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10-18-2015, 07:41 AM   #1
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is it bad to use USB cable for uploading?

I have always used the cable for K-3, and have used it for other cameras because I personally thought it was easiest.

But now everyone tells me how 'bad' it is, but I haven't ever had anyone tell me why. I heard that the battery could go dead in the middle of uploading (I always check battery before I do that) and that you could knock the camera off the desk (that's a stretch to me) But if it is so bad, why is there even a cable? It seems if it could ruin the camera, they wouldn't put a usb connection in there?

Personally, I started using the cable because I had 2 or 3 cards get messed up and had to buy 3 new readers and new cards in a span of a year, and they were expensive, highly rated ones. So i just started using it because I didn't want to buy a new card reader.

10-18-2015, 07:45 AM   #2
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not sure of the hub-bub over it, but that's the only way I've ever offloaded pics... not just with the K-50, but the several other digi-cams prior to it...

I've never had any problems with it: no corrupted cards, never knocked the camera off the desk, never had the battery die in the middle, etc....
10-18-2015, 07:52 AM   #3
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I always use the cable and have never had any problems and I don't think there is any way it could hurt your camera.There's a million ways you could knock the camera off the desk if you're not careful. I personally feel there is more that can go wrong putting wear and tear on the card door, slot and card itself. Of course the same could be said for connecting the cable. To me it's just easier and more convenient. At work I occasionally upload directly from cards and it is far more cumbersome than a cable. Depending on your PC and card reader the transfer could be faster via card, but the extra steps using it negates that advantage to me. But it all comes down to your own choice, either is safe.
10-18-2015, 08:02 AM   #4
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I never use the cable, but only because my desk is so cluttered it is easier to pull the card. My reader is USB 3.0 so that does make a difference unless you have a USB 3.0 cable and the k-3. I think the older cameras are USB 2.0

Honestly I do not see that it makes much difference. There is a small risk of damage or corruption when using the cable AND when using a card reader so take your pick. Use whatever works best for your workflow.

And though I have never used the cable before I was recently at a meeting and asked to do some head shots that they needed immediately. I got the shots but for some reason the card reader in my laptop refused to work. Under pressure and desperate, no reader, no camera cable. I grabbed the charger cable for my cell phone plugged it into the camera and laptop and was delighted to see it recognized. Import to Lightroom, develop, export and emailed the images. Job complete! Thank you for STANDARD cables!!!!

10-18-2015, 08:08 AM   #5
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Who is telling you it is bad? It is fast and reliable. I have yet to find a reliable USB to SD adapter that works as well.
10-18-2015, 08:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Who is telling you it is bad? It is fast and reliable. I have yet to find a reliable USB to SD adapter that works as well.
I belong to a lightroom help group on facebook and people ask which way is the better way to import. A lot of people will say 'I am verified adobe lightroom expert and they recommend using a card reader' or 'I have worked adobe tech support for years and all the problems on importing are caused by using usb import'
and that I will basically brick my camera or corrupt my card by using usb.

maybe other camera are more susceptible? my old cell phone usb works on my older nikon and I do find that a little slow, but the pentax I find pretty fast. maybe no one has awesome pentax camera
10-18-2015, 09:07 AM   #7
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The only (technical) benefit I can see with pulling the card and using a card reader is that you get the contacts cleaned in the process. I have no idea whether or not the benefit is real, though.

However, I always use a card reader because A) I find it more convenient, B) I try to rotate through my cards, and C) I never delete anything from a card before I know I have at least two good copies of the files.
10-18-2015, 09:10 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I belong to a lightroom help group on facebook...
Anyone can claim to be a "verified" expert or say they work for Adobe. People also have a tendency to think that their way of doing something is the only good way to do it.

USB cable or card reader are both valid choices. There are minor pros and cons to each approach. A card reader is often faster than the camera. The USB cable eliminates the risk of going out to take photos with the card accidentally left behind in the reader.

At home I always use the cable to load photos into my main Lightroom catalog. If I'm on a multiday trip and want to backup my card, I'll temporarily plug the card into my laptop because I travel without a cable.

---------- Post added 10-18-15 at 12:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
The only (technical) benefit I can see with pulling the card and using a card reader is that you get the contacts cleaned in the process. I have no idea whether or not the benefit is real, though.

However, I always use a card reader because A) I find it more convenient, B) I try to rotate through my cards, and C) I never delete anything from a card before I know I have at least two good copies of the files.
"C" can be done with a cable, too. I never have Lightroom automatically delete files. I reformat the card in-camera after I know I have good copies.

10-18-2015, 09:34 AM   #9
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Maybe the issue is with lightroom as opposed to the USB function of the camera.
10-18-2015, 09:50 AM   #10
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The only issues I am aware of are:
  • Battery draw
  • Cables are a pain
  • Wear/tear on the camera usb port
  • Depending on body, the cover on the usb port may be a bit fiddly and difficult to properly re-seat when closing
I usually use a card reader, though I keep a USB cable in the camera bag just in case.


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10-18-2015, 10:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
"C" can be done with a cable, too. I never have Lightroom automatically delete files. I reformat the card in-camera after I know I have good copies.
True. It mostly applies when I have filled up a card, or nearly so. My backup software needs some time to get the ~30 GB of data pushed off-site. My upstream speed is only 10 Mbps (on a good day).

Oh, and of course I will use a card reader when coming home with several cards filled up, but that's irrelevant to this thread.
10-18-2015, 11:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
My upstream speed is only 10 Mbps (on a good day).
Ha! Ha! Mine is only 640Kbps. That is why I take a dim view of cloud storage


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10-18-2015, 12:40 PM   #13
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Iv'e never used a cable, always a card reader, come to think of it, with a cable, you are using the camera as the card reader. The downside of this is probably having to have the camera switched on at the time.
10-18-2015, 12:56 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentasonic49 Quote
Iv'e never used a cable, always a card reader, come to think of it, with a cable, you are using the camera as the card reader. The downside of this is probably having to have the camera switched on at the time.
it is on but I think it is lower power? its a different setting and you cant use any function of the camera

---------- Post added 10-18-15 at 04:06 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Anyone can claim to be a "verified" expert or say they work for Adobe. People also have a tendency to think that their way of doing something is the only good way to do it.

USB cable or card reader are both valid choices. There are minor pros and cons to each approach. A card reader is often faster than the camera. The USB cable eliminates the risk of going out to take photos with the card accidentally left behind in the reader.

At home I always use the cable to load photos into my main Lightroom catalog. If I'm on a multiday trip and want to backup my card, I'll temporarily plug the card into my laptop because I travel without a cable.

---------- Post added 10-18-15 at 12:14 PM ----------



"C" can be done with a cable, too. I never have Lightroom automatically delete files. I reformat the card in-camera after I know I have good copies.
yes I kind of feel like it is a user preference. So I stated that if battery issue was a concern that you can buy adapters. Lightroom expert #1 said most people dont have adapters, so my response was buy one. if you cant read a battery meter and dont know if you have enough battery, then charge it or buy an adapter. I had a free cable, so it was cheaper than buying a card reader at the time. I don't think using the camera is better, I think it is the same. Been using the cable since I got a Nikon in 2007, so it is a preferred method for my workflow. Never had an issue with battery failing in the middle of an upload or corrupt disk.
10-18-2015, 02:45 PM   #15
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As a PC tech if I told you how often USB ports fail from repetitive use...............beyond that I can think of too many disadvantages.
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