Archive for July 18th, 2008

I’m constantly surprised at how many people are content to download images to their computers via the camera’s USB connection. Sure, it’s a cheaper alternative to a $30 card reader (since the cables are usually included with every camera purchased), but doing it that way has a couple downsides you should know about.

First and most important, using a camera as the transfer device is S-L-O-W! It takes at least twice as long to download a memory card using the camera compared to a standard USB 2.0 memory card reader. That means a full card that takes 2 minutes to download images will do the same task in only one minute using a card reader. Of course, the higher the capacity of the card (and more images on it), the more time saved.

Second, downloading directly from the camera uses camera power and will run down a camera’s battery quicker. This is a bad thing if you’re out in the field, far away from your battery recharger.

There are many card readers on the market. They range from $20 to over $100. Some even read multiple card formats. I’ve used all kinds and currently use the Lexar CF card reader pictured. The differences between various brands, however, is minimal and a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a faster reader.

So, save yourself some time, purchase a card reader and toss it in your laptop bag. Use it and speed up the boring part of your post-shoot routine.

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