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  1. #1
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    CF Card - Format or Delete?

    Hi, when I purchased my camera a year ago the salesman told me that with the CF Card I should never just delete a single picture and instead that I need to format the card in order to delete pictures. Recently, I've head from people that they simply delete pictures all the time with no repercussions, and I even heard from someone that they reckon formatting the card that often could be bad for it. Is there a general consensus here on what is best to do?



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    I format because what the hell, do you really want to hand delete 500 or so shots off an 8GB card? I'm just lazy that way.

    There really is no distinction between the two that anyone doing this as a hobby (and isn't some computer geek - sorry computer geeks) is going to notice.

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    Alright, is it better to format than "delete all" though..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Touchette View Post
    Alright, is it better to format than "delete all" though..
    One aint any better than the other - thats what I tried to convey in that post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDS! View Post
    One aint any better than the other - thats what I tried to convey in that post.
    yea, formatting and deleting are the same... delete is a one by one process, while formatting will clear the whole card... you might delete a photo after you took it because it doesnt turn out how you hoped, but you would format the card after you've imported all the photos to your computer

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    Alright, thanks guys

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    A format is not the same as delete all. Formatting the card literally writes zeroes to the card. Anything on the card is basically gone. Poof. A delete simply allows the camera to "write over" sectors that actually contain data. So while the card can be written to, data is still there until new information has been filled in.

    So the end result is the same, however for "recovery" purposes, a Delete All is obviously more desirable.

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    A format will map out bad sectors on a card so the camera won't write to them, my daughter was getting a few corrupt photos on her camera, I told her to format the card in the camera and that solved the problem, the camera stopped using the sectors causing the bad images.

    I always format in the camera once the images have been downloaded.

    Primarily, I'm a snapshooter, occasionally I will accidentally get a good photograph.

    Nikon D40, Nikon 35mm f1.8, Nikon 18-55mm, Quantaray 70-300mm (Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD rebadged by Ritz/Wolf), - all stolen in a burglary.

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    The big point is however NEITHER will damage the card. If it goes partially faulty a format might allow you to continue using it ( at reduced capacity ) but all that's doing is avoiding using a faulty part. It's not physicially damaged by deleting or formatting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeBcos View Post
    A format will map out bad sectors on a card so the camera won't write to them, my daughter was getting a few corrupt photos on her camera, I told her to format the card in the camera and that solved the problem, the camera stopped using the sectors causing the bad images.

    I always format in the camera once the images have been downloaded.

    +1

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    Sometimes I delete a photo or two while shooting, but it's my standard operating procedure to format the CF card when I put it in the camera (after I've checked to make sure it's old photos).

    The only exception is with my G7, which I use the CHDK hack with. Formatting that SD card would erase the CHDK software, so I just delete there.
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    do you guys not have your pictures automatically deleted when downloading?

    when i take 300 pictures before downloading - (which takes a long time to download and convert, btw) - i just have them automatically deleted from the card.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDS! View Post
    A format is not the same as delete all. Formatting the card literally writes zeroes to the card. Anything on the card is basically gone. Poof. A delete simply allows the camera to "write over" sectors that actually contain data. So while the card can be written to, data is still there until new information has been filled in.

    So the end result is the same, however for "recovery" purposes, a Delete All is obviously more desirable.
    A quick format shouldn't. If it did that, formatting a 4gb CF card would take more than 5 seconds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShutterSpeed View Post
    do you guys not have your pictures automatically deleted when downloading?

    when i take 300 pictures before downloading - (which takes a long time to download and convert, btw) - i just have them automatically deleted from the card.
    No, I don't, I want to make absolutely sure the images are downloaded to my computer and backed up to a file server before I take them off a card.

    Primarily, I'm a snapshooter, occasionally I will accidentally get a good photograph.

    Nikon D40, Nikon 35mm f1.8, Nikon 18-55mm, Quantaray 70-300mm (Tamron AF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di LD rebadged by Ritz/Wolf), - all stolen in a burglary.

    Now - Nikon D3100, Nikon 18-55 VR, Nikon 55-200 VR, SB-400

    Also currently using:
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    I format memory cards when I get them, then delete from there on out. You gain nothing from formatting all the time, other than it typically takes a little longer than just "delete all".

    I can't speak to how other cameras work, but the 40D/50D allows the user to "delete all" so you don't have to sit there and manually delete each individual picture. It would be kind of odd that other cameras (relatively modern ones) don't have a similar feature.

    The 50D takes things one step further than the 40D in that you can create sub-folders. Then you can "delete all" in one folder without touching images stored elsewhere. I like that feature a lot.

    As already mentioned, formatting sets the memory back to zero (literally). Deleting only marks the files as no longer needed by the OS but the files are still there until something else writes over them. Should you decide later you do want something off of the card, the data can be recovered (although I've never had the need to do this).

 

 
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