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03-31-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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K20D Photo Count ?

I put a fresh SD card in (4g) and the count on the top LCD says I can take 272 shots but when I'm get to the card being full I end up shooting well over 400 shots, Why is this? I have it set on the best JPEG setting. Has anyone else noticed this?
Also is it bad to format you card instead of deleting each picture every time you clean your card?

03-31-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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Because unlike RAW files, JPEG files can have variable sizes depending on the amount of information in a frame that can be abbreviated.

For example, take a picture of a pure white wall; that's close to no information, so even at the same size/resolution, JPEG compression can bring the file size down a whole bunch. The shots remaining count, therefore, is just a guestimate, and it always is a guestimate.
03-31-2009, 09:35 PM   #3
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It is best to format the card (in the camera) and get a "clean", unfragmented filesystem.
03-31-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
Rawhead: Because unlike RAW files, JPEG files can have variable sizes depending on the amount of information in a frame that can be abbreviated.
I notice my PEFs vary a good deal in size too.

03-31-2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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I rarely do a DELETE ALL. I format my cards for every new photo session and after all the photos from the previous photo session have been successfully transferred to my computer and backed up on an external hard drive and on CD.
04-01-2009, 06:48 AM   #6
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Smart answer, I didn't consider that a shot with half of it is blue sky would have less info.

My College Photography teacher said is was bad for the cards to format them every time, and I found that hard to believe.
Thanks Again Guys
Jack
04-01-2009, 07:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
Smart answer, I didn't consider that a shot with half of it is blue sky would have less info.

My College Photography teacher said is was bad for the cards to format them every time, and I found that hard to believe.
Thanks Again Guys
Jack
The answer to that is either yes with a "but" or no with an "if".

Yes, it's bad in the sense that all flash memory has a limited lifespan, so the additional writes do technically make the card die sooner, but that's not a significant enough of a concern to change your behavior.

No, if you use your card like most people do, you're far more likely to have a failure that results in losing data from handling outside of the camera, and starting with a fresh file system gives you the best chance for data recovery and not having file system problems in the first place. Volatile memory is notoriously error prone, so improving your odds at the expense of a slight difference in expected life is a good trade.
04-01-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
My College Photography teacher said is was bad for the cards to format them every time, and I found that hard to believe.
Thanks Again Guys
Jack
That was true with early cards made around the turn of the century. Modern cards have built-in wear-leveling algorithms to make sure that the entire card get used more or less"evenly". Given the price of cards vs. number of writes, the problem is really a non-issue.

04-01-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
That was true with early cards made around the turn of the century. Modern cards have built-in wear-leveling algorithms to make sure that the entire card get used more or less"evenly". Given the price of cards vs. number of writes, the problem is really a non-issue.
Very interesting information.

Do you know where I can read more about that?
04-01-2009, 02:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Very interesting information.

Do you know where I can read more about that?
Sure. Here's a white paper from SanDisk. Wikipedia has some info, too - search for "wear leveling".
04-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #11
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With raw my K20D says I can take around 160. I add 80% to whatever it says as it always grossly underestimates. Even using my biggest raw would be more than 160 on the card.
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