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What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?

TomHackettPhoto

Kingston, US
23 posts

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TomHackettPhoto Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Apr 2012
Wed 19-Dec-12 03:22 AM

I figured it was good to have a backup, but then again I never lost an image still in the camera with my D700, so do I really need a backup?

Poll result (67 votes)
CF Primary, SD Backup
(9 votes)Vote
SD Primary, CF Backup
(1 votes)Vote
CF Primary, SD overflow
(35 votes)Vote
SD Primary, CF overflow
(6 votes)Vote
CF RAW, SD JPEG
(14 votes)Vote
SD RAW, CF JPEG
(2 votes)Vote

  

JonK

New York, US
6330 posts

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#1. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004
Wed 19-Dec-12 06:36 PM

It's an interesting phenomena. Those of us who shot film or the early DSLRs with one card slot had no backup. And once in a million there was a loss.

Fast forward to dual slots. Now that we can have backup, some of us want backup. I think there are two reasons:
1) Offering a backup mode implies that a single failure is more than a remote possibility.
2) Those of us with a heavy computer background know that, given enough time, electronics will fail.

I shoot in backup mode — with large enough cards that overflow is rarely an issue. And when I shoot — a job or just for myself — I sleep better knowing that I have two cards with the images. (Full disclosure: twice on a shoot I ran uncomfortably low on space and so blew away the backup card and turned on overflow. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!)

And I know dozens of photogs who shoot in overflow and have never lost a frame…

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
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winclk

philadelphia, US
119 posts

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#2. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 1

winclk Registered since 15th Jan 2007
Wed 19-Dec-12 07:57 PM

If I shoot in places that I can get back to, I use overflow.
If i am just shooting the family, I shoot overflow.
When I shoot somewhere that I may not get to again (like my trip this summer to Az.), I shoot back-up.

Robin

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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#3. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Wed 19-Dec-12 08:12 PM

I've been shooting with CF as primary and SD overflow/video. I do take some family video from time to time and find it easier to off load it to the SD card so I know which to pull to transfer to computer.... I've never filled my 32gb CF card yet, I would have to take over 800 pics to fill one up.... But you never know I guess when you'll need the space.

Chris

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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#4. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 2

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Wed 19-Dec-12 08:14 PM

What part of AZ are you planning on seeing??? Would be cool to try and get some Nikonians together for some shooting...

Chris

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5702 posts

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#5. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Wed 19-Dec-12 08:40 PM


I never shot in backup mode until I had a card fail twice on the D800. Same card (so really one failure -- first time I thought it was full).

I didn't loose anything, but it sure gets your attention.

Linwood

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Bulgakov

Winter Springs, US
97 posts

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#6. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

Bulgakov Registered since 31st Oct 2006
Wed 19-Dec-12 11:29 PM

I shoot RAW with the primary card being in the CF slot. I then send the jpgs to the SD card slot. At the end of the day I back up the CF's to my Nexto backup drive and then using an adapter I load the jpgs onto my ipad. That way I get to see what I shot that day and I don't have to carry my computer with me on a trip to do so.

Not saying this is the way to do it, but it seems to work well for me.

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duh59

Rochester, US
591 posts

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#7. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

duh59 Silver Member Charter Member
Thu 20-Dec-12 01:58 AM

I am also old school (film for years and years) Back then I shot 20 or 24 ex instead of 36 ex , because I felt better with my vacation or job on more rolls of film (just in case) . I also had processed the odd number of rolls one time and the even number rolls at another time. I did "lose" a few rolls over the years. So I guess I believe in some sort of back up. Now with the D800, I use CF card for RAW and the SD card for jpeg. I use the SD card for not only backup, but to view on my iPad.

Virge

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#8. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 1

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Thu 20-Dec-12 12:17 PM

If you go out and shoot birds in flight, you will quickly turn off backup. It takes too long to write to two cards and you will miss great image opportunities when using backup.

Larry Jordan

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Bob Chadwick

Norcross, US
2318 posts

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#9. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 8

Bob Chadwick Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2006
Thu 20-Dec-12 01:21 PM

I shoot Raw on the CF and small JPG on the SD. I import those into my iPad for presentation at ths shoot. I'm getting an EyeFi card from Santa and am hoping to have this occur as a I shoot.

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Grey_Scale

US
21 posts

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#10. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 6

Grey_Scale Registered since 24th Sep 2012
Thu 20-Dec-12 01:30 PM

+1 Works for me as well...


>I shoot RAW with the primary card being in the CF slot. I
>then send the jpgs to the SD card slot. At the end of the day
>I back up the CF's to my Nexto backup drive and then using an
>adapter I load the jpgs onto my ipad. That way I get to see
>what I shot that day and I don't have to carry my computer
>with me on a trip to do so.
>
>Not saying this is the way to do it, but it seems to work well
>for me.

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sxmwb

Longview, US
64 posts

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#11. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 1

sxmwb Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Jul 2011
Thu 20-Dec-12 01:53 PM

I use the SD as primary and the CF as overflow. Main reason is the computer I use has a built in SD card reader.

Question: Which is actually faster? Why would I want to use the CF as primary or the SD a primary?

As for backups, yes, I have had cards fail but not so bad that I could not recover the card. I try to keep an eye on what is going on during a shoot so if there looks like an issue, I select the CF slot and/or insert a new card. Most of the failures I have had are due to the card not being inserted correctly or not powering the camera off before removing the card.

This is a great thread.

Mike

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nwcs

Knoxville, US
7030 posts

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#12. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

nwcs Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography Registered since 15th Jan 2006
Thu 20-Dec-12 04:36 PM

CF primary, SD overflow, SD for movies. Works really nicely like that.

Ray Gerke

winnipeg, CA
633 posts

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#13. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

Ray Gerke Registered since 12th Sep 2004
Thu 20-Dec-12 06:49 PM

I use CF for RAW and SD for large JPG. When I review my shots I find the JPGs are almost always excellent for what I wanted. If so I never use the RAW. The JPGS in the D800 are amazing. Also I can use the SD card directly in my laptop computer.

Over the years I always used RAW with the D100 but then with my D2Hs I found the JPGS were often great. Then with my D700 they kept improving. Now with the D800 and good settings on the camera the JPGS are great. So I find now I hardly ever look at the NEFS on the CF card. (they are just nice to have there in case).

Ray Gerke

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liamtoh1ps

US
312 posts

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#14. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 12

liamtoh1ps Registered since 17th Apr 2012
Thu 20-Dec-12 11:22 PM

Same for me.

CF for Primary.
SD for overflow/video.

I always shoot in RAW.

mgd7

New York, US
104 posts

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#15. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Fri 21-Dec-12 04:35 PM

Like the majority who have voted, I use CF for primary and SD for overflow / movies. However, I have been thinking about changing this around only because my laptop has an SD slot built in.

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2807 posts

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#16. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Fri 21-Dec-12 07:31 PM

I shoot CF Primary, SD backup. Usually. Sometimes I reverse this. I've never used overflow.

I don't shoot for my own entertainment, and people are paying me to shoot those images, so anything I can do to mitigate failures (camera or my own) is welcome.

I also only shoot RAW unless I have a compelling reason to shoot JPG. And that is incredibly rare.

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klrbee25

Naples, US
1386 posts

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#17. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Fri 21-Dec-12 08:15 PM

I am the sole SD primary, CF backup guy now! Since I bought my Macbook Pro Retina which has a built-in SD slot, I prefer to have the SD card as primary.

-Alex Rosen
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MEMcD

US
31318 posts

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#18. "RE: What do you do with the two card slots on the D800? (or D3/D4 for that matter)?" | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Fri 21-Dec-12 08:27 PM

Hi Tom,

I only use the CF slot.
Even though I have not filled the buffer yet: since the maximum write speed is limited to the slowest card in the camera I just use fast CF cards.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

G