The need for speed downloading your images

Santa brought me this–The big spender that I am, I kept it under $100. I paid $60.94 shipped for this San Disk Firewire 800 Compact Flash card reader. If you’re shooting with large compact flash cards, you won’t be disappointed. There’s some talk that USB 2.0 will be updated/replaced by USB 3.0 soon but who knows when.
In the box are 2 cables. One is strictly a Firewire 800 cable on both ends. The other is Firewire 800 and Firewire 400 for folks with computers which don’t have the latest Firewire 800 ports.

Prior to digital cameras, that need for speed was never an issue in computing.

Most folks used computers for wordprocessing so their data was mostly text.

Occasionally they might use a graphics program and clip art to make a flyer. That was it.

In the 10 years since I bought my 1st Mac Powerbook, I’m amazed at how much has changed.

Today, I have more storage on a single compact flash card than the internal hard drive of my 1st Powerbook.

The price of progress is we all get increasingly annoyed when we have a memory card that’s full and it takes forever to download our images.

USB 2.0 seems to be the standard but that pipeline has not kept up with the size of our memory cards.

That’s why I bought a new  card reader. The big spender that I am couldn’t stand it any longer.

Let’s see how long this little gizmo satisfies my need for speed before I spend another $60.94.

The rear of the card reader—The connector at the back is Firewire 800. San Disk provides a cable with Firewire 400 for those who don’t have that port on their computer. It’s still faster than USB 2.0. There may be eSATA card readers out there by now as well but my MacBook Pro doesn’t have that sort of a port and I would have to buy an ExpressCard/34 controller

Wooa…before you run out and do the same, consider something very carefully.


Just know that if you upgrade to a different camera, your new baby might not use Compact Flash cards, so this reader will be of little use to you then.

It doesn’t support other types of memory cards–only compact flash cards.

Since all my cameras use only that, I’m fine with that.

As with most things when you want to upgrade to a different camera, this is a big consideration.

That “C” word—compatibility— is never guaranteed. It’s the price of progress.

That’s why I advocate research. Just going out and paying big bucks for a new body without researching whether it will play well with your version of Photoshop especially if you plan to shoot RAW can spell a major headache.

Sure you might be able to figure a workaround but after paying so much you’re likely going to be very upset.

When you contact support, Adobe and Apple and Microsoft will play that blame game with you.

On a related topic about digital images, Lexar is giving away their image recovery software in exchange for your email address.

A suggestion to SPAM-sensitive folks out there, just use your throwaway email account?

I’m not sure how long this offer will be available, so jump on it cause it’s free.

What’s the worse that can happen?

You might find some incriminating pictures that were supposedly deleted when you formatted the card? 🙂

2 thoughts on “The need for speed downloading your images”

  1. DeeAnn,
    For my purposes, the Firewire 800 is something I need. If I want to grab images from my students for a critique, I can’t afford to waste time especially if everyone shoots a lot and there’s a lot of students I need to grab images from.

  2. Using a slow USB card reader and really don’t see the need for speed.
    Working from home, even on deadline, I usually use the download time to get a drink, visit the loo, feed the dogs.
    Interested in how your ‘Santa’ gift goes though Peter, don’t get whiplash.

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