Compact Flash Readers: Considerations Before Purchasing

by : John Thompson

You may be on the market for a compact flash reader because you are a digital image editing enthusiast, an expert photographer, or simply are looking for an alternative to less speedy models of media storage.

Compact flash certainly fits the bill with a good number of of your high end media needs. But here are some considerations before you go out and buy a compact flash reader. You want make sure you have a clear idea of what you are looking for instead of saying "As much as possible".

For example, does the reader work with all protocols of compact flash or just for a few? You should anticipate whether or not you may be using a flash media convention now or in the future that may not be applicable with a flash reader you are looking at.

If you do not care too much about that, then just get a compact flash reader that works with the format you use the most for example some may work with SmartMedia flash, while others could read Microdrive flash standards, but not both at the same time. And ignore the other features.

If you are looking at an USB 2 reader, it should be reverse or backwards compatible with the 1.1 ports in both backwards and forwards directions. The reader needs to easily detect whether the card is an USB 2 or USB 1.1 port either by assessing the built-in software in the card, or by assessing the amount of pins on the card.

Simple as 1, 2, 3. Make sure you get faster speeds, i.e. USB 2, with speedy read and write speeds if you use larger more bandwidth heavy media such as high resolution film and photography. A good flash reader will last you at the very least a few years depending on your needs and your ability to uphold your reader.