10 Best SD Card Readers for Photographers

best sd card reader

You know how annoying it gets when you have a bunch of files to transfer to your computer or smartphone and your SD card reader is slow or outdated? We feel your pain.

 

With so many types of SD card readers out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Some SD card readers are budget-friendly, and some not so much. Some SD card readers may fit your on-the-go lifestyle and be small.

 

Or maybe, that’s not what you are looking for? Maybe you are looking for a card reader that has dual USB or card slots?

 

Whatever your situation may require you to purchase, you’re in the right hands. Today we’re rounding up the best SD card readers that work with you, not against you.

 

Let’s take a look at our top picks for you and then help you decide what you should consider when purchasing your next SD card. Let’s go!

Overall Best SD Card Reader

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader

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Our overall best SD card reader pick is the Anker 2-in-1 3.0 SD card reader because of it’s overall performance and specs.

Features & Specifications

 

  • Comes with a super-fast transfer speed of 5 GBPS.
  • USB 3.0
  • Double slots for more performance.
  • Reads and writes simultaneously on two cards.
  • The quality is unparalleled
  • Made with premium chips
  • Also made with high-grade, but also durable plastic.
  • Brilliant LED display.
  • The card reader is easy to read whether it is working or not.
  • Broadly compatible with SD, SD-XC, RS-MMC, MMC, Micro SD, SD-HC, Mini SD
  • Works with Windows 10, 8, 7 and vista.
  • Also works with MAC OSX and USB ports.

Important Notes

 

  • The card reader’s dimensions are 1.38in/35mm wide (same as two USB ports).
  • Data transfer will depend on the speed of your memory card and computer’s USB ports.
  • If you have an older version of Windows XP or Mac OS C, you may need to upgrade or install patches to support the exFAT file system of high capacity cards that are 64GB or higher.

What Customers Say

 

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because it is professional, lightweight, and sturdy. You’ll love how the card reader stays out of the way, so it is small enough. But it is big enough to do the job right.

Budget Best SD Card Reader

Transcend TS-RDF5K USB 3.1Card Reader

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Next on our list of best SD card readers is our budget category. The Transcend TS-RDF5K USB 3.1 card reader gives you the most bang for your buck without compromising quality.

Features & Specifications

 

  • Comes with SuperSpeed of USB 3.1 and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
  • Supports memory cards of SDXC (UHS-1), SDHC (UHS-I), micro-SDHC (UHS-I), microSD, and micro-SDXC (UHS-I).
  • Features LED card insertion
  • Also features a data transfer activity indicator.
  • Card reader works with UHS-II cards, operating at UHS-I speeds
  • Perfect for transferring high-res images and video recordings.
  • Supports SD and security functions.
  • Comes with free download of RecoveRx.
  • USB powered.

What Customers Say

 

Customers love this best SD card reader for its performance while being budget friendly. You’ll be impressed with how fast it is compared to how little you will pay. Transferring files and data has never been so easy with this reader. Let it go to work, and it instantly does the job.

Runner-Up Best SD Card Reader

UGREEN SD Card Reader USB 3.0 Card Hub Adapter

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Our runner-up best SD card reader is the UGREEN SD card reader USB 3.0 Card Hub Adapter. This SD card reader lets you just plug it in and goes straight to work for you, with great performance.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   Designed with 4 card slots: Micro SD, SD, CF, MS slots.
  •   Designed with a 3.0 USB connector to let you read and transfer data on anything: a computer, laptop, or tablet.
  •   Includes SDXC/SDHC/SD/Extreme I, III SD, Ultra II SD, MMC, RS-MMC, or Micro SD/TF/Micro, SDXC/Micro SDHC/UHS-I or CF I 3.0/4.0 /Extreme I III CF/Ultra II CF/HS CF/XS-XS CF/CF Elite Pro/ CF Pro/CF Pro II or MS/MS PRO/MS PRO-HG/MS XC DUO.
  •   Supports SD/Micro SD cards up to 512G and transfers lightning fast data up to 5Gbps.
  •   It’s 10 times faster than USB 2.0, so you can transfer HD movies or files in mere seconds with a host equipped with UDB 3.0 port.
  •   Backwards compatible with UDB 2.0, 1.1, and 1.0.
  •   The design is compact, and it is made of premium quality materials including a reinforced cable, multi-shield interior, and tin-plated pure copper core.
  •   Heat-resistant connectors make for high-data transmission efficiency and make it durable.
  •   The 1.5 ft short cable tail reduces stress on the USB port of your computer without effecting adjacent ports.
  •   LED indicator shines ON when the reader connects to your computer.
  •   Compatible with most systems including Windows XP, Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Max OS, Chrome OS, Linux, etc.
  •   Reads multiple cards at the same time so you don’t have to keep plugging and re-plugging.
  •   Installation takes one second, no driver needed.
  •   Comes with hot swapping and auto detection.

What Customers Say

 

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because it is a plug and play. No need for drivers, just plug in and go to work. You’ll also love that it works with all kinds of SD cards and doesn’t break the bank in price.

Best SD Card Reader for iPhone

Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader

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This best SD card reader for iPhone is the Apple Lightning to SD card camera reader. For Mac users, this SD card camera reader does the job and does it right.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   Easily download photos and videos from your digital camera to your iPad to view them with a retina display, which looks amazing. Share with all your family and friends.
  •   The Photos app opens automatically when you insert your SD card in the reader.
  •   Organizes photos into moments, collections, and years.
  •   Supports data transfer speeds up to USB 3, includes standard photo formats, JPEG and RAW, and SD and HD formats including H.264 and MPEG-4.
  •   Exclusive to iPad Pro.

What Customers Say

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because it can transfer high-quality pictures and 4K video off a 64FB card at great speeds. You’ll be able to view your shots while on the go, from anywhere.

Best SD Card Reader for Android

SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II USB Type-C Card Reader

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Our best SD card reader for Android is the SanDisk Extreme PRO card reader. This super-fast SD card with USB-C connector works well with UHS-II cards so you can transfer like a pro.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   Backwards compatible with other SD cards.
  •   Comes with a flexible design that doesn’t block other ports.
  •   Gives you plug and play functionality.
  •   SanDisk Extreme PRO is a UHS-II card USB-C reader/writer.
  •   USB-C compatible.
  •   Made for high-speed UHS-II card transfers.
  •   UHS-II compatible, backward compatible UHS-I, non UHS SD cards, and microSD with the adapter.
  •   You won’t have to worry about accessing neighboring ports because it is designed that way.

What Customers Say

 

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because the speeds are 7x faster than conventional SD card readers. While other readers might take an hour, this SD card reader will only take minutes to transfer.

Honorable Mentions

UGREEN SD Card Reader Portable USB 3.0 Dual Slot Flash Memory Card Adapter Hub

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Next on the list of best SD card readers is the UGREEN SD card reader. It’s a portable USB 3.0 dual slot slash memory card and one you will not be able to live without.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   This reader easily reads most memory cards. Supported cards include SDXC/SDHC/SD/MMC/RS-MMC/Micro SD/TF, /Micro SDXC, and SDHC/UHS-I memory cards.
  •   Includes SD TF dual ports that read and write at the same time, which means no unplugging and re-plugging for you.
  •   Has a high-capacity super speed of 5Gbps and 512G. This means that you will get super speeds that transfer in only seconds.
  •   Broad compatibility with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Max OS, Linux, Chrome OS.
  •   Plug and play without drivers required.
  •   The design is portable and Anti-Lost, meaning you can travel with this card reader, attach it to your key ring, lanyard strap, or wherever you want to put the reader on the go.

What Customers Say

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because it is so compact and can go anywhere. You’ll love what a value this compact card reader is as well.

UGREEN SD Card Reader USB 3.0 Dual Slot Flash Memory Card Reader

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The next of our best SD card readers list is the UGREEN SD card reader with dual slot flash. With dual ports, this means you can get more done in less time.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   This is a perfect companion for your PC. The UGREEN USB 3.0 card reader expands SD and TD slot on your computer.
  •   Supports SDXC/SDHC/SD/MMC/RS-MMC/Micro SD/TF/Micro SDXC/Micro and SDHC/UHS-I memory cards.
  •   Comes with dual ports so you can read and write on two cards at the same time. No plugging and re-plugging.
  •   Super Speed and capacity, which means it supports up to 512G SD/Micro SD card read. Supports super speed up to 5 Gbps. This means HD movies and files transfer in just seconds.
  •   Has broad compatibility with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS, Linux, and Chrome OS.
  •   Installation is so easy, just plug and play without a driver.
  •   The kit is portable and designed to be slim and sleek. Great for travel.

What Customers Say

 

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because it works in an instant to read and upload the files you need without any issues or file corruption. If you are looking for a multi-ise SD card reader, this one is for you.

SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader

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The next best SD card reader on our list is the SmartQ C307 Portable USB card reader. This is a superior plug and play 3.0 multi-card reader.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   The multi-card reader is USB 3.0 and supports USB 2.0.
  •   The design is advanced with a sliding cap for better usability.
  •   This reader supports SD, SDHC, SDXC, micro SD, micro SDHC, and micro SDXC cards.
  •   Power comes right from the USB 3.0 port with no needed additional power source.
  •   Plug and play without any software.

What Customers Say

Customers love this best SD card reader because it does the job and it does the job well for you. It’s small and you can take your work anywhere.

SmartQ C368 USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader

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The next best SD card reader is the SmartQ C368 USB 3.0 multi-card reader. With fast transfer speeds, its small but mighty.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   Transfer speeds are super-fast at 5Gbps and 480Mbps. Full speed is 12Mbps.
  •   Most memory cards are supported including CF/SD/SDHC/SCXC/MMC/MMC Micro/RS MMC/ Mini SD/ Micro SD/ MS Dou/ MS Pro/ Duo/MS Pro HG Duo.
  •   Use up to 4 different cards simultaneously.
  •   Plug and play without software.

What Customers Say

 

Customers like this best SD card reader because this takes the place of a bunch of different readers. It’s a great little unit that does a whole lot.

Anker SD Card Reader, 2-in-1 USB C Memory Card Reader

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Our final best SD card reader is the Anker 2-in-1 USB C memory card reader. This compact SD carb reader effortlessly connects to your phone or computer’s USB port to let you easily sync, swap, and share files.

Features & Specifications

 

  •   Super compact, so you can take and store this car reader anywhere. Connects to your phone while in its case.
  •   Universally compatible with MacBooks, Galaxy S10, and more.
  •   With one standard and one microSD slot, you can sync, swap, and share files effortlessly.
  •   Includes a USB-C so you can use it with your smartphone when you’re on the go.
  •   Comes with an 18-month warranty.

What Customers Say

 

Customers like you love this best SD card reader because it is rock-solid reliable and won’t let you down.

 

FAQ

 

What is an SD card reader?

 

An SD card reader is a storage device to help you transfer your files from an SD (secure digital) card, known as a “memory card.”

 

With an SD card reader, you can quickly swap files like photos and videos. Or any type of important work you need to get from a card to your device.

 

It works to read your SD card and then reads and writes data so you can access your files.

 

Get a good SD card reader, that’s fast and accurate, and you are set up for success.

 

 

What is the fastest SD card reader?

 

To get the fastest SD card reader, look no further than #1 on our list. Now only is the Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD card reader the fastest on our list, it’s also the best SD card reader around.

 

With a super-fast transfer speed of 5 GBPS, you can’t go wrong with this card reader. Photos, videos, and files are transferred instantly.

 

What to look for in buying an SD Card Reader

 

There are a bunch of considerations to take before buying an SD card reader. Some considerations are no-brainers, while others are more technical:

1. Type of Connection

Most card readers these days connect to your computer through a USB-C plug. Though, an adapter can convert to normal USB in most cases.

2. Speed of USB

Consider the newer generations of SD card readers. They feature speeds of USB 3.1, which is twice as fast as their predecessor, the Gen 1.

Also, keep in mind that few memory cards will be fast enough for this speed.

If you have a Gen 1 card, it’s easy to say a Gen 1 card reader should match it. Same with Gen 2. Always be aware of what you’re working with.

If you want a Gen 2 at USB 3.1, make sure you have the right card for it prior to purchasing.

3. UHS-II vs UHS-I

We suggest UHS-II memory cards because they are faster. The SD card readers on this list all match up with UHS-II.

You may prefer UHS-I cards. Keep in mind that if you go with UHS-I cards, you will get a slower read.

4. Wiring

Check to see that the SD card reader you aim to purchase is hard-wired to the reader body. This could cause you problems in the future if its cable gets damaged.

It’s best to avoid this wiring all together when making your purchase.

5. Extra ports

Consider a card reader with extra ports as more USB sockets means more multi-tasking for your card reader and less time spent on working.

Looking for an SD card?

You may be wondering if you should purchase an SD card (memory card) now that you’ve found the best SD card reader. Take a look at our top choices for SD cards while you’re at it!