Card Reader Benefits


Today’s Question: You have said that you don’t import photos to your computer directly from your camera. I assume that means that you remove the memory card from your camera and insert it into your computer to import your photos. Why don’t you import photos directly from your camera?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There are two reasons I don’t download directly from the camera: potentially slower performance and risk of damage.

More Detail: In my (admittedly limited) experience, downloading photos by connecting your camera to the computer is slower than inserting the memory card into a good card reader. While the camera may be able to write data to the card exceptionally fast, often it seems the USB connection doesn’t provide good performance.

If you purchase a good card reader that offers the fastest performance possible, such as the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 reader (, you will likely see download speeds that are significantly faster than a direct connection to your camera could provide.

In addition to wanting to achieve faster download times, connecting my camera directly to the computer simply makes me nervous. I worry that I’ll manage to somehow snag the data cable and send the camera sliding off my desk to the floor. For a photographer who isn’t quite as clumsy as I am this might not be a significant concern, but I prefer to put my camera back in the camera bag when I’m not using it, in an effort to minimize the risk of accidental damage.

I also find that it is a little easier to manage the process of downloading from multiple cards with a small card reader, rather than using the bulkier camera as a card reader. But mostly I’m concerned about keeping the camera safe and speeding up the download of my photos.