Old 02-20-2007, 12:21 PM   #1
bigiron
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Default A warning for all with digital :-(

Well I wanted pass on this advice to others even though a thread may have been started before as it is part of the digital age. On my last trip to the CSX Riverline area I spent a good part of it taking night photos (was up all but one hour, between shooting trains and talking with police ) as well as daytime. In the process I used 3 different memory cards to photogragh on as a precaution to possibly one going bad (that kind of luck usually follows me) as I haven't invested in a backup "on road" system yet.

After the shots were taken while waiting for trains I was able to view all the shots I took and make some quick judgments on how they came out and how to improve the shots. The card with the bulk of the shots and most of my night shots really made me feel good about staying up catching trains that night. Well that was until I got home and tried to show my family the shots quickly and got a message sorta like "can't read this card" on the back of my camera. My heart fell to my feet and then I tried it in my daughters camera and the same response.

That day I took it to Ritz and it was sent out for "data recovery" in the hopes I will still get my data off the card and that is still in question (takes a couple of weeks usually).

So, I have a couple of questions. Has anyone else had there images lost with a card that has become corrupt before? Also, when I bought my camera I was told NOT to "format" the card too often and just curious how often people in RP land actually format their cards?

When funds become available, I will invest in a unit to download my pictures on the road to free up my cards and also back up my files. I was informed the "Wolverine" line of digital portable card readers is popular and am interested in who out there currently uses this practice?

Thanks for the feedback, Rich Clark

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Old 02-20-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigiron
So, I have a couple of questions. Has anyone else had there images lost with a card that has become corrupt before? Also, when I bought my camera I was told NOT to "format" the card too often and just curious how often people in RP land actually format their cards?
First of all, I'm so sorry for you! Tough loss.

I reformat my card in camera every time after I download pictures to my computer. I don't think frequent reformatting is a problem. I never format on the computer, always in camera. BTW, to download I use a cardreader, not direct from the camera. That is for convenience.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
First of all, I'm so sorry for you! Tough loss.

I reformat my card in camera every time after I download pictures to my computer. I don't think frequent reformatting is a problem. I never format on the computer, always in camera. BTW, to download I use a cardreader, not direct from the camera. That is for convenience.
I echo Janusz's statements. I format after every shoot & use a card reader. Who told you not to format often & did they explain why?

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Old 02-20-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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that's a bummer!

i've lost some images lately. actually, i lost the first pics of my daughter sitting in santa's lap. first time that she did not totally wig-out when she saw him.

i was a bit angry!

i'm not sure what happened. my nikon seemed to be functioning properly. but, i don't remember checking images on the camera screen.

when i got home, i got the error message on the computer, and on the camera when i re-inserted the card. the images that showed up on the camera were totally distorted. the card captured something, but it was not the photos that i had taken. weird.

i reformatted the card in the camera, and everything was fine after that. i've always read that you should reformat in the camera, not the computer.

the card that i use (sandisk extreme III) came with image recovery software. it only seems to work if you have accidentally formatted the card before you have a chance to download the images to the computer. it will let you see all the images that have not yet been overwritten by other files.

a strong argument for always carrying more that one card and verifying your work as it progresses...
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:19 PM   #5
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I have had a couple of cards go bad... I usually get an image that looks ok in the back of the camera, but when I try to process it on the computer I get colored lines through the pic. & corrupted data message. I also heard that you shouldn't reformat all the time, but I can't remember why.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Formatting

I use the card reader built in my PC.
I Always format in my camera. If you format in your PC you will probably have to re-do it in your camera.

Windows likes do to cards as a FAT32 file system and the cameras like FAT. Plus IDK about anybody elses camera but mine puts in a file structure even if i clear it out.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:26 PM   #7
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Well, I've been lucky so far. I don't remember every losing any images. I have two cards after one was stolen; it was empty. But I decided I needed multiple cards instead of just one big one in case the card ever went bad or was just lost. It doesn't make any sense to me to have a 1 gig card when two 512s are just as good.

Like the fellows above, I also format in the camera every time I put the card back in from loading the images onto the computer. I don't even use the computer to delete the files on the card.


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Old 02-20-2007, 02:12 PM   #8
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My standard card that I use is a 128 MB (although I have bigger ones), but I always carry around the regular card that came with the camera (small one). My son took the biggest card that I have right now , so the camera default card was my only option as backup, and it seems to work fine. It's not big (only around 10 MB), but it seems to work alright and if I have a lot of images, I can stick a few on there. Rarely has that happened.

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Old 02-20-2007, 02:41 PM   #9
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I see no reason , after the initial format, to EVER reformat a card.. When a photo is erased, the filename is changed to begin with a "?".. There is no need to reexercise the entire media. When a new photo is recorded, it may be fragmented, so what?. How many times are you going to read that photo so that the fragmentation becomes a time factor?? When you copy the file to the computer, it gets defragged at that time, unless there has been a lot of activity on your long term storage media.. It is difficult for a virus to get to the card. First it has to climb up your pants leg, then out your arm to the camera, then........[sorry] I have a few 1gig cards, and have had no problems with them, thru, maybe 4-6 thousand photos over about 6 years. Maybe I have been lucky, or maybe the exercise of a full reformat "tires" 'em out.. who knows....
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdM
I see no reason , after the initial format, to EVER reformat a card.. Ed
I can't speak for anyone else, but when I download images from my card, it will occasionally leave empty folders behind that will show up with my next batch of images.
Formatting the card eliminates these excess folders.

Also, I can't confirm this is related, but prior to formatting after every shoot, I'd occasionally get that mysterious 'ERR99' on my 20D. Since my formatting kick (knock on wood), I haven't seen that error again.

Regardless, it's all personal choice, whatever works best for the individual.

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Old 02-20-2007, 04:02 PM   #11
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yeh, I can understand why folders would not be deleted... since I have never broken data into folders on the camera, I have never had that problem, I break it down into folders named by date: i.e. 20070221 and each photo number starts with the folder name, I have found that to be the only way of finding them in the future.. Anyway, I will list it with all the other things that I don't completely understand...whatever woiks!

I have gotten that error, on the 30D, but never that I can remember on the D20 or D10... that list is getting longer..... Ed
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:14 PM   #12
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Ed, I think Bill is referring to the folders that the camera itself creates, not the ones we create. Canon's, for example (as I presume you know) do not write files to the root folder of a card but rather to subfolders, and they limit each folder to 100 images. At least this is true of the 300d and 20d. So you can build up a set of folders over time, unless you eliminate them.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:16 PM   #13
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A bit off topic, but whenever I read of image loss, regardless of reason, I am again reminded to do backups of all the images I have. At the moment this means a pair of DVDs for each quarter of shooting, stored off-site, and (not done often enough) a copy of current stuff to an external hard drive. I need to dump to the external tonight!
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:19 PM   #14
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Oh, well I did say I wuz a little confused, thanks. I get 'em off the camera as soon as practical and have not run into the folder problem, yet. In fact, I get 'em onto the computer hard drive and backed up twice on external hard drives. Then I clear the camera drive.. Tnx agn.. Ed
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
First of all, I'm so sorry for you! Tough loss.

I reformat my card in camera every time after I download pictures to my computer. I don't think frequent reformatting is a problem. I never format on the computer, always in camera. BTW, to download I use a cardreader, not direct from the camera. That is for convenience.
Ditto here too. Notmuch more to add and never had any problems. I use Sandisk Ultra II 1.0gb disks. I carry three of them. If I'm doing a trip that's overnight I take my laptop and backup to it every night, double checking every photo has been copied over before reformatting the disk. I made that error once in Yosemite and lost about 20 photos I took of a bear along a river!
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:56 PM   #16
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I have never reformatted my card (SanDisk II Ultra 1GB) but I believe I read (if I recall correctly) that in my camera's user manual it said if you experience slower than normal write times to your card it may be time to reformat it. I have not experienced this phenomenon thus I have not reformatted my card.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:44 PM   #17
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My biggest problem with CF Cards is that they only work when you bring them along and don't leave them in the reader at home.

But, I usually carry three with me (2 512s and 1 12, but one of the 512s and the 128 have been 'impounded' since they carry some For Official Use Only stuff on them that needs to be cleared before the results can be shown. So that left me with one and yes, I forgot it the other day. Dumb!

As for the cards themselves, I format when they get full. One thing of note though: I've formatted on my Canon but was able to view the images on my Nikon CoolPix by pressing the review button. Weird. But, knock on wood, no troubles aside from human error.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
My biggest problem with CF Cards is that they only work when you bring them along and don't leave them in the reader at home.
I get that problem a lot too. Its a pain.

Formatting doesn't damage solid state flash anymore. Back when SS first came out, the memory chip was slightly damaged with every read/write of the card. The flash memory would be slowly eaten away and would lead to eventual failure. Somehow someone fixed this and now theres no harm to the memory chip w/ read/write/format.

Laptops make handy tools to back things up, of course. There are also iPod adapters that allow photos to be taken off a USB camera and stored on the iPod like an external HDD. Ive never tried this and I don't own an iPod (go Zune!), but I've heard it works.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:49 PM   #19
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What type of media are you using? I use Sandisk CF cards for all of my shooting. It's a name I trust, and CF cards are all my 20D will accept, but they're generally more sturdy than other media (MS, SD, etc.), IMO.

As for formatting, like my MP3 player, I may have formatted ONE of my 3 cards one time only. I don't make a habit of it for the very reason that overkill in reformatting is liable to potential disaster. And when I'm taking pictures, esp. a day's worth (or a trip's worth), the last thing I want to see is "Can't Read Media" on my PC.

As for portable storage, get a laptop. It makes a world of difference, and you can always spin the images to disk (if you trust that outlet). Or perhaps, purchase some sort of external hard disk space. I have a 250GB Maxtor which I bring with me on such days, b/c it sure beats carrying out all 3 cards (pocket space), esp. when I have an event to shoot where I'm on my feet all day long.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:26 PM   #20
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So par for the course, never had a problem, post about it then today I have my first problem. Not sure what it was but I got an ER99 code!
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by socalrailfan
So par for the course, never had a problem, post about it then today I have my first problem. Not sure what it was but I got an ER99 code!
ER99's are legion, from what I read, haven't had one myself yet. Try cleaning the contacts between lens and body with a pencil eraser.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:07 AM   #22
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I've been using Sandisk cards for years never have had any problems. I try to reformat them at least once a month and clean the contact points when ever needed.

Sandisk seems to be the way to go in my opinion. And no this wasn't a plug for Sandisk...

Daniel

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
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ER99's are legion, from what I read, haven't had one myself yet. Try cleaning the contacts between lens and body with a pencil eraser.
I remember reading somewhere the best fix to an ERR99 is to take the battery out and then put it back in...
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:14 AM   #24
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Data on your memory card can also be destroyed by being to close to a magnet.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:25 AM   #25
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I had a Delkin card many years ago that went bad - it was replaced, actually upgraded very inexpensively through that company. Then the problem was most likely due to pulling the card out of the reader (external) without first clicking on "eject". The info could not be recovered and the card was DOA.

Haven't had any problems since then and that was over 4 years ago. It would appear you do not need to "eject" the cards anymore too?

Regarding formating - I can't imagine how that could "eat" away memory either now or then. It's solid state and reflects only a charge of negative or positive. I have not had any need to ever reformat a card going on 4 years.

I have however left them in the reader!! Doh!

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