I’m not a big techie geek. My needs are simple. Typically they relate to my need to download images from my three different Canon 5D cameras plus my new (and phenomenal) Canon R5 mirrorless camera, which frustratingly each use different type of USB ports. Often, I’ve found myself needing to swap my SanDisk SSC cards between cameras to marry them with my 3-year-old Dell Inspiron laptop. Technology shifts so rapidly these days that when I recently purchased my R5 camera, its USB-C cable wouldn’t fit the USB micro-B port on my laptop.

The unexpected arrival in the mail of an EZQuest 5-in-1 USB Type-C Card Reader for review was therefore timely.

When I discovered that it, too, had a short, fixed cable USB-C cable (and USB-C port for connecting to a power supply up to 100W) that wouldn’t connect to my old laptop, I realized I was truly behind the times. Hence, since the world seems to be shifting to USB-C connectors, and because my old laptop was showing signs of wear, I decided it was time to buy a new Dell Inspiron with USB-C port.

I liked the EZQuest’s narrow and slim anodized aluminum profile (just 5 inches long; 1.5 inches wide; and a mere 0.5 inches deep). It’s super-light and compact yet solid and apparently tough. Nice! That means being able to tuck it into a recess in my camera bag without causing any bulking.

Specifically designed for photographers, videographers, and others who require fast downloads from multiple card types, the reader features a CFast 2.0 card slot, a CompactFlash 6.0 card slot, a UHS-II SD card slot, a UHS-II microSDXC card slot, plus a Memory Stick PRO card slot. They can all be used simultaneously, promising high-speed transfers (up to 250 MB/s for the UHS-II SD and microSD; less for other slots).

The unit connects to my laptop by a wonderfully short 9-inch USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 cable capable of transmitting any type of data.

This is plug-and-play. No additional drivers are needed.

My recent Antarctica voyage aboard the Scenic Eclipse luxury megayacht gave me a chance to put it to the test.

I plugged the reader into my laptop, which instantly recognized it.

My EOS 5D Mark IV has two memory card slots: one is a CompactFlash 6.0 card slot, the other a SD card slot. For most of the past few years, I’ve been shooting with UHS-II SD cards. The Canon R5 (which I purchased only one week before departing for my voyage) uses SD plus CFexpress cards.

For my Antarctica voyage, I purchased six 32Gb SanDisk SD HC Extreme Pro cards. Thankfully I didn’t purchase CFexpress cards (for their faster speeds), which I’d been tempted to do, as the EZQuest reader has no CFexpress card slot. This seems an unfathomable omission, given that CFexpress cards are now well-established as a preferred storage platform for cameras.

Meanwhile, I popped the SD card into the relevant slot (all the slots are clearly marked). The images displayed almost instantly. All I then needed to do was simply highlight the images, and copy and paste the files to a selected folder on my laptop. The download was pleasingly rapid.

I used the EZQuest only the only time during my voyage, however. My new Dell laptop happened to have a SD card slot, so it was easier and quicker simply to pop my card directly into my laptop.

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Christopher P Baker

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Christopher P. Baker, one of the world's most multi-talented and successful travel writers and photographers has been named by National Geographic as one of the world's foremost authorities on Cuba travel and culture. Winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 as 'Travel Journalist of the Year,' he has authored more than 30 books, leads tours for National Geographic Expeditions, Edelwiss Bike Travel, and Jim Cline Photo Tours, among other companies, and is a Getty Images and National Geographic contributing photographer.