Chase CARDport Swift Syncro card reader review
Phil Askey, August 2000
The CARDport Swift Syncro (refered to as the Syncro from now onwards) is a desktop multiple media card reader. It featuers two primary media slots the top being a SmartMedia (3.3V) card slot, the second a PCMCIA Type II slot (PCMCIA CF adapter supplied). The reader connects to either a Windows PC (98 or 2000) or Mac (OS 8.5+) by USB.
CARDport Swift Syncro specifications
|Product Type||Desktop multiple media card reader|
|Operating systems||Windows 98
Apple Mac OS 8.5+
|Slots||Top - SmartMedia
Bottom - PCMCIA Type I/II
|Slot operation||Both slots can be used at the same time (two drive letters)|
|Media support||3.3V SmartMedia (up to 64MB)
CompactFlash Type I (with supplied PC Card adapter)
CompactFlash Type II (Microdrive with IBM PC Card adapter)
PCMCIA Type I/II flash / hard disk storage
Sony Memory Stick (with Sony MSAC-PC2/1 PC Card adapter)
MMC card (with PC Card adapter)
|Dimensions||120 x 85 x 25 mm (4.7 x 3.3 x 1 ")|
|Weight||105 g (3.7 oz)|
|Price||Est. $75 (before tax)|
Note: cards are not fully inserted in the images below, SmartMedia when inserted sticks out by about 0.5 cm, just enough to pull it out. The rest push completely into the device and are ejected with a small eject button to the right of the slot.
|CompactFlash Type I
Installation was a breeze, the supplied CD-ROM contained the latest drivers for all platforms, I also went to the chase-at.com support webpage to check if there were new drivers, it's good to see a manufacturer who maintains a good set of recent drivers. I installed the Syncro on our main Windows 2000 workstation, installation (as with most USB devices) was straightforward, after completition two new drive letters appeared. The first corresponded to the top slot (SmartMedia) and the second the bottom (PCMCIA Type II).
Popping a a CF card into the supplied adapter and sliding the whole lot in I was soon downloading images from my CF card. One problem which dogs all card readers (at least under NT / 2000) is what to do when you want to remove the card. Sometimes if you just take the card out the OS will complain that it was attempting to write data to the device, I personally use a utility called sync from sysinternals.com (for Unix techies it works the same way as the sync command under Unix) and created a shortcut on my Windows 2000 QuickStart bar, this simply "flushes" any data in the Windows 2000 buffers (for the particular drive letter) before removing the card.
|Media||Slot||Read KB/s||Write KB/s||D/L 32 MB|
|FujiFilm 32MB SmartMedia||Top||748||138||43 secs|
|SanDisk 128MB CF Card (adapter)||Bottom||650||368||50 secs|
|IBM 340MB Microdrive (adapter)||Bottom||650||268||50 secs|
|Sony 64MB MemoryStick (adapter)||Bottom||fail||fail||-|
Key: Read KB/s - read from card, Write KB/s - write data to card, D/L 32 MB - time to download (read) 32 MB of data from this type of card.
Timings were calculated using a Unix style "timer" utility and a batch file which copies a large file onto / from the card and flushes the buffers before the "end time" is taken. Thus, this is the total time it takes to write / read data before you could possibly remove the card. For some reason the unit we had was unreliable when reading MemoryStick's via Sony's MSAC-PC2 which is interesting because Minds@Work's Digital Wallet also had a problem with the MSAC-PC2 (so maybe the problem is with Sony's adapter).
So overall the Syncro performed well, not blisteringly fast but pretty quick, certainly quicker than reading the card through the USB port on your camera, by about 30%. And if your camera only has a serial connection then you really need the Syncro.
The CARDport Swift Syncro is a good card reader, it's certainly a better bet than buying a single media reader as you'll be able to read almost any media type, it'd be an especially good choice if you currently have a SmartMedia digital camera and are considering your future options (not that I'm saying anything about the future of SmartMedia). Good OS compatibility, solid reliability, simple, regular driver updates and value for money. The Syncro will probably be a permanent fixture on my desktop. For more information or to buy click here.
|The Box||In the box...
Quick installation guide
Swift Syncro card reader
USB (A-B) cable
PC Card CF adapter
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.