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01-04-2014, 10:42 AM   #16
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The first test I would do is to take some photos, take the card out the camera and insert into the Mac. Do whatever you always do and eject the card. Next put it back in the Mac. Are the photos still on the card?

I'm 95% sure that it's a Mac application setting as cananda_rockies says and not a camera one.

I'm not a Mac user and at the best of times I don't understand terms like 'import' or 'upload' in this context. I just simply copy files (in Windows and or Linux) from the SD card (either directly from the camera or using a reader) to the computer.

01-04-2014, 10:43 AM   #17
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Many people are split on using SD cards for archival purposes. Some people say that the electrical charge used to represent the recorded information decays after a long period of the card not being plugged into a read/write device (where the data gets refreshed in a manner of speaking). I think SanDisk is developing some new technology or design that would guarantee the data for 100 years. It may become the next WORM (Write Once Read Many) standard in the future. Personally, I would go with a dual hard drive solution like RAID 1 for cost purposes. One hard drive mirrors the other. Should one die then you have the other left. Buy two more drives, transfer the data, and toss the old drives.
01-04-2014, 10:44 AM   #18

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If your card isn't locked in read only setting (physically on the side), then make sure it is "ejected" properly from card reader/computer. (Tell the computer to stop accessing it before you pull it out.) Sometimes it can get fussy about that. (My computer always wants to "scan and fix them" if I haven't ejected them right.)

Last edited by vonBaloney; 01-04-2014 at 10:51 AM.
01-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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If your ultimate aim is to use the original USB card for archival storage, then from a risk perspective it makes more sense to go smaller than larger. A 4GB card would provide about 110 images, and a 16GB card would provide about 450. The less the card is used/exposed (or goes out into the field) after the images are captured the safer they are. With the current cost of the 4GB and 16GB media, this route would appear to be pretty optimal. Depending on how many images you take per shooting session, I would think that the 16GB card would present a reasonable selection point between image capacity and physical storage constraints.

Also, if you purchase 10 at a time, you might be able to get a break in price as well as free shipping.

01-04-2014, 12:41 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Many people are split on using SD cards for archival purposes
The thing about archiving is that anything we go to the trouble of archiving will be saved for a longer period of time than the technology can be expected to last. Flash memory chips are notoriously unreliable and have very short lifespans. A micro-controller is installed in every memory card to block out bad memory locations, do error checking and so on. While it is in your camera, you can check to see if it still works on a constant basis; as soon as you take it out of the camera and put it in a drawer or pouch or indestructible safe, the memory card can still deteriorate, but without constantly checking it, you have no idea whether it is still functional or not. If anyone is using flash memory for archiving, they should stop immediately.

It doesn't happen often, but I've had to go back to computer files from 1990-1994, and unless you are a computer expert with the ability to run old software in emulators, go through a half dozen old 5 1/4 inch floppy drives to find one that still works, and are lucky enough that time hasn't erased or flipped the magnetic fields of more than a few grains of metal oxide on the disk itself, you are screwed. There is only one reliable strategy for archiving computer files for more than a few years. Open each and every file with the current version of the software used to create the files, and save the files in the latest format on a different storage device. Repeat this every 3-5 years, separate from your computer backups. Because flash memory is so unreliable, copy your data off of mobile devices, memory sticks and cards on a weekly basis to a conventional (not solid state) hard drive. I can easily look at my 35mm slides from the seventies (and even other people's slides from the sixties if I clean them up), but that thinking doesn't apply to the digital age. In a worse case scenario, companies specializing in recovering hard drives can do wonders with conventional drives, because it is possible to manually locate the actual tracks on the disk itself. If you backup your computer(s) on a regular basis to other hard drives, you can deal with a hard drive failure on your own, and the cost of new hard drives is less than the cost of sending them in for recovery service.

"my h2o/fireproof safe is only so big"
The best solution is to store copies of everything in two physically separated locations. That gives you more latitude for space, and you never have to worry about how good your safe really is. Keep your safe for raw diamonds, gold bullion and the recipe for Coke.
01-04-2014, 01:13 PM   #21

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I put copies of my RAW files on DVDs/CDs and put them in safe deposit box. (Which isn't perfect, but it is something.) Also have several backups around house on drives (including one fireproof/waterproof drive), but nothing is immune to everything. (It might survive fire, but can still be stolen by burgler.) Storing in "the cloud" is becoming more and more viable but is still somewhat cost-prohibitive and bandwidth-prohibitive. (Because the files are so big.) Basically nothing lasts forever. I just try to have multiple copies in various forms in various locations...
01-04-2014, 01:22 PM   #22
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Ditto on the safe deposit box. I have a copy on my main computer (not the OS drive), one on my backup RAID NAS in the basement that stays updated I don't have to think about, and two external drives -- one in my home safe and one in my safe deposit box. Periodically I updated the drive at thome, take it to the bank, swap it for the old one and update that, then stash it in the safe at home. I should do it more often than I do, but the really good photos are also stored in the cloud with my web site provider.

I used to also make Blu-Ray disc backups, but it takes forever to burn and the discs are painfully expensive and it takes a bunch. Besides, hard drives aren't going anywhere for a while as a widely used media. When they do... I'll update methods.
01-04-2014, 02:16 PM   #23
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SD and SDHC cards use a FAT32 system which has been a standard since 1997. SDXC cards come factory formatted with exFAT file system which was standardized in 2006.

Windows XP SP2 and later and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.5 and later support exFAT and SDXC.

Formatting a card on a computer could add hidden files for various attributes however there are options not to create these files. These files could cause the camera to think the card needs to be reformatted however the physical and logical file structures follow the FAT32 and exFAT standards are compatible for that reason. The Mac OS will add these attribute files if they are not present. Setting the card to read-only before putting it the Mac will prevent the Mac OS from adding these files but then you can't delete files if you want to.

If you are worried about compatibility use the SD Card Association's SD Card Utility for WIndows or Mac to format your cards

BSD and Linux do not support exFAT out of the box and you need an add-on.

Digital storage media (hard-drives, SSD, SD cards) all have limited write capabilities and in time can no longer be written to reliably. Constantly reformatting your cards will lower their useful life.

Last edited by Not a Number; 01-04-2014 at 02:33 PM.
01-04-2014, 09:38 PM   #24
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Are you ejecting it from the mac or just unplugging it? When I unplug, sometimes it tells me it needs to be reformatted. When I eject, no such difficulty.
01-05-2014, 03:09 PM   #25
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I used to use a Mac at work with a Nikon, it would do the same thing. But not when using the USB cable. I agree with the earlier replies that have mentioned not to format in the computer. I find it much easier to use the cable than a card reader anyway. If you want to same the images on your cards I would suggest smaller cards, but if that's what you are going to do definitely leave the card in the camera until it's full. Myself I format my card for every use.
01-05-2014, 06:22 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mallory Quote
i bought a 64gb card for a reason - not having to delete images off the card. I like to save my sd cards in a fireproof safe like negatives instead of reusing them over and over. they contain family snapshots that are irreplaceable and I do not want to format the card ever.
You must not shoot in raw. I've filled up a 64 gig card in a weekend, and gone through the better part of the 16 gig one I keep in the battery case as a spare, too. Having to buy a new one every week would get a bit expensive.

Will your tiny safe fit a 2.5 inch hard drive? Those come as large as 2 TB now. They're about 70x100x15 mm in size.
01-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I find it much easier to use the cable than a card reader anyway.
It's so much slower using the cable. I use one with my old backup camera because I lost my CompactFlash reader a while back, but using a cable with my K5 is painful.
01-06-2014, 04:30 AM   #28
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Perhaps a silly question; Which Mac operating system are you using?
If the OS is fairly old (older than Snow leopard), it may not support exFat (for larger SD style cards), your machine may keep asking you to format the card in a method that the OS understands. (DO NOT DO THIS)

Otherwise I'd say the card itself was potentially bad.

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