Author Topic: best card for PM?  (Read 276 times)

Offline louieneira

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best card for PM?
« on: December 04, 2017, 07:19:31 pm »
Most of the card readers I've had are adequate, but still comparatively slow, given my needs. I'm in the market for a new reader to use with PM; any tips? advice? suggestions?

(I work for a newspaper, so I need something with a bit of speed for deadlines' sake)
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Offline Kevin M. Cox

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Re: best card for PM?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 07:30:27 pm »
What kind of cards are you using? (Compact Flash, CFast, QXD, etc.)

Ingest speed is going to be combination of card speed and reader speed, there is a chance you'll need an upgrade of both.

At my newspaper we exclusively use SanDisk Extreme PRO Compact Flash and CFast cards and right now we're using Lexar Workflow card readers.
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Offline louieneira

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Re: best card for PM?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 02:31:25 pm »
I'm using SanDisk ExPro CF cards as well. I used to have a Lexar, then I was given an Amazon brand, but it's not as fast.
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Offline Kevin M. Cox

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Re: best card for PM?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 02:36:30 pm »
It is times like these that I really miss Rob Galbraith's database: http://www.robgalbraith.com/multi_pagee519.html?cid=6007
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Offline Frantisek Vlcek

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Re: best card for PM?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 08:52:53 am »
It depends a lot on the card form factor and type (USH-II,III for SD cards, UDMA for CF cards,...), connection type, et cetera. From my experience at our paper, all the cheap readers, even newer ones with USB 3.0 didn't last a even a few months (hardware failure, few times even damaging the card). I would go with Lexar and Sandisk only. We run CF cards, mind you. Might be different for Nikon users. Although I am still using USB 3.0 readers, don't know if there are any for the newer USB-C port. If your computer allows it (and modern Macbooks have it as their only USB port), it would make sense to look for USB-C reader (preferably still from Sandisk or Lexar). The USB-C port looks much more resilient for in-the-field use than the wide and somewhat finicky Micro-USB 3 port (and I have had few such cables fail).

Regarding speeds, from my Sandisk Extreme cards with UDMA-7, I am getting around 100-120MB/s read speeds via USB 3. The slower is from Lexar Multi-Card 25-in-1 USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader, the latter from also an UDMA7 Lexar reader (Lexar Pro USB 3.0 Dual-Slot reader). I don't have any USB 3 Sandisk readers (the best one, the compact CF and SD reader is discontinued, now they only offer a multicard "Imagemate" reader with CF slots, which is too big for my taste, with slots I never use). The Lexar Pro (CF and SD) is pretty nice, has a small form factor, but like most of them connects trough the somewhat finnicky microB-USB3 port (just take care of your cables and store the reader disconnected from the cable in your backpack, to minimise leverage on the small port). The numbers could be faster with faster cards, I guess - the Sandisk is not their fastest model CF card.

That is usually plenty fast enough even for big cards and lots of raws. Although I am sure there are now faster cards and probably faster readers (the mentioned Lexar Workflow models come to mind).

Mind you, USB 3, if implemented incorrectly with badly shielded connectors and bad quality unshieleded cables does radiate a lot of noise in the 2.4GHz spectrum (WiFi). So a cheap reader with cheap cable might impede your wifi or bluetooth mouse as well.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are no CF card readers for Thunderbolt (except the Lexar Pro Workflow 4-reader bay, but it operates internally as USB 3 anyway, just connects the four readers via thunderbolt for increased simultaneous throughput, not for single card read speeds which max out at USB 3 speeds), and so far I have yet to see an USB-C CF card reader from a reputable company. The Lexar Pro Workflow series got discontinued, I think, and Lexar had been bought out by Chinese company IIRC.

I have had so many cheap readers fail (cheaper Kingston multi-card USB 3 readers, et cetera) that these are the only ones I can personally recommend. There might be others that are good, of course, as YMMV.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:57:55 am by Frantisek Vlcek »

Offline Kevin M. Cox

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Re: best card for PM?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 08:58:59 am »
Attached is a speed test I did back in 2016 when we started getting new readers in cards. I was mainly interested in seeing the different between the same readers connected to the computer with the available interfaces. The display in question was the Apple Thunderbolt display. This was with a 15" MacBook Pro.

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