When I plug in my camera through USB to read its card, it can take a while to load all the photos. I was wondering if and how I can reduce this loading time? Do I need a better/faster SD card or are there some tricks I can do on the camera or the computer?

Example of a folder loading:

enter image description here

  • 2
    What does a dvd drive have to do with it?
    – JDługosz
    Oct 27 '14 at 8:24
  • The question says that the screenshot is an "example of a folder loading". Nothing to do with the DVD drive any more than it has to do with the "Brazil" folder being viewed. Oct 29 '14 at 5:37

Your camera is probably not the best or fastest USB memory card reader you can own, so even if you are using the fastest card you can buy and the camera claims to be using the fastest USB protocol your computer can handle, it's not very likely that it will give you the best data transfer speeds. A high-quality, high-speed external USB card reader (there's no reason not to use USB 3; it'll still be relatively cheap at or around $40) combined with fast cards, will give you the best performance.

  • Check your computer for an SD card slot before you buy anything - most computers sold today have an SD card slot.
    – Jasmine
    Oct 27 '14 at 18:17

I looked around for a CF card reader that was faster than the common cheap ones. It's not easy to shop for as they don't really say on the specs, but I found someone who made a recommendation and it was sound advice. It was indeed much faster than other card readers I had around.

The camera itself is probably not fast. It's probably not USB3.

I just bought a new PNY "Elite Performance" SD card that states 90 Mbytes/second, and my own tests on my USB3 reader confirm that. The reader needs to handle the optional faster protocols to make use of the card's potential.

In my experience, common USB2 devices have a hard limit of 20 MB/s. I think that's due to the chipset, since I have seen occasional devices that are faster.

  • 1
    The USB 2.0 protocol maxes out around 30 megabytes pr second. There might be an overhead when transferring pictures. Oct 27 '14 at 8:04
  • The effective (real) speed of usb2 is about 35 magabytes per second. Many USB drive enclosures hit a hard wall in benchmarking tranfers right at 20. Later, flash drives were also pegged, once they got up to that speed. Then they dropped to 10, I suppose because of the popularity of Class 10 cards thus chips are made for that; unless sold as being a fast drive.
    – JDługosz
    Oct 27 '14 at 8:23

The SD Card might be too older to perform as you want. Consider formatting it completely first and see if it perform faster than before. Alternatively, you can also try different card reader of faster performance or purchase a new one with reputed manufacturer.

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