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If you have a digital camera but not a digital card reader, it would be beneficial to upgrade. Without a digital card reader, you are required to use a USB connection, which takes time to set up, download and you have the extra weight of wires.
With a card reader, you simply remove the digital storage card from the camera, place it in the card reader and download the photos. No USB cables, no external hdd, no time delay.
Don't forget to put the card back in your camera when you are done.