Dennis Leighton

Novice Member
I am told that it is recommended to have a 'Reader' to assist with the downloading of the camera shots to P.C. In simple terms can someone kindly explain the function and purpose of the 'reader' and a useful website where I may purchase one. Is one 'reader' similar to another or is there a wide variation in capability and price? Your help much appreciated.


A reader is basically an slot that connects to your PC that you can put your memory cards from your digicam into so they can be read by the PC, just like a floppy disk etc.
These are readilly available from and all the online camera stores. They are available as readers only or reader/writers. The reader/writers are handy as you can edit your pics and then copy them back to a memory card so you can take it to a shop to get the pics printed - some photo labs will not accept the pics on a CD-R.
There are many other types as well as there are lots of different types of memory card ie Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital etc etc. They are all different shapes and sizes, so you need to get the correct one for the type of memory card(s) you use. If you have different types for different cameras there are also readers that take more than one type of card.
They normally connect by USB, some are USB2.0 (faster to copy onto PC) and there are some that fit in a 5.25 drive bay on the PC instead of just sitting on your desktop. There are even a few that connect via the serial port instead of USB.


Dennis Leighton

Novice Member
Mark, I'm grateful to you for that full reply which has helped me to understand more fully about Compact Flash Cards - that said, and following your advice, I visited the Amazon site and was confronted with "Canon CF-HOLDER PCMCIA adapter for CompactFlash cards". Is that a reader or is it something else I have to learn about! I am running Windows 98SE and only have USB1 so that anything with USB2 is no good to me.
Many thanks.


By the sound of it the "Canon CF-HOLDER PCMCIA adapter for CompactFlash cards" is a card reader for connecting to a laptop computer via the PCcard slot. This would probably be quite expensive compared to a USB reader and you wont have the PCcard/PCMCIA slot on your desktop.
USB2.0 readers would also be compatable with a PC with only USB1.1, they would just work slower.

Something like this would be what you are after:

ByteStor Compact Flash Card USB Reader + Software

I found this on amazon by going to the 'Electronics & photo' tab at the top
Selected 'memory & readers' in the browse box on left
Then selected 'memory card readers'
Then 'single readers'
The compact flash reader was the second on the list.


Dennis Leighton

Novice Member
Now it is all beginning to fit into place thanks to you, Mark and Beejaycee. I did think at one stage that I was going to have to retrieve my Brownie box camera! Grateful thanks to you both.

[email protected]

Well-known Member
Somethin worth pointing out is that you do not need a reader in order to download the pictures from your camera.

Normally, you just plug the camera directly into the PCs USB port and download that way. The camera will come with the cables required to do this.

If you want to though, you can take the card out of the camera and use a reader instead.

I tend to just download directly from the camera instead of messing about removing the card each time but each to their own.

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