The best option for photographers using a CF card.

When I started using the Canon 5D Mark IV as my primary camera, I made some changes in my workflow as well. I decided to make the switch from a standard SD card for storage to the CF card. Both options are available on the 5D Mark IV and you actually have the ability to record to both at the same time for redundancy. CF stands for CompactFlash. It’s a form of flash memory storage that is used mainly in electronic devices. The physical size of the CF card is a bit larger than a standard SD card, but after quite a bit of research, I decided that the CF card was a more stable format for me to use with RAW photo files and 4K video.

Transcend RDF8K USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader REVIEW

Card Reader supports: SDHC (UHS-I), SDXC (UHS-I), microSDHC (UHS-I), microSDXC (UHS-I), MS (MSXC), CompactFFlash (UDMA7)

This change in storage media meant that I had to quickly find a card reader that included a CF Card slot. I found that not all CF card readers are created equal. A few years ago, I acquired the SanDisk ImageMate All-in-One USB 3.0 reader. I thought this would be a great option for my desk setup because it was flat and could be mounted easily under the desk. When I made the switch to CF cards, I pulled out this reader and plugged it in. The problem came when I inserted the card. There is a small gap all the way around the opening for the CF card and the inside of the reader has metal teeth that have to plug into the very tiny holes on the end of the CF card.

If you look closely at an SD card, it has metal conductor strips on its end. These strips make a connection with the card reader in the same way a battery does when you slide it into place. The conductors touch, but don’t have to be inserted into a pin connection. The CF card does. It works more like a 9-pin connector or a monitor cable. You have to be precise with the connection. So, the first time I went to use the SanDisk card reader and found the slot had a gap, I misjudged where the pins were and a couple of the pins broke off. This made the card reader unusable and why I would suggest as you look for a card reader that you make sure the opening has a tight connection for the CF card so that it lines up properly.

Transcend RDF8K USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader REVIEW

After the SanDisk experiment, I did additional research and landed on the Transcend RDF8K USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader. It had the USB 3.0 connection I was seeking as well as ports for Micro SD, SD, and CF cards. Given that my setup involves a USB-C model MacBook Pro and I have no card reader pre-installed, this was a great option for me. The card reader features data transfer speeds up to 5Gb/s. It is USB powered so no external power is required for use. The device is small and transports very easily. I have my RDF8K installed with my desk setup, but recently purchased a second one for an upcoming trip. While it’s lightweight (1.13 ounces), it doesn’t slide around excessively on my desk. It’s very easy to use and doesn’t require special software for connection to a computer. It will work with any of the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS 10.2.8 or later
  • Linux Kernel 2.6.30 or later

Transcend RDF8K USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader REVIEW

I have been using it with macOS for several weeks now and don’t have any complaints. The Transcend card reader offers me the option to copy data from different types of media quickly and efficiently. It plugs into my system (using a Thunderbolt 3 dock) easily and my data has been securely transferred without issue. If you are looking to use CF cards, or any combination of different mediums, I would recommend this device for data transfer because of its affordable cost and versatility. It is available in both black and white.

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