Memory card readers aren’t exactly the most exciting photography accessories out there. They won’t help you take better photos or make things more fun. They’re entirely utilitarian. The core differences between them usually come down to one being faster than another.
But every once in a while, someone tries a new design to boost flexibility and convenience. Sometimes it might be for a studio or office setup with a modular, stackable concept. In the case of the reader I’m focusing on here, it’s adding the convenience of combining a memory card reader with memory card storage.
It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. And it means that instead of carting two things around on your travels, you can consolidate them into one.
That said, this is limited only to SD and microSD cards for both reading and storing. So it’s going to be of less use to you if you’re using one of the larger mirrorless or DSLRs that also uses other memory card types like CFexpress B, XQD, or CompactFlash. (The storage will work with CFexpress A, because they share the same form factor with SD cards. But the reader isn’t compatible with CFexpress A.)
There’s not much to it, and it’s very simple to use.
One of the things I like about this is that they’ve kept it simple and quite elegant. What I mean by that is they haven’t overcomplicated it with latches and buttons and locks (otherwise known as things that can go wrong).
The card reader/storage section simply pushes into the silicone casing and is held in place with friction. The USB cable is attached and wraps neatly around the storage area to be out of the way when you retract it. The card holder slots simply use tight fits and friction to hold the cards securely in place.
Memory Card Reader
It serves as a memory card reader. It connects with a USB-C connection.
There’s a slot for SD cards and another for microSD cards. While I couldn’t find any mention in the documentation about whether they were UHS-II or UHS-I, PGYTech support confirmed that they are both UHS-II.
The USB 3.1 connection and the UHS-II compatibility means that there’s potential for fast transfers if you’re using a combination of computer/tablet and fast UHS-II memory card that can make the most of the available speed. It will still work without those, but you’re going to see slower data transfer rates.
Memory Card Storage
In addition to being a card reader, of course, it’s also a memory card storage device. There’s room for:
- 4 x SD cards
- 4 x microSD cards (also known as TF cards)
- 2 x Nano SIM cards
There’s also a spot to keep the eject pin, which is a good thing, because it would be easy to lose otherwise.
The card storage is wrapped around the outside of the memory card reader. The cards simply slot into place and are held there with pressure and friction, so there are no latches or clips to break or come loose. And because the whole center part slides inside the silicone casing, they’re well protected from coming loose and from the elements.
Things Worth Knowing
The “5” is the second-highest of the dust protection ratings, which corresponds to general dust protection. So dust getting into it isn’t entirely prevented, but it shouldn’t interfere with normal function.
The second number refers to water protection. A “4” is rated for protection against splashing water. But it’s not protected against submersion underwater.
- USB 3.1 / USB-C / up to 312MB/s
- Dual card slots / SD and microSD (both UHS-II)
- IP54 protection
What’s in the Box?
- Card reader and storage
- Silicone case
- Carabiner clip
- Ejection pin
Is the PGYTech Createmate High-Speed Card Reader Case going to revolutionize memory card readers? No, not really. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a look.
I actually quite like this design, primarily because it simplifies things as part of a travel kit. The less time I have to spend digging around in my camera bag for different accessories, the better. I like that this keeps spare memory cards and a card reader together. I would like it even better if it took CFexpress B cards as well, since I also use those (or maybe another way to look at it is I wish all CFexpress B cards used the CFexpress A form factor (the same as SD cards)).
It’s not the memory card reader I’d use in an office or studio environment, but for a minimalist travel kit, it definitely has a lot of appeal.
Price & Availability
Its formal name is PGYTech Createmate High-Speed Card Reader Case, and its item number is P-GM-163.
I bought mine at Amazon.
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Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2023-09-27 at 19:31. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.