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Memory Card Readers may not be the most exciting parts of the camera system but as far as it goes, your memory cards are still a vital part of your kit. As a photographer or videographer you are bound to be uploading huge amounts of data and image files. Using a stand alone card reader will speed up your workflow, keep your process efficient and help to protect the fragile connectors on your computer or device.
What is a Memory Card Reader?
A memory card reader is a highly versatile piece of equipment that reads your digital camera’s memory card quickly and reliably; allowing you to upload your image files to your computer or laptop.
Many card readers can also write onto the memory card so you can save your image files onto a transportable external device. Not all computers have a memory card reader in which case you’ll need a card reader to upload your images through the USB connection.
Why is the Right Memory Card Reader Important in Photography and Videography?
It’s always a good idea to use an external, specifically designed card reader when you’re extracting the data files from your digital camera. Most modern laptops have ditched the SD card reader slot to save on space. This means that you will need an external card reader to upload data from your memory cards.
- A stand alone memory card reader can both read and write at a faster speed than if you have simply connected your camera to your computer.
- Card readers are extremely reliable and are built to last. With extremely reasonable prices and solid construction they are a great long term investment that will benefit your workflow and make your life easier.
- If any of the image files on your memory card have been corrupted the card reader can get much better results than your computer will. If you’re uploading files that contain damaged sectors of coding then a computer and mobile phones will stop, unable to continue. Using a card reader gives you a much higher chance of recovering the files because it can work past the damaged sectors and continue uploading the rest of the images.
- A card reader is a versatile device that can work with all memory cards. This universal functionality makes it the ideal choice for photographers and videographers, particularly if you are working with multiple cameras and different types of memory cards.
- A card reader will work immediately with your computer because it does not usually need the installation of new drives to operate it. It’s also very easy to use so you’ll be up and running in no time at all.
- If you are uploading a lot of image files you can damage the connectors on your computer which will then entail costly repairs. Using a card reader with a USB cable avoids this problem, potentially saving you money in the future.
- When you’re transferring data from your camera it will drain the battery, which can damage the image files if it runs out.
How To Choose The Best Option For You?
There are many top rate highly functional memory card readers on the market and choosing the right one for you can seem like a bit of a chore but selecting the right one for you is still very important. You can get tiny models that are very portable or larger, more versatile designs that you can have sitting on your desk next to your computer.
One of the most important features is the speed of data transfer but you should also be looking for a well made, sturdy and reliable model that will last you for years to come.
What To Look For In a Memory Card Reader – Choosing The Right One For You.
- Type of Connection. Make sure it works with your existing devices. Most use a USB connection, but if not they can easily be converted with a small adapter.
- Speed of data transfer. You want the fastest options available to maximize your workflow and raise your efficiency; and although this might only save 10 minutes during a session over time this soon adds up to a massive loss of productivity and time.
- Check the cables on the card reader. Some card readers have a built in USB connection which can be damaged and you’ll be unable to replace it! Others have replaceable USB cables, which are generally the better choice in the long run.
- Number of Ports in the Card Reader. Check the types of ports that you’ll be needing and be sure to match them up. The better card readers have 2 or 3 ports for different types of memory cards.
Top 3 Memory Card Readers
- Prograde Digital USB 3.1 Gen Dual-Slot Card Reader: This is one of the best card readers on the market and delivers high quality image transfer at great speeds. It’s ideal to keep on your desk beside your computer and with it’s dual card slots it’s versatile too. The transfer speeds are incredibly fast with reading rates of up to 250MB/second. This dwarfs much of the competition and is one of the reasons why it’s the go to choice for freelancing photographers and videographers alike.
- SanDisk ImageMate Pro Multi-Card Reader: One of the top all round memory card readers it delivers amazing results at its extremely reasonable price point. It is solidly built and made to last but it might not be ideal for use on the move. The card reader has 3 slots which handles UHS-II SD, MicroSD and CF cards so it’s perfect if you’re working in multiple formats. The read/write speed is up to 210MB/second which is still very fast. If you’ve got a tight budget but still want high quality results then this is a serious contender.
- Anker SD Card Reader, 2 in 1 USB Reader: This is a super compact device that fits in your pocket making it handy if you need to work on the move with your laptop. The price tag is superb for what it delivers and it’s optimized to function smoothly with everything from the MacBook to the Galaxy S10 phone. The Anker SD card reader has two slots and although the read/write speeds don’t compete with the larger, more expensive models it’s a great backup to have in your camera bag. It also comes with an 18 month guarantee included in the price.
How Can Memory Card Readers Speed Up Your Workflow?
Getting a great system together to maximize the efficiency of your workflow is vital to work to your very best level. Using a memory card reader will speed up your image transfers and let you focus on the important parts of your work. Memory Card Readers Are Reliable And Efficient Ways to Transfer Your Photos and Footage. A good quality, reliable and fast memory card reader is a fantastic, versatile and useful tool. Once you have made a card reader part of your workflow you’ll never go back to your old ways as you find your productivity and efficiency rates improve dramatically.
What type of memory cards do you use in your camera?