For years now, I've been looking at the Lexar Hub to efficiently transfer multiple SD cards to my iMac. The reason I never pulled the trigger was that it seemed like it was a bit much. The Lexar hub is pretty large and it requires its own power source which is an inconvenience while traveling and having to back up cards on your laptop. I think I finally found the solution!
I decided to go ahead and build my own USB 3.0 SD card hub from things you can easily purchase from Amazon. Essentially, it's a USB 3.0 hub that I filed with inexpensive and reliable SD card readers that I've been using for years. I went with the ANKER USB Hub for a few simple reasons, but mainly because the design matched my iMac and MacBook Pro. There are other hubs out there for around the same price, or cheaper, but I know ANKER makes quality products and for $15 you can't go wrong.
The next step was buying enough SD Card Readers. Luckily, Transcend makes a really simple option for this for only $8. I've been using these readers for years because they're so compact and inexpensive that I just throw them in each of my camera bags so I always have a reader in a pinch no matter where I am or what I'm doing. These readers take full-sized SD cards and Micro SD cards, which are the only type I use anyway.
It's not the fastest solution since its only USB 3.0, but usually, when I get home from a wedding, I'll start transferring most of my footage, take a shower, and by the time I come out, most of what I shot throughout the day is already backed up. Overall, this is a big help in my post processing and anything to help save time is worth sharing.
When I shoot video for a wedding, I usually come home with 3 cameras worth of cards, plus at least 4-5 audio cards that usually take a while to transfer. This particular system only allows you to transfer 4 at a time, but if you really wanted, you could probably just purchase a larger USB hub and more card readers to transfer 8-10 SD cards at once. I am using this example since it is more comparable to the 4 bay system that you get from a Lexar Hub.
Does this help you? Do you have any other data transfer tips that can help photographers improve their process? If this helped you, my wife and I also have a travel photography website, TheTravelRats.com, where we recently shared a post on our favorite travel photography tips that we urge you to check out.