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05-05-2022, 04:06 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Sony's overly complicated SD card setup

Hi all, was reading through general photo topics when I encountered this reddit topic:

Well. my worst nightmare has just happened at a wedding. I changed the battery on my Sony A9 and when I turned it back on it said something about rebuilding database and all photos have gone from both SD cards. What do I do? : WeddingPhotography

Now I'm no pro shooter but I own a ZV-1 and already had it "rebuild database" on me once.. The SD card is a mix of a bunch of folders, metadata in xml, and even some sort of database binary files.

As an IT person I can't just understand why Sony made such a complex storage setup, with some sort of relational data dependencies that break ALL stored data if only one write attempt is missed. Especially on an SD card which is known to be flaky.

Oh, Sony!!!

05-05-2022, 04:34 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pimpim Quote
Hi all, was reading through general photo topics when I encountered this reddit topic:

Well. my worst nightmare has just happened at a wedding. I changed the battery on my Sony A9 and when I turned it back on it said something about rebuilding database and all photos have gone from both SD cards. What do I do? : WeddingPhotography

Now I'm no pro shooter but I own a ZV-1 and already had it "rebuild database" on me once.. The SD card is a mix of a bunch of folders, metadata in xml, and even some sort of database binary files.

As an IT person I can't just understand why Sony made such a complex storage setup, with some sort of relational data dependencies that break ALL stored data if only one write attempt is missed. Especially on an SD card which is known to be flaky.

Oh, Sony!!!
Iíve had my Sony RX100 ask to do this but my a7R III has never needed it. Iíve also not lost images from this process.
05-05-2022, 08:22 AM   #3
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One more reason for why friends don't let friends buy Sony.
They make very good electronic components, but their consumer products always seem to have some sort of user unfriendliness baked in at the design stage.
05-05-2022, 08:57 AM   #4
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The database thing is odd, but it's never caused me problem on my A7 MkII or SLT-A99-based Hasselblad HV... not once.

05-05-2022, 10:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One more reason for why friends don't let friends buy Sony.
They make very good electronic components, but their consumer products always seem to have some sort of user unfriendliness baked in at the design stage.
I swore to never buy Sony many, many years ago. As you suggest their products always have some devastating anti-feature built in to protect or subsidize some aspect of their huge enterprise . Rootkits, recording devices that can't record, blocked transfers, odd media the list goes on and on.
05-05-2022, 10:40 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I swore to never buy Sony many, many years ago. As you suggest their products always have some devastating anti-feature built in to protect or subsidize some aspect of their huge enterprise . Rootkits, recording devices that can't record, blocked transfers, odd media the list goes on and on.
While thatís fair and I have similar feelings about Canon - in the interchangeable lens camera business they donít appear to do that. The lens mount is licensed heavily and widely adopted. The cameras work well with third party batteries. The memory options are all widely used standards.
05-05-2022, 11:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I swore to never buy Sony many, many years ago. ... their products always have some devastating anti-feature built in
... and yet, I've had my Hasselblad HV (SLT-A99) for six years, my A7 MkII for five-and-a-half, and I've yet to be devastated or even moderately frustrated by either. I'm not mad keen on the menus, but I soon got past that. Even the lossy raw compression on the HV hasn't been problematic, though I've been able to find evidence of it when pixel-peeping on maybe half a dozen images. The A7 MkII had that too, but a firmware update took care of it...


Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-05-2022 at 11:28 AM.
05-05-2022, 11:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
n the interchangeable lens camera business they don’t appear to do that. The lens mount is licensed heavily and widely adopted. The cameras work well with third party batteries. The memory options are all widely used standards.
The cynic in me thinks that it's because they've been trying to gain market share from a underdog position. Forced not to implement their strange anti-features. Of course it could be that the Sony culture has completely changed. Not a horse I'll be betting on... but so far their cameras are arguably one of the more open systems available.
05-05-2022, 01:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
... and yet, I've had my Hasselblad HV (SLT-A99) for six years, my A7 MkII for five-and-a-half, and I've yet to be devastated or even moderately frustrated by either. I'm not mad keen on the menus, but I soon got past that. Even the lossy raw compression on the HV hasn't been problematic, though I've been able to find evidence of it when pixel-peeping on maybe half a dozen images. The A7 MkII had that too, but a firmware update took care of it...
Well-said Mike. I've used Sony mirrorless since 2014 and have never had any problems nor any loss of photos. From what I have seen, many negative comments about Sony come from those who appear to have never used a Sony.
05-06-2022, 01:10 AM   #10
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I don't know when Sony introduced their db based storage, maybe it was different in their earlier bodies?

I only own a ZV-1, where the rebuild was triggered when shifting from PAL to NTSC. Apparently there are a few configuration changes that trigger the rebuild, eg shifting between single and dual card storage. Found a topic where this likely happened:

Lost Photos While Using Sony A7R III: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

It would be nice if it could be protected, eg ask to the user to manually format the card first via the format menu.

---------- Post added 06-05-22 at 01:22 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I have similar feelings about Canon.
I have a Canon enterprise laserprinter that's serving me well, and a consumer Selphy printer that's a fun step towards sublimation printing, so it pains me to read that Canon keeps trying to throw ridiculous user-unfriendly hurdles in their printing business.
05-06-2022, 02:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pimpim Quote
I don't know when Sony introduced their db based storage, maybe it was different in their earlier bodies?
It's definitely present on my Hasselblad HV and A7 MkII. Whether the implementation is exactly the same, I don't know.

So far as I'm aware, the database is only relevant to the camera's reading, writing and indexing of files, and it's additional to the image files themselves - not in place of them. When you put the SD card into a PC card reader and the computer mounts the card as a storage device, it reads the image files directly like any other non-Sony-written card, and makes no use of the database. You don't need proprietary Sony software to read the files.

It would be easy to assume this database rebuild was responsible for the poster's loss of images - but let's not forget that folks lose images on SD cards without any database. If a card fails, it fails - regardless of camera brand...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 05-06-2022 at 09:36 AM.
05-06-2022, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pimpim Quote
I don't know when Sony introduced their db based storage, maybe it was different in their earlier bodies?

I only own a ZV-1, where the rebuild was triggered when shifting from PAL to NTSC. Apparently there are a few configuration changes that trigger the rebuild, eg shifting between single and dual card storage. Found a topic where this likely happened:

Lost Photos While Using Sony A7R III: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

It would be nice if it could be protected, eg ask to the user to manually format the card first via the format menu.

---------- Post added 06-05-22 at 01:22 ----------



I have a Canon enterprise laserprinter that's serving me well, and a consumer Selphy printer that's a fun step towards sublimation printing, so it pains me to read that Canon keeps trying to throw ridiculous user-unfriendly hurdles in their printing business.
I recently changed from pal to ntsc on a card on my rx100. It did askÖ Every time I powered on. Until I swapped cards. I plan to format that card after backing up the photos.

---------- Post added 05-06-22 at 10:01 AM ----------

The unknown error could have been a format request. The user doesnít recall.

Later in the thread they post out was a faulty card.

Re: Lost Photos While Using Sony A7R III: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
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