If you have firewire and shoot with a Compact Flash (CF) card, do yourself a favor and buy the Hoodman Firewire 400/800 CF card reader today. This thing is a freakin’ speed demon! I’m getting between 40-45 MB/s and downloading 175 RAW files from my Nikon D700 in less than a minute.
To get the fastest speeds, you need to be using fast UDMA CF cards but it also supports non-UDMA cards as well. Personally I use the SanDisk Extreme IV cards and highly recommend them. I have never had one of their cards fail, and if their cards can survive explosions, they will put up with anything I throw at them 🙂
At first, I was hesitant to replace my Lexar USB card reader which is convenient due to supports both CF and SD. However, since I shoot mostly with my DSLR, I opted to buy this additional card reader to sit side-by-side with my Lexar reader so I could save time. I used to have to walk away from my PC while Lightroom imported my photos, but now I can see the files at freakishly amazing speeds.
Construction wise, it’s also built sturdy enough to both in your home office and on the road (assuming you have FW on your laptop) . From the Amazon comments:
Almost immediately after I bought my reader, I dragged it across sub-Saharan Africa on some of the world’s bumpiest roads in 115° average afternoon temperature, under conditions where almost everything broke-down (cars, generators; hard-drives, computers; lenses etc.). The Hoodman CF Reader worked flawlessly… in fact, it still does, even in my air-conditioned office.
This was the best $80 I’ve spent in a really long time.