How much can you fill a compact flash card? Can you shoot all the way until it says zero left? Or is it wise to stop at 10 left? I usually change cards when it reaches 25. I never shot until zero for fear of not able to read the card or something.
#1. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 0
I've shot mine to zero numerous times. Never had any issues. Generally I won't get that close for fear of running out of card in the middle of the action. So when I get to 20-25, I change cards in a quiet moment.
#2. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 0
Salt Spring Island, CA
Never had an issue, they are "good to the last drop."
The Nikon algorithm always seems to keep on the conservative side of the number of shots remaining so you always get more shots than it shows and it never surprises you by suddenly not being able to save a shot. If it shows space for 10 more shots and you fire off a burst of 10 they will fit just fine in my experience.
OTOH, as Perrone advises, better to switch cards well before you have to. It's not like you are "wasting expensive film" by not filling the card, and there is nothing more frustrating than watching great moments happen while you are reloading.
#4. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 0
No issues with filling the card completely until you can no longer take the next shot.
I usually empty the card to a portable device or end of day. I usually have more than 1 card so I usually swap out the card during a brief lull moment during the shoot.
The card that is pulled out of the camera goes into my Nexto eXtreme 2700 portable device which automatically transfers the data from the card, verifies the data and then erases the data from the card. Now, this card is good to go again.
#5. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 4
I agree with advice NOT to shoot until the last possible image. There's no technical reason I know of, but as sure as can be, if you aren't aware of where you are, you will find a critical moment happening in front of you while you are fumbling for a new card.
Second point: I carry empty cards in the little plastic holders they come in. In turn, I carry several empty cards in a zip lock in my camera bag, and when I remove a "full" card I drop it in with them all, without putting it back into the small plastic box holder. At the end of the day I download my cards -- twice -- to two different hard drives: one in the PC and anther external to the PC. Then and only then do I put the cards into my camera, format them and either leave them in the camera for the next shoot or put them back into the plastic box holders. Am I paranoid? Probably. But I have not lost an image in years. In fact, I keep another external hard drive at a neighbor's house a block away. I swap external drives monthly, update the one coming home, and then proceed. Why don't I use outside data back up services? They are businesses. Busnesses fail or disappear. Again -- paranoid? Probably. But I used to take pretty good care of negatives, and I still have them too!
#7. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 6
One point that seems salient is that my D3s and D3x both completely fill the first CF card before switching to record on the second. I have never had an issue with cards not reading if they are totally full. I also use the biggest cards I can get so I don't have to switch often. My D700 is always loaded with a 32GB card and I can't remember filling it in a day of shooting.
#9. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 0
Berwyn Heights, US
No issues ever with filling the card to "full". But, I do follow the advice and practice of switching to a new card when I have some shots left if I'm doing a gig and don't want to be caught in the middle of something and running out of room. It's all about planning.
#10. "RE: Compact flash card maximum" In response to Reply # 0
I usually fill my memory cards to the top. And I never had any problems with that. Anyway, I always use simple copy procedure to a PC or to a backup disk.
On the other hand there is a slight chance that one could have issues when copying the pictures to a Mac. Whenever you insert a memory card into a Mac computer, it writes several hidden files to it.
Normally when the camery shows that 0 space has left, there is still some space left on the card, but not enough to write an entire picture file to it.
It could happen that the memory card would be written to the last byte and then a Mac would not have any space to write those hidden files. I do not know what would happen in such a case, but a friend of mine had a problem when he couldn't read from the card to Mac. After reformatting it, the card was again functioning flawlessly.
Such a situation can happen very rarely and still the pictures remain intact on the memory card. If there were any Mac users out there, I would really like to hear from them what happens if the memory card is filled up to the last byte.