to erase or not to...

cameramike

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Okay, so wondering what do you guys do after you've shot and transfered your photos off your memory card? Do you keep them on it or delete them so you start with a "fresh" card each time? Or does this lessen the amount of times you can write to the card seeing as you are formatting it each time? i'm just wondering.
 

Payt

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Well, uh, I don't know much about the actual durability of CF cards. But why limit yourself by keeping shots on it after you've saved them to the PC?

If I were you, I wouldn't worry about wearing it out. In my experience, at least, I've owned a 400D and shot around 10,000 exposures with my standard 1gb CF card in varying climates. I've seen no loss in quality or writing speed whatsoever.

But hey, I'm not one to talk. Surely there are people on here that have shot 10x more than I using the same CF card. So I'd have a word with them.
 
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cameramike

cameramike

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thanks guys :) i figured most people did just wasnt sure if maybe i was ruining my card
 

sabbath999

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I erase them after I download to my computer AND do a backup of the keepers.
 

jedithebomber

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As long as the card you are using has some kinda wear leveling algorithm (i think pretty much anything but the super bargain basement cards) You should not reduce the life span by always reformatting the card.

Of course if you have a super bottom basement memory card, well, you should not use it for anything important. Think of those as little digital bombs with a random fuse just waiting to delete all your pictures.
 

Peanuts

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If it is someone else's session I create a DVD copy of allof the RAWs, and I almost always keep them on the card until I shoot again just to act as a 'just in case'.
 

Garbz

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As long as the card you are using has some kinda wear leveling algorithm (i think pretty much anything but the super bargain basement cards) You should not reduce the life span by always reformatting the card.

Of course if you have a super bottom basement memory card, well, you should not use it for anything important. Think of those as little digital bombs with a random fuse just waiting to delete all your pictures.

Wear leveling is not a job of the card. The card is a storage medium. Just the same as a HDD, it's not up to the hardware where the data gets written to, but to the software which is doing the writing. And since all cameras I know of use the old ancient FAT system the first thing to wear out is the file allocation table itself which is kept at the beginning of the card's partition.

But there's still no cause for alarm. The FAT table is written to every time a picture is taken. After all a record must be kept of what is on the card. This is precisely the reason why recovery software on memory cards has such a great success rate, the actual files would almost never be the first to die, but their allocation table entries would.

On a side note I have taken more then 50,000 photos on my camera, and I am still using the card I originally bought with it. I shoot 130 at time on RAW, and the odd occasion I shoot JPEG it's because I need to fit more than that on the card. After every time I load the files off my computer the card gets formatted because it's convenient to do on my camera (hold down 2 buttons at once), and this is done regardless if I just emptied 100 RAWs off my camera or just took 3 photos and quickly copied them off.

My card must be on the brink of death, but the point is that this cheap ebay reject card has lasted me more than a year and more than 50,000 photos, making this entire topic really little more than paranoid ramblings. Dodgy cards do exist, but the technology itself regardless of who produces it has the same life expectancy. If you're that worried, carry a spare.

/EDIT: I consider myself somewhat lucky, I'm sure a few people on this board could share some disaster stories. But my case is still within the limits of the write count for flash memory.
 

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