Tue, 27 Jan 2009 Sonnet Pro Dual CompactFlash Adapter review
Plug CompactFlash cards to your MacBook Pro with this handy adaptor
- Manufacturer: Sonnet
- Distributor: AM Micro
- Pros: Convenient, simple way to transfer data; fast; holds two CF cards at the same time
- Cons: Need to take care so pins to not get bent; occasional restart needed if not taking care plugging in and removing the device.
- Min specs: Bus Interface; ExpressCard/34, PCI Express interface; Supported Media: Type I (Flash memory), CompactFlash, Type II (Microdrive) CompactFlash; Media Connector Type: Push/pull media card connector; Data Transfer rate up to 133 MB/sec; Dimensions: 55 mm x 120 mm x 15 mm (2.17" x 4.72" x 0.59")
- Price: £76.95
- Star rating:
What stands out is the simplicity of the unit - no drivers to install, no cables to mess about with, just insert the Sonnet Pro Dual Compact Flash Adaptor into the Express 34 slot on a MacBook Pro and an icon will then mount on the desktop which looks like a hard drive. Click the icon and copy the data as in the same way as any other removable device.
The two killer features of the unit are speed and the fact that two CF cards can be inserted into the adapter at the same time. Transfer of files is quick, kills USB for speed, and if you tend to go through loads of CF cards for photographic or video work, insert one or two cards, and then offload the data.
Compact Flash is becoming being used for video acquisition on cameras such as the Sony HVR-Z7 and HVR-Z5. These cameras use high-speed CF cards which, at present, can store up to 32 GB of data. For this purpose the Sonnet Pro Dual adapter is perfect, especially for those who need to keep shooting while maintaining the ability to transfer. Recently I worked on a job where hours of footage was filmed each day - as CF cards filled up these were handed to the editor while I carried on shooting.
The only weakness is the pins on the adapter - this is nothing to do with Sonnet, it is a characteristic of the CF format. Over 50 pins protrude from the Sonnet device and these then plug into a CF card. There is always the possibility of bending a pin if one is rough with the unit or tries to jam a card in backwards. While unlikely, this could happen. Furthermore, I did notice the occasional restart needed if not taking care to eject the card. Having used the adapter for several weeks this problem presented itself quite rarely.