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Old Apr 28, 2007, 11:04 AM   #1
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:?By removing the compact flash card from camera to upload photos to computer all the time can it wear out the pins from the camera. Or is it best to use just the card reader. Thanks for loooking.
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Old Apr 28, 2007, 12:53 PM   #2
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This topic comes up relatively often.

Personally, I can't recall the last time I connnected a camera directly to my PC (it's been years).

I've got an old Nikon Coolpix 950 that doesn't even have USB (it's a serial port connection). So, using a card reader made a lot of sense with it. Even though newer cameras I've owned and used have USB, I continue to use a card reader. Old habits die hard. ;-)

Most newer camera models are now "USB Mass Storage Compliant". So, with most newer operating systems (sorry, Win '98 is no longer "newer"), no drivers are required. But, there are some exceptions (for example, many Canon models tend to require manufacturer's software for downloading images to a PC. That's something I try to avoid (using proprietary software for downloading images).

In any event, I have yet to harm the pins in any camera I've owned from removal and insertion of memory cards. Ditto for the memory card door on a camera (and these do tend to be weak areas).

You do see this come up from time to time (damaged cameras due to bent pins, broken media doors, etc.). So, there is some validity to the argument that downloading directly from the camera could be safer.

But, downloading from most cameras is much slower compared to using a modern card reader. You also have battery considerations (unless you have an A/C Adapter, downloading drains the camera's battery).

Many camera owners swap memory cards frequently anyway (one gets full, go to another). So, if you do that, you're going to risk wear on the camera regardless if you're using a card reader or not.

It's a personal choice. I use a card reader and I am extremely careful about removing and inserting memory cards. Ditto for the battery. I'm extremely careful with the battery door. These areas of most cameras do seem to be vulnerable to damage.
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Old Apr 28, 2007, 1:00 PM   #3
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Jim, thanks for the reply and by the way what does ditto mean.
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Old Apr 28, 2007, 1:26 PM   #4
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I use ditto when I mean the same thing applies.

Here's one definition:

http://www.answers.com/topic/ditto
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Old Apr 28, 2007, 1:37 PM   #5
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One size doesn't fit all. My first digital camera was glacial in download speed and I had no choice but to use a card reader. A combination of inexperience and very high memory prices for anything over 256Mb caused me to require multiple cards if I used raw. So I had to swap cards around anyway.

I have not used a card reader in any of my subsequent five digital cameras. I have a relatively new computer with a high speed USB2 card reader and use it only for downloading images from my phone camera using the SD adapter.

My little pocket camera is a no-brainer. For one thing it is faster than the card reader. For another it has a cradle that both charges and downloads. I learned from my first digital to bite the bullet and get a card large enough I don't have to swap around. All of my cameras since have had the cards pretty much married to the camera. By the time the camera is obsolete the card usually is as well.

I still have a couple of cameras that aren't as fast as my card reader. But I don't usually sit and watch the photos download and I always seem to have enough battery power left for the download. The external battery chargers have lights that are hard to ignore, but I'm just dingy enough to grab a camera with the card still in the computer. Until I got the computer with a built-in card reader I didn't want another piece of junk on my desk. Fortunately both of my other cameras use the same USB connector even though they are different brands. The little cord sits out of the way until I need it.

All of my cameras are PTP, which means I don't have to use special software for downloads directly from the camera. I agree with Jim that people with non-PTP cameras are better off using a card reader, even if it means an extra piece of equipment on their desk.

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