Do memory cards go bad ?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by wescobts, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    I was on a shoot today with local fire dept. doing ice water rescues (training), very cold but all equipment seemed to be operating well. They get done and want to get a group shot, put on wide angle, do a test shot for exposure, all seems well and then I could not get an image. The shutter worked, the image went to the LCD screen on back of camera, but nothing on card. Perhaps a corrupted file ? or dead space ? Prior to this failure I had approx. 175 images that were fine. This is not the first time this has happened, but now has compromised an important shoot. I am going to get a new card regardless, but would like to know if this most likely the cause or does the camera need to visit Melville NY.
     
  2. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    All CF/SD/etc cards will eventually fail.
     
  3. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    ...and when you least expect it.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know that one company that make network appliances used to use IDE flash adapter with CF card in their products. And later on found that the reliability problem with the CF cards and switch to Disk on Module.

    What that means is the flash memory cards are not made to last.
     
  5. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    I bought a fairly high quality SDHC card 2 years ago and have used the hell out of it, roughed it up, multiple cameras, etc.. Works great still.

    I do however have quite a few other cards now that I take along with me, and I always download them when I get home.

    So I feel as though I am as well prepared as I need to be. Could one eventually fail one day, hell yes. Anything can fail, you just have to mitigate it as best you can, and decide what your acceptable risks are.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Memory has a finite number of times it can be written to. The more you use it, the closer you get to that day when it's going to fail.

    It's not a matter of if they will fail, only a matter of when they will fail.
     
  7. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    this is why my next body will be dual card :)
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I never thought it would be as useful as it has been. :thumbup:
     
  9. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i had a card that crapped out on me some time ago, luckily shots were of family and nothing EXTREMELY important. Ever since, i never take it (new one) out and transfer via usb into the camera (not ideal but less direct physical damage, at least thats what my research showed me).
     
  10. giorgio

    giorgio TPF Noob!

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    Would there be an adapter or something portable to copy/back it up while you still on the session.?

    Like an adapter for SD <-> iPod , I mean, carrying the iPod and using it as a Hard Drive seems very viable.

    There's always the Netbook but kind of less practical when one is on the run and trying to back up every 100 photos

    I guess is a matter of looking for options available.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Flash memory anyway.

    Flash memory is non-volatile, meaning it retains it's contents when no power is applied to it making it good for use in cameras. Computers have a lot of internal volatile memory that has to be refreshed (booted) each time the computer is powered up.

    Flash memory is a specific type of what is technically known as EEPROM (Electrically Eraseable Programmable Read-only Memory) memory. Flash is programmed and erased in large blocks. Most other types of EEPROMs are programed and erased in much smaller blocks.

    Flash memory has a finite number of write/erase cycles which is known as 'memory wear'.
     
  12. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, went to staples and got a new card, which will be my primary, and the other card will be back up. Is it possible to " infect " a memory card ? if so is it possible to transfer the "infection" to the camera ?
     

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