The new Delkin eFilm Reader-5
is a dual card reader for both 3.3v SmartMedia and CompactFlash (Type I and II)
flash memory cards. It is a USB read/write device for Win98/2000 PC or
USB-enabled Macintosh users that need to transfer data from multiple types of
storage media. The Reader-5 is about the same size and shape as an ordinary
computer mouse and requires only the USB connection for operation.
Installation was a breeze on my AMD Athlon-powered PC running Windows 98.
All that was required was to unpack the eFilm Reder-5 and plug it in to
the USB port. Windows 98 "saw" the new device and prompted me to insert
the driver CD disc. A few seconds later it identified the card reader
and loaded the appropriate drivers and My Computer now had two new
"removable" drive icons.
Even though there are two card slots on the eFilm Reader-5, only one can be used at a time. As you can see when a SmartMedia card is inserted a red door flips down over the CF card slot preventing a card from being inserted. It works the same when a CF card is inserted first, the SmartMedia slot is then blocked.
I took a CF card full of images from my Nikon 950 and popped it into the drive. Using Windows Explorer I logged in to the new "E" drive and clicked down until I found the folder with my images in it. I then just "dragged and dropped" the folder onto my desktop. You can access your files using any program, the card is treated just like any other drive resource.
Data transfer is much faster via the USB port than with the serial port plus it saves draining your camera batteries during the download. Even with the newer digicams that have USB built-in it is still nice to use a card reader to save those batteries.
How fast is it? Here's some unofficial tests that I made:
Delkin's eFilm Reader-5 directly accepts *any* CompactFlash Type I
or Type II card without need for an adapter. You just take the card right
out of the camera and pop it into the slot and away you go!
It also handles 3.3v SmartMedia cards and IBM Microdrives.
I give the Delkin eFilm Reader5 a rating of 5 digicams, it operates as expected, installation is easy, and it is reasonably priced.
Note to Windows 95 OSR 2 users: Even after the USB support has been added there is no guarantees that it will work. My advice -- upgrade to Windows 98.
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