides what I've seen from Amazon and other sites] on these, or other quality readers? Negative of the two listed above is that they are only for CF cards,,, are there any readers that can do both CF and SD cards, connected to a FW port?
  2. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Here is, in my opinion, the bible on CF/SD card and reader performance:

    Here are the CF Readers:

    Here are the SD Readers:

    Right now I'm personally using both SanDisk Extreme FireWire readers (at home) and the Lexar Professional UDMA FireWire 800 readers (at work) which both use the same chipset and have nearly identical speeds.

    I personally like the design of the SanDisk better, it is more compact and the cards seems to insert and eject easier. The main advantages the Lexar model has are it's stackable design and dual Firewire ports so you can daisy-chain multiple readers together. I've seen colleagues with stacks of 4 or more.

    Remember the speed of your flash cards will also impact the speed at which you can download. A fast reader won't help much with a cheap CF card from Walmart.

  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I was just in your situation having moved from SD to CF (Rebel to 7D).

    I know FW is faster, but it's not available on every computer (Mac Air, iPad, Internet Cafe, etc.). You may want to consider a USB card reader for more versatility. The speed isn't that bad either if you get something that's still UDMA.

    I use this... which is SD/CF, USB, Fast, and costs under $50!

    It also pops out of the clear plastic shell easily so it's even more compact to travel with.
  4. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    I picked up a 13-in-1 Expresscard reader at Altex for about $22. It works great!

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