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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Location: Birmingham, UK
I can't transfer photos to my camera properly.

My friend told me that an SD card has a limited life though his cards never have had problems.
The thing I do often and he doesn't is formatting the card. I format the SD card every time when I transfer the photos and put it back in the camera. The first thing I always do after putting the SD card into my camera is to format the memory card. So, I sometimes do this several times per day! Is this the problem?

Do I need to format the memory card whenever I put it back into my camera after transferring the photos?


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:27 pm 
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All formatting does is clear space. Every time you delete images from your memory card without formatting the image leaves behind bits of the file, even though you deleted it. By formatting you are getting rid of these bits and making your memory card more effective.

And yes, I would reformat it every time you take it out and put it back in. Be sure to get what you need from it because you can't get pictures back once you format it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:30 pm 
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I always format my card in-camera when I've uploaded the images to my PC and inserted the card back into my cam. Smaller chance of fragmentation, weird block errors and what not. Formatting three times a day however, might be excessive.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:15 pm 
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why don't just plug ur camera USB cable to computer and cut all the image file to ur computer. :)

I do it all the time and never have any problem for me so far. :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Location: Birmingham, UK
Thanks for your reply.
So, formatting itself is not a bad thing.
But does it shorten the life of the SD memory card?

Can anybody tell me if using a memory card reader to download photos to a computer is less safe than using a cable or not?
Which is better, using a cable or a card reader to download photos from a camera to a computer?


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Kyoko - I use Linux, so have never been able to use my cameras' on-CD software. I've used an SDHC card reader for several years, since cards advanced from up-to 2GB SD. I have Sandisk, Transcend, and Dick Smith chain (like a Tandy chain), Class 6 SDHC cards, the oldest of which is about 4 years. All 4GB apart from a new Transcend 8GB.

My method has always been to use the card reader to open the card on Desktop - then Copy the contents to a named directory on Desktop. Remoe the USB reader connection. Then immediately Copy / Backup the Desktop directory - renamed to date and event - e.g. "Bays020511" - to mean images from my Sydney Harbour bays trip last Monday - to XHD and DVD+RW.

The directory of images is then in 4 places - PC, XHD, and RW - and still on the card. As there is one copy on the PC, two copies off PC - it is then safe to put the card into a camera and format it.

I use my cards across 3 cameras - as any will be formatted to clear it once in a camera. About every half-dozen uses, I Low-Level Format each card in a Canon SX10, which has that option. I'm told that using cards in different cameras isn't good - I'll start avoiding that if I ever have a problem, which hasn't happened yet.

If you "cut" from a card, that's the same as "move", I think - so at that point you would have only one copy of the images on the computer - with no backups - and no 'option' of getting them again from the card - if anything unfortunate happened to that one set of images on the PC - before or while backing that up.

Having been into computers since 1983 - and work teched Windows devices from late Win-3.x to the first years of XP - I well know that anything made by humans isn't perfect - and that I'm not perfect - and, nice as Linux is - it's not perfect, either...

Dave.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:14 pm 
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I doubt you really "lowlevel" format the cards, and if so, highly advise against it. A normal format just clears everything to be overwritten, a lowlevel actually writes to each block (which wears out your card quickly).

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 2:41 am 
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Yep - COPY the images from your card to your PC. This allows you to recover or re-do it if you have an issue during transfer.

Then format the card in camera to reduce the chance of some data-related issue later.

Cheers :-)

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:08 am 
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Citruspers - You "doubt" that I do SDHC card low-level formatting....

I see - perhaps you've never owned a camera with this ability for refreshing cards? And I do mean - IN the camera - not in the PC. It is in fact a function advised to be used - not every time used - but as I do it, every half-dozen or so uses... By a a rather well-known Camera Maker - Canon...

Quote: - (Canon SX10 Manual, Page 215.) > Low Level Formatting Memory Cards > We recommend you select [Low Level Format] when you think that the recording/reading speed of a memory card has dropped." - End quote.

Also - Canon SX20 Manual, Page 53. Canon SX30 Manual, Page 54. These cameras also have both levels of formatting.

Download an SX10 / SX20 / SX30 PDF Manual and take a look - these cameras have the usual Std Formatting - and the other Low Level version.

I've been doing this with all 7 of my Sandisk / Transcend / Dick-Smith 4GB SDHC cards for years - and have never had a glitch or card failure - and all 7 cards are used alternately in 3 different cameras - obviously - when a card is put into a camera - it is Std Formatted in that camera.

As I don't have enough cards to have a half-dozen for each camera - and the cameras doing HD Video fill up 4GB cards quickly - the cards have to be used in whichever camera or cameras I use at a given time.

Even the 2 "generic" Class 6 "Dick-Smith" chain cards are used in this way - and as mentioned - no problems yet, in several years.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:20 am 
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Location: Birmingham, UK
Thank you all!
I reckon that most of you use a card reader.
Is there no difference between using a card reader and a cable in terms of safety to both card and camera?

I had been formatting really frequently, like taking a dozen shots, downloading them to the pc and putting the SD card into camera, and formatting it.

Maybe, as one of you said, I did this too often... what do you think?


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:33 am 
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One difference between using a card reader and keeping the card in the camera is the amount of physical handling the card gets.

In theory the more you are pulling and pushing the card the higher the chances are you could put strain on the connections or bend it. You may also be discharging any static electricity you have on your body through the card when you touch it. These are all very low risk but more likely by moving the card between camera and reader.

It may just be you have a faulty card which is why some manufacturers give a lifetime warranty on their products. If the card has been OK but now fails on a regular basis and it has a warranty it maybe worth seeing if you can get it replaced.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:37 am 
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formating a card every time is a mistake,in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 10:17 am 
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Hi Kyoko,

Amazing how such a simple question generates so many opinions. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Having suffered bent pins on a CF card reader made me rather wary of handling cards. Not so much of an issue for SD cards but there's still a chance to get dirt, hairs etc into the gubbins. The guys and gals who benefit most from using card readers may be those with a lot of data to transfer. For them a fast card reader may be a time saver. For me a USB cable transfer direct from the camera is good enough.

In principle formatting can shorten a card's life life but let's put in some numbers. A very conservative number may be that each cell is rated for 10,000 write cycles. So if a cell is written once a day then you'd expect it to fail after about 27 years! OK, failure won't occur at exactly 27 years and may occur sooner but just to get a sense of the scale of the problem, or non-problem as it turns out, the rough and ready calculation above helps clear the fog I hope.

That said, I don't understand the need to format the card so often. Just deleting the images on the card from the camera's menu (or even via the computer if a card reader is in use) is quite sufficient IMHO. Formatting every day isn't going to do much good on the performance side and will take more time so, if you think formatting will help, why not do it every week or every month?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 10:19 am 
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I have a cardreader for the SDHCs of my FZ28, and I hate it. The electronic strips (or how you call it) are wear-out, and because of that my camera more and more doesnt save pictures on the cards. Many times pictures are lost, then.
The reader is from Sony, the SD-cards from Sanddisk, and not the cheapest ones. I really recommend not to use cardreaders for SD-cards, unless you need the speed and have the money for getting SDs every year.

This is just my experience though, of course there are happy users too...

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 11:06 am 
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Yes Dave, I did indeed doubt you really lowlevel formatted the card, because it's a phrase that's often confused with regular formats. I know I confused the two on at least one occasion.

I admit, I did not know the canon did both lowlevel formats and regular formats, mine only does regular formatting (I think, I always use the button shortcut, not the menu).

Still, I stand by my point that lowlevel formatting frequently will decrease the life span of a card. (it's just more writes to the card, and those can't be wear leveled like the card normally does).

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