Camera cards are continuing to grow in size at an astounding rate. Today I can buy a 16GB SDHC card for the same price that I bought my first ever 1GB SD card.
I asked Sandisk & Lexar to send me fast SDHC camera card readers to see how much time they would take to empty 8 and 16GB SDHC cards onto a laptop computer hard disk compared to the laptops inbuilt card reader
My suspicion was correct. The increase in card size from 1GB/2GB+ to 8GB/16GB and even larger means there was a big difference in time taken between an inbuilt reader and a specialist fast camera card reader to download photos from a full camera card to a computer
Note: The test laptop was running Windows 7 RC 7100 and speed tests were taken twice with results averaged. The specific card readers, SDHC cards and laptop used for tests were:
- Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader – UDMA CompactFlash, standard CF, SDHC and SD cards
- SanDisk ImageMate All-In-One USB 2.0 Reader/Writer – supports, SD, SDHC, miniSD, miniSDHC, microSD, microSDHC, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus, MMCmobile, RS-MMC, RS-MMC DV, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, xD, xD Type M, xD Type M+, xD Type H and CompactFlash cards.
- Lexar Professional 133x 8GB SDHC card (Class 6, 20mb/sec)
- Sandisk 16GB Ultra II SDHC Card (Class 4, 15mb/sec)
- Lenovo Thinkpad X200 ultraportable notebook computer
Sandisk & Lexar Camera Card Reader Speed Tests
The specialist card readers were roughly 9-10% faster (50.3 seconds time saved) at transferring from this Lexar Professional 133x 8GB SDHC card full of 8 megapixel photos to the laptop hard disk compared to the laptops built-in SDHC reader.
The specialist card readers were roughly 20% faster (4 minutes 36 seconds time saved) at transferring from this Sandisk 16GB Ultra II SDHC Card (Class 4 15mb/sec) full of 8 megapixel photos to the laptop hard disk compared to the laptops built-in SDHC reader.
Specialist camera card readers can cut transfer times by appx 10-20% (4 minutes 36 seconds time saved for a 16Gb SDHC card).
The Lexar reader was a tiny bit faster than the Sandisk reader but speed test results from both brands were almost the same (within the margin of error).
The Lexar card reader is what I would use on photography day trips because it’s more robust and folds closed to protect the card slots however the Sandisk reader would be more appropriate for an office environment as it can read many more varied camera card formats – why not buy both 🙂
Other People’s Reviews
We’ve been using Lexar’s Professional UDMA dual slot memory card reader for a few months and have been very impressed by its compact size, sensible design and operational efficiency. With a 72 x 65mm footprint and a weight of just under 67 grams, it’s small enough to pack into a laptop bag and takes up very little desk space
– Photoreview Australia
The SanDisk ImageMate reader is a stylish addition to any photographer’s arsenal, and with a wide range of support for most card types, it’s good value too. It’s perhaps more suited to sitting on a desk rather than being lugged around with a stack of lenses and peripherals thanks to its somewhat delicate stand system.
– CNET Australia