New Macs: do you want a card reader?

COVID means I now make and edit a lot more video, and the cameras I have been using all use SD cards. An SD card reader would be nice in my next Mac. I use the ones on my iMac and Windows machine all of the time.

My camera stores stuff on SD, so I still use the SD card slot on my 2013 MBP, and would love to see them come back to the mac lineup before I get around to replacing it, but I would like a faster slot. The USB3, (USB-A plug), reader I have for when I’m clamshelled and the slot on the computer is inaccessible actually seems faster than the built-in reader.

Agree. Waste of space.

I use SD a lot, and I don’t care.

My rationale:

  • I had Macs with included readers and external readers were always faster
  • I have several external readers (mobile, included in my dock, …and adapters for microSD)
  • I also use XQD and CFExpress. Any I still have cameras with CF. :smiley:
  • I always have a card reader in my photo bag and if I ever forget it…no big deal

Nice if they include one, and won’t care if they don’t.

Don’t want/need an SD card slot on my 2020 MBA.

Would love an HDMI slot! (one less dongle)

I use it from time to time but I don’t enjoy having it. I’d like camera makers to improve wireless transfer. Heck, even with having screenshots with my Nintendo Switch saved on the SD card, I’d rather use my Facebook account for it.

FYI: My Facebook account is now just there for messenger and for retrieving my Animal Crossing screenshots which can only be seen by me.

WiFi in my camera is a battery slaughterhouse. With 30MB RAW files it’s not pretty.

You have one in any modern Mac laptop. Granted you need the right one, but you can plug directly into an HDMI monitor with a single cable. It’s how I connect my M1 MBP to my LG monitor today.

Oh yes, I agree it is generally not great for connecting to a camera, which is why I specified for general files (so there’s Airdrop in the Apple ecosystem, or using iCloud or Dropbox etc syncing; that’s how I transfer most my files anyway).

As for HDMI slots, there’s none on current Mac laptops. You can buy a cable with included adapter, but then if you go to a conference room you’ll be out of luck unless you take a dongle with you (which is what I do at school).

1 Like

I have 50-60MB RAWs and stick to XQD cards (SD only backup and/or overflow). I found the included SD readers to be of the slower kind (which sucks).

Since an SD card slot is potentially a high-wear item (lots of insertion/removals, field grime on the cards, etc.), there’s an argument to be made for not having the slot built in, but as a $25 accessory from Anker.
That is, easily and inexpensively replaced on failure.


My older LG display supports HDMI but not USB-C… an older Epson Projector that I used for presentations was the same way. My Sony Bravia TV also doesn’t have USB-C. So an HDMI port would be useful still.

I really didn’t think much about the card reader until this post started. I don’t think I used the SDs cards on which I have backed up photos and files for about two years. After reading through the comments here and getting a new hub, I went through all of the SD cards we have and even updated some files. While I am OK with using a hub to access the cards, I do see the temptation to have it built in again. I do think an HDMI port would be very helpful as well since that is what started me down the whole dongle path in the first place.

I wouldn’t worry. Never had any issues with SD and cleaning readers is easy enough. CF was an issue, they liked to break.

I don’t understand the distinction. I figure if a cable has HDMI on one end it’s an HDMI cable, no? So a dongle that goes USB-C-HDMI with an HDMI-HDMI cable plugged into it should be no different in my understanding.

I’d be intrigued if I’m actually wrong on this (which is completely within the realms of possibility).

Yes please:

  • Imaging Raspberry Pi MicroSD cards more often than I care to think about (and going to be more often now I know I can tailor the Raspbian image by adding my own files).
  • Processing camera SD cards after each what-used-to-be-called :frowning: :slight_smile: holiday.
1 Like

Do I need a card reader every day? No. But I do need it on a regular basis.

Do I need a USB-A port every day? Yes. And it will be that way for many years to come. For many purposes (connecting my piano to the Mac, connecting my USB token from work for the VPN, connecting my Fujitsu SV 600 and …).

Do I prefer USB-C? Yes.

Would it be nice to have those ports available to me without the need of dongles or USB hubs? Yes.

Can I imagine that there are a lot of photographers, musicians and other people out there who occasionally have forgotten their dongles and stuff and were out of options to get their work done on their Macs out in the field? Yes.

I can understand that there is this desire to have everything small and light. But there are a lot of use cases that do need those “old” interfaces and there is no way that this will stop being the case any time soon. Dongles, hubs and docking stations are a way out of this misery, but I can also see the reasoning behind having options natively on some models for people who need those options daily.

A lot of cables include circuitry to negotiate which standards they support, and to convert data from one type to another. That’s why some cables have such a large connector body on one end - there’s a circuit board inside, with chips that do the conversion.

Much like chargers and batteries have increased in complexity and hold negotiations, etc., cables are often no longer a matter of making the plugs and receptacles fit each other.

This was my entire sentence above originally. I would prefer to NOT to carry a dongle. I completely understand that might not ever be an option again.

It’s almost as if real world experience - dongles - was traded for “showroom” slickness - lack of ports. I’d like it traded back again - and maybe that’s what we’ll get.

HDMI and SD Card are so frequently used - particularly HDMI - the trade off right now is particularly harmful. (I think we’ll all get over USB A in time - as the advantages of USB C are so obvious.)

If I had to choose “one additional port”, it would be HDMI.