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CompactFlash Reader Roundup - Continued

Whether you edit your work mostly in the office or mostly in the field will, in part, dictate the reader you choose. In the office, speed is more important than the size of the reader for us, while in the field we're prepared to sacrifice a little speed for a reader that is as small and easy to transport as possible, Though we don't specifically discuss price in this report, this of course is always a factor.

addonics_fw_digidrive1.jpgFor use with our desktop Macs and PCs, we've settled on the fast Addonics FireWire Mini DigiDrive. Though we were unable to make its USB power adapter cable work as promised, this doesn't impair the use of the reader with powered 6-pin FireWire ports, which are in plentiful supply here across both platforms. And while not essential, we do find its ability to also accept our PocketPC PDA's SD cards handy. We would prefer that CompactFlash cards insert and remove a bit more smoothly into this reader, but this is a minor gripe.

Update, October 13, 2003: Please see the Card Readers in this Report section for the results of additional testing of the USB power adapter cable arrangement).

The Microtech FireWire CameraMate is nearly as quick, however, and is also a worthy choice (as long as you don't stumble over a card-reader compatibility problem).

sandisk_ultra_imagemate1.jpgOn the road, we've settled on the Sandisk Ultra ImageMate FireWire reader for the Mac. Pretty good speed, compact size and a removable FireWire cable make this an easy choice for a Powerbook on the move. If you choose this reader, however, be sure that it sports the redesigned card slot of later units (see Card Readers in this Report for more information).

For our USB 2.0-equipped PC laptop, the Dazzle Hi-Speed Zio! is tiny, reasonably quick and can be inserted directly into a USB port if need be, no cable required.

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