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Thread: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

  1. #1

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    Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I am considering using a card reader instead of my USB cable to transfer images to my PC. It would be nice not to have to deal with the cable (I think).

    Are most folks pretty happy with using card readers, or are there issues with those that someone in the forum might share? Are some card readers better, more stable or faster than others?

    Thanks to anyone who might reply. This has been a great place to get lots of helpful info.

    Anita

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I always use the USB cable for transfers. Lightroom even sort of reminds me to turn the camera off once the transfer is complete. Taking cards in and out of the camera I find is more troublesome than just plugging in the cable

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I always use a card reader (Sandisk Image Mate USB III) - works like a charm. Plugging a USB cable into the camera all the time would make me REALLY nervous (one false move and the connector on the camera would be toast).

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    My laptop has a digital media reader slot so I usually transfer from the card to the computer. I was growing tired of carrying the laptop around so I was interested in this memory card burner but at that price I could get a new smaller laptop.

    http://www.amazon.com/EZDigiMagic-Po...m/B001ALZJIG/2

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I have a card reader but rarely use it. I don't find plugging into the camera problematic at all. It has occurred to me that with enough use, the micro USB port on the camera might become too lose, but it hasn't happened in the four years I have had this body,and if it does, well, then I can use the card reader. I personally hate removing the card because I am convinced that someday I will bend a pin.

    The only precaution I take is that I always connect the cable to the camera first, with the camera off, and then turn the camera on only when the cable is plugged into the computer. I reverse this when removing the cable. This is probably needlessly neurotic, but I do it to avoid any risk of a spark.

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I was a dedicated USB cable user when the D50 was permanently connected to the computer, how convenient! I remember buying my first Sigma DSLR and finding out that my computer wouldn't speak to the SD9's USB1 port and that the said computer didn't have a Firewire port either. So it was quite stressful to have to buy a card reader - just to transfer files. But now the computer is far away from my bench and actually walking the CF card back and forth is a lot better than carrying the housebrick and disturbing the macro setup thereby.

    And just a day or two ago, I had a CF card and a Panasonic SD card both plugged into the card reader and easily accessible as drives E and F. Still leaving three slots for microSD, etc. Kingston rules, IMHO.

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    I have a card reader but rarely use it. I don't find plugging into the camera problematic at all. It has occurred to me that with enough use, the micro USB port on the camera might become too lose, but it hasn't happened in the four years I have had this body,and if it does, well, then I can use the card reader. I personally hate removing the card because I am convinced that someday I will bend a pin.

    The only precaution I take is that I always connect the cable to the camera first, with the camera off, and then turn the camera on only when the cable is plugged into the computer. I reverse this when removing the cable. This is probably needlessly neurotic, but I do it to avoid any risk of a spark.
    Not neurotic - just the correct way.

    There are about 5 billion cell phones in use in the world and at a guess about 1/2 now use the same USB connector and there seems to be very little in the way of hardware difficulties specifically related to the connector. A quick search on the web for usb camera faults all the results I found were related to operating and driver software not hardware although I am sure it will occasionally occur. I think the risk of camera damage by incorrectly inserting a CF card is probably just as great.

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    I think the risk of camera damage by incorrectly inserting a CF card is probably just as great.
    I've never bent a pin in a camera CF slot -- I've lost count of the number of times I've accidentally snagged a cable and brought some piece of equipment crashing to the floor though.

    Neurotic? YOU BET!

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I've never bent a pin in a camera CF slot -- I've lost count of the number of times I've accidentally snagged a cable and brought some piece of equipment crashing to the floor though.

    Neurotic? YOU BET!
    Apart from my head phones "touch wood" I have not had anything go crashing to the floor but I have to agree as strange as it may seem being neurotic is somehow a totally reasonable approach.

  10. #10
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I use both. My card reader and camera sync cable are always attached to my PC. They are equally slow while transferring.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
    Are most folks pretty happy with using card readers, or are there issues with those that someone in the forum might share? Are some card readers better, more stable or faster than others?
    I use a card reader always - I find it the easiest / quickest method.
    I suggest you buy one. Don’t buy a cheap one.
    I use SanDisk mainly.

    I have a few: I 'lose' them (students / associates borrow them, but eventually give them back).
    I bought a cheap one when I was on an assignment once - I bent a pin in it and straightened the pin using the "tweezers tool' in my Victorinox Knife - apparently that tool is good for plucking unwanted hairs out too - so my daughter informs me . . . now my Swiss army knife has gone missing.
    I chucked the cheap one away when I got home – never buy a cheap one, like a tripod - don’t buy a cheap one: very annoying.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I've lost count of the number of times I've accidentally snagged a cable and brought some piece of equipment crashing to the floor though.
    If you do all the work ON THE FLOOR -
    NOTHING can fall off:

    Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    WW

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    The iMac has a SD slot so cards always go in there - I hate cables, messy ugly things that get in the way - but I do have a Sandisk Extreme reader (with a very short cable) for the odd time I use CF cards in the D300s.

  13. #13

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    This is lots of great feedback. Plenty of food for thought that you all have given me. Thanks a lot - it is a big help.

    I mainly worry about one of my 3 curious kitties messing around with the cable and pulling the camera onto the floor. Or perhaps I'll absentmindedly reach for something and snag the cable, sending my camera to its final resting place. Somewhat ridiculous considerations - but real. So, I may give the card reader a shot and just exercise due care not to bend anything.
    Thx again,
    Anita

  14. #14

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    Card reader every time. For one thing, even with a cheap one, they are faster.
    Secondly there is the kitten dilema (they do love to play with bits of cable !)
    I also use a reader because that leaves me free to continue using my camera while my computer gets on with the boring job of transfering data.
    Bill, I agree with your philosophy, however your camera looks like it could be in for a wee whisky bath

  15. #15
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by moopy goops View Post
    Bill, I agree with your philosophy, however your camera looks like it could be in for a wee whisky bath
    Brandy not whisky - but either is not really an issue.
    It is a Canon – a quick rinse cycle and spin dry fixes any sticky spillages
    Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    WW

  16. #16

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    Re: Image Transfer - Card Reader vs USB Cable?

    I always use a card reader but I'm comfortable using Explorer to manages files.

    My wife though plugs the camera into the cable and hey presto, magic, the pictures appear on the PC

    Horses for courses, whatever works for you.

    Ken

  17. #17
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    Udma

    I use UDMA capable CF cards and a UDMA card reader. My 300x and 400x cards speed up image aquisition using my 7D camera and also speed up writing images from the cards to my notebook computer. Although the UDMA cards don't speed up image aquisition with my 40D camera, they do speed up transfer of images shot with the 40D to my computer.

    My Lexar UDMA card reader is faster than the CF card slot in my computer and faster than downloading from the camera.

    Additonally, I have never had a problem with bent pins but, I have trashed a cheap CF card reader because the CF card slot was not tight enough to ensure that the CF card would register accurately...

    When I am on a trip, I will often shoot a large number of images. Fast downloads would facilitate getting the images onto my notebook computer. The fast downloads could also be accomplished while my batteries are removed from my cameras and are charging.

    Note: I always shoot with two cameras and since the 7D and 40D use different batteries, I will have two different chargers with me. My system is to recharge batteries after every day of shooting with them and to download my images to the notebook computer and then to copy these images to at least one separate external hard drive. I will then reformat the CF cards.

    Because, I am often very tired at the end of a long day of shooting, quick downloading really is important...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 6th February 2013 at 07:27 PM.

  18. #18
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    Re: Udma

    For me it's a card reader, speed being the primary reason.

    Cheers,
    A

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