>"side questions - I recently did a camera course and the >instructor said that he formats his cards *every time* he uses >them.. what's the consensus on that?" > >Once I have uploaded my images to the computer and ensured >they are backed up, I insert the memory card into the camera >and reformat it. > >Good luck, >Richard
This is what I do. I dislike having images on multiple cards, keeping up with which card has what on it, etc.
If I'm on a trip and don't have time to upload/backup, I use a fresh card every day. That way if the card gets lost or corrupted, I haven't lost an entire trip's images.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
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There are a number of reasons that memory cards may become corrupted, other than they just have reached their electronic end of life. Here are just a few:
Turning off a camera before an image is completely written to the memory card. (Many cameras have a fail safe against this, but that fail safe doesn't always work.)
Batteries conking out as files are being transferred directly from the camera to a computer.
Formatting a card in a computer instead of the camera.
Taking photos when camera batteries are nearly empty.
Continually shooting and deleting, shooting and deleting images when the card is full.
Deleting individual images from memory cards in one's camera will free space on the memory card for further shooting, but formatting a camera's memory card, in the camera, once you've uploaded your images to your computer, will not only erase all your images from your memory card, but it will also recreate the file system including new directories and folders where images are saved on the card, and that will improve the overall performance of the card.
I will add that this is precisely what Lexar recommends in their Memory Card Tips. "Deleting images in the camera is a convenience but at the same time can result in data corruption, especially with large file formats like RAW and TIFF files. Move and save the images to your computer, then utilize the editing software that came with your camera or a third-party software application for more flexibility. Once the files are moved, it is recommended to initialize your Lexar memory card." (By initialize, Lexar means format.)
This is exactly what I do and recommend. I use formatting, not only as an easy way to delete all my images from my memory card at once, giving me its full storage capacity again so I'm ready for shooting again, but as a preventative, to help ensure, to the extent possible, my memory card won't be corrupted during the next shoot.
I don't individually delete images from my memory card in the camera. Memory cards aren't particularly expensive and I have enough for shooting during an entire day without deleting. After uploading my images from each memory card to my computer (primary and backup hard drive), or while traveling to my computer and a backup hard drive, I then insert it back in my camera and format it.
When I want to load to my PC, the card goes into my card reader then into my card-box and the next in rotation goes into the camera and gets formatted.
This way I have a disaster backup for a few days or weeks depending on how my shooting goes. I HAVE used that disaster backup - once, when my photos got imported to a temp-folder and I erased the temp folder.
I forgot to answer question 2. My card is always formatted in the camera prior to use. In the very rare instance of issues, I will format in the computer and then re-format in the camera.
When I importing to LR, the files are copied to the working drive with a second copy made to the system drive. After periodicly backing up the working drive, the files are deleted from the system drive.
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member