Why I Still Carry My Camera's USB Cable


After a recent assignment shoot, I pulled a Lexar 8GB Pro SD card from my Canon 60D and inserted it into the MacBook Air, ready to process the Raw images in Aperture. I waited. I waited some more. No import dialog box.

I check the desktop and the card had not mounted. So I pulled it out and tried again. Still no pictures.

This is when you start to get that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach.

I took a closer look at the card and noticed that a crack had formed up by the gold contacts. The casing was compromised. Now I really began to worry. I was in the field and needed to process and post these images right away.

Since I had just finished reviewing the shots in the camera before ejecting the card, I thought that maybe the 60D could still access those files. I gently inserted the Lexar back into my DSLR and fired it up. I got a warning that the card was locked. The little white tab had fallen out when the casing cracked. But... the camera could still read the pictures that were on it!

I then did something that I had not done in years. I dug around in my Lowepro bag and found the USB cable that came with the 60D. I connected it to the MacBook Air, launched Aperture again, and crossed my fingers.

The thumbnails started rolling across my computer screen. Relief.

Even though I much prefer using card readers, in this case I was so happy that I still had the original USB cable with me. On this day, it saved the job.

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I had something similar with my Lexar memory card. In my case the solution was the double slots on my D7000 (one for raw, one for jpg). I had to stick to the jpg's but those were good enough (another reason to "get it right in the camera") to be used anyway.

I wish I had double slots... neither my 5D Mark II or 60D has em. Seems like a great way to do in-camera backup.


Excellent tip. I've been using only the USB cable. With clients, yes, it is slower, but I've found the advantages are:

1) The Hoodman 675 X CF card always stays in place. No dust. No movement of the card to compromise its contacts or integrity.

2) Risk of losing the card is negligible.

He has a point but the miniUSB socket on camera can wear down too especially in professional use.