Daniel Haggett

London based Lighting Cameraman / DoP

If you are looking for a card reader to get your footage on to a computer, it is worth knowing that not all card readers are the same.

I recently bought a £20 card reader from PC World, the guy in the shop told me card readers were essentially just a bit of plastic and that they would all download at the same speed, depending on the card speed and the computer.  I plugged in the card reader on a shoot with a full 18 gig CF card and it took close to 45 minutes.  Since we were shooting approximately 4 hours a day or 4 x 16 gb cards this was a total pain.  When I plugged in the camera, it was able to transfer the same card in around 15 minutes.  However, from my experience, card readers are a lot more reliable than copying straight from the camera, sometimes the card won't even copy from the camera, and the card reader seems to cope fine.


sandisk card readerI looked around for a new card reader, but everything advertised itself as being "fast" without giving actual speeds.  The Sandisk ImageMate® All-in-One Reader/Writer advertised speeds of "up to" 34 mb a sec so I thought I'd go with that and test it out.  I bought it from Amazon for £25 so a similar price to the first one I bought.   I just downloaded a full 16gb card in under 8 minutes so about twice as fast as my camera and over 5x fast than the card from PC World.






FUll 16 GB CARD download times:

Puremedia Multi card reader from PCWorld:   45mins

Direct from Canon 7D camera: 15mins

Sandisk Imagemate: 8 mins