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03-20-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
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Vanishing images

First post on a DSLR site, bear with me, and thank you in advance for your patience.

Recently bought a K-X. For the most part I am thrilled with it, but I am having an intermittent issue with pictures just vanishing.

Example: took my kids to the zoo today on out last day of a vacation. Took a couple hundred pictures, all seemed to go well.

Got home, decided to take a look at the pictures to see how many keepers I managed to get, and it hadn't stored a single picture to the SD card. So frustrating.

Took pictures yesterday with the same settings, and all pictures are accounted for.

This problem has come and gone since we got the camera. My instinct is that it is a problem with the memory card, but I am also terrified that this is some kind of operator error.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, since I am now missing pictures of memories that cannot be replaced, like Christmases, vacations, family reunions, kids sporting events, etc. any my confidence that I am actually going to get to see these images after I take them is now somewhat shaken.

03-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
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Few things:
* Try another card. If you do not have one, at least try to reformat your card.)

It is worth to invest in a high quality card: eg Sandisk are well recommended among Pentaxians.

* How do you tranfer your photo to your computer ? Card reader, cable ? If you use the card reader, check the reader. The cable tends to be safer because you do npt need to take the card out of the camera.

* I suggest that, after each day, your tranfer all your files to your computer. That is, copy them to a directory on your HDD.

Food for thoughts...
03-20-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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You have a failing memory card, time to get a new one. I wouldn't shoot another picture on that one, my policy on SD cards is one strike and you're out.
03-20-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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I agree with the other comments. I had the exact same thing happen and was devastated to lose a bunch of photos of bald eagles very close-up. Turns out it was the memory card and I also learned that I probably contributed to the problem. Here are some tips to ensure good memory life:

1. Do not delete photos on the camera (I was doing this alot) - save them all until you download them all.
2. After you have downloaded all the photos, format the card using the camera before you start shooting again.
3. As mentioned above, use the cable instead of a card reader.

Sorry for your loss. Definitely get a new card.

03-20-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thank you all for the responses.

I am using a card reader. I'll stop that.

The card is not a Sandisk. I'll invest in one before I take another picture.

I didn't mention this before, but from time to time immediately after taking the pictures I have been unable to access them on the camera, which was how the problem first manifested itself.

Thanks again. I'll pick up a new memory card tomorrow and see if the problem goes away. My gut instinct is that it will.
03-22-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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I have a problem with my K20d that it will not always recognize a card and I'll have to eject and reinsert it. When it's doing thing it does put up a message that says it failed to write. I didn't notice for 20+ shots the other night though.
03-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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My brother works in electrical engineering and they consider memory cards disposable. They use for 1 project and then toss--says they are just not reliable for long-term use.
03-24-2011, 02:22 AM   #8
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I think of cards as the cheap bit, consumable almost, especially when compared to the amount of money tied up in the rest your equipment, it's much like film used to be.

That's without putting any value on your images, either in terms of real money or sentimental value.

I would recommend buying a good brand of card from a reputable source or outlet, as there are a fair few fakes kicking about on the Internet.

For me, my images are my next meal, hence I use what I consider to be the best and in my case that's SanDisk Extreme. I've never had a problem or been let down under any conditions, but that having been said I still change 'em for new ones very couple of months.

03-24-2011, 02:44 AM   #9
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I test my memory cards: it seems that this does pretty good job cathing lemons (to be returned), the good ones tend to keep on working. Flash will wear out eventually, but is pretty durable (a test every once in a while would not hurt, though). A typical figure for a minimum of write cycles a flash cell can endure is 100 000 which means at least similar endurance with the camera shutter; before the flash wears out, there will probably be physical wear which makes the contacts flaky and results in unreliability.

For testing I have been using badblocks (Linux), for Windows there is h2testw at least. One aspect of testing is that it will likely force flaky blocks in the bad blocks pool of the card where they cannot hurt a photo.

Your problem could be a counterfeit card where someone takes a small capacity card and changes that to report a higher capacity and proceeds to sell the card(s) for a markup. As the smaller card still does not have the flash cells to store all that data it is going to get lost when the card beings to fill up.

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