Always format the card as soon as you buy it
Try to use one card with one camera only
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 16 GB Class 10 Flash Memory Card 95MB/s
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB Class 10 Flash Memory Card 95MB/s
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 64 GB Class 10 Flash Memory Card 95MB/s
Don’t delete. Format.
Multiple cards are always better than one, large capacity card.
Don’t use cheap card readers
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I don’t know about you, but after an important shoot, be it personal or for a client, the memory card in my camera suddenly becomes the most important element in the bag. Now, as with all digital equipment, there is always something that can go wrong. I envy the long term pros who got to shoot on film, because most of the times they knew right away if something were wrong with how the film was loaded it or if any other issues were involved. With memory cards, you never really know until you want to download the images. Sometimes, you might be able to review the images on your camera’s LCD, but when you try downloading them you could be in for a nasty surprise. It is just one of many possible worst case scenarios, and although, thankfully, they are pretty rare, there is no telling when and how these unwanted situations may occur. Here are 6 ways to protect yourself from them as much as possible.
Most memory cards are formatted before they leave the factory, but that doesn’t mean they are ready for optimal use. The best way to format a card is inside your camera (and not in your computer) because that’s where it will be doing most of the work. The card needs to be in tune with the camera’s file system.
The most vulnerable parts of a memory card are its contacts. Make sure to always protect them. Even the smallest grain of dust can cause problems. They are usually packed in small plastic cases. Those are pretty good options for keeping the cards safe, however, the best recommendation are card wallets and special cases.
Data corruption can easily occur if you use the same card in two or more different cameras. Even if they are made by the same manufacturer, the file writing algorithms could be different and that could ultimately lead to data loss.
Deleting all the files from a card is one thing, formatting, while having the same effect, is another. Basically, when you format a memory card, you restart its use with without having the risk of previous errors.
The temptation to buy a single, high capacity card is understandable. After all, it does seem logical to buy a single 64 or 128GB card instead of many 16 or 32GB memories. However, some people just aren’t fortunate enough, and that single, high capacity card they have postponed to empty for some time is the one that breaks without any warnings and thousands of photos are lost. It’s a gamble in my book. I know it’s not fun to change the card during a busy shoot or a wedding, but it beats losing an entire day’s work and possibly a client.
If you’re using a quality memory card (and you should) make sure not to get cheap on the reader. All the precautions in the world won’t be enough if you use a low quality reader, because it can cause damage to data or even the card itself. The best option is using a card reader made by the same manufacturer that produced the card.
Image credit: anaken2012 / 123RF Stock Photo