Extreme CompactFlash: A Digital Photographer's Best Friend?

40 MB/s CompactFlash Cards By SanDisk

You're likely to find CompactFlash (CF) cards hard at work everywhere today for digital photographers, both professionals and hobbyists alike. Anyone employing the use of a digital camera is likely to at least have seen a CF card, while those of us familiar with its use are likely also familiar with how quickly they can fill up - regardless of capacity. Let's take a look at a couple products intended to make all data transfers quicker and easier.

The Extreme IV Reader with packaged Extreme IV CompactFlash Card

The Extreme IV reader can be purchased in a bundle with a 2 GB Extreme IV CF card. The package also includes a 30-day trial of Adobe Photoshop CS2, and two Firewire cables meeting the IEEE 1394a and 1394b standards. This reader's connection was a little temperamental, often requiring a system restart after being connected. Other than that it worked smoothly with no problems or complications. The bundle can be found for approximately $199.95. Larger capacity CF Cards are widely available, but expect to pay significantly more for the extra space.

This is the Extreme CompactFlash & SD Card Reader

The Extreme CF reader is a little more versatile than the Extreme IV, allowing for the use of the smaller SD cards in addition to CompactFlash. This model runs on USB 2.0 instead of Firewire, and it had zero problems with being plugged in on the fly, living up to the term 'Hot Swap'. The Extreme is inexpensive at $24.99, which is a nice feature in its own right.

Both models are simple to set up with no software installation required. Anyone should be able to simply plug in either reader and start using it almost immediately. Both devices come with a handy file recovery program, courtesy of SanDisk, which, as a bonus, does not even require installation to run.

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