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Old 01-02-2008, 14:13   #1 (permalink)
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SD card wear and tear

Do you think it is OK to upload shots from D80 to PC using a card reader evrytime or do you feel it is safer to use the USB cable? I am only worried since reading about the bent contact pins in a Canon in another thread. I pull the SD card out of the camera - but this must lead to wear and tear. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-02-2008, 14:23   #2 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

I think that SD cards don't use the pin system to make contact with a camera or reader. They are more like the contacts you find in a phone plug - That is not pin and socket, but a sprung contact principal.

Most people find that card readers are faster than a cable transfer from the camera.

I don't think that wear and tear is an issue with SD cards, I certainly have not heard of any, and I think it would spread around very quickly if that were the case.
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Old 01-02-2008, 14:27   #3 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

the bent pins is due to the connection system used in CF cards. there are two rows of fine pins which align with holes on the CF card. You'd have to be a hashy bugger or have a rather stupid design on the camera/reader to bend the pins.

There aren't pins as such with SD. There are contacts on the card and sprung fingers in the reader/camera.

it's a non issue imo, but...

break a SD card? 20
break the USB connector on the body? 100's +

defo use a card reader imo.
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Old 01-02-2008, 15:21   #4 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

I normally connect my Camera directly to my PC. At USB 2 speed, it is not much slower than a card reader. I was recently given a Jessops card reader and one of the pins bent the first time I used it but I fixed that. On the 4th use 3 central pins buckled making is unusable. The design of this reader has only 3mm of guide before the pins contact which is clearly inadequate. Jessops accepted that the design was not fit for purpose and provided a replacement which does have an adequate guide. Only one problem, the electronic interface did not work for CF cards so I have given up and reverted to direct Camera connection.
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Old 01-02-2008, 15:36   #5 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

Which ever memory card you use I would avoid single standard USB "adapters" for your valuable photos. I would recomend a card reader for multiple standard as these tend to be better built. As Dave says the a CF card should slide in quite a way and have no play before it reaches any pins. SD cards are a lot more robust. I usually move all the files of the media to the PC. However, I occationally reformat the media USING THE CAMERA to make sure it stays in top condition. If media gliches persist after a format in the camera, dich the card, its not worth it.
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Old 01-02-2008, 16:45   #6 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

Thanks for the advice I will carry on with the reader.
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Old 01-02-2008, 16:49   #7 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

I use a Multi Card reader that I purchased for 12 in the form of a floppy drive front face. In fact its fitted in the spare slot below the floppy drive. You can get them also in the form of the full width drive space as well.I think this is prefered than tying up the camera when downloading,just a personal preference though.
The benefits of these readers which become part of the computer is that they do not take up valuable desk space and more importantly they are fixed and it is much easier to slip the memory card into a fixed housing than one that is free to skid across the desk.
The SD cards contacts are hard gold plated edge connectors and slide into virtuall "zero torque" contacts within the reader so very little wear takes place.

I have had no problems with either my CF ,SD or Micro CD card derivatives and they have been inserted & withdrawn more times than a Gigolo's whatsit11
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Old 01-02-2008, 17:05   #8 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

I agree with Brian. Until I changed to CF cards last year I had used SDs for a few years with one card reader installed a drive slot in my PC. I have never had any problems with the SD cards. For CF cards at present I am using the USB connection. Downloading may be a bit slower but I am not in so much of a rush that this is important
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Old 01-02-2008, 17:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

Can't see you getting any probs with an SD card, not heard of any myself nor had any problems using them with a card reader.

But then again, despite the story I have read about someone having a problem with a CF card, I have had digital cameras with CF cards from my very first one (a Kodak, long before dSLRs were anything like affordable!) and still use them a plenty now with my 20D and 40D cameras and have not once had a pin problem in all that time. I have had a card reader refuse to read my card properly once but that was easily solved and never had the problem again.

I am surprised that DaveCanon is finding his card reader to be not much faster than connecting his camera. I can only assume he has a slow card reader as mine is light years faster than connecting the same 20D camera.

For me I'd use a card reader every time, no question.

On one side issue, I also have an Epson P2000 40Gb portable HD and screen and I often off-load pics to that when out and about so they are safe. Copying them across to my computer using the USB cable is blisteringly fast, way faster than a card reader or direct connection has ever achieved. Just a thought

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Old 01-02-2008, 21:17   #10 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

Well my D80 has just rolled adound its 10000th shot, and I have never used the USB lead, nor on my wifes D70 (CF card) which has taken over 15000 shots...


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Old 01-02-2008, 21:27   #11 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

I've never used the USB lead - always a card reader. I find it quicker to take the card out and slot it into the reader, rather than search for a USB lead, connect it up, switch the camera on, etc. Also the transfer speeds seem faster.

You do have to be gentle engaging CF cards with the pins, but I've not had a problem with four different cameras. Other card formats are more forgiving, and I see that Canon has now gone over to SD with the new 450D. I don't think wear and tear is an issue with any of them, any more than with USB connectors.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:31   #12 (permalink)
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Re: SD card wear and tear

Thanks for all the responses - useful stuff.
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