Using a card reader

Submitted by Andy on Sun, 24/11/2019 - 17:44
Man holding photo above large camera

This guide is about using a card reader to copy media from your camera to a computer.

The most common memory cards used are the SD Card types. They come in 3 physical sizes and many different capacities. Only 2 of the sizes are in common use. They are the full (postage stamp) size and the micro SD card size typically used by mobile devices. This Wikipedia article describes them in more detail. Most micro SD cards come with an adapter to work in a devices that take the full size cards.

SD card have a top, bottom, front an back. On a full size card the top is fulling plastic while the bottom has the contacts. The front of the cat has to cut-out corner while the back is straight.

The card readers take the memory card and act like a computer drive with removable media. All the commonly available card readers are USB devices. Even those directly built into computers and phones. Some printers also include a card reader. For this article I will assume that you are using a standard removable USB  card reader. They can be purchased cheaply from many online and high street stores.

To copy the media from your camera SD card use the following steps.


Step 1 - Remove the card from camera

To remove the card from the camera follow instructions in cameras manual.

The first turn off the camera.

There will typically be a small hatch either on the side of the camera (larger cameras) or on the underside of the camera (compact cameras).

Once you have opened the hatch you should see the back of the SD card(s). Press card in and it will click then pop out. You can pull the card out and close the hatch.


Step 2 - Inserting the card into the card reader


Take the card and identify the correct slot in the card reader. Insert the card in the correct slot front first. If the card doesn't fit turn it the other way up (but still front first). Unlike then camera card readers the standard USB readers don't click and hold the card.


Step 3 - Use card reader a USB drive

Insert the card reader into a free USB port on your computer and follow the instructions in the how to copy files guide.
When finished safely remove the card reader before removing the card. To remove the card simply pull the SD card out of the card reader.

Step 4 - Putting the card back in camera

For detailed instructions follow the instructions that come with the camera.

Putting the camera back is really the reverse of taking it out. As always the card will go in front first. When inserting the card into the camera make sure you press the card until it is clicked into the slot. Then close the hatch.