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General photography questions and answers: Discuss memory cards...Just got new memory cards for my new camera and a thought occured to me, how long would you use ...
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Old 19-03-2013, 09:55   #1 (permalink)
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memory cards

Just got new memory cards for my new camera and a thought occured to me, how long would you use one before you got a replacement. I have a few that are now 5 years old and not given any problems, but do they have a "life". I got the new ones because they are faster. The other thought is how large a capacity would you go for? I only go up to 8gb and have never filled one.
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Old 19-03-2013, 10:54   #2 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

I'm not sure if there is a shelf life for memory cards. What I do know is that they can become corrupt with no notice - and at any time.

I usually use 4GB cards that gives me around 200 pictures on the grounds that if I do suffer a failure the damage is limited. Back in the day a 1GB card gave the same number of shots on my D70s.

I do have a couple of 8GB cards that I use if I'm doing a 4 hour studio session where the images will be downloaded the same day - but I only got these when the 16GB card I have started playing up and now I don't trust it.

All of the cards I use are main brands. The 4GB are Sandisk, the 8GB Lexar and the 16GB Kingston. Memory is so cheap now it is not worth risking an unbranded one to save a few pennies.
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Old 19-03-2013, 13:09   #3 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Same here Graham, I use Sandisk extreme and Lexar pro cards. I always used 4 Gb untill my last replacements and found to get more speed I had to get 8Gb. Like you the 4Gb gave me around 200 images. I have now got UDMA cards now. I still have the 4GBs in my ancient but trusty 1D 11N.
Talking of back in the day, do you remember the Hitach micro drive ( CF size , 1Gb and expensive!)
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:22   #4 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

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Originally Posted by blackadder View Post
Talking of back in the day, do you remember the Hitach micro drive ( CF size , 1Gb and expensive!)
Charles
No, but I do remember buying a 128mb CF card for my first digital camera in 2002 for £90
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:50   #5 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Memory cards do have a limited life - usually measured in 1,000s writes

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Talking of back in the day, do you remember the Hitach micro drive ( CF size , 1Gb and expensive!)
One of my better decisions: I didn't get one (mostly the price but also the thought of the relative delicateness of a hard drive)
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Old 19-03-2013, 16:41   #6 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

I had a pair of them for my 30D and had no problems, but a friend liked them so much he swapped them for a pair of 2GB CF cards.
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Old 19-03-2013, 16:53   #7 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

I've never heard of anyone losing a flash card - corrupting data, yes, usually by putting a SDHD card into a SD reader (4GB and larger are SDHDs and any reader older than 3 or 4 years might be just SD). And that includes a very large number of people who've put their cards through the wash (no, people, this is really not a good way to clean a card! ) But I know a couple of people who lost their 340MB micro drives through normal usage

Apparently, modern cards:
Quote:
memory cards have an average lifespan of approximately 100,000 writes per sector, reading the card does pretty much nothing.
Bottom line is that most modern cards will become obsolete or fail for other reasons long before they reach their write cycle lifespan
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Old 20-03-2013, 10:30   #8 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Yes Markulus, the solid state memory is far superior to micro HDs and these days even computers can have a solid state "HD" . What prompted me to ask was the fact that my 4Gb Sandisks are so old the paint has faded! Although they are still good I have got replacements for them just in case. It is reassuring that they have a theoretic "life" of 100,000 cycles, that means that in the shutter life of my camera I will need 3 cards (in theory).
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Old 20-03-2013, 12:45   #9 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

All electronic devices are subject to mechanical failure at the molecular/atomic level due to heat, but quality of manufacture, along with lower internal voltages and currents leading to lower temperatures, has improved the failure rate enormously since the early transistors of the sixties. Although cards tend to be built to allow more rough handling than before (now better protected against static electricity from human contact) I still treat each component with caution and avoid touching the contacts, or flexing them especially when cold.

I have both CF and SD cards (used with avionics) that are over 10years old and have been beyond 65C and -25C a few times and are still working fine. In the cameras I use mainly Sandisk (extreme/pro), but have a selection of Integral pro (good value for money - also work in the D800 which is said to be card choosy) and Transend that all work fine as backups. The only time I notice any real difference in the cards in when continuous shooting - definitely Sandisk CF extreme pro give the best result, but for video it really doesn't matter (yet).

(Never did like the idea of the IBM/Hitachi microdrives - I guess it was luck of the draw if it survived: comes from having to replace toooooo many hard disks in the 70s and 80s)
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Old 20-03-2013, 13:49   #10 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

I stick to 8gb and 4gb, I buy a couple of cards every 18 months or so, my old cards I fill up with pictures for a photo frame that my daughter bought me (just to show her I use it)......and yes cards do pack up with no notice at all, its not quite happened to me yet but I did have card once where about a dozen pictures did not record on the CF card, I tried a recovery programme but to no avail! that card was beaten to death and thrown away! and like dabhand I paid £75 for a 128mb SD card in Wales (10yrs ago)once after packing a new movie camera in the bag to try out but to my horror I had forgotten the card, oh and by the way I normally buy SanDisk.
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Old 21-03-2013, 12:07   #11 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Hi Des,I think I am fortunate that my camera has a CF and an SD card and I write raw to both similtaniously just to be sure. Charles
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Old 23-03-2013, 00:27   #12 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

On my D90 am using integral ultima pro 4gb & 8gb sd that i am trying out this time instead of Sandisk, but o my D70 i use Sandisk 2gb & 4gb cf
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:07   #13 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackadder View Post
Hi Des,I think I am fortunate that my camera has a CF and an SD card and I write raw to both similtaniously just to be sure. Charles
My camera has two slots as well but the problem is my travelling laptop does not open the newer HD SD cards and I dont want to buy another another laptop just to get over this problem, but this is a good practice that you have suggested, Thanks...Des
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:23   #14 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Des Gardner View Post
My camera has two slots as well but the problem is my travelling laptop does not open the newer HD SD cards and I dont want to buy another another laptop just to get over this problem, but this is a good practice that you have suggested, Thanks...Des
You can pick up a card reader that supports SDHD for a few quid - though quite why anyone would want to write an image to both cards is beyond me, given how reliable the cards are (but I'd love to have a camera that allowed two card types as I wouldn't have to stop shooting to change cards )
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Old 23-03-2013, 10:55   #15 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

The advantages of 2 cardslots are, you can save raw/raw or jpeg/jpeg ( just in case) or raw/jpeg similtaniously, or when one is full the camera records to the other card. As a firm beliver in Murphey's law I use it as a backup, I would hate to loose the shot of a lifetime, as that sort of thing seems to happen to me
Many years ago I was living in Malaya and film had to be sent to Australia for developing, I lost several films due to condensation damage in the aircraft hold on the way for developing, and untill I went digital I lost a few films due to developing faults, so now I have the Phobia(?) of losing images, even in the digital age, hence saving to both cards.
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Old 23-03-2013, 11:19   #16 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackadder View Post
..... when one is full the camera records to the other card
As I say, that's a facility I'd like to have!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackadder View Post
.......so now I have the Phobia(?) of losing images, even in the digital age, hence saving to both cards.
Oh, indeed! Which is why I backup to an external disk and to the Cloud - but that's because disks do fail (and have in the past but I've never lost any data)
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Old 25-03-2013, 09:44   #17 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

I am using a 32gig CF card, its two years old, I have various 4gig sandisk that have not given me problems, except one time they got rather warm after extended use in a warm climate, most people I know who have reported problems with them have suffered mechanical damage ...

...or accidental formatting problems, Recuva (by piriform who make CCleaner ) is a good program to use to undo accidental wipes.

As for wearing out, its liable to happen on a "Sods law" basis, you would probably have bought spares by then anyway, and as stated, not all "broken" cards are unreadable.

I suggest carry a couple of spares, and transfer files to hard-drive as often as is reasonable, but as long as you do the occasional back up, dont worry too much.

In this hobby, you are liable to have bough a new camera by the time you wear out a card.....
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Old 25-03-2013, 13:41   #18 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Hi Silver Dragon, I always have a spare set of cards in my kit, and put the images on the PC as soon as I get home, and back up to an external HD. I am not worried about loosing them from my HDs as they are both backed up, it is a card failure I fret about. However after the replies on the thread I am more relaxed about it now.
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Old 27-03-2013, 10:29   #19 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Quote:
The advantages of 2 cardslots are, you can save raw/raw or jpeg/jpeg ( just in case) or raw/jpeg similtaniously,
Just a question... I sometimes run a [X]FPS "Continuous shot" series of maybe 10 frames on an action scene. {Car passing mid-air on a motor-sports day for instance...}
Would storing two different photographs to different medium slow down the frames per second ability of the camera?...
[I know going down to jpeg from crw in file size speeds up my own camera....]

I suspect there will be some effect, but I actually dont know on this one.
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Old 30-03-2013, 09:05   #20 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

I will have to pass on that one Silver Dragon, I rarely use highspeed continuous shooting, and only shoot RAW. But if some Canon cameras with 2 slots are rated at 10 FPS without any mention of affecting the speed, then I would think the deciding factor would be the speed of the cards, I use 60 MpS cards and have never noticed a slowing down.
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Old 30-03-2013, 09:14   #21 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Dragon View Post
Just a question... I sometimes run a [X]FPS "Continuous shot" series of maybe 10 frames on an action scene. {Car passing mid-air on a motor-sports day for instance...}
Would storing two different photographs to different medium slow down the frames per second ability of the camera?...
[I know going down to jpeg from crw in file size speeds up my own camera....]

I suspect there will be some effect, but I actually dont know on this one.
In theory not. It is just the buffer that determines the speed of capture. I have not noticed any lag when working like this on my Nikons, both of which use 1 of each of CF and SD. After the buffer is filled then you will notice a delay but this can depend on the type of picture being stored and the speed of the card - jpegs faster than TIFF or RAW, SD slower than CF.
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Old 20-04-2013, 09:23   #22 (permalink)
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Re: memory cards

Please read my thread "Dont tempt the Monkey"
[ http://www.pixalo.com/community/gene...ure-51909.html ]
And IGNORE my advice above about cards being so dependable they wont give you errors.
Also ignore that I posted 32gig... my camera wont take anything bigger than 8gig, the 32gig card I have is for other purposes and I got it confuseded ....
I appologis for any misleading comments.


To continue

Quote:
After the buffer is filled then you will notice a delay but this can depend on the type of picture being stored and the speed of the card - jpegs faster than TIFF or RAW, SD slower than CF.
This is what I was questioning... if the buffer is filled, the camera having to write to both CF and SD cards at the same time, I suspect the SD card will be slower {dunno?..} therefore will the delay be more noticeable when writing to both than when writing to just a CF card?.... which is usually a higher speed transfer in the first place?....[which is also why its recommended for RAW files?...]

I think we have the same ideas on that, it depends on what you are writing for file size and what card you use, high speed, ultra high speed etc, and the camera's own ability to do high speed transfer etc....

Last edited by Silver Dragon; 20-04-2013 at 09:25. Reason: typo
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