User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  6
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Formatting cards?

  1. #1
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Nov 2010
    Location
    magical Mudgee
    Posts
    16,397
    Mentioned
    22 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Formatting cards?

    Just out of interest and maybe for others knowledge.
    I formatted my SD card when I got my camera 3 and a half years ago. Have used the same card ever since and never formatted it again. No problems so far (touch wood). I take the card out of the camera an shove it in the computer if that means anything.
    On the other hand I've seen others mention they reformat the card every time after transferring photos from them.
    Any thoughts?
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, Sigma 120-400, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
    Join Date
    18 Sep 2009
    Location
    Nthn Sydney
    Posts
    14,823
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You have to make space on the card somehow. Either you delete the files, or you format the card.
    What I do, FWIW, is transfer the files, then when the card is pretty full, transfer them, then format
    the card in camera. I have read (somewhere/time) that formatting cards should be done in camera rather
    than in a card reader by the computer.

    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    Mark mpb's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 May 2010
    Location
    Northern Rivers
    Posts
    1,853
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I format my cards in camera every so often. Not really sure why. I have read that it is good practice.
    I assume that it either repair damaged areas or marks them not top be used.
    Mark


  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Feb 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    595
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I download my pics and then format the card in camera at the next use. Why? Because I then don't have the previous shoot on the card, plus, by doing this I have a copy of all the images on the card should the worse happen to my computer before various backups occur (e.g. Time machine).
    When I format before my next shoot I assume it will throw up an error should there be a problem with the card.
    Finally, I'm sure I read somewhere that formatting it regularly is a good thing, and I haven't yet had a card fail on me.
    My Flickr Site
    Instagram _alex_ham_

    Gear - Canon 5D mkIII, 16-35 f2.8L, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f4L IS, nifty 50, 75-300 f4-5.6. Canon G1X MkII, Panasonic Lumix DMC LX3, iPhone.

  5. #5
    Ausphotography irregular
    Threadstarter
    Mark L's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Nov 2010
    Location
    magical Mudgee
    Posts
    16,397
    Mentioned
    22 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    You have to make space on the card somehow. Either you delete the files, or you format the card.
    What I do, FWIW, is transfer the files, then when the card is pretty full, transfer them, then format
    the card in camera.
    FWIW and in case it means something. Once files are transferred they are deleted from card. Card has never reached anywhere near it's capacity (pretty full) this way. Why would you keep files on your card once transferred and backed up? lazy?

  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,130
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I format my cards, in the camera, once they start to get a bit full
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  7. #7
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Mar 2010
    Location
    Central West
    Posts
    1,785
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I format my cards pretty regularly, particularly if pulled in and out of different computers a lot. I think the main thing is to remove cards from the computer correctly. I've seen problems with cards ripped out of computers and shoved in other laptops/computers, then dumped in cameras. Sometimes switching cards between cameras can also cause problems, particularly if the cameras are auto numbering and loading photos into auto folders.

    I always format in camera, not via computer, but the photos are deleted via the computer after I've backed them up.

  8. #8
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
    Join Date
    18 Sep 2009
    Location
    Nthn Sydney
    Posts
    14,823
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    ...Why would you keep files on your card once transferred and backed up? lazy?...
    Partly. But I usu keep em on for a bit and xfer them to other computer as well. But not always.

    My method/system is often haphazard/chaotic

    FWIW: I though you knew this, for what it's worth
    Last edited by ameerat42; 09-04-2015 at 6:55am.

  9. #9
    Member DacrimL's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Oct 2014
    Location
    Wangaratta
    Posts
    216
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I generally transfer the Raw images to one external harddrive, then format the card in the computer.......if removed correctly there should be no problem but every so often even after formatting in the PC I will re-format in camera. So far am still on the one card I bought when I bought the camera.

  10. #10
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    7,701
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some cameras can only format with the Fat(or FAT16 file system).

    Others can do FAT32.

    I try to format in exFAT for the more modern cameras(or devices) that recognise this newer file system.
    older cameras may not recognise it tho.
    It's a matter of knowing which does and which doesn't.

    I prefer to format via the PC, unless I have to format via the camera.
    So some error checking while I'm at it .. etc.

    Formatting every time isn't essential. It doesn't help to keep the card in better shape, or condition in any way.
    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


  11. #11
    Spammer - Permanent Ban EpicPhotography's Avatar
    Join Date
    10 Apr 2015
    Location
    South Yarra
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I shoot between 1-3 weddings a week and just make it a habit to format my cards after every shoot (obviously after uploading) but read somewhere to always format your cards from your camera, not your computer. Can't remember why, but after 10 years never had a problem doing it this way

  12. #12
    Member antony's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Feb 2015
    Location
    Stanmore
    Posts
    107
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you Mark L for bringing up this question.

    I believe my style is a bit similar to Mark L's. I hardly formats the SD card. I took the card out and load the pictures to the Mac (using Image Capture), then removes the image, and put the SD card back to the camera.

    Is there any benefit on re-formatting the SD card, apart from ensuring the maximum space available?

    One disadvantage on formatting SD cards is that Image Capture will forget the specified folder I want to save images to. I give each SD cards different name, and they all have their assigned camera to use and folder to save images.
    I have different (default) download folder for different cameras. When I have time, I would arrange photos into different folders (using Adobe Bridge).

    (I know I am old fashioned... I don't use Lightroom much.)
    cameras: Sony A7 II, A7r, NEX-7, A350, HX50V; Canon EOS 70D | Flickr | a very happy Mac user

  13. #13
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    7,701
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Unless you do a full format(not a quick format), I don't think you are really zeroing out each individual bit of memory space on the card.
    A full format will do this.
    A quick format will only really wipe the file allocation table(FAT) that tells the software where each data bit is in the memory space.

    From observation, I've never seen any camera do a format on a card for more than a few seconds.
    To format a 8/16/32Gig memory area would take a few minutes at least .. most likely measured in the range of hours.

    So the idea that formatting a card(especially via the camera) to make more space, or to fully delete memory space doesn't make any sense.

    A full format would tho, and this would take far longer than I've seen any camera do it.

    Formatting in the camera simply ensures that the memory space is formatted in a type that the camera recognises.
    ie. on older cameras this may only be of the FAT type, where cameras of not so old vintage would also recognise FAT32 file systems
    I know the D800(ie. 2012 era camera) recognises the exFAT file system, a file system created to cater to files larger than 4gigs(ie. video) .. and memory space larger 32g or larger.
    FAT32 on addresses up to 32gig. (so if your card is 64gig or more .. it has to be in exFAT for there to be no issues).

    If the card is formatted say in NTFS(windows) or HFS(Mac) the camera wouldn't recognise the card .. so formatting it would only set the file system to one that it does.

    with some sample images on the card and then formatting it via the camera, it's a trivial matter to recover the sample images that the camera supposedly formatted to extinction.
    of course, no new files were added after formatting .. so recovering the so called wiped files was easy.
    But not only that, in this quick attempt to see how quickly and easily it would be to do, the recovery software also recovered images shot months ago, obviously from memory space not written too in the past few months .. even from well over a year ago! This, despite that on a couple of occasions I've half filled the card(on a D800 that's quite easy to do ) and more.

    And further to this, I've formatted this card in NTFS(to see) exFAT, FAT32 and FAT file systems to see how it affects performance in any way.

    Same with the computer's quick format tool. If you use this only(and not the full format version) .. memory space isn't zeroed out(ie. wiped) .. only the FAT is blanked out so that the card appears to have it's full complement of data again.
    All files are written over files that used to be there.

    Formatting cards .. it doesn't hurt, but unless you do it properly .. it also doesn't help(much).
    Realistically, it's simply an easy/easier way to delete all the files with a one or two click method.

  14. #14
    Member antony's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Feb 2015
    Location
    Stanmore
    Posts
    107
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    All files are written over files that used to be there.

    Formatting cards .. it doesn't hurt, but unless you do it properly .. it also doesn't help(much).
    Realistically, it's simply an easy/easier way to delete all the files with a one or two click method.
    So, there's no potential benefit to format a card via camera if I simply delete some images (on memory card) through computer.
    Benefits when I don't delete images through computer.

    Thank you.

  15. #15
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    7,701
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No. It doesn't seem to be the case.

    You can try it for yourself:

    in the camera just take a few random shots on a blank card. So you end up with two images on the card.
    Then simply format it.(in the camera).

    Take card out and put it in a reader of some kind .. ( guess the camera via a USB cable should also work fine too).

    Now, on the computer don't do anything to the card .... remember the card will be blank as you have formatted it after you took two sample images .. so don't try to open the card to confirm this(it may affect the recovery process).

    If you don't already have recovery software, try Piriform's Recuva. (windows only .. Mac users will need to find something else)
    ** This is not an endorsement of the software, but this is what I use for most PC related file recovery when I need too. **
    Note that your cards manufacturer may have something for free to download too. Doesn't matter which way you do it tho.

    With the memory card now connected to the computer navigate the recovery software to search the card for deleted files.

    IF the card has been properly formatted(that is full format) .. no data will exist any longer. A full format zeros out the 0 and 1 data bits all back to zero.
    The recovery software will not find any files to recover.

    If the recovery software does find any deleted files after you have formatted the card .. then the camera only does a quick format. that is, it only clears the file allocation table .. or index, not the physical bits of info on the card.
    Chances are that the recovery software will find many files from long ago too.
    It just depends on how many images, or how full you have had the card over time.

    Last night I did a full format of my 32g Lexar card that is the primary card used in the D800E. I'm not entirely sure of the process that Windows uses to full format the memory space, but trying again to recover the files from the card was futile, where last night it too Recuva 243secs to recover and save 25.5 Gigabytes and 368 files .. mostly 75mb NEF(raw) files and a few jpg files.

    Apparently you can still recover properly formatted over data, if the memory space hasn't been written over again with new data.

    The full format took well over 1/2 an hour(I did this during dinner) .. and most likely about 1 hour going by the status bar at the time towards the end of dinner.
    The full format has done nothing to recover any extra bits of memory space at all.

    My belief is that there is no advantage that the card is in any better shape if it's formatted prior to use in the camera.
    The primary reason for formatting in the camera is that you can't do it any other way, or that this may be the only way to get the card formatted to a file system type that the camera recognises.

    as an example of a reasonable use for this: I may have an 8Gig card which was formatted for the D800E in exFAT type, but now I want to use it in my D70s.
    The D70s doesn't recognise exFAT file system as the camera is much older than the file system.
    A msg will most likely pop up onto the LCD screen to tell me to format the card.
    Press the two buttons on the camera to do this and the card is now formatted into a known file system type(FAT).

    As far as I'm aware a format using the FAT file system doesn't take into account if there are any bad sectors on the memory area. I think some other file system types do check for this during formatting, but not the FAT types.
    They simply create a small area which is reserved for the FAT(or index) to tell the device where on the memory space any particular file is located.
    It doesn't physically check that the space where the file is going to be written too is not corrupted.

    An occasional error checking(of the card) is a better way to waste some time in your day.
    It's easy to do, you can set the tool (at least in windows) to do any corrections automatically.
    This way you know at least for the next session, when the card is to be used, that there are no errors in the memory space on the card for this shoot.
    Last edited by arthurking83; 11-04-2015 at 7:00am.

  16. #16
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,130
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    The other thing to consider is the quality of the card being used. Memory card can and will fail, and they have a limited number of write cycles. What those cycles are, depends on the card quality. So the more a card is used, formatted, re-used, decreases its lifespan.

  17. #17
    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Feb 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    595
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Which is why buying a high quality card is a good idea. Since the number of cycles is so high, you will not reach the limit. Top end cards have lifetime warranties (doesn't help if you lose a wedding shoot though :-))
    The other thing to consider if you want to be extra careful is not using a new card for an important shoot since cards have high infant mortality rates. (lifecycle bath tub effect). I.e. They fail when new or old. But if you're that worried and pro wouldn't you be using a camera with two cards and recording to both? :-)

  18. #18
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,130
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster View Post
    Which is why buying a high quality card is a good idea. Since the number of cycles is so high, you will not reach the limit. Top end cards have lifetime warranties.
    Now that is where people get caught. A lifetime warranty, is not your lifetime, or the lifetime of your camera. It is the lifetime of the card. So if a card dies, then its lifetime warranty has expired. Cause once it dies, it can be deemed that it has reached its lifetime. Lifetime warranties are useless, cause they actual warranty something till it no longer works. When it doesn't work, it is deemed to have reached its lifetime. Stupid that they can still make such warranty claims when they mean nothing.

  19. #19
    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Feb 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    595
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Formatting cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Now that is where people get caught. A lifetime warranty, is not your lifetime, or the lifetime of your camera. It is the lifetime of the card. So if a card dies, then its lifetime warranty has expired. Cause once it dies, it can be deemed that it has reached its lifetime. Lifetime warranties are useless, cause they actual warranty something till it no longer works. When it doesn't work, it is deemed to have reached its lifetime. Stupid that they can still make such warranty claims when they mean nothing.
    Yes, and no. You're right about them being for the lifetime of the card. And they just replace the card, hence my comment re the wedding photos. However, such a replacement policy is only viable for items that have a relatively low level of failure, otherwise the company in question goes bust replacing them. So, while I see your point, IMHO, they have some value, although admittedly not really for the loss you really care about.
    I assumed you're not suggesting that, when a card with a lifetime warranty fails, Sandisk simply says "yes that was the lifetime it achieved, thanks for you custom" and walks away.
    Last edited by Hamster; 11-04-2015 at 1:04pm.

  20. #20
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,130
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster View Post
    I assumed you're not suggesting that, when a card with a lifetime warranty fails, Sandisk simply says "yes that was the lifetime it achieved, thanks for you custom" and walks away.
    yes I am, and yes they have. I know of several occasions where card have failed outside the statutory warranty period and Sandisk have said just that. Three different people, all with cards over 3 years old.
    Last edited by ricktas; 11-04-2015 at 1:36pm.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •