MediaGear Flash HD

I bought a MediaGear Flash HD 20G to Go from Adorama the other day, only to find that MediaGear is fireselling the devices on its own web site. It seems like the prices on these kinds of devices keep dropping since sizes like 20G do not really qualify as large anymore.
I wanted to be able to backup photos from my CF cards while I travel without having to lug a laptop computer everywhere. Here are some observations from my short time with the device so far.

* Bare Bones LCD – The B&W LCD / indicators are very bare bones; it
basically allows you to select what kind of card you are uploading, CF,
SD, etc., then a "copy" button starts the process. The LCD screen tells
you how far % it has completed, but once it hits 99%+, and the %
indicator goes off, there’s nothing that indicates that it has
finished. (BTW, in case you were wondering, there is no image review,
or even a way to check and see what files and folders are on the

* Skimpy Documentation – The instructions that come with the device are
abysmal: unfortunately, that’s becoming par for the course for a lot of
devices I’m buying. I had to go to the web site to figure out why I was
getting a data error on first try (somehow I had managed to insert the
CF upside down, believe it or not, but nothing in the documentation
described why I was getting that error). I admit to not being the
sharpest tool in the shed, but others must be putting the card in
upside down too, or it wouldn’t be on the web site, right?

* Battery Power – This is a "use it in your hotel room at the end of
your shooting day" device. It only went through about three 1G CF cards
for me before the battery power starting going low for me. Problem is
that I had it running through a card/the % indicator was counting up
while I continued shooting the other day, and I walked back to a device
that had shut itself off. I had no idea how much of the card it had
completed downloading until I could check it when I got home.

* Speed/Utlility – I haven’t timed how long it takes to download a
card, but it seems to take roughly the same amount of time it would for
me to copy a CF to my desktop computer HD.. Works fine for what I want
it to do, meaning it gives a decent alternative to having to carry a
laptop for a short-term shoot, but’s it’s nothing fancy. The device did
download both my JPG and NEF(RAW) files without any problems. It comes
with a USB cord that allows you to easily use it as an external HD for
your computer.

* Durablity – Not sure. Made of some kind of plastic. Comes with a
pleather case ("synthetic leather"). I wouldn’t bang it up and down on
anything, but it doesn’t seem especially flimsy either.

* Bottom Line – Best when you’re close to an electrical socket and can
give it TLC.  Price is certainly cheaper per gigabyte than the CF cards


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