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Thread: Stoopid CF cards!.. which card reader?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Stoopid CF cards!.. which card reader?

    I've been using cheap slow CF cards for ever and a day, and I'm more than happy with them, save for one caveat for every 200 situations I've ever found myself in.

    Being primarily a slow style photographer(where I usually do landscapes or still stuff or whatever) the need for speed has never crossed my mindset. Up until recently, I think I've ever only come across a speed issue with my CF cards only on two occasions where shooting multiple frames in raw mode has hit a buffer issue of some kind.
    About a month ago, my brother bought himself a gokart which is a hoot to play with, but I've become more interested in capturing images of it and others flying around a track, and that means lot of this 8fps 100 capture burst shooting style, and my $20 8gig CF card is hopelessly inadequate for that purpose, so I bought another.. faster card.
    Problem is that I hate wasting money(say $200) on something that is capable of achieving an end goal with say a 100% performance ratio, when spending $70 can get you over 90% of that performance. Getting the best out of everything is not a high priority for me.. value for money is(always has been).

    So I found a $70 90Mb/s CF card and at 8Gig, is about 1/3 of the price of the real McCoy(Sandisk extreme) stuff.
    Speed is now not an issue.
    Where the old card was flat out at 6fps for about 10-13 exposures, the new card is now good for at least up to nearly 24(I lost count), and once it hits that buffer, the card writing time clears far more quickly even tho there are more files to write to card than with the slower card.. yippee!!! anyone would think to themselves(as you would)

    except the damned card is not readable by my CF card reading slot on the PC case. I specifically purchased a drive bay based card reader, with USB slots and eSATA slots just for the practicality of it, and now this new extreme CF card is not supported
    I have to connect the D300 via USB cable to the PC to use the MassStore ability of the camera to read the card!

    So I now need:

    1. a good quality CF card reader, and I see Sandisk make something of interest.
    (does anyone have any experience with them?)
    2. a new drive bay based connector doodad
    (does anyone know of any decent ones)
    I currently have this AeroCool brand CoolPanelIII drive bay device, and I see they have a few newer versions available. Does any have any experience or alternatives.
    I am weary of the AeroCool device tho, as in the Cool PanelIII page on their website, they list the Sandisk extreme II as a supported device. I'm thinking that this new card, even tho it's not a Sandisk extreme II is emulating that type of card, so should be supported.(no new drivers for update either!)
    There's most likely a differnce between an ExtremeII and a Extreme Pro tho, and this is why it can't be read

    the Cool Panel does support SDHC, which I've confirmed via the SD and micro SD slots, but if I connect the new CF card, Windows(7) freezes up on me, and clears once the card is disconnected.
    Card is perfectly readable via the camera tho.. so it's not a card issue, it's a reader issue.

    I'd be very appreciative if anyone knows of any other options as well

    BTW card is a ripper. I could have(should have) got the $100 16Gig version tho, now that I know it's close to as quick as they say it is.

    For anyone else interested in a fast card, it's a Patriot LX series Quad channel 600x UDMA6 90MB/s rated card, at MSY for about $70.

    great value considering it's 'equivalent' to a Sandisk Extreme Pro, and the 16G version sold for about $100($99 ) or so, and the Sandisk 16G ells for about $240 or more

    ATM, I'm thinking the Sandisk ImageMate may be the best option.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    that sounds strange indeed Arthur...

    i have only ever useed Sandisk Cards, and have a few different models including a 60mb/s 8gb extreme... all others are ultra II or the older 30mb/s extreme... the buffers in the camera have always been the slow point in the picture taking... i have tested a few different cards back to back on my 1DII at full noise (raw) and found that the 60mb/s card had very little difference to burst...

    in saying that i tend not to machine gun photos, and hold the button down for 8 fps (just cos i can)

    i have allways used external card readers for many reasons,

    A i have allways only ever had a laptop (although now i have a desktop machine)
    B it allows you to move the data from your machine to another machine

    the most i think i paid for a so so card reader was about $45, it has multiple slots for all card types, and the transfer rate is adequate for all i do, yes a firewire card reader will go faster, but not all laptops and or desktops have them, so USB is kinda like the safe bet not the fast bet

    the other posative is that if you bend one of the pins on the CF reader in your caddy style desktop mounted unit, it is harder to fix/ replace and would mean a reinstall of hardware / software the last thing you really want to do when you are busy getting images off your cards...

    i also have a spare card reader (as a redundancy) for just in case opportunities! its also good for moving data from machine to laptop and vice versa!

    M
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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Actually I do have a spare card reader, but it is old and was retired due to a similar problem but with a Sandisk SDHC card I purchased ages ago. I wanted a bigger faster card for my PDA, but the PDA wasn't capable of reading it. Oh well, never mind that, but I then connected it to my PC(via this all in one card reader I had for years too) and the SDHC card wasn't coming up as a device.. stuffed around with drivers(for WinXP back then) and all sorts of fooling about, uninstalling and reinstalling USB devices and drivers on the PC.
    Idiot me! This card came with a plug in card reader.. for a reason! As it was SDHC, an SDHC capable card reader was required, and as not all card readers are compatible(if they're early models).. Sandisk see fit to bundle a card reader into the mix too. I remember it being fast too.. a lot faster in reading 2 gig of data compared to the old Toshiba 2G SD card I have.. and still have in the PDA.

    Only because I'm so curious.. I'm going to try to read this new CF card using that old card reader now. Very slim chance it'll work tho.

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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    OH! FFS.. now how is that possible!?

    this old.. maybe 6-7yo USB1 card reader can read the CF card .. yet the later generation USB2 capable card reader in the cool panel can't??

    Sometimes I want to call Arnie as the model T101 terminator, to come and terminate all high tech gadgets to oblivion!

    makes no sense.
    I know that the cool panel is connected via a USB port(on the motherboard, so I'll look into that aspect one day too.

    as long as I know it can work, I may be able to get it to work with the minimum of fuss.

    Have to say too Clubman, I'm not a regular machine gunner neither, but with this karting caper, you kind of need to be.
    Well...... as an inexperienced motorsport shooter, I think this is the best way to learn better technique and still get some decent images along the way.
    The camera was regularly locking up due to card writing speed, where it'd first stop dead, and then take about a minute to clear the backlog of raw file writing to the card, If I tried starting up again before the busy light had extinguished on the camera, the buffer limit would only be hit earlier the next round.
    With this new card, the 24 raw files would be clear in literally only seconds.. maybe 10 or so, as opposed to the close to a minute or so on the old card.

    I'm going to shut down to check into this USB connection for the card reader to see if this is an issue.. I shoudl also get my sons new PC(my old one) up and running as well.. but I really can't be bothered.. I just wanna go out and shoot my new found machine gun all day long now!

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    I've had the same issue with my nice built in card reader in my Dell desktop, it doesn't work with my CF cards even though it says it should. I've tried upgrading drivers and all that and nothing. So I just plug my camera in direct. I'm thinking of getting a standalone card reader though maybe for use in the field with a laptop and even a tablet (who knows!) down the track.

    I'll watch this thread with interest.
    Mic

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    Arthur, I bought a Sandisk Imagemate all in one reader after a recommendation by another forum member. It cut transfer times to 20% compared to my old all in one PC bay model. From memory it was around $70 and has a button which can be used to transfer all your card contents to a preconfigured destination at a single press. It's nice and portable (the desk stand is magnetic and removes easily) and I usually throw it in the camera bag when I'm on the move.
    Last edited by phild; 06-01-2011 at 10:26pm.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Arthur

    While I use SD cards, I have found some similar issues with newer cards not being recognised via older card readers - just as Window$ doesn't like some versions of ... but I won't go there
    Another "solution" for you would be to change your camera to one that takes SD cards as they don't need all the extra stuff that CF cards do .............

    Regards, Phil
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Hmm - I have had a range of cheapy card readers as I am the same, never had the need for speed demon cards and am still running with 8gig CF Ultra II's I think they are. About 6 months ago when I bought my 50D I decided to buy a better card reader and purchased a SanDisk ImageMate - multi card reader (a thing black unito on a little alloy stand) for about $68 I think. It is brilliant, reliable, hot swap and USB fast, integrates really well with the PC.

    I agree with phild - this reader is excellent value.

    I was sceptical, but there is quite a difference between the cheap and the not so cheap.
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild View Post
    Arthur, I bought a Sandisk Imagemate all in one reader after a recommendation by another forum member. It cut transfer times to 20% compared to my old all in one PC bay model. From memory it was around $70 and has a button which can be used to transfer all your card contents to a preconfigured destination at a single press. It's nice and portable (the desk stand is magnetic and removes easily) and I usually throw it in the camera bag when I'm on the move.
    I bought one of these about 6 months ago to and have to agree - excellent reader and good value for money.

  10. #10
    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Yeah, I was thinking that one of those ImageMates from Sandisk may have been the way to go..... until Clubman restarted my fading brain modules with his reply, I'd forgotten about my two card readers sitting in one of the lower drawers.. so I blew all the cobwebs off 'em and they work perfectly.
    Haven't tested speeds yet tho, but one of them is prehistoric being USB 1.1 and the Apacer branded version was purchased with it's USB2 capability strictly in mind.

    But it beats me how these older card readers are able to work being at least 5-7 years old, and (AFAIK) the newer card reader slot in the CoolPanelIII doesn't!

    Card seems reasonably fast, at least through the camera.

    I seem to have a new test to perform.
    I'm actually a bit weary of using the card via the card readers as wildenikon said, there's always a chance of physical issues with the pins, but after countless thousands of insert/removal endeavours, I have yet to do any damage, even though the pins always feel a little fragile.

    The problem (as I understand it) too tho, is that Nikon have dropped Mass Storage facility in their cameras now(D90/D700/etc), so that direct connection to PC via the camera is no longer possible??

  11. #11
    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    hmmmmmmmmmmm........................... have to check that.
    I do know for 100% that Nikon did not include a USB cable in the box with the D3100

    Maybe there is something to what you say
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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    I remember someone once mentioning that the D700 doesn't have a massstorage/MSC option in the menu.(I could be wrong tho).

    I may be wrong and it may be the other way 'round.. and it could be no MTP/PTP option (which is used for connecting via tether to Nikon's Camera Control.... and any other tethering software)

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