Formatting your Memory card

BillN

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Do you Format your memory card every time you put it back in the camera, (using the camera software), after you have downloaded the images to your computer.

I only used to do it very occasionally - now I do it almost every time I put it back in the camera.

Any negatives? - I (think) that I may have read conflicting reports, (ie. format EVERY time - or just delete the images and format maybe once every six months)
 

cstevens

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Every time - why, because I had a Canon G10 that lost all the photos on it because the card/camera got confused.

With the DSLR's I do the same, it takes seconds and ensures that the camera will 100% be at one with the card.
 

Grant

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I do it every time! Once I have my photos on two hard drives I format my card. Because i am using Time Machine this is as soon as I am finished downloading my images and return my card to the camera. I lost images once to a bad card and I try to avoid that in the future.
 

BillN

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Hi Grant - i see that you live in Nova Scotia - it's a place that I really really want to visit - I have a mate, (from when I started work in 1965), who lives there, in Cole Harbour.
My particular interest would be nature, the history of the place and of course, the food.

I am going to try to get there next year

What's the weather like, (probably great by the fire - but I mean outside) - post of few images of the weather this time of year, please

Cheers
 

Mr Hahn

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I've never heard about constant formatting making a difference in card health before, but I've never thought to look into it either, guess I'll go try to find some tests or studies on this.

-Nate
 

BillN

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I've never heard about constant formatting making a difference in card health before, but I've never thought to look into it either, guess I'll go try to find some tests or studies on this.

-Nate
I have had one problem in the past, (that I was aware of) - with the CF card on mt Nikon D300 - the number of images it would take just got less and less - as soon as I formatted the card in the cam - all went back to normal

I format every time now once I have downloaded the images

no one has mentioned any negatives yet - i.e. life of card or similar!
 

Chuckr53

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Memory card formatting

I usually use "erase all" instead of format because if you format you stand no chance of recovering photo files on the card if needed. If you erase you may have a chance at recovery.

I do use format about once a month at most, and only after I've confirmed that I have a copy of the image files on my computer.
 

Narnian

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Once I copy AND backup my photos I will format the card. I always make sure I have copies in two (or more) locations. Overnight I copy them to my dad's computer at his house for a 3rd off-site copy.
 

flash

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I usually use "erase all" instead of format because if you format you stand no chance of recovering photo files on the card if needed. If you erase you may have a chance at recovery.

I do use format about once a month at most, and only after I've confirmed that I have a copy of the image files on my computer.
This is not true. As long as the data is not written over it's quite easy to recover sat a from a formatted card. I have done this on more than one occasion.

Always format and always format in camera. The easiest way to have card problems is to use your computer to format a card. And erasing images often leaves small traces of files that can either lower the capacity of the card or corrupt the new files written over them.

Gordon
 

Chuckr53

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This is not true. As long as the data is not written over it's quite easy to recover sat a from a formatted card. I have done this on more than one occasion.

Always format and always format in camera. The easiest way to have card problems is to use your computer to format a card. And erasing images often leaves small traces of files that can either lower the capacity of the card or corrupt the new files written over them.

Gordon
Not for me...after I formatted in camera, Sandisk RescuePro is unable to recover files. The camera overwrites with 000000000's. If you have had success with recovery with another rescue program, I'd like to try it also. What program did you use?
 

flash

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Not for me...after I formatted in camera, Sandisk RescuePro is unable to recover files. The camera overwrites with 000000000's. If you have had success with recovery with another rescue program, I'd like to try it also. What program did you use?
This is a slow format. I've not heard of any camera using slow format as a default in years. Even then, there are things more sophisticated that can recover the data, although they'll cost you, lots. Interesting, that Rescue Pro wouldn't work after a single format and before use. It is usually reasonable with freshly deleted FAT tables. Of course recovery becomes far more difficult and complex after new files are written to the card.

The default on all modern cameras is a quick format. A quick format is where the FAT (file allocation table) is cleared, but not the actual image data. Basically the FAT is like the index and a fast format just tells the index that the location where you want to write the image is available. With a digital camera and, say, an 8GB card a quick format will take seconds and a slow format will take minutes. It's a simple and reliable way to tell which is which.

Gordon
 

Bill

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I use quality cards and I format every time a card goes back into a camera following download. This was suggested on a Luminous Landscape video and it seemed like a good idea.
 

sinpig

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After downloading to the laptop and backing up to desktop and external hardrive, first thing to do is format the card using the camera. You can never be too careful, I can say that by personal experience.
 
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