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Thread: Memory Card Failure

  1. #1
    Member googs1007's Avatar
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    Memory Card Failure

    Hi All

    We all take for granted our memory cards in our DSLR's and that it will do the job its designed to do. As a professional photographer i do my best to ensure all of my RAW photos are backed up and stored correctly.

    Recently i have experienced a memory card failure during a shoot. And not being able to afford 2 $8000 camera bodies with dual card slots i shoot with a 5DmK11 and a 7d. During a small wedding recently for a client (and when i say small i mean 2 hours shooting) i had one of the memory cards fail and not recognized by my PC and camera after the event. I also shoot with multiple cards and cameras to ensure if i do have a problem i dont loose everything.

    I loaded one of the cards into my PC the morning after the wedding and it was unrecognizable by the computer (mind you it was a fairly new card, i shoot over 20 real estate houses a week and about 30 weddings a year, and never have i had a CARD problem.)

    I searched the web and obviously tried recovery software, which only works if your pc can read the card. I then spoke with a data recovery specialist in Melbourne who said they would have a good chance of recovering the data from the card as it was not physically damaged. So i proceeded to mail the card to them and 3 weeks later have them tell me the cards controller was damaged and they cannot by pass the encryption to access the memory module on the card (i actually had researched this prior as well).

    Finally i decided to send the card to Germany to a company there called Recoverfab (and this i can tell you is the only one in the world that i could find) http://recoverfab.com/ who had stated that they demount the memory modules in a safe environment and bypass the cards controller and can then access the data. Once the data is recovered you can then download via FTP all the recovered data.

    Well a week after i sent the card i received a confirmation email that they had received the media, then not even 2 days later i received a log on link to their website with the photos that were on the card, that No one could recover for me. Not even a Specialists company based in Melbourne....

    I must say im more than impressed, the client (who i must admit was very understanding) is over the moon. And i can tell you now (even though i have recently purchased a 5Dmk111 which i use for wedding shoots and it has a dual card slot (which i use the 2nd as a backup) i would highly recommend this service as missing photos on damaged cards are Priceless, be them your own or a client..
    I like to be different

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    Lucky you got them back, I can't think of anything worse!!

    How much did it end up costing to recover your photos?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you got the images finally.

    I never take card media for granted.

    Early this week, I had a micro SD fail on me. This microSD lived in my phone.
    Not a camera based card, but a memory card none the less. Lost all my 'important' files on the card .. but I'm organised enough to have three other copies(PC/web/other Android device) of all the important files that were on that card anyhow.

    Damned annoying to have this happen, especially in your situation where someone else's data was at risk.

    I've had three card failures over the years, and these failures were not confined to any one particular brand .. nor type of card.

    1 normal SD card failed .. cheapie brand(can't remember it now)
    1 Sandisk CF card failed ... lost some raw files off it, but the card couldn't be fully recovered to work again(not that I'd want too, anyhow)
    (this weeks) 1 Kingston microSD card failed .. Lost all data, other than for some Android system files remained on there. Formatted card multiple times, sometimes it'd work, other times it wouldn't.
    Used a Linux box to try to attempt recovery of the card(Windows would lock up on scanning the card) .. but eventually gave up and just replaced it now.


    One thing I like about the higher end Nikon's is that they all have dual card slots .. while it's annoying in that they're not always the same type(eg. D800 has 1xCF and 1xSD) it's not too much of a bother in reality .. but it gives you that extra sense of security.
    I would have thought that Canon had dual card slots for the 5D series by now!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  4. #4
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    Hi Cattleprod - it was a bit of a bugger, and yes i couldnt think of anything worse either. Cost me around $300. Whis is a little price to pay for someones leses pics. Id like to think i went that extra mile to get them back as i had over 550 pics on the other camera and cards and this had 190 on it. Again, its hard to backup while you are shooting when you dont have the massive budget for the equipment, but i always back up after.

    Hi Arthurking. ive never had it before and not looking forward to it ever happening again. It was a CF card, which are usually very reliable. Ive heard of them being dropped and flooded with water still to work fine. And i too dont take it for granted, its just something that is called technology, i have a 5dMK111 but there is still nothing to say that both cards cant fail at once is there

    Just letting everyone know there is a guy out there who can actually recover the data, provided the card is not totally ruined or melted by fire

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    Ive had colleagues who have had to send their cards off to specialists in Aus or overseas to recover it, so Im glad to hear you got your files back too.

    But you know, there are pro camera bodies under 3000 bucks with dual slot capabilities

    Some colleagues ask me why do I back up onto external drives/laptop during weddings, I said for redundancy and you cant afford any errors etc.
    Commercial/Editorial/Wedding work - www.jackietranphoto.com
    Travel Photography - www.wanderingasianguy.com

    Broncolor lights up my world.

  6. #6
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    Thanks JM - and yes i recently extended my kit with a Canon 5Dmk111 - it has dual slots and it a lovely camera to use. Im not a nikon user (well all my lenses and accessories are Canon). And even if i had of taken the card out and popped it into a laptop or drive, i still may of had the same error, and yes i could of re shot some of the images, but not all of them.

    We live and learn

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