What is the fastest way to download your images from CF card to your PC?


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Dec 31, 2005
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I have tried direct cable, card reader connected by USB and PC Card readers. All run rather slowly in my opinion. I would like to know if those who have a secret formula how to get a 4 GB card of data into a PC in a faster manner, I would be most grateful. Any suggestion of hardware is fine - just give me the name and specs of performance. THanks!
 

ST1100

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#2
You first have to figure out the bottleneck - is it the card, the reader, or the interface? Normal USB 2.0 cardreaders max out about 15-20mb/s, faster for large files, slower for multiple small files. Firewire cardreaders are a little faster (20+mb/s?) but they cost a lot more, and are harder to find. i bought mine at Cathay a few years back for about $70. If you're already downloading at 15-20mb/s, you're unlikely to get much faster speeds unless you spring for faster CF cards and esata/expresscard cardreaders.
 

ST1100

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#3
You can also try getting a external device, like Nexto ND2700. It claims to copy 1GB in 40 seconds, and download to PC via esata, which is a lot faster than USB.
 

sabrecruz

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I have tried direct cable, card reader connected by USB and PC Card readers. All run rather slowly in my opinion. I would like to know if those who have a secret formula how to get a 4 GB card of data into a PC in a faster manner, I would be most grateful. Any suggestion of hardware is fine - just give me the name and specs of performance. THanks!

Hi


I am using SanDisk CF Card and Card Reader. It's a great combination and before you know it, all pictures (Say 300 Large sized one) are uploaded in less than 5 minutes). The SanDisk CF and SD Card Reader may cost a little more but what is that little extra cost compared to very very much faster upload speeds.
 

zac08

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#5
Get the fastest Card reader system your PC can support.

It all depends on your system specs, USB 2 or Firewire
 

Headshotzx

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Firewire card readers > USB 2.0 readers in terms of speed?
 

ST1100

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#10
Firewire card readers > USB 2.0 readers in terms of speed?
USB is spec'd at 480 mbit/s while FW400 is 400 mbit/s. However, due to protocol overheads, FW delivers much higher throughput than USB. So, yes, in general FW cardreaders are faster than USB ones.
 

Dec 31, 2005
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#12
Thanks everyone for the input.
I use a Lenovo T61 so there is no firewire. Just USB 2.0. So the Galbraith site that recommends the Sandisk CF reader makes sense. I hope it is faster than the PCMCIA card reader I am using. I shoot with 5D2 and half full on my 8 gig card takes a very long time to download.

Thanks again.
 

gunawan

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#14
Thanks everyone for the input.
I use a Lenovo T61 so there is no firewire. Just USB 2.0. So the Galbraith site that recommends the Sandisk CF reader makes sense. I hope it is faster than the PCMCIA card reader I am using. I shoot with 5D2 and half full on my 8 gig card takes a very long time to download.

Thanks again.
ST1100 has good point:

Order of speed, slowest to fastest:

USB 1.1- USB 2.0- Firewire- Esata

So far, imho, never heard of anything else faster than Esata...

Anything as long as u dun use USB 1.1, like myself... tmd... all my periperals are USB 2.0 compliant, from PC, motherboard, cables, hub, camera, HD to DVD writer, but the CR#P PC recognises all my periperals as USB 1.1 speed..... the downloading time is KILLIN me.....

" YOUR HIGH SPEED USB2.0 DEVICE IS ATTACHED TO A SLOW SPEED USB DEVICE. UNPLUG THE DEVICE AND RE-ATTACH IT TO A HIGH SPEED USB PORT SHOWN IN BOLD... tmd
:mad2::mad2::mad2:
 

Dec 31, 2005
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#15
does your laptop have an expresscard slot?
No - I believe not. In truth, I have no idea what is an expresscard slot. :-(

ST1100 has good point:

Order of speed, slowest to fastest:

USB 1.1- USB 2.0- Firewire- Esata

So far, imho, never heard of anything else faster than Esata...

Anything as long as u dun use USB 1.1, like myself... tmd... all my periperals are USB 2.0 compliant, from PC, motherboard, cables, hub, camera, HD to DVD writer, but the CR#P PC recognises all my periperals as USB 1.1 speed..... the downloading time is KILLIN me.....

" YOUR HIGH SPEED USB2.0 DEVICE IS ATTACHED TO A SLOW SPEED USB DEVICE. UNPLUG THE DEVICE AND RE-ATTACH IT TO A HIGH SPEED USB PORT SHOWN IN BOLD... tmd
:mad2::mad2::mad2:

Thats my problem as well. I have a USB 2.0 slot. I thought my PCMCIA CF Card reader is a 16 bit high speed reader as well but it takes an awfully long time to download a full 4GB card.

I am desperate enough to put money on a Sandisk USB2.0 CF reader to see if it works. Sigh.
 

varf

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No - I believe not. In truth, I have no idea what is an expresscard slot. :-(

Thats my problem as well. I have a USB 2.0 slot. I thought my PCMCIA CF Card reader is a 16 bit high speed reader as well but it takes an awfully long time to download a full 4GB card.

I am desperate enough to put money on a Sandisk USB2.0 CF reader to see if it works. Sigh.
see http://barefeats.com/flash08.html

transfer rates on some expresscard readers come pretty close to FW800 card readers. short of which, i have heard that the USB2 Sandisk reader is pretty damn good (haven't used it, though i have the Firewire version).

how long does 'an awfully long time' take? if/when you get another reader, that number might be a useful benchmark - 'long' tends to be very subjective.
 

Dec 31, 2005
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#17
see http://barefeats.com/flash08.html

transfer rates on some expresscard readers come pretty close to FW800 card readers. short of which, i have heard that the USB2 Sandisk reader is pretty damn good (haven't used it, though i have the Firewire version).

how long does 'an awfully long time' take? if/when you get another reader, that number might be a useful benchmark - 'long' tends to be very subjective.
I work from an Windows XP laptop so FW is out. Well I have not timed it but each time I try to upload a full 4GB it takes over 15 minutes closer to 20 minutes most times. I go have a cup of coffee and come back and its still loading. Some have said that this is about the normal time taken.
 

Octarine

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#18
I work from an Windows XP laptop so FW is out. Well I have not timed it but each time I try to upload a full 4GB it takes over 15 minutes closer to 20 minutes most times. I go have a cup of coffee and come back and its still loading. Some have said that this is about the normal time taken.
Win XP does not exclude FW, it just needs an interface. Looking at your transfer time I can safely say that any non-branded el cheapo USB card reader will be faster than your current transfer. Lenovo T61 has USB 2.0 and can transfer much faster than this. Even my 5y old PC can transfer 4GB witin 5min.
 

rendition

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#19
15-20 mins sure sounds damn long. I am currently using a decent Sony 17-in-1 USB2.0 Card Reader along with MacBook Pro and it takes no more (safely) than 7 minutes for 4GB transfer. Am not sure if upgrading to the SanDisk Extreme Firewire CF Reader will speed up the download but it's just a little too ex for a reader $100+ vs my $21 Sony. But I guess it's more than just the reader...
 

Dec 31, 2005
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#20
Win XP does not exclude FW, it just needs an interface. Looking at your transfer time I can safely say that any non-branded el cheapo USB card reader will be faster than your current transfer. Lenovo T61 has USB 2.0 and can transfer much faster than this. Even my 5y old PC can transfer 4GB witin 5min.
15-20 mins sure sounds damn long. I am currently using a decent Sony 17-in-1 USB2.0 Card Reader along with MacBook Pro and it takes no more (safely) than 7 minutes for 4GB transfer. Am not sure if upgrading to the SanDisk Extreme Firewire CF Reader will speed up the download but it's just a little too ex for a reader $100+ vs my $21 Sony. But I guess it's more than just the reader...

I use a laptop both home and work. So I do not have FW unless I get a separate PC card to enable the FW capability. BUT the FW PC Card reader is already so much more expensive. So a USB 2.0 makes sense to me.

Also, I did a google online and discovered that the method I had been using for years - Sandisk Ultra PC Card Reader is 16 bit and infamously slow. Had many bad reviews for being slow (on Amazon and B&H etc).

So ironically my solution seems to be another Sandisk - the Extreme III CF Card Reader - that attaches to the PC via a USB connector.

My further research also showed that there is a old tech 32-bit CardBus technology which seems fast but not many available models. I searched here on CS and found out that Eastgear used to sell the Lexar 32bit CardBus CF PC Card Reader.

Does anyone knows whether the 32bit CardBus is faster/slower than the USB 2.0?

Thanks again.
 

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