So we’re going on holiday soon and well, I wanted to carry a few less cables around with us, partly to save weight (not that it’s much) but also to reduce the chances of them getting lost in the hotel room or while out and about. With all this in mind I decided to get a USB-C SD Card reader so that I could upload photos from our cameras to my tablet (Google Pixel C) and thence to this (or Lou’s blog). What a nightmare!

So the card reader arrived today. A lovely little thing too, not a lot bigger than an SD card itself, and with a micro-SD adapter too. It was in nice brushed aluminium, to match the tablet, and as it had specifically mentioned the Pixel in it’s description, I thought great… but then, on trying it out, my hopes were dashed. My tablet couldn’t see it at all.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any other USB-C devices, so I can’t test it on another machine for the moment, so it will have to be returned. Of course, however, I get the obligatory blame game when they say it’s my USB port, but eventually, because it was bought through Amazon, it was accepted anyway. For all they might be a-holes to their staff, they do know customer service… Said service of course, being provided by their ill-treated staff so yeah, even once I get it sorted, it’s going to be a headache for someone else. If whoever it is is reading this, sorry.

Anyway I tried another method. I have a USB-3 hub that I bought a while back for the tablet. Again brushed aluminium, USB-C pass-through for power and 3x USB-3 sockets for well, usually thumb-drives or other things. I’ve used game controllers, mice, keyboards… it’s pretty damn good if I do say so myself. This however wasn’t made with the Pixel C in mind. It’s an Anker, and designed for some Macbook or other, but it works 90% of the time, and the other 10% may just be the port since flipping the connector over seems to fix it… yay for reversible plugs.

So with this plugged in, I tried using a normal USB/Mini-USB connector to the main camera (Canon EOS 1100D) and it works just fine. Pops up in my notifications and I select the picture importer from Google Photos. Works great. I disconnect and try the other camera (Fuji FinePix AX245) which needs a custom lead (see what I mean about carrying too many cables), and the same, it works great. A few more tries to ensure it’s not a fluke and we’re set.

But can someone tell me why a device that does a single task, and for the tablet I use, can’t do it, while one designed for a different system does? I dunno either. At least I know it’s not my tablet that’s at fault.

Anyway to end, I’m sure some are asking why I don’t just use the camera on my tablet or phone, and the answer is that I just don’t like phone cameras. They aren’t stable enough, they’re the wrong shape and a million other things. Also, I can’t switch the lenses around or get a nice optical zoom, which the Canon does extremely well, and even the cheap and semi-dispensable Fuji manages somewhat.