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Am I causing damage to my cards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BostonRott, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. I was wondering the other day about how I use my CF cards. For no particular reason, I tend to have one of the 4GB cards in the camera. Often, I'll shoot a minimal number of pictures (i.e. 20-40, shot in uncompressed RAW on D200), and then load them to the computer to see what I got.

    Started to wonder if I shouldn't put some of the smaller cards (1 or 2GB) in the camera for this kind of daily snapshot use......so that each card has a better chance of being filled to completion. The 4GB cards will hold 244 NEF images.

    Is it better to fill (or nearly so) a card and then empty/format it? Or does it not matter if you continually only use a small portion of a larger card?

    I am not seeing any signs of problems, just wanted to ask.

    Thank you for your help! :smile:
  2. I have been doing that for a long time and have not experienced any problems. In fact I have yet to have a card go bad.
  3. Not so far as I can tell. I doubt anyone would ever actually reach the physical limit of the mechanical insertion/removal of their cards. Technology refresh usually renders the equipment obsolete before that.

  4. I've been doing that to different degrees for years, and have not had a problem. I do think it's important to format the card in the camera. I do that every time I start using a card.

  5. Excellent idea! I wish I could get into the habit. Can't count the number of times I shoot four or five shots and am into it hot and heavy and then the card fills up and I have to go scrounging for another empty card.

  6. When I am checking out a new camera or if I know I'm just running out the door to do a little quick shooting, nothing extensive, I'll put one of my smaller CF cards into the camera rather than the larger ones, but I don't think it really matters or makes much difference. I have never had any problems with any of my CF cards and I've been using them for years as I progressed through a series of Coolpixes to the D70 and beyond. ETA: like Geno, I always format the card in the camera that I'm about to use before doing any shooting, especially now that I've got the different camera bodies.
  7. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I don't think it matters. Just make sure you reformat the card every time.
  8. Ghunger


    Apr 2, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    After a quick check It looks like most cards have a MTBF (Mean time before failure) of greater than 1,000,000 hours and on the order of 10,000 insertion/removal cycles. In other words, Don't worry about it. As long as you don't abuse them (step on them, run over them, drop them in water and use right away, stuff like that) they'll be fine. It takes A LOT of writes and reads from solid state memory to make them go bad. You're card should be obsolete before that happens.
  9. Thank you Gentlemen, this is good to know.

    I think I was concerned that I might be using the same area over and over, but not other areas of the card, and that this could be bad.
  10. Yes, I do that too. Let Elements erase the photos, but then format when back in camera. Picked that tip up on the cruise, from the cruise photographer.
  11. Is here a good reason to have Elements erase the images? After formatting in camera, you have access to the whole capacity of card, I thought.
  12. So you know, I always you Nikon Transfer to import my images. I learned from Ron Reznick that it is one of the only programs that reads and properly embeds the color space from a Nikon body into the file. I can also transfer all the EXIF and copyright info into the caption at the same time. It may be one of the only reasons to keep Nikon View on my computer, but I find it's worth it.

  13. I'm not sure his statement holds true now. I switched to Photo Manager and it not only does that but permits wholesale IPTC copying and pasting and saving to two separate drives. They just releast an even more powerful version (4.5) a few days ago.

  14. I never allow the computer to erase/format my cards. After uploading I remove the card, still intact, from the card reader and put it into the camera, reformatting at that time. I have heard that trying to erase/reformat in the computer can cause problems on the card, and if you're going to be reformatting in the camera again anyway, why do it?
  15. It may be just to get into the habit of avoiding the frustration I mentioned a few post ago..of snapping a few and running out of room.

    The consensus is to allow the camera to format the card, not the computer. I've even had a techie at Nikon tell me that you should actually reformat the card using the menu and not the buttons on the camera. I'm very skeptical about that though.

    Anyone else heard of that?

  16. Sounds good Rich, but I don't think I can handle another program. I use Photo Mechanic now to sort images and tag them for publication. It will do the same type of thing, but I don't trust it.

    I am thinking of getting a G-Safe to import my files to, until I ship the files out. That would really give me a great sense of security, and eliminate a lot of time. It really gets crazy at times; like this week-end I shot over 1,000 NEFs (Mostly D2X)....Yikes!

  17. Connie and Herman,

    Um....no specific reason that I let the computer erase, just a habit I guess. You're right, it's redundant. :smile:

    I have not heard of that (menu vs buttons). I use the buttons b/c it's faster and I'm lazy. :biggrin:
  18. I don't erase cards, until I am sure I have two copies on different drives: 1 internal and 1 external.


  19. I think Rich is actually referring to Photo Mechanic.

    That G-SAFE looks terrific!! WOW! Yes, that sounds like the ideal solution for a lot of photographers, especially when one has a lot of images per shooting session. I have G-Drives connected to each of my Macs and I really like them. Good external drives for backup and image preservation.

    Like Geno, I never reformat the cards until I am certain that the images are safely on the internal hard drive that I use for working on images and also on the internal hard drive that I use for storage/backup, plus one external drive.
  20. Yes, I did mean photo mechanic (I may be following too many threads!:rolleyes:  ).

    I have a gigabyte-based ethernet server which has been quietly purring for almost half a year now. I don't need yet another external drive.

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