Hoodman Review – CompactFlash Cards and Other Gadgets

Hoodman CompactFlash Memory Cards

  • Available in on the Hoodman site – $49 and up
    • Check the latest prices on Hoodman for 4 GB to 32 GB and beyond???
    • Note: These cards are more expensive than comparable cards, but you get what you pay for… see the review below

Hoodman Review

Hoodman makes all kinds of stuff, but I know them most for their memory cards and their HoodLoupe.  I’ll discuss both here briefly.

Hoodman CompactFlash Memory Card Review

Okay.  These cards are awesome.  I use them now, and you know that I only review stuff that I use.  You won’t see any reviews here for Lexar or SanDisk or any of the others… they just don’t stack up.

In fact, I went through a number of years before I really started to care much about the manufacturers of the cards.  This is kind of embarrassing to admit now, but it is true.  I started paying attention as soon as my Lexar card failed during a very important photoshoot in New Zealand.  All.  Data.  Gone.

I sent out  a Tweet about this, and then, all of a sudden, all of my smart photographer-friends in-the-know told me I really need to check out Hoodman.  And now I see why!

These cards are fast – rocket-fast.  I should call Schrödinger’s card, since they seem to actually have the photo inside of them before I even look.

The cards I use are RAW @ 675X 100 MB/second.  This is supposed to be faster than all other manufacturers, and this certainly does seem to hold true!

Hoodman Failure Rate

Here is an amazing stat I saw on their website.  They have had ZERO failures worldwide in 3 years and counting.  I can only assume they are not lying… since it’s hard to lie about that sort of thing on the internet nowadays.  I know none of mine have failed yet!

This is a big deal, actually.  You don’t realize how life-crushing it can be to lose a card’s worth of data.  You never will see the exact same thing again, so it’s like that moment is lost forever.  If you are like me, and each click of the shutter is a very personal thing, then losing all of that info because of a bad card can be a real heartbreaker.

I’ve heard that some other manufacturers have awful quality control when it comes to checking their products.  Some of these Chinese companies will open up the factories “after hours” to go in and use spare/rejected parts to make new cards, which they sell on the grey market.  Some of those products get mixed into the “good” products here in the states and consumers have no idea.

HoodLoupe Review

Available in on the Hoodman site – $79

I also have a HoodLoupe that I carry around.  This is a small rubber eyepiece that creates a “mobile darkroom” so you can look at your LCD with perfect lighting.  It also magnifies a bit, which is useful even though my eyesight is pretty good.

In practice, I’ve found this device to be quite handy.  Of course, it is really only useful in the daytime or at sunset, when you are dealing with a bright sun that makes your LCD as useless as using a computer outside!  The loupe itself is kind of big, so it is not exactly a compact thing that you can hideaway.  It has a lanyard attached, so you can hang it around your neck.  It does look a little bit dorky, I gotta admit…  but, I don’t really care about that sort of thing.  I’m already carrying around a serious camera, so this only increases my dorkitude by 5%.

I often show this thing off to friends when they are nearby.  The universal reaction is “I gotta get one!” — and that is cool…  anyway, I certainly recommend this.  It’s not a “must-have”, but it is certainly a “really-cool-to-have”!

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