Uploading Images from a Canon EOS 5D Mark II via USB

Although I have owned a Canon EOS 5D Mark II for some time, I don’t get to use it as often as I would like; so somehow I have never got round to getting a card reader that can handle the size of Compact Flash card that I have… and many seem to recommend for uploading pictures.

Unfortunately, that leaves me struggling to upload files via USB cable to my PC (running Windows 8.1) and whether I try to use Adobe Bridge or some Windows tool to access the card on the camera… within a few seconds of downloading thumbs or file info, the camera seems to lose connection to the computer; or rather it seems to stop communicating while simultaneously complaining it is ‘busy’.  A minute or two later any file operations that you have started will fail with some sort of ‘file not found’ error.

While I can’t guarantee it will help anyone else, my few suggestions to make progress are as follows:

  • Connect the USB cable directly to your PC and not via  USB hub – USB hubs may be great ‘most’ of the time, but on occasion they do seem to cause problems;
  • Turn on the camera, and then plug in the USB cable.  Additionally, although I used to prefer using Adobe Bridge to download from my previous Canon EOS camera, with the 5D I have found it easier to manage the file transfers myself.
  • I have got it into my head that deleting a few older files on the camera (assuming that you have already downloaded them) helps keep the connection between the camera ‘alive’ for you to copy the files you want to the PC.

But overall – and I hold myself responsible here aswell as ‘every other Canon EOS 5D Mark II user’ – how is it that we have spent > £2,000 on a camera, and have not even been supplied a simple USB connection that works reliably? This technology is available on devices that cost a few pounds and up… and I simply do not understand or believe that there is a legitimate explanation for why this process should prove so complex on a professional and expensive product!

UPDATE 13/08/2014:  I ordered and received a Transcend TS-RDP8K USB2 Card Reader ordered from Amazon in the last few days; and sure enough, everything works a lot more easily when reading the cards directly. It remains such a shame that Canon screwed-up the USB downloads on this camera… it’s really quite baffling.