Memory card reader or just USB connections.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dennis_j_smith, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Why would one get a memory card reader instead of just connecting ones cammera to ones computer. For example, I saw on John shaws site a commnet to use a card reader and never connect the cammera. There was no real explaination and going digital is new to me.
     
  2. Well, the direct-to-the-camera method only works if you've got the camera turned on, so you're running down the camera's battery while working with the data. Second, any time you tether your camera directly to anything, there's always the risk that a cranky USB port could spike voltage or otherwise do something that the camera won't like (or which may damage it). That being said, I've hooked up my D200 directly to my laptop plenty of times (for tethered shooting, or because I left my card reader in my other pants), and not only have never had a problem, it's a very FAST connection, relative to most card readers. But that battery sure takes a hit, using it that way.
     
  3. hmmmmm.... speed maybe? Also, which one is more likely to wear out first (mechanically)? I would be more cautious of the CF pins messing up, versus the usb port. I tend to use the port more. But, my Canon G6 only has a USB 1 port, where I'm sure I could get a USB 2 reader.
     
  4. One more thought: more than once, I've been back shooting with my camera while the card reader and laptop were busy dumping 4GB of images off to a hard drive. That can take a little while, and it's nice to be doing two things at once.
     
  5. Personally, I prefer to use the camera connection but the downside is the battery drain. I may use my card reader when I put in a fresh card and I want the camera ready. I think it comes down more to personal preference.
     
  6. At the end of the day I usually have a number of full cards, so it's easier pop the last one out of the camera and take just the cards over to my computer. It also roughly halves the number of insertion/removal cycles in the camera's card-slot.
     
  7. Hello Dennis. There is no reason to get a reader if you have just one camera as far as speed of download is concerned - if you digicam has USB 2.0. Obviously, if you have several cams with different types of memory cards, then a reader is the way to go. When you use the direct camera-PC connection, it drains your cam's battery faster, unless you can connect your cam to an external power supply. One thing to consider is that the USB connector in the camera is tiny and I'm not sure how sturdy over a long-term use it is, so if you do frequent downloads, could it become worn out/damaged? If so, it would be much more expensive to have the cam fixed than to buy a new reader. On the other hand, frequent taking out/inserting of the memory card could potentially wear out the contacts and the eject mechanism in the camera = an expensive repair, as well. Cheers, Micheal
     
  8. My D100 is USB 1.1. Downloading images with a USB 2 card reader is infinately faster for me.
     
  9. Memory card reader for me 100% of the time for downloading imges to teh pc. I format my cards in the camera 100% of the time and never in the pc and never in the memory card reader. Joe Smith
     
  10. I use a card reader because it's faster and works will all the cameras in my house. I also prefer to create a new folder with the date and just dump the files into that rather than monkey around with Nikon's software configurations and default directories.
     
  11. I always use a card reader. For one thing I usually use more than one camera and it's easier just to pop the cards out and use the card reader. I treat the cards like I would film, so when I take one out I put another one in and the cameras are always ready to go. Like Matt said, you can then download images and use the camera at the same time. Everyone has their own methods, I guess.
     
  12. I always use a cardreader, just because I don't want my camera on my desk with a cord connected to it. I prefer that my cardreader falls on the floor because something hits the wire.
     
  13. mjt

    mjt

    hi Dennis ... speed, mostly. i use a Mac which has Fireware 800 ports, so i'll have a couple of cards downloaded in a jiffy ! there's also a safety factor ... i've had a friend of mine accidentally snag his USB cable (camera to PC) and yanked his camera to the floor (it's only a Canon :) also, using a reader alleviates using the camera's battery. regards, michael
     
  14. mjt

    mjt

    great article: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007-8462 michael
     
  15. There are usually 2 schools of thought on this subject. I prefer to minimize the number of CF removals/insertions in my DSLR. There are tiny little pins in the camera that must lineup and not be bent. They seem generally robust, but I'm in no hurry to find their limit. If there is a problem incurred, I would rather have it on the cable interface... then my fallback option is to use a card reader. If the CF connect goes bad, then the DSLR is pretty much out of comission (unless one has an alternative media type to use). Cheers, -Greg-
     
  16. Has anyone ever actually had a problem of bent pins? My card reader is much faster than the D70s. Just because something says USB 2 doesn't mean it'll blaze at full USB 2 speeds, BTW. The PCMCIA card slot for my laptop is even faster (and it's a 266MHZ laptop).
     
  17. "Has anyone ever actually had a problem of bent pins?" Yes, on forums at times someone will say their CF pins got bent... and the next step = send to repair shop. I've been working in the electronics industry for a long time and it's instinctive for me to be very protective of 'stake pins'. Don't get me wrong, when I need to swap CF I swap CF... but I don't maximize the number of times that occurs by use of a card reader. Just one person's approach. -Greg-
     
  18. If the camera power drops while transfer is in progress, files can be corrupted, perhaps on both card and computer. FWIW, I tend to be more suspicious of the usb camera end connector and almost always use a card reader and have read of failures of both cards/pins and cable connectors and have never had problems with either when dealing with cameras. That and use of a reader frees up the camera for other things.
     
  19. The main reason would probably be speed and the fact you use a lot of camera battery to upload all your photos. I have a reader, it's fast, and easy to use. Not to mention if you buy one specific to your card type like compact flash it's very cheap. I think mine cost 10.00 2 years ago. I my opinion they are a must have.
     

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