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Memory cards,a warning.

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by swanseadave, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Not sure what is to be discussed. Seems sensible to me. It is same as maintenance of hard disks.
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Dave,

    Interesting, but I'm not sure about the practicality of 5. I treat cards the same way as films, i.e, change 'em when they're full.


  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Nothing new here but a good post. I can't say I always follow the advice.
  5. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    There are fake cards around, particularly of the major names and large sizes, best to buy from a reputable dealer and not be swayed by the much cheaper prices seen elsewhere.
  6. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I follow most of that advice as a matter of course and without really thinking about it but I had never considered keeping an SD card in my Mk III as a means of back up. I usually use one for moving image and one for stills but having had one CF card fail on me, it's not a bad idea to have a back up right there in camera. Off to see which settings need to be changed!
  7. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    I was unaware of the implication of deleting in camera,so I`ve learned something.The rest,for the most part, describes what I routinely do as a matter of course.

    From now on no more deleting in camera.:)

    BTW,I found the link in a post on Cambridge in Colour.I thought it worth sharing.
  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    All good Advice but...cards are far more resilient to abuse and misuse than he suggests.
    People do all those thing that they should not and get away with it.
    We all push our luck at times, and I have never had a problem after deleating a shot in camera....so far....
  9. Amy Sulllivan

    Amy Sulllivan New Member

    Thanks for sharing. I always backup my photos to computer and then format the memory card.
    That should be considered as basic knowledge of photography.:)
  10. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Points 1, 2, and 3 are bollocks.

    Frankly. The rest is a mix of quality, but those first 3 are just incorrect.

    Edit: Actually, just read this bit,

    "* You must keep your cards in covers.

    I hate to tell you this folks, but I have my cards loose in my bags all the time. I do not use the little jewel cases that come with the cards. I do use the ThinkTank Pixel PocketRockets, but also have countless cards thrown in my bags. This has never been an issue."​

    Given the advice in 1, 2 and 3, that advice is just crazy. This is all about risk and there's significantly more physical risk to a card swishing about in a bag than there is to the data from using the camera to delete files.
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    As my old boss used to say....It'll be fine. Until it isn't.
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Camera software developers don't write their own code to manage the cards, they just use standard libraries. The libraries for handling images are used by many thousands of embedded applications. Yes, it's possible for there to be bugs, and it's possible for their to be implementation errors, but the chance of those things is small (especially given the number of users). The author of the original blog is putting their data at significantly more risk by not using cases for their cards than they are preventing by never deleting images in the camera.

    Humans are bad at assessing risk, we base it on our own experience and not on the actual probabilities, but I'm pretty sure points 1, 2 and 3 are complete bollocks, while the advice to not bother protecting potentially fragile contacts from physical scratches is actually just crazy.
  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I read somewhere that CF cards "wear out", they have a limited number of read/write cycles. To maximise life the card has an on board controller that distributes writes to use all the card memory evenly rather than starting at the beginning every time it is formatted. I use the second slot SD card as "overflow" but it is rare they ever get written to. I think I probably ought to replace the CF cards - I've got an 8GB in my 5D which could be 10 years old and a 16 GB which could be 6. I never take them out.
  14. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    I keep all my cards in a couple of card cases from 7DayShop in my slingshot bag.
  15. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Must admit I carry my cards around in a protective case. Not the transparent clamshell thing they come in, but a doohickey that looks a little bit like a flattened hand grenade might, if you had a good imagination.

    It was probably designed with protection of the cards in mind more than anything else but I also find it useful to be able to only see one side of the card at any given time. It means I can store empty ones with the branding side up and any that have images on which I've not yet had a chance to back up elsewhere have the blank side facing up to indicate I've used them. It holds either four CF cards or 8 SD cards and clips shut. My only gripe is that I don't think it needs to be quite as heavy as it is - fully loaded it weighs 6oz! That's a bar of Kendal Mint cake!
  16. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

  17. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

  18. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Sounds a bit like mine.

  19. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Yeh I think most 'modern' cards are rated for 100,000 erase cycles per block, and then with the wear levelling built in, you'd have to be punishing them for a long, long time to wear blocks out. Even then, there are spare blocks elsewhere on the chip (like with SSD's which use similar technology and see far more use) to use when the others die.
  20. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    So, I'm at a proper keyboard so I can respond more completely.

    1. DO NOT erase images from your memory card in your camera! Clarification: What I mean by this is: Do not go through your photos and delete them one by one using your camera. I see people (including professional photographers) doing this all the time and it is a REALLY bad idea. Your camera is awesome at taking photos, but it is not very smart at managing the data on your memory card. Deleting individual images from the card using your camera is a great way to scramble the FAT Table. DON’T DO IT! And heck, memory cards have gotten so inexpensive and large, that you should not have to delete images to save space. Just pop in a new card and keep shooting. Once you have downloaded to your computer, and backed up the images THEN format your card to use it again.​

    As mentioned, given the high number of users, the common use case, and the use of shared libraries, this is just complete garbage. If your camera can write images to the card, and update the filesystem, at speed when taking pictures, deleting images is an utterly trivial system call. There's no reason what-so-ever for a camera to struggle with this or destroy the FAT table. It's just scaremongering.

    2. Format your memory cards in your camera, not on your computer.

    I'm sympathetic to this, but it's not always true, and following it slavishly is bad advice. My video camera, when asked to format a card a 32GB, will format it to FAT32. However, exFAT allows for larger file sizes. So I format the cards as exFAT in my PC (low level) and then quick formats in the camera clear the content but don't change the underlying filesystem structure. So the advice should be, understand filesystems, and format your cards appropriately based on your needs. For still images this probably has no effect, but it might impact video files.

    3. Speaking of formatting, it is a good idea to format your cards after each shoot.​

    This is just wasted effort. It doesn't matter how you clear the files from the card. Also, if you use the directory structure on the card to keep tracking image numbers, formatting it might well get in the way. Personally, I just do a 'select all, delete', from within File Explorer and go on my way. There's absolutely no justification for formatting the card vs deleting files. Remember, deleting files doesn't touch the file, it just removes the entry from the FAT table. You might end up with slightly fewer writes if you format it, but in the grand scheme of things it's not necessary.

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