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Author Topic: What's the fastest way to transfer images from CF card?  (Read 6890 times)
Gellman
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« on: July 16, 2009, 02:48:09 AM »
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In their Lightroom 2 video tutorial, Michael and Jeff recommend using an Express Card 34 reader for transferring image files from a compact flash card to a MacBook Pro computer. However, they did not mention a specific product, and I could not make out the brand they were using on the video. I've been using a Sandisk USB 2 reader and it is slow slow slow. I think FedEx could deliver the files from the card to the computer faster than USB.

I did a short search and came up with two products that claim similar transfer speeds, but I have no idea which would be fastest in the real world, or besides speed, what would be some advantages or disadvantages of each for use with a new model MacBook Pro that has an Express Card 34 slot and FW800.

A Sandisk Extreme Firewire 800 reader claims 40 MB per second transfer rate and costs around $60, or a little less.
http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Item(2015)...ire_Reader.aspx

A Delkin ExpressCard 34 Compact Flash Reader also claims 40 MB per second transfer rate but costs around $40 or a little less.
http://www.delkin.com/shop/product.php?pro...at=0&page=1

If these products are indeed comparable in speed, then the Delkin appears to be a better value.

I appreciate anyone willing to share their knowledge about this.

John
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 12:45:48 AM by ncjohnboy » Logged

Clearair
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 03:44:14 AM »
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Quote from: ncjohnboy
In their Lightroom 2 video tutorial, Michael and Jeff recommend using an Express Card 34 reader for transferring image files from a compact flash card to a MacBook Pro computer. However, they did not mention a specific product, and I could not make out the brand they were using on the video. I've been using a Sandisk USB 2 reader and it is slow slow slow. I think FedEx could deliver the files from the card to the computer faster than USB.

I did a short search and came up with two products that claim similar transfer speeds, but I have no idea which would be fastest in the real world, or besides speed, what would be some advantages or disadvantages of each for use with a new model MacBook Pro that has an Express Card 34 slot and FW800.

A Sandisk Extreme Firewire 800 reader claims 40 MB per second transfer rate and costs around $88, or a little less.
http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Item(2015)...ire_Reader.aspx

A Delkin ExpressCard 34 Compact Flash Reader also claims 40 MB per second transfer rate but costs around $40 or a little less.
http://www.delkin.com/shop/product.php?pro...at=0&page=1

If these products are indeed comparable in speed, then the Delkin appears to be a much better value.

I appreciate anyone willing to share their knowledge about this.

John

Don't use an express card so no advise on that but the Sandisk Firewire 800 reader does what is says. I bought it as cameras increased in file sizes but not that much in download performance. If you are using a 5D mk1 for example it can be slow even on a 4 gig card of WHATEVER spec!! This is important. The download speeds are also card dependent, even if you buy a faster reader. I go for quality and support, sandisk have not disappointed.
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LA30
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 11:02:22 PM »
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You can't go wrong with a newer Sandisk card and reader.

See this article

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/reader_re...p?cid=6007-9392

It does make a huge difference if you are shooting a lot.

Ken
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Gellman
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 12:16:27 AM »
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After a little more research, I've found out that all ExpressCard 34 readers are not created equal. The Delkin ExpressCard 34 Compact Flash adapter sells for $26.50 at B&H and transfers files at up to 40 MB per second, which is roughly the same speed as a SanDisk firewire 800 reader that costs around $60. The Sonnet Pro Dual Compact Flash Adapter ExpressCard/34 sells for $97.95 at B&H and transfers files at up to 133 MB per second. So the Sonnet adapter is 3 times faster, and over 3 times more expensive, but can transfer data from 2 compact flash cards at once. I believe Michael and Jeff used the Delkin adapter in the Lightroom 2 tutorial, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I think the Sonnet adapter was released after the Lightroom video was produced. Lloyd Chambers recommends the Sonnet adapter for those who choose to use an ExpressCard adapter.

The fastest transfer speeds can only be utilized with the fastest UDMA cards. I don't see any advantage to using the fastest, most expensive card reader with slower compact flash cards. Still, this raises an interesting point. If fastest possible data transfer from camera to computer is needed, it makes sense to use the fastest compact flash card and the fastest card reader, even if your camera cannot take advantage of the fastest cards, for example a Canon 5D (not MKII).

Lloyd Chambers also points out that the ExpressCard 34 slot on a MacBook Pro cannot be used for anything else while the card reader is mounted. This would present a problem to those who might want to transfer files to an external hard drive via an eSATA connection, which also utilizes the ExpressCard 34 slot.

This may all seem like much ado about nothing. Most of the time, I just take a break when transferring files from 4 GB or larger cards. One has to ask how much it's worth to achieve the fastest transfer speeds if a client is looking over your shoulder immediately after the excitement of a shoot. For me, it's worth an extra seventy bucks or so.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 12:46:12 AM by ncjohnboy » Logged

Gellman
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 12:29:08 AM »
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Ken - Thanks! I had not seen the Rob Galbraith article. It raises a reliability issue of bent pins with the ExpressCard adapters that I had not considered. Even my USB card reader is faster than an ExpressCard reader that is broken.

John
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LA30
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 04:12:07 PM »
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I have extreme IV sandisk cards, VERY cheap these days, almost as fast as the 'newer' ducati cards.  Rob's article points to the speeds so hunt around for prices etc.  I find myself using the 4 gig cards all the time as I shoot with the Canon 1Dsm3 and a Phase 1 P30+ back.  2 gigs are a little too small for me these days.  I typically use my express 34 card slot for my 2 bay enclosure http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-2en2/ and this card, you can but them as a pair.  There is a faster 34 card on the market ( http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_express34.html) and they dropped the price to $100 from $200 as only the mac 17" book has a 34 card slot (STUPID APPLE!!!!)  I love the Firmtek enclosure, hate the price but it is VERY SMALL and pretty quiet.  I only have a laptop these days, full size keyboard/mouse and a NEX 2690 monitor.  It is a hot setup.

ken
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