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View Poll Results: How do you get your images off your camera?

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  • External Card Reader

    55 46.61%
  • USB cable

    33 27.97%
  • Internal Card Reader

    30 25.42%
  • I shoot tethered, its the only way

    0 0%
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Thread: How do you get images off camera

  1. #1
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    How do you get images off camera

    I was wondering how many people use an external card reader vs plugging the camera in using USB. Or tethered for that matter.

    I use a laptop for my main machine and that has an internal SD slot which I use.
    See my work on

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Fair question, Lantern.
    I used to take the SD cards out of cameras and put them into card readers.
    When my old card reader couldn't read SDHC cards, I then connected the camera via USB cable.
    Now, with a CompactFlash card, and all the associated little pinnery that can easily bend (and which I have straightened in the distant past), I just use the USB cable as well.

    As to the relative speed benefits of either method, well, there are other factors involved and the speed issue doesn't worry me.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I use an external USB 3 card reader, for me it is the fastest way. I chose not to install a card reader in my latest processing PC, and just use an external one.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    I bought a CF card reader with my camera but it never worked, so I use the USB cable. I did like having the built in SD card in my Mac for my old camera, except the time when someone was talking to me while I was putting the card in and I missed and put it in the CD drive ...

    Nicole

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    Member Starman's Avatar
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    I read somewhere (Australian Photography magazine I think) that it is best to use a USB attached to the camera, not so much for speed but to reduce risk of card failure or that metadata settings are copied.

    I might be wrong as the old biological memory needs defragmenting and refreshing.

    A USB 3 card reader would definitely be very fast, although I normally do other things while shots are loading e.g. read emails
    Cheers
    Starman

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    I was always a USB cable to camera person but now I've got an internal card reader in my photo PC so I've been using that. Speed is fine and it is good when I have multiple cards to download. Also means the camera's stay in the bag rather than sitting on my desk for days
    Mic

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    Used to always do the USB to Camera thing, but got really tired of the wait and once I started using alot more HD video (video cams) and the D800 a card reader seemed the most sensible option. Now that I've used one, won't ever go back, never a problem, faster and more convenient and doesn't require battery use on the device you want to upload from. Plus much easier to do on the run.
    John
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  8. #8
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starman View Post
    I read somewhere (Australian Photography magazine I think) that it is best to use a USB attached to the camera, not so much for speed but to reduce risk of card failure or that metadata settings are copied.

    I might be wrong as the old biological memory needs defragmenting and refreshing.
    I hope you are wrong, 'cause otherwise that was a pretty clueless thing for some supposed "expert" to write.

    Connecting direct to camera is much slower, involves risk to your expensive camera instead of your cheap card reader and flash cards, probably doesn't reduce other risk in any meaningful way, and is certainly a right pain if you run multiple bodies and/or swap cards mid-shoot.

    Me, I like internal readers best but it's hard to get a proper CF reader internally in a laptop these days so I just use an external one. You can get PC slot readers that should, in theory, be as good as an internal, but in reality the ones I have tried have been absolute carp. Don't go near them!
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

  9. #9
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starman View Post
    I read somewhere (Australian Photography magazine I think) that it is best to use a USB attached to the camera, not so much for speed but to reduce risk of card failure or that metadata settings are copied.

    I might be wrong as the old biological memory needs defragmenting and refreshing.

    A USB 3 card reader would definitely be very fast, although I normally do other things while shots are loading e.g. read emails
    Cheers
    Starman
    Unfortunately, where-ever you read it, is wrong. Digital Photography is just that, digital. It is just bits of data. These travel along the circuits and wires of your camera, computer etc. This data either gets transmitted and received, or it doesn't. There is no way that certain selective segments of information are not transferred just cause you plug into the system a different way. If a failure takes place, it isn't selective about which bits of data it succeeds in transferring. It is all just zero's and one's when it comes down to it. The cabling has nothing to do with the speed of the transfer either, it just transports what is given to it, at the speed it is given it. The connections at each end are the important bits when it comes to speed.

  10. #10
    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I have used both internal and external readers and the only proglem I had with any of them was 2 cheap external ones I got as my mate in Melbourne didn't have a card reader on his computer and I thought an external one would be a handy back up, but the pins were poorly mounted and moved around eventually bending, I threw both of them out and have been using the same internal one that I fitted to my computer when I bought my first good digital camera. When I got my first laptop a couple of months ago, it only had the SD reader, so I got another external reader, but this time I spent a bit more and got the Lexar USB3 SD/CF reader, which is faster on my laptop with USB2 than the internal on my desktop. On the desktop with USB3 it is lightning fast.

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I use an external reader but what really like is to be able transfer it wirelessly straight from the camera.
    Nikon FX

  12. #12
    Member Cris's Avatar
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    I have been using a cf reader connected via FireWire for about 3 years. Was the fastest thing around then, still does a good job but not as fast as some of the newer options.

  13. #13
    Ready to Print Wayno's Avatar
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    I upload my photos with an external card reader connected to a USB 3.0 port on my computer. This works well for me.
    I'll upload them into Lightroom, converting them into DNG files.

    Canon user and abuser.


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    I'm still on USB 2, but the external reader is convenient for me. I use Linux and the Canon software can only run in a Windows VM which doesn't recognise the camera anyway. So I just download via the external reader and process in Linux with rawTherapee and the GIMP.
    Steve


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    i rewind the film, take the roll out, get it developed, then scan the negatives. :P

    upgraded my PC recently and it has a speedy internal reader for CF and SD, so i use that. previously it was an external reader on my old machine & laptop. i never use a USB cable to the camera. it's slow, and cumbersome. i reformat my cards on the camera afterwards.
    Thanks,
    Nam

  16. #16
    It's all about the Light!
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    Workflow!!

    I use two main cards, I take the full card out replace it with the 2nd card, use the USB reader on my main PC and import with Lightroom.
    I don't format the 2nd card until the start of the next shoot.
    My PC storage is RAID1 which gets backed up nightly to an external drive.
    The backup also gets done every couple of weeks on another drive saved offsite.
    So other the for while the shoot is going on until I get home there are multiple copies of the images.
    I have some spare cards if I need more capacity in the field.
    On the road I use the same process but with a notebook and external backup drive.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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  17. #17
    Member Black Dog's Avatar
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    I use an external card reader, or I tether to the laptop.

    I have a canon wireless transmitter but could never get it to work successfully, neither could a pro I know.

  18. #18
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    Too many crap external readers have soured me on trying those, and my internal doesn't do SDHC, so I use the usb cable. But the main advantage to that for me is the software renames and numbers the files as it does it, and I name and number my files quite specifically.
    The huge disadvantage is forgetting to turn the camera back off, and finding yet again I've left the damned thing plugged into the laptop all night, and have to top the battery back up just in case I need the camera.
    Canon EOS 60D ..... EFS 18-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS - 430 EXII Speedlite - "eBay special" Remote Control Unit - Manfrotto 190XPROB w 804RC2 head.

  19. #19
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    Now I have my 7D I have to change my answer. USB. I don't have a CF card reader. Speed was never really a concern for me, I use lightroom and convert to DNG which takes a while. A days shoot will go in the machine, press import and go and drink coffee.

  20. #20
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    External card reader for CF cards here. Out of interest how many people have added a USB 3.0 PCI express card to their existing PC to make better use of USB 3.0 capability?
    Attitude is everything!

    Cheers, Paul

    Nikon

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