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06-01-2008, 07:19 AM   #1
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Deleting Images Off Computer vs Camera

Hey All,
What ere the pros or cons whether one deletes their images from the memory card using the computer's built in card reader's drive or using the camera's delete function?

Thanks
Barry

06-01-2008, 07:21 AM   #2
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Always done both. Never had a problem.
06-01-2008, 08:59 AM   #3
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I try to only delete images from the computer. I've found that all but the most terrible images can be processed to some sort of creative effect that I don't perticularly care for, but others might. The only thing that gets me to delete images in camera is poor focus. Not a whole lot can be done with that.
06-01-2008, 09:06 AM   #4
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I think shutterpuppy's query related to whether the method of deleting iimages from the card resulted in problems such as damaged files, reading errors etc.

06-01-2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by shutterpuppy Quote
Hey All,
What ere the pros or cons whether one deletes their images from the memory card using the computer's built in card reader's drive or using the camera's delete function?

Thanks
Barry
Personally, I import the photos from the card to the computer, then put the card back in the camera and format it there. Deleting computer files is not always perfect, formating is better. I always import into Lightroom (even when pre processing in DxO) and have a USB 2.5" drive F:Photo Backups taking all the images. here's my procedure:
  1. Use DxO if the images were taken with either of my DA* lenses. (I wish they supported more lenses for the K10D).
  2. Import images to Lightroom, either from a DxO export folder or direct from the card when I have spent a day without using the DA* lenses
  3. LR is set to automatically back all the images up to my USB drive, so I can then work in LR and zap anything I no longer want to keep - but I have a copy on my USB drive.
  4. Put the card back in the camera and format it.
  5. Do whatever post processing I need to and save the files.
06-01-2008, 11:39 AM   #6
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Hi Barry

I'm with Canada_Rockies on this one:

QuoteQuote:
Personally, I import the photos from the card to the computer, then put the card back in the camera and format it there.
I seem to recall some tales of card readers occasionally corrupting files, but fortunately I've never experienced this problem as I always adhere to the method described above. If you need to delete individual images on the actual SD card, I'd recommend doing this in-camera rather than the other way around. Hope this helps....

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 06-01-2008 at 11:44 AM.
06-01-2008, 12:05 PM   #7
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It does not matter which you use.

The only thing both camera and readers does is to unlink the images from the filesystem. Physically the pictures are still on the card. It just "hides" it from the filesystem.

When formatting the card, it basically unlinks all files on the card and removes all directories. And then recreate the directorytree depending on the camera.

To think that your computer are not able to zero the drive is silly. The filesystemdrivers of all modern operatingsystems are fully capable of removing a FAT filesystem. Unless ofcourse you have a memorycard that is over 32gb in size. Then it might be a bit harder to format it, since thats the limit for some OS's (including Windows 2000 and above).
06-01-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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The OP's scenario is striking me as odd. I can't think of a single scenario when I would put a card in my reader and delete photos directly from it. But if that's what you're really doing, then there should be no difference at all.

OTOH, if you're comparing deleting the photos on the camera in the field, or waiting until they're imported to the PC, waiting is definitely better. Only delete photos directly from the camera if you're in danger of filling your last card.

For those who don't understand how filesystems work, here's what happens. Say you take three photos, and they're all 1.2MB. They're stored sequentially on the card. Then you delete photo #2 and take a fourth, which is a little more detailed and takes up 1.5MB. The first 1.2MB of photo #4 are stored where photo #2 used to be, then 300K are stored after #3. Kinda like when you're reading a magazine article, and it says "continued on page 178." This is called fragmentation, and it's what your computer gets rid of when you 'defrag.' Of course, this sort of thing is unavoidable on a PC, but I try to avoid it whenever I can on my camera.

Now that I'm thinking about it more, though, it may only affect the speed of the data transfer when copying photos to the PC, because when the camera displays the image, it uses the thumbnail stored in the EXIF header. Hmm. Regardless, I try to keep my cards sequential.

And for the sticklers, yes, I know that's a very simplified version of what is really happening with the filesystem.

06-01-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
It does not matter which you use.

The only thing both camera and readers does is to unlink the images from the filesystem. Physically the pictures are still on the card. It just "hides" it from the filesystem.

When formatting the card, it basically unlinks all files on the card and removes all directories. And then recreate the directorytree depending on the camera.

To think that your computer are not able to zero the drive is silly. The filesystemdrivers of all modern operatingsystems are fully capable of removing a FAT filesystem. Unless ofcourse you have a memorycard that is over 32gb in size. Then it might be a bit harder to format it, since thats the limit for some OS's (including Windows 2000 and above).
This is theoretically true, but instances have been reported where formating the card on the computer made it unreadable in the camera.

I have never tried this, but have met instances in my IT career where media formated and recorded on one computer were unreadable on another when the reverse direction worked just fine.
06-01-2008, 06:32 PM   #10
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Well if it's formatting we're talking about, always in camera. Hell, it's not hard. Menu, → → ↓ ↓ → ↑ OK. Granted, that's a far cry from the 2-fingered salute of the Nikons, but it's still pretty easy.
06-01-2008, 06:36 PM   #11
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"Deleting" pictures from the card in a card reader doesn't work for me at all. As soon as I pop it back in the camera, it can still see them, so I have to delete them there anyway. Formatting on the PC doesn't work because the camera then tells me the card isn't formatted and has to do it.
06-01-2008, 06:54 PM   #12
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Two scenarions Canada Rockies refers to:

**Typically floppy disks formatted and recorded on one computer could fail on another simply because the read/write heads of one machine were misaligned/uncalibrated/failing, which would render the media unusable on any other computer.

**With newer media, it can also happen when you burn CD/DVDs in Vista and forget to make it compatible, which makes the media unreadable in some XP/OS X machines and most Win 2000.

With today's standards, I would be hard pressed to explain why there would be a difference as to whether you blank out your card in camera or in computer. If the FAT/FAT32 file system is used, it makes no difference. Of course, I'm assuming we're talking about an up-to-date OS.

For throw-away/playing around shoots, my process involves:

1) Take photos
2) Move photos from card onto working drive (takes care of the deleting part)


For critical photo shoots, my process involves:

1) Take photos
2) Copy photos to working drive
3) Copy photos to backup storage
4) Verify photos are readable - import into LightRoom
5) Drop card back in camera or card case

I then just format the card in camera (I have the sequence memorized so it takes me a few seconds to wipe out a card).

Whichever you use, just chose whatever works for you best. There's more than one right way of handling it!

Last edited by George Lama; 06-01-2008 at 07:36 PM.
06-02-2008, 12:09 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by shutterpuppy Quote
What ere the pros or cons whether one deletes their images from the memory card using the computer's built in card reader's drive or using the camera's delete function?
I format card in camera. Quickest and you start with a clean file system.
06-02-2008, 01:34 AM   #14
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I recommend that you format your card in the camera. I have actually experienced problems after "shift-deleting" files in windows. The camera (an Oly p&s) could not write to the card. I then tried formatting the card in the camera and everything was peachy.
I have also sometimes experienced what was mentioned earlier, that the pictures are still visible on the card when popped back into the camera.
IMO, the safest bet would be to format in the camera.
06-02-2008, 01:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
This is theoretically true, but instances have been reported where formating the card on the computer made it unreadable in the camera.

I have never tried this, but have met instances in my IT career where media formated and recorded on one computer were unreadable on another when the reverse direction worked just fine.
I bet the people that had that problem wasnt computer geeks and formated in NTFS .
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