The magic of a trail camera is its ability to record incredible images and videos of wildlife in real-time. But for a long time, accessing that magic has meant multiple trips back and forth to the woods, pulling memory cards, swapping memory cards, and waiting until you’re back home to see the good stuff. Not so with a portable SD card reader. With one of these small, packable, inexpensive units, you can access all the images on your trail camera memory card right there in the field, sometimes using either a smartphone or e-tablet. There’s a wide range of approaches to the task, so here are three things to consider when choosing a portable SD card viewer.

Stealth Cam

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There are two broad categories of portable SD card viewing accessories: adapters and viewers. An adapter is a physical and digital bridge between the card and a smartphone. You insert the card into the adapter, plug the adapter into your phone, and view the data on your smartphone screen. A viewer is a standalone unit with its own screen, a control panel, and a slot where you plug in an SD card. A viewer offers much greater functionality, with more viewing and storage controls. An adapter is small and quick to use.


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Be aware that some SD card readers and viewers have a limit to the amount of card data they can process. Some read cards only up to 16GB cards; nothing larger. Others can read 32GB and larger SD cards. Be sure your reader and your card can talk to each other before you buy.

Wildgame Innovations

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While all electronic technology is moving towards interchangeability, be aware that not all products read, access, and handle data from both Android and iPhone products. If you plan on using an e-tablet to access your cards, there could be issues with USB and micro-USB connections. Before you buy, make sure the product is compatible with your phone or tablet device.