Archiving memory cards?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by johnfreed0, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. johnfreed0

    johnfreed0 TPF Noob!

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    I'm reasonably new to digital; about 2 years total. I have done and still do silver work but I'm trying to get my head around some of the differences. The one bothering me today is memory cards.



    I have 2 16gb cards which provide around 1000 exposures. For one used to 10 shots to the roll or 2 sheets to the holder this is an astronomical number. I download my shots to my computer as soon as possible and back them up as well. Coming from many decades of film, though, I'm reluctant to erase the cards and reuse them. It feels like burning negatives.



    Given that a 32gb card costs around $10 I was considering physically archiving the chips and buying new when one gets filled up. Am I showing my prehistoric bones here or is this something other paranoids do?

    Thanks in advance for any replies,

    JR


     
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  2. AlanKlein

    AlanKlein No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If that's all you're shooting, sure, why not?
     
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  3. otherprof

    otherprof TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think your math works out quite nicely. I see no reason to offload the memory cards now that the price of SD memory cards has dropped to such a low level.
     
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  5. NGH

    NGH TPF Noob!

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    No harm in doing that; SD cards are incredibly robust and can take a lot of damage before data is lost. Why not store them at another location so that you have extra resilience.
     
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  6. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes and yes.
    Yes your film days have influenced your thinking. I have not used film in a long time but habits from my film days still show up in my digital photography.
    Yes. And No Some of us do keep mem cards of photography events that we really really want to keep.
    Don’t just keep mem cards make several back ups reuse cards from events that are not that important to you.
    Edit.
    Just had a look at expected life span of mem cards. Some say 10 years of use. Ummmm I personally think I would review the images every couple of years, maybe making copies as needed.
    Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019 at 5:32 AM
  7. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    That seems like far too much effort for me. If you have grandfather, father, son backups on some reasonably recent media devices I think that should be suffient.

    There is also a danger that hardware changes as well. We don't tend to see the rate of change being as fast but there are some old standards that have been superceeded. CDs are pretty much dead, floppy disks are gone, CF cards are on their way out now, for example, the old style of SD card I could see going the same way with micro SD taking over. I could see a future where small physical storage media is pretty much non-existant as device connectivity gets easier. You could end up with a few hundred SD cards and no method of reading them.
     
  8. RVT1K

    RVT1K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While I understand that he cards are cheap, I reformat mine as soon as I download the pictures and pop them back into my camera. I put the digital files on the internal hard drive in my PC and then, after some thinning out, I copy them to an external hard drive.

    The other popular strategy - that I didn't see mentioned - is cloud storage, essentially using someone else's computer (ok, a server) that is accessed via the web. This is where my inner Luddite comes out, I've got no interest in using that.

    And while obsolescence can be an issue, it will be a while yet. There is some test equipment in my lab that stores screen-shots on floppies, I have a USB floppy drive to read them with. I'm pretty confident that your memory cards will be usable for a long time even as legacy products.
     
  9. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    While there's nothing wrong I guess with your method, from a financial standpoint it seems wasteful. If my math is correct there are (32) 32gb cards per 1tb. A 2tb external drive can be had for roughly $60. Using your $10/card cost, that would mean you're paying (64×$10=$640) for an equal amount of storage. Even a 1tb external SSD can be had for roughly half what you're paying for an equal amount of storage on SD cards.
     
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  10. NGH

    NGH TPF Noob!

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    The only problem with cloud storage is that you are relying on a commercial entity to store your precious data. While it is very unlikely that Google (for example) will go bust anytime soon, there have been incidents where people I know have lost their entire library due to a payment issue with the company that they were using; a banking mix up meant they hadn't paid their premium and the company (a very large one) just wiped there files; gone. I admit this is a rare thing but it is a risk none the less so I personally wouldn't rely 100% on these services for your archive.
     
  11. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The other problem people over look with cloud storage is you have to access it, for most people the lost of phone line is something they dont think about.
    Having lost images, fortunately they were copies, on line I now use external hard drives
     
  12. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    NEVER EVER use data cards or USB's for permanent storage. ALWAYS use 3 external hard drives and have them in 3 different locals or at least 2 of them. This advice is coming from another film shooter and someone who works in a professional lab who has seen many cards fail and has to do data recovery.

    Get the images off the card and then re-format and shoot again, that is what those cards are made for. To use over and over.
     
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