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07-18-2016, 02:44 PM   #31
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I normally offload my images to a network attached storage box whenever I take over 100 pictures. I'll delete most from the card after but leave a few so I can show them off right from the camera or look back if I'm trying to recreate a pose or check what exposure settings I used for a particular shot. (After copying to my NAS though, so this is a spare copy.) Every so often I'll pull everything off the card, reformat it in camera, and then put a few select images back on the card. Formatting definitely helps bring your card back up to original speeds*, especially in continuous shooting or quickly cycling through images in playback.

I'm currently hitting the limit of my standalone NAS (Buffalo LinkStation LS-WVL/E running a pair of 2TB HDD's in a mirror setup) so I haven't been able to offload my cards for a while but I'm working on setting up an old computer with OpenMediaVault (OMV) for more storage. I'll be keeping my more important files on multiple HDD's using SnapRAID, with less important stuff that I could replace stored on single disks. My Buffalo LinkStation will go to my mother-in-law's house and I'll set OMV to sync my most important files there in case of loss due to fire, theft, or toddlers.


*Flash memory doesn't get fragmented the same as hard disks, but when you write and delete files you end up with partially filled data blocks. Data blocks are read and written as whole blocks, so to add more data to a partially filled block the controller has to read out what's in the block already and re-write the whole block again with the new data added. Writing files to partially filled blocks require more blocks to be read/written than if writing to empty blocks. Empty blocks are also written without reading them first, which is why a freshly formatted empty card is fastest.

This is also why SSD's lose performance over time, especially with random writes. Newer SSD's get around this with a TRIM function that restores performance by merging partially filled blocks and freeing up full blocks for writing. (Similar to defragmenting, just on data blocks instead of files.)


07-18-2016, 03:06 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
I only know one person who never clears their SD cards.. and they're retirement age and not really computer literate. I've explained you can download the photos on the card to your computer's hard drive and clear the card for reuse. They don't understand that.. say they have a whole drawer full of SD cards used once.
I am "of retirement age" but "computer literate" ... in fact I am retired, from work as a software developer.

Before I was willing to switch from film to digital, I had to convince myself that a modern digital camera could give me at least as much detail as I was getting from Kodachrome 25. I also had to develop a scheme that involved using a laptop computer to save my work {to CD at the time} on a daily basis. When I am home, I make multiple copies of every image I consider to be useable. My goal was for my digital images to be much better protected from damage than they ever were during the age of film.

... But the original question didn't cover any of those points. To strictly answer the question that was asked, my answer is "Yes". I do delete images I deem to be "unusable", but I never delete "useable" images, and I periodically buy a new card.

Last edited by reh321; 07-18-2016 at 04:27 PM. Reason: rewording
07-18-2016, 04:14 PM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
... after a few months, I bin them and buy new ones, first in, first out.
send them to me please....Downunder recycling

Upon further consideration...... I notice your lenses are quite old as welll..... they might let you down at any moment so best you send them this way as well!
07-26-2016, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #34
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I regularly move my photos to my computer... the only time the cards get filled up is when I fill them up in a day, i.e. before I get to a computer.

07-26-2016, 06:26 AM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
send them to me please....Downunder recycling
The cards get a hard life with me, I hate to send them to you and then... they let you down.

QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
I notice your lenses are quite old as well..... they might let you down at any moment so best you send them this way as well!
Not quite as old as me mind, but I have contingency redundancy built into my planning, to safeguard me.
07-28-2016, 05:31 AM   #36
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Never fill my SD card to its brim, maybe I'm diligent at transferring photos after hundreds of shots...
08-04-2016, 01:29 AM   #37
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putting my professional's hat on for a moment (software engineer who previously worked for one of the worlds leading providers of digital archiving solutions), I'd like to point out that flash memory isn't particularly good as an archival medium, I wouldn't bet too much on being able to read photos off an SD card which has been sitting in a drawer for 10 years.

Saying that, I recently downloaded a card from my *istDL2 which I had forgotten about for 3 years and all was fine. It's not gauranteed disaster, but I wouldn't let it be my only copy of any picture I cared about. But then, none of us would let there be just one copy of any picture we'd care about losing right?


I download my camera to my laptop after each significant session, and only format the card once the photos are stored in at least two places elsewhere, usually my laptop and either one or two portable hard drives. I used to use recordable CDs and then DVDs but with modern cameras the capacity is simply not viable for mass storage.
08-08-2016, 07:06 PM   #38
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SD cards are strictly temporary storage only. One copy of everything goes to the laptop, where I purge those frames I don't like (about 90% of them), then one copy of the keepers goes to the external drive, with a second copy to the network drive.

The card is formatted about once a month. Every dozen or so formats, it gets replaced.

08-08-2016, 08:51 PM - 1 Like   #39
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I routinely fill 64GB SDXC Cards photographing dance in rehearsal and theater, knowing 85% won't make the cut. Each evening, download DNGs from cards to desktop workstation and then backup to external drives. Then, cards are formatted for the next day.

Following performances, do a go/no go cull and then make two, fresh external backups. One goes into bank safe deposit box. Drives are USB and uncompressed so readable with just about any computer system.

Every 2 or 3 years, I buy 2x or 3x capacity external drives for not much ( last buy was 3TB for $85 each ). The old externals get unplugged from their enclosures and replace my workstation internal data drives. Right now, 6TB internal and 2 sets of 5TB external.

Redundacy is a practice I learned as a Submariner and later as an IT Architect for IBM. Had 3 internal drives die last year and it wasn't a problem.
08-08-2016, 11:31 PM   #40
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Following the nasty breakdown of an external hard-disc, and loss of a good many photos, for a while I adopted the system of saving filled SD cards as first record, as well as saving copies to two external drives, as well as to a desktop PC, making 4 copies of each photo. But because of the number of photos I take, I found in the end buying lots of SD cards was both irksome and expensive, so now I download from the SD cards and re-format them.
08-09-2016, 01:38 AM   #41
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I format my SD cards every time they go back in the camera.

Raw files are saved to my hard drive and backed up to an external drive. Processed jpegs are saved likewise, and good ones go up on flickr. If, after a year or two, I decide the files have no likely future use, I delete the original raw files.

There is another backup option of course. Printing
08-09-2016, 03:16 AM   #42
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My photos are backed up onto two different computer hard drives and one plug in HD. So much easier with film.
08-11-2016, 08:42 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by fstop18 Quote
I know that most of us transfer our pics to other devices, ext hard drives, etc: but do you constantly erase the old images, or save certain cards that may have epic shots? thanks
Transfer images to my home network, delete unwanted photos, back up the whole photo library to multiple machines. Then reformat SD card in camera or delete all but a few images. Memory cards are not reliable in the long term. The only way to be fairly safe is to do multiple backups and preferably keep one backup off site. A cloud service like Google would also work for this. Ended up with > 1.1 TB of free storage from Google after buying a Chromebook and taking advantage of their Xmas storage gift. Haven't even scratched the surface of that but also it runs out in 2 years. Hoping that they'll continue to renew the offer...
08-14-2016, 03:42 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by EArenz Quote
Haven't even scratched the surface of that but also it runs out in 2 years. Hoping that they'll continue to renew the offer...
Yeap a big part of a backup solution is something that will be subtainable for a long time. For google once your files are on their premises, it is all benefit, their can ask money for it once you invested in the effort to upload it. 1.1TB after all on a good ADSL line is still 50 days of upload... You may not be willing to change once invested in there.
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