[Gear] Back From The Dead: FW800 Compact Flash Card Readers!

I think it's safe to say that a large percentage of photographers are Apple users. I believe that a lot of those same users don't enjoy importing their photos using USB 2.0 card readers. Making matters worse is having to hear their PC friends brag about their fast USB 3.0 card readers. Granted, if funding isn't an issue, this could all be solved by buying a Mac Pro and adding in a USB 3.0 PCI card.


Well, there is another solution to this problem. In fact, it's an old solution in a new package. Firewire 800 card readers more or less vanished upon discontinuation of the controller boards used in the majority of these devices. This caused prices of these now "limited edition" card readers to skyrocket on the used market. Often selling for two or three times the price of the original retail versions.

Before we all rush out to buy Dell laptops, let me tell you about a new Firewire 800 compact flash card reader on the market. It's made by a company called Delock. It's not the prettiest gadget I've ever seen; but at a price of roughly $50 I'm willing to look past that. Currently it seems the card reader is a little tricky to find in North America. There is a company based in Montreal, QC selling it online though: memorydepot.com

My fellow Canadian, and photographer/blogger Rob Galibraith, has a full post dedicated to his experiences with this reader on his website. Be sure to check his review out here.

Via: Rob Galibraith

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Is this better than the sandisk version that has been out forever? 

Patrick Hall's picture

the Sandisk one we have is out of production believe it or not....all the sports guys were really upset about this.  Hopefully Sandisk has a thunderbolt/USB 3.0/eSata reader soon!

We use the nice Lexar one at our studio and it's out of production too. They are fetching over $200 on ebay now. So if you find one sell it! haha :) #ebaygold!

Patrick Hall's picture

I have my sandisk one right here....heck yeah I'll sell this!  I like the USB 3.0 better anyways

give me a price :)

Yea, I've been using a Sandisk one for years. Looks like I was lucky I picked it up when I did.

Jody Hess's picture

I was looking at buying a firewire CF reader a few months ago but the ones I found were going for $150 or more (used!).  Eff that noise.  $50 is more reasonable though.

Simon Paradis Photographe's picture

Interesting.. only, my portable hard drive is Firewire800 too and is using the socket :(

Generally, FW is used to chain disks and others. It is one of its main reason of being still used by professionals. All my FW800 hardwares have 2 ports.

Carlos García's picture

I've been searching for a reader like this for quite a while and have only found one at amazon but still not sure about investing in one since its not that urgent. As of now I have found a more interesting option to me: microSD + SD Adapter + DigiGear Extreme SD-HC-XC to CF Adapter, this combination will let me read photos right away on my BB, snap into macbook pro internal reader and iPad connector getting rid of extra reader and cable. Still I have to try this and let you know if it's suitable =P

Keith Hammond's picture

A UK customer review on Amazon UK says it won't work on Mac OSX Lion and the firmware update was only for Windows, can anyone confirm this re Lion ?

Hi Keith,
In Rob Galibrath's blog post linked in the article he talks about successfully updating the firmware and using the device in Lion. Here is the link again: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-11673-12298

Yilkee Lam's picture

I'm using the Lexar PCI Express card in my macbook for importing stuff. :)

Tom Sorensen's picture

Caution: I ordered through Memory Depot and waited a month for it to come from the overseas manufacturer, the first time it was used it just mounts and disconnects continuously on my new MacBook Pro with OSX 10.8....... I talked to a nice French Canadian gentleman in their customer service and he informed me it is a known problem with my card (Sandisk Extreme Pro) and one other brand and offered to send me return info for a complete refund. To bad, looks like a great product and is the only one made now and that's a pretty popular card.

I have an external hard drive that does the same thing (mounts then dismounts) on Mountain Lion on my iMac but is fine on my Macbook Air.... I thought it might be a bug in Mountain Lion. There might be hope you can get it to work.