Camera Hacker


Add Comment | Related Links | TrackBack
Related Content

What's inside a SD Card to CF adapter?

Have you ever wondered what's inside a Secure Digital Card (SD card) to a CompactFlash (CF) adapter?

First of all, yes, SD Card to CF adapters does exist. They are very rare and hard to find for purchase. There are two types: 1) SD Card to CF adapter; and 2) SD Card to CF II adapter. The first type of adapter allows you to insert a SD Card into a CF Type I adapter, however, the SD Card sticks out from the CF adapter. However, this first type of adapters works in CF Type I slots. The second type of adapter allows the SD Card to be fully inserted into the CF adapter. But because the CF adapter is Type II, it only works with CF Type II devices.

I've always wondered about the internal guts to anything I can get my hands on. As a child, I have been known to take many things apart, but never able to put them back together. Well, luckily in this situation, I didn't have to take apart one of these SD Card to CF adapters to see what's inside, because its internal is shown in the picture below.

Attached Image:


Chieh Cheng
Mon, 27 Jun 2005 18:40:05 -0700

The core of the adapter is a Phison PS3001B Controller IC. I looked around on PHISON Electronics Corp's web site, but couldn't find any specification for this chip, but it's probably very similar to their adapter and card reader integrated circuit chips.

The picture above was found from the "Secure Digital SD to CF CompactFlash Card Adapter Type I" web page, where you can purchase the adapter.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 27 Jun 2005 18:58:32 -0700

The inside of the SD Card to CF Type II adapter is shown in the picture below. It's very similar to the Type I adapter with a single IC chip as its core. It's apparent from these pictures that an IC chip is required to make the conversion between SD Card and CF interfaces. The IC chip takes up space, so a Type II form-factor is needed if a SD Card is to be fully inserted into the adapter.

This second picture is taken from the "Secure Digital SD to CF CompactFlash Card Adapter Type II" web page, where you can purchase the Type II adapter.

Attached Image:


Chieh Cheng
Mon, 27 Jun 2005 18:59:50 -0700

I bought a MINOLTA COMPACTFLASH ADAPTER FOR SD MEMORY CARDS SD-CF1 from Amazon. This CF card could accept a SD Card and is a Type 1 card! I am quite amazed. I will review it shortly.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 11 Jul 2005 13:56:06 -0700

Hi: I have been looking for the opposite. To insert in a SD slot an adapter to read CF cards or MemoryStick cards. So as to connect CD or MS cards to a lifedrive palm.

Thu, 11 Aug 2005 13:33:49 -0700


I'm looking for a SD to CD type I as described here. Does any one know of one for sale?


Fred Tischler
Mon, 27 Aug 2007 17:42:12 +0000

Hi Fred,

If you don't mind using microSD's instead of SD Cards, you might consider getting a microSD to Memory Stick Duo Adapter and a Sony MSAC-MCF1N Memory Stick Duo Adaptor for CompactFlash Slot (replacement is AD-MSCF1). These adapters seems much easier to find right now. And you will still be able to use your microSD with your SD Card devices.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 27 Aug 2007 17:56:34 +0000

These guys sell it for 50 USD

Secure Digital SD to CF CompactFlash Card Adapter Type II
A bit expensive for me...
Im also not sure what they mean by "standard SD up to 4GB".
SDHC starts from 4GB. SD to my knowledge can only get up to 2GB.

anoymous browser
Thu, 03 Jan 2008 08:48:38 +0000

Actually, here too for 19&

SD / MMC to Compact Flash II Adapter
A word of warning:
If it the SD card sticks out you may not be able to use it, inside a camera for instance.
Also it appears that all do not support SDHC. I will be happy to be proven wrong since this is what I am after... a cheap SDHC within a cheap adapter.

anonymous browser
Thu, 03 Jan 2008 08:53:42 +0000

I was looking for quite enough time to find a CF to SD type I adapter. I needed type I because I own some devices that accept type I only. They are pretty hard to find but I found finally a place where I could get one:

Panasonic BN-CSDABP3/P $54.99

It is rather expensive comparing with type II adapters, but it is high quality japanese product, it comes with PCMCIA adapter to use in laptops, you get also a free USB CF reader. When you don't have much choice and you need it you happy that you could get it for any price. It says to work with up to 2Gb SD cards and compatible with any Windows including Vista and MacOS including MacOS X 10.1.2.

Sun, 03 Aug 2008 15:29:05 +0000

LOL when i am well 16 (not really that kid anymore)
but even when i was jounger and even i also take some electronics apart to try to find out how they work.
but i either couldnt fix it anymore :P

Fri, 05 Dec 2008 15:59:33 +0000

Following your recommendations I bought AD-MSCF1 adapter and it turned out to be type II, can't fit it into my device...
Funny thing is, sony website states that AD-MSCF1 is type I adaptor 3.3 mm, and it actually is type II 5mm...
Are there any other adapters left for cf type I? I just want to use microSDHC cards in CompactFlash Type I slot, is there anything can be done to achieve that?
Thank you!

Fri, 08 May 2009 11:58:19 +0000

After further research it seems there is only one good adapter - MINOLTA SD-CF1
Does anyone know where I could buy MINOLTA SD-CF1 adapter? Can't find it anywhere, even used...
Thanks a lot!

Fri, 08 May 2009 13:21:58 +0000 . . .
Here is another opne to add to your list from Delkin Devices.
Conveniently adapt Secure Digital to CompactFlash
Converts both SD/SDHC to CF
Plug and Play - No drivers required
Hot swappable
2 year limited warranty

David Gleeson
Tue, 22 Sep 2009 14:26:30 +0000

Thanks David. I just happened to need one of these as my SDHC memory card collection grows. Delkin sells the adapter directly for $29.95. Or you can get it from Amazon for $24.95 with free Super Saver shipping: . . .

I also found this adapter on Amazon for $17.99 and qualifies for the free Super Saver shipping: . . .

Though your order needs to be $25 to qualify for the free Super Saver shipping. Maybe consider adding a microSD memory card to your order to qualify.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 22 Sep 2009 19:25:12 +0000

I'm about to order and read the details more carefully. The $17.99 adapter above is a CompactFlash Type II adapter, while the $24.95 Delkin one is a Type I adapter. I think I will go for the Delkin one, which provides better compatibility.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 25 Sep 2009 06:52:17 +0000

I just got the Delkin adapter from Amazon. To my surprise, it is a CF Type II adapter as well. I guess my quest for a SDHC Card to CF Type I adapter continues.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 30 Sep 2009 08:46:24 +0000

are you guys all stupid? such an inane thread.

they are not rare, just order from amazon or somewhere.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 08:24:49 +0000

TDP, the CF Type I is actually quite rare. And a CF Type I that can read SDHC Card is like non-existent. But we would certainly appreciate it if you can find us a source for them.

On the other hand, your comments actually doesn't help us, because as we stated, the ones we bought off Amazon (links in this thread), all turned out to be CF Type II cards.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 17 Sep 2010 16:54:52 +0000

Hello, if anyone wishes to sell their old adapter, please contact me!

Looking to buy, thanks!

ben (a.t)

Benjamin Wong
Mon, 24 Jan 2011 04:43:44 +0000

Hi Benjamin, why not buy a new one from one of the numerous links in this thread??

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 24 Jan 2011 15:12:21 +0000

Tried to use a SD/SDHC cf adapter on my Canon 7D. Results are very bad. Lot of pictures are only stripes.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 09:46:41 +0000

Try not to buy SD to CF Card Adaptor for your Camera Use, because most of the adaptor is 5mm, while your CF Slot is 3mm only ........ Check carefully before you buy especially EYE-Fi & Flu Card User ! ............... please let's know if you get a 3mm high adaptor for SDHC, thanks

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 05:24:12 +0000

To SLR Accessory:
try this? . . .

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:34:09 +0000

Thanks for posting that, anonymous. When I read the spec sheet, I got excited, because it seems to indicate that it is a CF Type I adapter. However, I found it on Amazon, which indicates that it's a CF Type II adapter: SE9109: Jobo SD/SDHC/SDxC to CF card Type II Adapter

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 04 Nov 2011 00:04:54 +0000

You need to search for "type 1 microSD cf adapter" - here is one at Amazon: Photofast MicroSD MicroSDHC to Compact Flash Type 1 Adapter. Converts MicroSDHC up to 16GB Capacity to a standard Compact Flash (Type I) Memory Card.

Here it is cheaper at - microSD microSDHC to CF Type I Type1 ADAPTER CR-7100 Support 4GB 8GB 16GB

I had a PNY type 1 adapter in the past, but I got a type II adapter by JOBO at B&H on a trip to NY, and since it works with the microSDHC cards, that's the one I use. Unfortunately, the Nikon D700 and the new Sigma SD1 (which I plan to get) do not take type II cards. Don't as ME why. (seems very stupid to me that they don't)

The JOBO adapter is an SD to CF, and I use 4 GB class 6 A-data microSDHC cards very reliably. I have a class 4 Kingston card that works too, but it is very slow. I am planning to get two more A-data cards this week (8 GB this time). Just to let you all know, I've been using microSD cards with SD to CF adapters for many years, and I've shot over a hundred thousand photos (usually RAW) in Sony and Canon cameras with them.

I don't know why B&H doesn't carry a class 1 sd to cf adapter. Probably because they want to sell more card readers and the more-expensive CF cards.

Scott Kennelly
Sun, 13 Nov 2011 01:28:54 +0000

Thanks, Scott. I just ordered one. Should be here in two days.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 14 Nov 2011 10:45:26 +0000

is there an SD to CF card adapter where the SD card inserts in the back not the top or bottom of the CF card?

Thu, 13 Jun 2013 03:31:56 +0400

Not sure I understand what you are talking about, Eric. What's your definition of top, bottom, and back?

The SD to CF card adapters that I have all allows me to insert the SD card from the side (when you are looking at the label upright).

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 04:56:02 +0400

Add Comment | Related Links | TrackBack
Related Content

Did your message disappear? Read the Forums FAQ.


TrackBack only accepted from WebSite-X Suite web sites. Do not submit TrackBacks from other sites.

Send Ping | TrackBack URL | Spam Control

Title: Minolta CompactFlash Adapter for SD Memory Cards SD-CF1
Weblog: Camera Hacker
Tracked: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 15:35:58 -0700

Title: CompactFlash Adapter for SD WiFi Card
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: My problem is I want to use an SD wifi card in a CF slot. To do it, because the antenna makes the SD slightly longer, I need an adaptor that puts the SD in the TOP of the adaptor.
Tracked: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 17:57:54 +0000

Related Links

Add Comment

Spam Control | * indicates required field
Your Name: *
Remember Me!
Comment: *
File attachment is optional. Please do not attach a file to your submission unless it is relevent.
Attach File:
(20 MB Max)
Spam Protection: * Answer of 8 + 6?
Click button only once, please!

Messages, files, and images copyright by respective owners.