I’ve always been one to try to get away with buying inexpensive accessories for my camera to save a few bucks. A few months ago, I wanted to grab a card reader so that I could upload my CF card to my computer and picked the least expensive option. It should theoretically do the same thing as a $40 card reader, right? Unfortunately, the cheap card reader I used kept connecting and disconnecting instead of transferring files, and corrupted two of my memory cards which I was thankfully able to get recovered by one of the guys in the store.
That was definitely one of my most stressful moments as a photographer. How was I going to tell the girl who’s senior pictures I took that we had to completely redo them because the card got corrupted? Don’t do this to yourself and really research your accessories. There will always be inexpensive memory cards, card readers, straps, and filters, but that doesn’t mean they work the best!
I’ve started noticing differences between read and write speeds on memory cards and flash drives the more I shoot and download files. The faster the read speed, the faster you can edit and get on with your life! Personally, I’m always battling time—I’m either out of time, or don’t have enough time in my day. The last thing I want to be doing is staring at my computer screen, waiting for files….to….download. Yawn. When I decided I wanted to be a photographer, I didn’t think I’d be standing by my computer waiting for files to download for an hour or two.
Trust me when I say, get yourself a good card reader with a good memory card. Lexar makes fast, reliable memory cards and readers and I definitely give them my stamp of approval. A combination of their products can drastically change the way you import your photos. Their speedy multi-card 25-in-1 with USB 3.0 can transfer 5x faster than the traditional USB 2.0 and read various formats and cards (make sure you pick up their newer USB 3.0 model!). This is a good suggestion for photographers that aren’t shooting more than a card a day. Also, it takes micro SD so you can transfer your phone images too!
For those that are using several cards in a few days time such as concert, wedding, or videographers, I suggest the Lexar HR2. This multi-reader can upload cards simultaneously and is completely customizable to what you shoot! Do you shoot strictly SD cards? You can have as many SD adapters as you’d like or switch one out with other formats such as CF cards (they even have storage drive adapters for you to save up to 512GB). I can’t imagine what this would’ve done for me when I shot the CMA festival a few years ago. Uploading those files took FOREVER, and if I had the proper tools, I could’ve uploaded faster and edited faster. The cool thing about the HR2 is you can connect via Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3.0. If you don’t care too much for Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, maybe the HR1 is for you, the older brother to the HR2.