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Thread: Memory Card - keep or erase?

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    Ausphotography Regular wmphoto's Avatar
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    Memory Card - keep or erase?

    Just curious as to if people keep all their images on a memory card and just keep filling up new ones or do they erase the images and start again once they have downloaded to their computer. I do the latter but I'm starting to think that if I do it too many times the memory card will start to play up (fail). With the cost of memory cards now, it may be viable just to use a new memory card each time.

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    eh ?

    memory cards are for storing photos from the camera, so you can then save onto your PC and then backup onto one or preferably more hdd's

    Not for long term storage, though I suppose you could do, but $/byte HDD's are way cheaper

    I dont know of any case where a CF card or SD card has failed becuase of overuse. They are solid state.
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    Memory cards don't work like old cassette tapes. You can add/remove data many, many times with no detriment to the card.

    That said though, I keep the images on the card till I use it the next time just in case I accidentally delete the original and backup (created during import automatically, I love LR3). When I insert a card into the camera, I usually always format it to start a new session.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Not for long term storage, though I suppose you could do, but $/byte HDD's are way cheaper
    That's a good point. I do back up all my photos to my HDD and a NAS device so I'm not so worried about that it's more the failure of the card from repeated copy / erase.

    Thanks for the replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BAD4U View Post
    Just curious as to if people keep all their images on a memory card and just keep filling up new ones or do they erase the images and start again once they have downloaded to their computer.
    I format my card after each shoot, but generally not before having at least two copies of the images: one on my laptop, and at least one backup (I keep two on-site backups, and one off-site backup, so I have four copies of everything).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    I format my card after each shoot, but generally not before having at least two copies of the images: one on my laptop, and at least one backup (I keep two on-site backups, and one off-site backup, so I have four copies of everything).
    Shite I get lost with whats on one buckup
    I might sort them out one day, over 5000 images, mostly crap too
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    Memory has developed in leaps and bounds in the past 15 years.
    Some of the first memory developed for programming had only 50-100 read write (R/W) cycles, then as memory got better it got up to around 5000 cycles. Then in the past 10 years the development of silicon technology was so high, the same materials could be reliably re-written 10's of thousands of times.
    Formatting is a good idea as it tags any bad areas in the chip, so as it starts to go bad you'll find it takes longer to write to and read from.
    Don't know where the current status is but pretty sure you'll be buying a bigger memory card before the one you have fails.
    There are exceptions of course.
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    Like others have said, format the card in camera, don't just erase the images.
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    I keep my images on the card as a form of back up.

    Memory cards are really cheap nowadays anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by electricmic View Post
    I keep my images on the card as a form of back up.

    Memory cards are really cheap nowadays anyway.
    for how long

    For example, I have 1tb worth of data

    1tb HDD = $150 max
    1tb worth of 8mb cards = 125 cards @ $40 = $5000

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    for how long

    For example, I have 1tb worth of data

    1tb HDD = $150 max
    1tb worth of 8mb cards = 125 cards @ $40 = $5000
    Ah yes, when you get to a TB definitely.

    I don't have anywhere near that as I shoot JPEG and have only been shooting about 2 years.

    Cheers for pointing that out.

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    240MB Drive = $70
    30 x 8gb cards = $ 900

    There is no financial price point where it makes sense unless in total you have less than say 64MB of photos.

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    I tend to erase pics I dont like as I shoot then when the card is full I replace it with a new one and keep the full card.I also use 8gb cards and have quite a collection now, maybe I should look at getting a desktop storage device.

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    G'day all

    I have always made it a practice that each time I am uploading from card to computer, that I cut 'n paste from the card ... ie: the card is emptied immediately & nothing remains on the card for any period of time at all
    Cards are formatted 3-4 times a year to refresh the card's FAT (internal index for the non-computer people)

    To take the process one stage further ...
    images are
    1- cut 'n pasted into a folder called "today's pix"
    2- then viewed full screen and any with issues are junked immediately ... this gets rid of 10-20% [ie: exposure, focus, lighting, mood, whatever...]
    3- then reviewed again for 'keepers' which are copied to another folder ... this keeps about 25%-30% of the ex-camera images [I am brutal here]
    4- after 24hrs [for second-thoughts] all images remaining in "today's pix" are deleted ready for another set of images
    5- In my file storage area, I have a folder called "best-of....." where I keep the 'best-of-the-keepers" and this contains from 1% to 5% of the ex-camera images

    All images -especially the "best of..." folders- are backed up to 2 sets of external drives - each with differing home-locations [theft, fire etc]

    Little bit off the original topic, but I hope this helps other APers a bit ...
    Regards, Phil
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    Anyone who keeps their photos on CF / SD Media hasn't taken enough photos.

    as someone with over 4TB of data backed up, the price for that many cards would kill a sheiks budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfart View Post
    Anyone who keeps their photos on CF / SD Media hasn't taken enough photos.

    as someone with over 4TB of data backed up, the price for that many cards would kill a sheiks budget.
    I'd have about the same - about half I've burnt on to CD's & DVD's, the rest is on hard drives.

    Couldn't ever imagine filling a card and not formatting it in the camera after I've downloaded.
    All my cards get formatted every time they go back in the camera
    Last edited by Error99; 04-10-2010 at 11:19pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allann View Post
    When I insert a card into the camera, I usually always format it to start a new session.
    Couldn't ever imagine filling a card and not formatting it in the camera after I've downloaded.
    All my cards get formatted every time they go back in the camera

    Cards are formatted 3-4 times a year to refresh the card's FAT (internal index for the non-computer people.


    Would someone be able to explain how and why cards need to be formatted each time they are used? What happens if you don't do it? Thanks.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day La L

    You ask about formatting cards ...
    Cards [like all other computer storage devices] store stuff in little packages of data spread around the card/hard disk etc.
    The operating system looks after creating an index [called the File Allocation Table] which shows "what stuff is where"

    Whenever you erase-all-images, all that occurs is that the operating system deletes the index, ready for the next batch of stuff to be plonked onto the card/hard disk wherever the operating system reckons it'll fit. This means that [theoretically] anyone at any time can recover your "deleted" data [esp from your old computer hard disks] ... and for us, a camera shop can attempt recovery of accidentally deleted images, etc

    By Formatting a card/storage device, you are "re-magnetising" the whole device and cleaning out the bits of rubbish that may or may-not [after a while of use] still be a complete image

    I have some software that is designed to recover deleted images .... readily available software, just put the 'faulty' or 'erased' card in the reader, kick off the software, go & boil the billy and 20-30 minutes later it shows me every possible image on the card ... even when the camera & Windows just says "no image"

    Hope this helps a bit ...
    Regards, Phil

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    I have a fella who comes into my shop and uses CF cards as his only backup source. You may think he's crazy, but he's a man who used to shoot reams upon reams of slide film, and went through the very expensive process of having our lab develop and mount them, each and every week. Putting it in financial terms, he says he spends much less on purchasing Sandisk Extreme CF cards each week than he would otherwise. He recently shot a play all the way through dress rehearsal to final night performance and shot around 20,000 images. Not something I would do, but I have also heard that CF cards are the most stable, sturdy medium to storm images on longer-term
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    I have taken over 20,000 photos with my 350D, mostly crap I might add. However since joining AP they are getting better. As I shoot Raw and Jpeg my pic files are quite large. 2 backups to separate hard drives before formatting the card, in camera.
    Cf cards v hard drives. No contest. I bought a 2TB HD 3 weeks ago at JB HiFi for $169. May get another one today.
    I may not know a lot about photography, but I have been involved with home computers for over 30 years and believe me I learned the hard way about losing stuff by not having a backup.

    Kerro
    cheers Kerro



    I shoot with Canon cameras and
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