Clarity Images Photography

10 Tips for Memory Card Care

Protect Your Memory Cards

In the past, I have just put the memory cards back in the original plastic box. Yep. So tiny and easy to lose in a camera bag. Recently, I bought a case to keep my extra cards in. I often use two SLR cameras at a time, which require different memory cards. This little case can keep all the cards safe from dust and debris, and is also waterproof.

Use a Clean Card for Each Shoot

This is a tough one. I tend to shoot until a card is filled before transferring to my computer. That’s okay, unless you end up completely filling a card. Try to upload your images after as soon as possible after every shoot and before the card has reached capacity. After reaching capacity, the files can start rewriting over one another.

Reformat Your Cards After Each Upload

After uploading to your computer, reformat your cards using your camera, not the computer.

Use a Card Reader

If transferring images directly from your camera to the computer, you can risk the battery dying mid transfer, which can corrupt the card. Card readers are cheap, easy to use and makes transferring easy and safe.

Keep Your Batteries Charged

If your camera shuts down mid file writing, the card can be corrupted. Make sure your batteries are charged and that you shut your camera down properly after allowing time for your last image to write onto the card. And never take a memory card out of its slot while the camera is turned on, or while it is in use.

Label Your Cards

If you are using multiple cameras and multiple cards, label your memory cards. Use different memory cards for assigned cameras. And don’t switch the cards without reformatting. So that means you’ll need to upload your images, erase the card, and reformat. It’s easier just to designate particular cards to particular cameras.

Make Sure Your Card Reads Fast Enough

Memory card care is more than just reformatting your card. If you are taking really fast bursts, make sure the card you have is fast enough to write the information. If you find your card lagging, it may be time to reformat, get a faster card, or replace the card. For video, make sure you are using the fastest card for that purpose.

Memory Cards Wear Out

They don’t last forever. Replace your memory cards every couple of years. If a particular card is glitching or acting strange, it may be time to use a new card.

Only Buy What You Need

Don’t use one card for everything. When shooting a family vacation, it may be smarter to use two smaller cards, than one huge card. Or many cameras now have dual slots where you can back up your first card with the second. Either way, be smart and don’t put all of your images on one big sd card.

Don't Edit Delete in Camera

Okay, I’m terribly guilty of this one! Deleting in camera, causes hold in the memory card data. When deleting to make more room for photos, the new photos try to fill those holes, which can end up overlapping data. Not good! Just use a new card!

Buy a Reliable Brand

I have never had problems with SanDisk.

Final Thoughts

Well there you have it, everything you need to know to keep you from corrupt memory card nightmare. If you know of any other tips let us know in the comments below.

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