Old 04-14-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
htgguy
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Default Card Readers vs. Camera for Uploads

John's post on memory cards, and the replies, got me wondering how many of you use card readers to transfer photos to your computer?

I have not used a card reader since my first 1.3 MP HP digicam, probably 7 years ago. That was a compact flash cam and I bought a card reader for it when I bought the camera. It worked fine.

Since then I have had a Fuji P&S with xD card, my Canon S2IS with SD, and now a Pentax K200D with SD, and have used a cable to transfer directly from the card in the camera to the computer. It has worked fine for me, and I seldom remove the card from the camera and don't format it more than once a year if that. I just delete the folders after I upload the pics.

Speed hasn't been an issue, the only drawback I can see from this is it requires battery power. But with over 1000 shots on my K200D so far on a set of lithium AA's battery life seems to be a non-factor anymore. That is shooting RAW + jpeg.

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Old 04-14-2009, 03:01 AM   #2
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I use a card reader. I'm sure I could throw together some arguments pro, maybe even some con, but they way it probably came about is that I started doing it that way and haven't seen a reason to change.

Oh, one thing. The card reader is an obvious thing to grab. The alternative, the cable, gets lost in a jumble (any difference between it and, say, the USB/power cable for a blackberry?) .

I do reformat after each download. Don't know if that helps avoid card corruption or not, in comparison to file deletion.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:12 AM   #3
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I've been using the camera->USB cable->computer method since I have this hang up that taking the memory card in and out of the camera frequently is bad for the camera and card (wear out faster).
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:35 AM   #4
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I have some sort of Sandisk card reader, it reads the cards much faster than I could ever hope to do by hooking the computer up to the camera. I have also been taught in school (this is not why, and was after I started using a card reader) that pulling them directly from the camera can often result in more errors than using a card reader. I do not know the truth behind that or not, but the speed of the card reader has me hooked!

I originally used a card reader because my computer never recognized my Rebel 3 years ago, so I just got used to using a card reader, a few times I have had to result to hooking my 30D up to the computer, which the computer will recognize, and the time to transport the photos to the computer is incredibly slow and annoying.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:54 AM   #5
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I use a card reader... camera too slow. I format all my CF's after uploading, extends the life or so the guy at Henry's said.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
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When I bought my first few big (2GB) Sandisk CF cards, I bought a Sandisk card reader, thinking along the lines of same maker of cards & card maker=good. Over a few years, I never had a problem with it and it was nice and fast (could empty a card in about 5-10 minutes).

After a computer problem last year, I bought a new Compaq tower with CF/SD/SmartMedia card slots built into the computer. So simple now: take card out of camera, plug into computer, download. Hopefully, this becomes standard on many future computers, because I don't want to go back.

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Old 04-14-2009, 07:33 AM   #7
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Card reader guy here. Had the same card reader since I went digital back in '04. Before my desk top computer went out, it did have a slot for a CF card which I used all the time for a while. (It was actally on the printer, come to think of it, but the files loaded tothe computer.)
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:52 AM   #8
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I use the USB cable... find it easier than putting the card in the computer. Mainly because that's the way I've always done it because only one of my two CPU's have a card reader and neither of my laptops have a card reader.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
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Add another "card reader" to the tally.

The USB cable never came out of the box - who needs an extra cord to either lose or dangle in the breeze? Real estate is hard to come by on my desk and the terrain is unfriendly to cameras...

Besides, this way I don't have to worry about my card ending up in a non-horizontal position and risk spilling all my pixels to one side.

/Mitch
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
who needs an extra cord to either lose or dangle in the breeze?
Actually, this is why I don't have a card reader. The mini USB has, for the most part, become the standard cable for most electronics, so I bought a pack of short (10-12") mini-USB cables and carry one in my briefcase. I use the same cable to download from the camera, charge the cell phone (from the laptop), charge the GPS receiver, etc. - not only do I not have to carry a card reader, I can leave all those chargers at home, too.

Now, if only my camera would charge via the USB port . . .

JAC
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Fladung View Post
I've been using the camera->USB cable->computer method since I have this hang up that taking the memory card in and out of the camera frequently is bad for the camera and card (wear out faster).
What is going to wear out? I'm going to muster a guess that the card is going to corrupt long before it wears out from frequent removal.

Quote:
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Besides, this way I don't have to worry about my card ending up in a non-horizontal position and risk spilling all my pixels to one side.
I was going to use some similar logic with John's comment about the camera/card wearing out. Perhaps if Mike B. were here he could submit some logic behind why it's better not to use a card reader or lay the camera on its side.

Anyway...I use a card reader. It's just so much more efficient and practical than connecting the camera up and transferring that way, and my camera never even leaves the bag. Plus, it doesn't waste any battery power from the camera doing it this way. A card reader is $20 (or less) at every corner drug store. There's really no excuse not to use one if take a lot of pictures.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:22 PM   #12
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I just use the USB. I could never justify the purchase of a card reader when I didn't have to have one to upload photos. Also I never really like to take out my memory card (I guess I'm just paranoid about getting it scratched or otherwise damaged) so using the USB cord is easier for me.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaz View Post
When I bought my first few big (2GB) Sandisk CF cards, I bought a Sandisk card reader, thinking along the lines of same maker of cards & card maker=good. Over a few years, I never had a problem with it and it was nice and fast (could empty a card in about 5-10 minutes).

After a computer problem last year, I bought a new Compaq tower with CF/SD/SmartMedia card slots built into the computer. So simple now: take card out of camera, plug into computer, download. Hopefully, this becomes standard on many future computers, because I don't want to go back.

- Chris
I'd thought about getting one built into my new computer (Jan/08 ), but a portable one eventually won for the simple reason of portability. I am required, unfortunately, to use my cameras at work and therefore bring the CF between both work and home. I used to upload at home and transfer images to work using a USB stick, but the turnaround is too slow.

Compared to uploading directly from the camera, the reader is a rocket for uploading (new PC doesn't hurt either).

Austin, I have eight CF cards and have never had a problem with them, even swapping them rather hurredly in the field. I think they are more durable than many seem to think. Just go from camera to CF case and reverse, I would not recommend storing them unprotected (in other words, don't leave them laying around).
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:49 PM   #14
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I don't mind the slow camera connection, and I've got a mini USB cable that sticks out for multiple electronics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
(any difference between it and, say, the USB/power cable for a blackberry?)
I do reformat after each download. Don't know if that helps avoid card corruption or not, in comparison to file deletion.
1: No, it's the same super useful USB cable
2: It definitely does.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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What is going to wear out? I'm going to muster a guess that the card is going to corrupt long before it wears out from frequent removal.
I'm more worried the mechanism that holds the card and ejects it will wear out before the card. That's what I'm most worried about.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:21 PM   #16
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I'm more worried the mechanism that holds the card and ejects it will wear out before the card. That's what I'm most worried about.
You must use Cannon cameras... us Nikon folk don't need worry about such things

Seriously, I wouldn't worry too much about that... not like you're pulling the CF out a few dozen times a day, are you?
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:08 PM   #17
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You must use Cannon cameras... us Nikon folk don't need worry about such things

Seriously, I wouldn't worry too much about that... not like you're pulling the CF out a few dozen times a day, are you?
I only use SD cards but I do not pull them out unless it's to swap the cards and that is rare. I've only done that when upgrading capacities.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:54 PM   #18
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Before I bought my 40D I pulled the CF card out of my Rebel and the P&S's I had before hand. The reason i switched is that I had slightly bent one of the little pins in the camera on the rebel. It did not want to seat all the way and after looking one pin was slightly bent. I straightened it out and it worked fine. I did read about a few people bending the pins somehow and it was like a $300.00+ fix for Canon cameras. When I bent my pin I was using a cheap CF card that I had used in my PDA and the various P&S cameras I had over about a 7 year period. So I would guess a little wear on the side rails of the CF card lead to it.

Now I use the cable, plus the mini usb on the camera is the 2.0 stuff and the usb port on the computer is the same I can download 250 pictures in about 2-3 minutes. I have a 4 gig UDMA card and I can get about 304 RAW files on it so that is plenty of pictures for my shooting of trains at 1 outing.

As for turning your camera on the side and spilling out your pixels, just make sure your lens cap is on and you should be OK.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:02 AM   #19
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Card reader user.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:16 AM   #20
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I have always use a card reader and never had any problems with it or the CF cards that we usually use; in total, I have 7 cards (5 1gb and 2 512mb) which is more than enough for a two week trip away from home.

We have just got a Canon G10 camera which uses an SD(HC) card and is not compatible with my current card reader. After three sessions of downloading via the camera, I have had enough and ordered a new card reader that will take SD(HC) cards - they can be bought quite cheaply over here in the UK.
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