I have seen quite a huge number of photographers just walking into a store and buying any memory card reader without perusing through the specs.
What most of us are not familiar with is that these memory card readers come with different speeds.
The time a card reader uses shifting photos from an SD card to a PC or smartphone is very crucial.
I’m very sure during this particular process you’ve seen images taking forever to be transferred from a card to either an HDD or even a PC.
The slowness is normally stimulated by the speed of the card reader which is always minimal.
No matter how much as a photographer you strive to acquire a card reader whose speed is way up, also put into consideration the SD card.
To save you from wasting your money on card readers that will stress you out day and night, I will be sharing the best memory card reader for photographers.
But before we do that, let’s first check out a few things.
What is a Memory Card Reader?
A memory card reader is a peripheral device people use to move images or videos from a memory card to either a storage device or PC.
The majority of these readers have a single card slot though a lot of manufacturers have in recent times begun producing the ones with numerous spots that can work with various cards.
What to Look for in a Card Reader
1. Connector Type
When shopping for a reader as a photographer, it’s very crucial to put a lot of emphasis on the various type of connection ports. The current market has been flooded with both the normal USB port & Type-C port.
2. Speed of USB
If the pace matters a lot, I would greatly urge you to acquire the USB 3.1 generation 2 that comes with a high speed that is impossible to be put on comparison with that of generation 1.
3. Additional Ports
This is perfect for any photographer who wants to move images from two different cards at the same time to decrease workload.
If you intend to use the card reader to work with a smartphone, and maybe you discover that the USB port is a Type C one, my suggestion perhaps maybe to source for an OTG or micro USB OTG adapter that comes with a Type C port.
8 Best memory card reader for photographers in 2021
1. Prograde Digital Dual Slot Card Reader
Even though this card reader is very extravagant when it comes to the cost, what cannot be disregarded is the exceptional performance.
The kind of interface that it uses is USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with dual slots having up to 1.25 GB/s of transfer speeds.
The most fascinating thing about this card reader is that it comes with a base that is magnetic and whose work is to shield it from tripping.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 with Type-C Interface.
- 1.25 GB/s of transfer speeds.
- Magnetic mounting plate.
- Dual UHS-II SDXC card ports.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $79.99.
2. SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Reader
For any camera user who likes shooting in raw format or is into 4K videos, I would suggest this combo: CFexpress Card Type B and the SanDisk Extreme Pro Reader.
The kind of interface that this particular card reader uses is the USB 3.1, so it cannot be undermined when it comes to delivering decent read speeds for CFexpress Cards.
- Read Speeds can shoot up to 1250 MB/s
- The interface is USB 3.1
- Perfect for any camera user who shoots Raw 4k videos or even images.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $48.79.
3. Sony MRW-G1 CFexpress Type B / XQD Memory Card Reader
Although the cost of this particular card reader is somehow costly, I will still commend it to any camera user who is also looking to acquire the best SD memory card for cameras online.
For those of us who opt to use XQD memory cards, then this card reader will work well for you.
Another thrilling thing about the MRW-G1 is that it comes with a USB 3.1 input whose Generation is 2 and is meant for speeds as much as 10Gbit/s, and Type-C USB input.
Inside the pack are two cables: USB-C & USB-A.
I’ll still vouch for it as the best memory card reader for photographers.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $98.00.
- USB 3.1 whose generation is 2 and Type-C USB interface.
- Meant for XQD cards & Type B CFexpress.
- 10 GB/s Data transfer rate.
4. G-Technology ev Series Reader
Anyone who owns CFast 2.0 memory cards and has been having a hard time hunting for a reader that will work these sorts of cards, I will suggest you acquire the G-Technology ev Series Reader.
The CF format has been overtaken by far with the CFast format when it comes to pace and can serve those who shoot still images with the raw format or 4K videos.
In case the card develops any hitches, there’s no need to worry or panic because it comes with a 3-years warranty.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $87.00.
- Compatible with CFast 2.0 memory card
- Has a USB interface.
- Functions with the Red Mini-Mags SSDs
5. Lexar Professional Multi-Card 3-in-1 USB 3.0 Reader
The cost of this specific card reader is pocket-friendly for anyone who is in dire need of a reader but he or she is in a financial fix.
For those who love working with various memory cards, then this card reader is meant for you because of the ports.
The read speeds of this reader when used with either an SD or Micro SD card can rise to 312 MB/s, and speeds up until 160 MB/s when used with CompactFlash cards.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $21.99.
- Compatible with CompactFlash, Micro SD, and SD cards.
- USB 2.0 & 3.1 interfaces.
6. Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader
The Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader somehow resembles the Lexar Professional Multi-Card 3-in-1 USB 3.0 Reader, though this one can also work with Memory Stick memory cards and depends on the 3.0 USB interface.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $25.50.
- Compatible with CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Micro SD, and SD cards.
- Fast USB 3.0 port.
- Supports USB 2.0 backward compatibility.
7. Delkin Devices Universal Card Reader
Anyone who is in financial distress, and is looking for the best memory card reader for photographers can go for this one.
The Delkin devices universal card reader has five ports that can work with various memory cards, all this at a very sensible fee.
It’s a plug-and-play kind of card reader.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $18.95.
- Compatible with CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Micro SD, and SD cards.
- USB 3.0 interface.
- Copy or move files via USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0.
8. Transcend USB 3.0 Card Reader, White, SD, MicroSD
If you’re going through financial distress, the Transcend USB 3.0 card reader can be helpful.
The card reader functions fine with these two types of memory cards: SD & microSD.
On Amazon, this reader goes for $7.49 only.
- Functions well with both SD & microSD
- USB 3.0 interface
What is the Best Memory Card Reader for Photographers?
Coming number one on the list is the Sony MRW-G1 CFexpress Type B / XQD Memory Card Reader, followed by Prograde Digital Dual Slot Card Reader and lastly G-Technology ev Series Reader. Regardless of the high cost, one can always deny themselves some luxuries stuff and save for either one of them.
However, all this narrows down to an individual’s financial muscles.
As a photographer, when sourcing for a memory card reader whose speed is high, I would strongly suggest you also do the same when it comes to an SD, microSD even CF card.
The reason I am saying this is because even if you are a proud owner of a memory card reader with high read speeds but the card has low read & write speed, the amount of time taken to move or copy images will be forever.
The same logic can also be applied to memory card readers. If you own a memory card whose read & write speeds are superb but the memory card reader is the other way, then the amount of time used to move or copy images will be plenty.
When looking for the best memory card reader for photographers, put a lot of intensity on the above information.