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
|Montréal Dépaneur Out of Business DP by MarioSS|
from Your City - Out of Business
|Wish You Were Here by Dutch Newchurch|
from Street musician playing
|Flight of a Puffin by cjf2|
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.