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12-05-2011, 05:05 PM   #31
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

Lots of mixed opinions here I see. For the people who format every outing, do you ever feel like you simply don't use your card's memory enough? I'm kinda going with my assumption of 16GB but even 4GB is around 300 shots. Maybe for some people that is easy to do in a day.

12-05-2011, 05:08 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by sledger Quote
Not accurate information. Please read: Flash memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In particular 'Memory Wear'

Also please see: Secure Digital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, your section on memory wear has nothing whatsoever to do with formatting vs. delete, and the one comment in the SD card article about reformatting reads like codswallop to me and makes no distinction between a low level reformat and a high level reformat.

I've found deleting pics, especially large numbers of them, takes much longer than reformatting, why is that? It doesn't take much imagination to release it's because deleting results in substantial more write activity on the card and a (high level) reformat.
12-05-2011, 07:00 PM   #33
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If I go to the delete files it takes 10 times as long as formatting SD card. Try it out.

I'm not sure about your computer, but copying files to my HD doesn't delete the files on the SD card. I end up with two sets of files, one on the HD and one on the SD card, so yes, your method sounds great, but it doesn't work on any computer I know of. You still have to delete the files from the SD card after you copy. Not that I do that, as I said, Aperture is non-destructive, I don't have to

QuoteQuote:
The writes are done a byte ( or sometimes a nibble (4 bits, half a byte)) at a time. This means deleting 100 files will be at least 100 bytes to change and 100 writes..
That's where you are wrong, both formatting and deleting are done by changing the directory, not by over writing the file that was there, unless you are using software that gives you the option of for over writing for security reasons. That's why data recovery programs work. They read the file, that hasn't been actually erased, and then update the directory, so the computer knows where to find it.

Every time you delete a file, you re-write the directory. Or you format the directory, and rewrite it once. WHich ever way, you can still retrieve the information from the disk as long as you don't write over it with software designed to do so. The main body of the disk hasn't been changed , just the directory.
12-05-2011, 07:03 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I've seen it mentioned a couple of times, but formating does not wear the card out. Formating just resets the FAT, it doesn't write zeros to every bit on the card. My understanding is that Formatting is actualy quciker than deleting and results in less write activity to the card.
That actually depends on if you are doing a Quick Format or a Full Format.

12-05-2011, 07:08 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I'm not sure about your computer, but copying files to my HD doesn't delete the files on the SD card. I end up with two sets of files, one on the HD and one on the SD card, so yes, your method sounds great, but it doesn't work on any computer I know of. You still have to delete the files from the SD card after you copy.
That's the difference between drag copying or copy and pasting your files over to the computer and drag MOVING (hold Shift while dragging) or cutting and pasting your files over to the computer.
12-05-2011, 07:36 PM   #36
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I find if I use the "move to" command as opposed to the "copy to" command then the files will be pulled off the SD card. Having said that I will then format in camera as in my limited experience with digital cameras I've found that the camera is 'happier' if I let it re-format the card as sometimes, though not every time I'll get the message saying cards need formatting.
12-05-2011, 07:39 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by TechGuru Quote
That's the difference between drag copying or copy and pasting your files over to the computer and drag MOVING (hold Shift while dragging) or cutting and pasting your files over to the computer.
My venerable and oft-updated WinDoze script uses the MOVE command to teleport data from the mem.card to the correct folder on the desired hard disc. With MOVE, after each file is safely copied from the card to the disc, it is deleted from the card. The script also handles renaming and other processing.

Does this take more or less time than a bulk COPY followed by a bulk DELETE? Don't know, haven't timed it, but it's certainly more elegant; and being a scripted action, it's transparent to me. I just plug any card into the reader, run the MOVEPIX script, and do other stuff while it works its magick, no problem.

Yes, a quick FORMAT is faster than a bulk DELETE. But as I said, that would destroy the custom folder structures and scripts on the card, and other stuff I may save there. Stuff like backup copies of my lens-data spreadsheets, journal notes, PDF manuals, etc. Why waste a mem.card on image files only?
12-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #38
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While it sounds great the way you do it Rio, I have absolutely no need to do that. And as a practice I wouldn't recommend it. When I insert my memory card in the computer, Aperture opens automatically and uploads my files. No scripting needed. Because I do a lot of long trips where I'm away from my computer for weeks, I fill my 4 GB memory cards and sometimes end up scrounging the 2GB card out of my point and shoot. The idea that I would use my camera cards for other stuff... I can understand why if you have scripts on it, you don't want to format. I just don't need or use scripts... I'm as automated as I need, I'm a little astounded you have other things stored on your SD card, CDs DVDs old extra hard drives, memory sticks, even the 16Gb memory card in the cheap tablet I bought to read PDFs on, all good for storage, ... but hey... whatever works for you, go with it.

12-05-2011, 08:20 PM   #39
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QuoteQuote:
That's the difference between drag copying or copy and pasting your files over to the computer and drag MOVING (hold Shift while dragging) or cutting and pasting your files over to the computer.
Sounds like a great thing, and I'm not sure a MAC will do that, but, you're still deleting individual files, you're still writing to your are directory once for each file you delete, it's still not as efficient as doing a format and over-writing the directory once. What you're saying is it might be easier from a user point of view...because it's automated, but the issue was whether or not it stresses your SD card more.. if in fact it stresses it at all, and in that sense, how much work your computer (or camera) does and how much writing is done to the SD card, formatting is still less read/writing.
12-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Because FAT is fragile, it doesn't like deletes, it likes starting with a clean slate and then it will likely know where your images are when you ask for them back. If you only delete and don't format it will occasionally throw a tantrum and "forget" where your images are.
That is an implementation problem, not a problem with deleting files. FAT works fine with deletes. When a file is deleted, the table doesn't know about it anymore. If the card loses files, it's because the camera is not updating the table properly.
12-05-2011, 09:01 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigted Quote
I have always reformatted after I have transferred to my pc and or iPad.

I was under the impression that because stuff is stored on these cards in a somewhat haphazard way. Data goes to the first space that is the right size or bigger than what is needed therefore if you have deleted rather reformatted the more you try to store stuff the harder it gets for it to find the best place for it.

Now I am quite happy to be told this is a bunch of bull and that I don't have to worry about it.

bigted
The card keeps a record of where data has been stored on the card, and chooses write locations to even out read/write cycles across all memory locations. You can't control where the card writes data to even if you wanted to.

Freeing up space is unnecessary because you aren't dealing with a spinning disc where you need to worry about seek times. Seek times are the same to all addresses on a card, so fragmenting files doesn't hurt anything.
12-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
The card keeps a record of where data has been stored on the card, and chooses write locations to even out read/write cycles across all memory locations. You can't control where the card writes data to even if you wanted to.

Freeing up space is unnecessary because you aren't dealing with a spinning disc where you need to worry about seek times. Seek times are the same to all addresses on a card, so fragmenting files doesn't hurt anything.

Ok. So I know I said I was quite happy to be told it was bull - but... why then are we told not to delete individual photos and wait to do a mass delete instead. I am not being argumentative, just curious.

bigted
12-05-2011, 10:22 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by TechGuru Quote
That actually depends on if you are doing a Quick Format or a Full Format.
Absolutely, and a format done in camera is a quick format
12-05-2011, 11:09 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigted Quote
Ok. So I know I said I was quite happy to be told it was bull - but... why then are we told not to delete individual photos and wait to do a mass delete instead. I am not being argumentative, just curious.

bigted

I've never heard that advice. I use my cards until they are full, and download them to my computer. When I cycle around to using the card again, I delete all the pictures from the camera. Sometimes I format. Depends on my mood.

In the grand scheme of things, memory cards are cheap and if one goes bad, I won't lose any sleep over getting a replacement. I'd consider it an accomplishment to wear one out from writing to it too many times.
12-06-2011, 12:29 AM   #45
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Just about never. I let the camera actually delete them but actually formatting the whole card is something I do rarely and only in the camera not on the computer. I don't trust the OS not to mess up the card. It's messed up a DVD-RW a few times to the point where it left them coasters. I don't even delete photos off the card using LR or Bridge. I copy any and all photos on the card to the drive, make a second copy of the folder for back up and to burn those to a disk unaltered then use the first folder to edit from. I use the camera to delete all photos then and that's usually about it. I usually will format in the camera when I get a new card but I can't say I go out of my way to format the cards all the time.

I've only had one bad card since I got a camera that took one and that card likely just finally wore out rather than came that way. It was like 7 years old at that point. I always check periodically while shooting to make sure I am getting files on the card and to make sure the pics aren't over exposed or whatever. I'd likely know if the card was bad and swap it out long before I lost anything. Since I'm usually shooting one film camera, one digital if I am out on a shoot that's sort of a backup thing I do too.

Eventually I'll have two DSLR bodies and that way I won't have to think too hard about there only being one card, one camera or changing out film rolls or whatever. For my own stuff it's not so important but for the pro work I'd definitely like a second body, second card scenario, both digital. It saves time being already set up to go twice and maybe it would save my arse too if it ever came down to it and one card or a camera ever failed me. Right now my backup camera is a K mount SLR but eventually it will be the K-x and I'll have a K-5 or a K-r or one of their descendants as the first string camera, but no I don't worry too much about card failure. For the cameras I buy almost exclusively SanDisk cards and they seem pretty reliable. I'll use something else for the media player but usually for the cameras I'm a bit more picky.
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