With the rise in popularity of CFexpress Type B cards in the photo industry, it wasn’t too surprising that Manfrotto launched their own branded CF express Type B cards back in 2020. Recently, they’ve released a complimentary product onto the market: The Professional USB 3.2, CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader.
Now that the majority of my photography is done with the Canon EOS R5, I use CFexpress Type B memory cards almost exclusively. I shoot a lot of sports, often in burst mode, and these cards can keep up in a fast-paced environment with huge file sizes. Needless to say, I was interested in trying out this new memory card reader from Manfrotto.
Note: Manfrotto sent us a Professional USB 3.2, CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader to review and keep. However, this is an independent review. All thoughts about this product are our own. We have not been influenced in any way. We tell you this as we always want to be transparent with you.
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting to get too fired up when pulling a memory card reader out of its box. However, the Professional USB 3.2, CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader had a great first impression.
Primarily, it was noticeably smaller than the Sony card reader I was using previously. Its design felt strong and rugged in my palm, thanks to the anodized aluminum construction. Manfrotto has marketed this product as “compact and travel friendly” which is exactly what I need with the type of photography I do. I felt like its first impressions lived up to this statement.
Upon inspection, I also noticed that there are also four little grips on the bottom of the reader. These raise it slightly off the desk and keep it from sliding around. I found this to be a nice feature.
Most notably, the reader has a protective rubber end cover that I love. Whether the reader is empty or holding a card, I like the idea of the unit being closed and contained from any outside dust or debris. In this sense, the reader itself can be used as a safe storage spot for a CFexpress Type B card.
Testing out the Manfrotto CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader
Let me start out by saying that I am not a technical person; If you’re looking for an in-depth data analysis, you might be disappointed. But, I did give it a test using my everyday workflow.
To test the reader, I grabbed my SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Type B 128GB card that still had my previous photoshoot on it. In total there were 710 RAW files, totaling 40GB. I transferred the files to my 2019 iMac using my Sony card reader (USB 3.1 Gen 2), and then transferred the same files using the Manfrotto card reader. The Sony card reader took 181 seconds to transfer, while the Manfrotto card reader took 165 seconds, for a difference of 16 seconds.
I also tested transferring 10 GB of RAW files from a Manfrotto CFexpress Type B card through both the Sony and Manfrotto card readers to see if the Manfrotto brand performed better when used together. The Manfrotto reader with Manfrotto card took 49 seconds, while the Sony reader with Manfrotto card took 51 seconds.
I also ran the same card through both readers on a BlackMagic Disk Speed Test. The results are shown below:
- Compact and durable
- Can be used as card storage with the rubber end cover
- Multiple heat sinks to assist cooling of the unit
- Plug in and use right away with Mac or Windows, no setup or driver downloads
- The provided 32” USB Type C to Type C and Type C to Type A cables provide plenty of reach
- 2-year warranty
- The attachment point of the rubber end cover will pop off if the cover is opened too far
- Transfer speed wasn’t much different for the set up I was testing it on
Technical specifications of the Manfrotto CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader
All of the technical specifications for the Professional USB 3.2, CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader are from the product listing on the Manfrotto website:
- Supports CFexpress Type B Memory Card
- USB 3.2 Type C Interface (10 Gb/s)
- Built-In Card Storage with Protective Rubber End Cover
- USB C to A and USB C to C Cables Included
- Anodized aluminum build, compact and travel-friendly
Overall, I’m impressed with the Manfrotto Professional USB 3.2, CFexpress Type B Memory Card Reader. While the transfer speeds didn’t blow me away on the testing I did, its other features mean it will become my go-to card reader moving forward. I love that it’s durable and compact, perfect for days on the road. I also look forward to testing it out when my new MacBook Pro arrives.