Camera Accessories

2023’s Top Memory Card Readers: Transfer Pictures And Videos To Your Computer

Using the best memory card readers is a simple method to guarantee that you can always download your photos from your camera. Having a memory card reader can be practically necessary because many laptops do away with the SD card port in favor of ever-slimmer designs.
Well, there is always the choice of a wifi or USB connection. Yet in reality, this can be difficult, and sometimes it’s just quicker to pull the card out.

A list of the top memory card readers for 2023

1. ImageMate Pro Multi-Card Reader from SanDisk

The ImageMate Pro seems like a premium product despite being a very inexpensive card reader because it is sturdy and hefty enough to rest firmly on a tabletop. And this is where it belongs because, by card reader standards, it is large at 122 x 58 x 17mm.

Three card slots—CF, UHS-II SD, and MicroSD—are arranged neatly across the front of the device. There is a detachable USB Type-A cable included, so if you want to connect to a USB-C port, you’ll need an adaptor.
Video transfer speeds of 252 MB/s read and 210 MB/s write during testing using a UHS-II SD card were very respectable and were comparable to those of the much more expensive ProGrade Digital USB 3.1 Gen 2 Dual-Slot Card Reader. In our testing with moving images, 202MB/s read and 107MB/s write results are likewise excellent.
Maximum sustained transfer rates of 96MB/s read and 83MB/s write for UHS-I SD cards aren’t quite class-leading, but not in a way that would be noticeable in everyday use.

2. ProGrade Digital Type B & SD Reader for CFexpress

It makes sense to purchase a card reader that supports both standards since many high-end cameras today support both the CFexpress and SD card formats. This product from Prograde Digital is a top pick and a great match for the mirrorless and DSLR cameras of today.
It has a discreet size of 68x68x19mm, a stick-on metal plate that is convenient for connecting to your computer, and a magnetic base that allows you to tuck it away safely. The SD slot is found below the CFexpress slot, which is situated at the top of the reader.

The readers have a quick USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface, and we measured respectable CFexpress read/write rates of 687MBs and 645MBs. There is a Type-A cable included in the box in addition to a USB Type-C connection cable for connecting to older PCs.

3. Docking Station for Kingston Workflow

In the era of digital devices, there is one thing we all want for: a little more simplicity. less wires, less complicated hardware, and easier file organization and transmission methods. The Kingston Workflow Station Dock aims to make that idea a reality. It is a USB-C docking station with a stack of SD card readers that enables simultaneous downloads from up to eight cards while connecting numerous USB-C or USB-A devices.
The aforementioned modular feature, which enables you to purchase certain readers to meet your needs, is also really helpful. So, you can configure the station suitably if you have more microSD cards than SD cards. Or, if you’re able to do it, you could connect eight cameras using USB-C and download pictures from every one of them at once. You could take a single reader on a shoot and afterwards reconnect it to the main dock because modules can also be utilized independently.

Given that it is more complicated than other SD readers, the entire system does require power to operate. Moreover, there is presently no support for CFExpress, though due to the modular design, this feature could be added at a later time. All of this is more expensive than the other readers on our list, and if you’re the type of photographer who only uses one camera and one card, it’s almost likely more than you require.

The Kingston Nucleum USB Type C Hub, No. 4

It’s possible that you’re having trouble connecting to devices other than your memory card because the newest laptops, including the MacBook Pro, have abandoned all ports other than Thunderbolt/USB Type-C.
SD and MicroSD connectors are included in Kingston’s Nucleum, a high-end, metal-encased hub that also has two USB Type-A ports, a full-size HDMI port, and two USB Type-C ports, one of which serves as a power outlet for your MacBook’s charger. All of this is provided via a little device that is no larger than some regular card readers, which has a short hardwired cable that terminates in a USB Type-C socket.
Although being UHS-II compliant, the SD slot could only manage rather modest video read/write speeds of 189MB/s and 179MB/s for our UHS-II test card. Image transfer speeds of 164MB/s read and 97MB/s write are acceptable but not exceptional. Thankfully, 96MB/s and 83MB/s read/write rates are far more respectable if you’re using UHS-I SD cards.

5. Anker Card Reader USB 3.0

Despite being quite affordable, this tiny reader is a pleasantly capable gadget that can transport data at quick rates because to its USB 3.0 connection. The Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader will do the job swiftly and effectively even though it doesn’t support all card kinds, most notably XQD, CompactFlash, and UHS-II SD (but it does support UHS-I).
With dimensions of 5.3 x 2.7 x 1.1 cm and a light weight of only 16g, it is also portable and comes with an 18-month warranty for your piece of mind. Seeking something easy and uncomplicated? This small reader is a wise purchase.

6. Delkin Devices SD UHS-II and CF Memory Card Reader with Dual Slots in USB 3.0

This card reader has the traditional pairing of SD and CompactFlash slots, both of which are the fastest of their kind and support UDMA 7 and UHS-II. A card of each type can be stored inside the reader, covered by a hinged rubber door that shuts around them, thanks to the case’s design, which allows for simultaneous usage of both.
You won’t lose the 90cm USB Type-A lead because it is hardwired to the reader, but it can be cumbersome to move, and you’ll need an adaptor to use this reader with a laptop like the latest MacBook Pro.
Our UHS-II SD card could only be read and written at a maximum speed of 223MB/s and 198MB/s, which isn’t terrible but falls short of several other readers we’ve tried. The performance of image transmission is much worse, with read and write rates of 152MB/s and 98MB/s, respectively, being below average. The Delkin reader struggled even with a UHS-I SD card, since its 87MB/s read and 82MB/s write speeds are less than what competing readers could get from our test card with its 95/90MB/s maximum read/write rates.

The five qualities a card reader should have

1. Kind of connection

There are widely available adapters that change the USB-C plug that many card readers use to connect to your computer to a regular USB plug.

2. USB rate

Even though USB 3.1 Gen 2 is twice as fast as Gen 1, few readers and memory cards are fast enough to take use of it.

3. UHS-I versus UHS-II

All of these readers are compatible with UHS-II SD cards, which are quicker. UHS-II cards can be read by UHS-I card readers, however it takes longer.

4. Wire it

A USB cable that is hardwired into the reader body is used by certain readers, which might be troublesome if the cable ever sustains damage.

Added ports: 5

A card reader hub with additional USB sockets can be the perfect solution because new laptops have less and fewer ports on the sides.

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