Importing from memory card directly as good as importing from camera?

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dtbain

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Am I right that there is no reason not to import by plugging my camera's memory card into the card reader on my laptop, as compared with connecting my camera (with memory card in) to the computer?

Sometimes there are problems when I import from the camera (e.g. the camera turns itself off mid-import) so I thought I might as well take the card out and import from that directly. But, again, I just want to check that there is no difficulty in so doing, e.g. no important data will be left out?

I am importing and converting to dng raw pics taken with a Canon 450d.

Many thanks in advance

David
 

dtbain

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Thanks Denis. And I take it a slot on my laptop that I can plug the card into counts as a card reader, or is a card reader something else?

Thanks

d
 

Jimmsp

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Its a better to use a card reader, this is the advice on this and many other forums.

Perhaps.
But every time you take your card in and out of the camera, you have a chance of damaging the connection pins. They are not as robust as most of the mini usb connectors.
My brother thought the same thing until he bent a pin putting a card back in.

I continue to plug my camera in directly, and have never had a problem.
 
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Perhaps.
I continue to plug my camera in directly, and have never had a problem.

You may be lucky so far but I disagree with this approach on principle.
Use a card reader - there is much less chance of corrupting images on import using a card reader.

So, I am with Dennis here.

Tony Jay
 

Jimmsp

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... there is much less chance of corrupting images on import using a card reader.

And why is this?
I'll admit to not having studied this, but I'm curious as to what tests have been done to show this.

What I do know is that less you plug and unplug electronic cards, the better it is on the connectors.
 
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Perhaps.
But every time you take your card in and out of the camera, you have a chance of damaging the connection pins. They are not as robust as most of the mini usb connectors.
My brother thought the same thing until he bent a pin putting a card back in.

Doesn't this advice really only apply to CF cards? I use both CF cards and SD cards, and I cannot see how an SD card could easily get damaged from being inserted/removed from a camera or card reader? With CF cards, OTOH, you do have to be careful about bending pins in the device.

--Ken
 

Jimmsp

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Doesn't this advice really only apply to CF cards? I use both CF cards and SD cards, and I cannot see how an SD card could easily get damaged from being inserted/removed from a camera or card reader? With CF cards, OTOH, you do have to be careful about bending pins in the device.

--Ken
True, my brother was using a cf card; and one of my cameras uses one as well. My other camera uses a sd card, where the contacts are not exactly pins. I connect both to a pc.
While the sd connectors are more robust, the worry you might have is static electricity, which where I live in the winter time, is an issue.
I tend to want to handle cards, memory chips, etc, as little as possible without being grounded.
 
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True, my brother was using a cf card; and one of my cameras uses one as well. My other camera uses a sd card, where the contacts are not exactly pins. I connect both to a pc.
While the sd connectors are more robust, the worry you might have is static electricity, which where I live in the winter time, is an issue.
I tend to want to handle cards, memory chips, etc, as little as possible without being grounded.

I can understand the concern about static electricity, as it is often an issue in our house in winter, especially when I am wearing fleece. I guess that I have conditioned myself to "discharge" before handling anything that might be damaged by a shock. While I choose to use card readers, I think there is some merit to both sides of this discussion, and that this is one of those personal decisions, not unlike the use of protective filters.

--Ken
 
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And why is this?
I'll admit to not having studied this, but I'm curious as to what tests have been done to show this.

What I do know is that less you plug and unplug electronic cards, the better it is on the connectors.

It is all to do with the fact that your camera needs power to do the image transfer - eventually you will be doing a transfer when your camera battery goes flat.
The likely result is a corrupted card with all images lost.

Although a card reader itself does need its own power source - it gets its power from the computer - a power failure while importing could do the same thing.

Either is possible.
A dud battery is just more likely.

Tony Jay
 
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At the end of the day it becomes a personal choice, largely governed by one's attitude to risk and convenience. I have heard the 'bent pin' concern several times, though not the static electricity one.....though my own thoughts are that when importing directly from camera the risk of accidentally catching the trailing camera cable and bringing my very expensive camera and lens combination crashing to the floor is much greater that the risk of a bent pin. So I usually import from card reader, but there are other factors as well:

1. Convenience....no need to go searching for the cable, just remove card and insert into card reader, Lightroom launches at the Import dialog (can't do the latter if importing from camera).
2. Speed.....using a USB3 card reader will likely be faster than using a USB2 camera connection, especially with the faster 90MB/s cards.
3. I have no doubt that LR4 especially has some issues with direct camera connection....there have been many reports of "previews not found" when doing this, and the problem is always resolved with a card reader.

Just my 2 cents....nothing wrong with folks doing what they're most comfortable with.
 
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Camera drivers tend to be a little less reliable than card readers, at least as far as LR goes. For example, when you hear reports of no thumbnails showing in the import dialog, it's usually a camera cable. Card readers can also be faster than camera connection.

The other reason often given is you're far more likely to knock the camera off the table than you are to damage the pins in the camera.

It really is one of those decisions that you have to make yourself, having weighed all the pros and cons. Personally I usually use a card reader.
 

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When I get back from a shoot, most times, we've filled multiple CF and SD cards with images. We use a third-party application to manage the downloads and to merge the GPS info from our GPS recorder into the EXIF data of the image. We the use Lightroom to import the images from where the third-party app placed them. Most of my cards have been inserted and removed dozens of times with no problems.

On a shoot I carry 4x16 CF 4x12 CF 4x8 CF 4x16 SD. My camera accepts both. When one fills, it switches over to the other till I get a chance to replace it.
 

Bryan Conner

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I started using CF cards in 1999 and have never had a bent pin in a card reader. How do you manage to bend a pin? Is there too much space around the card therefore allowing a person to force the card in at an angle? Or to force it in backwards?
 
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I started using CF cards in 1999 and have never had a bent pin in a card reader. How do you manage to bend a pin? Is there too much space around the card therefore allowing a person to force the card in at an angle? Or to force it in backwards?

I have been using CF cards since 2002 and have not had any issues myself, but I can see how they can happen. If the rails that guide the CF card are a bit off or loose, I can see that a card would not be lined up with the respective pins and could damage a pin that did not fit into its slot. And, I can see if you jam a card into a camera or card reader in a hurry, you could run the risk of bending a pin. So, even in the midst of a quick card change, I move carefully when inserting a CF card into a camera.

--Ken
 

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I started using CF cards in 1999 and have never had a bent pin in a card reader. How do you manage to bend a pin? Is there too much space around the card therefore allowing a person to force the card in at an angle? Or to force it in backwards?

Good question. He bent it when he inserted back into the camera, leading to an expensive camera repair. He was told that it was not a rare occurrence.
Personally, I never bent one, and I used a card reader for years. Likewise with the camera with an sd card I have never had a problem directly hooking the camera to the pc.
I suppose if I filled multiple cards during a shoot, I'd unload via a reader as well.
 
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Doesn't this advice really only apply to CF cards? I use both CF cards and SD cards, and I cannot see how an SD card could easily get damaged from being inserted/removed from a camera or card reader? With CF cards, OTOH, you do have to be careful about bending pins in the device.

--Ken

I'm an event photographer and can be transferring thousands of images in a day from various cameras, downloading from 40/50 CF cards using readers and probably only had a couple of bent pins in the last 7 years and those were in the card reader.

Good practice is to spread images across a number of cards when out shooting, in case of corrupt indexing in card therefore you would need to put them back in the camera to download - better to put in a card reader, far cheaper to replace the reader compared to the camera if pins do get bent.

Also more likely to catch the cable connecting the camera knocking it to the floor compared to damaging the pins (certainly in the mad house conditions we are often working in). I've done that with my wife's point and shot but it bounced well and still worked, I didn't tell her !!
 
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better to put in a card reader, far cheaper to replace the reader compared to the camera if pins do get bent.

Also more likely to catch the cable connecting the camera knocking it to the floor compared to damaging the pins (certainly in the mad house conditions we are often working in).

While I always remove my cards and use a card reader, do note that it is still possible to bend the pins in the camera when you replace the card. And given the current state of my desktop, the probability of catching a cable certainly worries me more than bent pins. but, as I mentioned earlier, YMMV.

--Ken
 

Bryan Conner

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I did a bit of research (Google) on the topic of bent pins. Several people reported that the problem was a faulty CF card. The pin holes in the card were malformed. These were all new cards that damaged the camera on the first insertion. So, I think that it would be a good idea to try all new cards out in a cheap/old card reader before putting it in a camera. I know I will try to remember and do this the next time I buy a CF card.
 

Hankw

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I use SD cards and use a reader, never had a problem. Also I always format my cards in the camera. I have dedicated cards for each camera and try not to ever mix them.
 
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