Should I erase my memory card after every download?

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Bill

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May 28, 2005, 10:30:36 PM5/28/05
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I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

Have you heard of something like this?


Sheldon

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May 28, 2005, 11:45:44 PM5/28/05
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"Bill" <bi...@nospamland.com> wrote in message
news:QP2dnQNQyfV...@comcast.com...
Not me. Since these cards are not the same as a floppy or hard drive, where
you are storing on magnetic media with heads and wear, one would think the
read/write cycle should be theoretically infinite. No moving parts. I have
yet to hear of a memory card wearing out. Anybody else?


Tony Hwang

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May 28, 2005, 11:46:46 PM5/28/05
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Hi,
No. But every time you download you wear the card out little by
little. Electrons get tired you know.
Tony

Pete D

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May 28, 2005, 11:48:54 PM5/28/05
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Only damaging the card will shorten it's life.

"Bill" <bi...@nospamland.com> wrote in message
news:QP2dnQNQyfV...@comcast.com...

Rudy Benner

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May 28, 2005, 11:11:35 PM5/28/05
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"Bill" <bi...@nospamland.com> wrote in message
news:QP2dnQNQyfV...@comcast.com...

Where did you hear this?


ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 12:10:14 AM5/29/05
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On Sat, 28 May 2005 21:45:44 -0600, Sheldon wrote:

> Not me. Since these cards are not the same as a floppy or hard drive, where
> you are storing on magnetic media with heads and wear, one would think the
> read/write cycle should be theoretically infinite. No moving parts. I have
> yet to hear of a memory card wearing out. Anybody else?

Yes, Flash RAM has a limited number of writes. This is even
mentioned in my camera's manual. But the number is sufficiently
high that it's unlikely to be noticed by the vast majority of people
using the same card for many, many years. The wearing out of Flash
RAM mostly effected people that used it as a portable drive in small
handheld computers and later in PDAs. The computers had the ability
to rewrite the same sector far more frequently than any still
camera. Semiconducter manufacturers in response developed far
longer lived Flash RAM. The only way I'd see cards wearing out
before their time is if they're used extensively to record videos.

If any cards used in cameras ever do "wear out", they're likely to
be rare events (who would still be using them?) so many years from
now that they'd be equivalent to today's 4MB cards. In other words,
little used curiosities. I remember not too long ago when my 80MB
CF card was considered to be huge. :)

stra...@yahoo.com

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May 29, 2005, 12:17:17 AM5/29/05
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Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory

These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing 3
times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of the
life expectancy of 10,000 cycles. You will certainly be using SOMETHING
else in 10 years. However, I would be more concerned about wearing out
the pins/contacts of the memory from inserting/removing in the camera
and card reader. I would expect the contacts on a CF card to take
10,000 insertions but I had a child try to insert a CF and bend a pin.
Of course, your mileage will vary. Bottom line, don't worry about it.
Glenn Gundlach

Message has been deleted

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 12:22:27 AM5/29/05
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> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com


Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 12:23:40 AM5/29/05
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> Not me. Since these cards are not the same as a floppy or hard drive,
where
> you are storing on magnetic media with heads and wear, one would think the
> read/write cycle should be theoretically infinite. No moving parts. I
have
> yet to hear of a memory card wearing out. Anybody else?

They have a limited life, but the average user isn't going to approach the
number of writes possible on modern cards.

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 12:30:42 AM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 04:22:27 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

>> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>

For some Memory Sticks it's as simple as flipping a switch. :)

I think that he normally downloads well before the card is filled.
It's very slightly riskier to continue using the card until it's
filled, before downloading. But downloading multiple times without
reformatting would be more convenient if the camera had a menu
option that forced all additional pictures to be stored in a new
folder in the card.

Message has been deleted

Photobossman

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May 29, 2005, 3:27:44 AM5/29/05
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Well my 64MB SD card lasted aprox 3 months that is when it got wet in a
Montana Mount lake around 45 degree water is all it took to destroy not only
my memory but the camera as well. However I at least did not loose my fish.

Gary

"ASAAR" <cau...@22.com> wrote in message
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pbde...@spamnuke.ludd.luthdelete.se.invalid

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May 29, 2005, 3:56:58 AM5/29/05
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> Yes, Flash RAM has a limited number of writes. This is even
>mentioned in my camera's manual. But the number is sufficiently
>high that it's unlikely to be noticed by the vast majority of people
>using the same card for many, many years. The wearing out of Flash
>RAM mostly effected people that used it as a portable drive in small
>handheld computers and later in PDAs. The computers had the ability
>to rewrite the same sector far more frequently than any still
>camera. Semiconducter manufacturers in response developed far
>longer lived Flash RAM. The only way I'd see cards wearing out
>before their time is if they're used extensively to record videos.

Why would video recording wear the card out more than takeing stills?

pbde...@spamnuke.ludd.luthdelete.se.invalid

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May 29, 2005, 4:14:00 AM5/29/05
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Flash cards certainly have a finite amount of _write_ cycles. Read cycles does
not cause wear and tear asfaik. Asfaik, most cards should manage at least
100 000 write cycles per block. Real old ones maybe 10 000 (less than 64 mb?).

What can wear out is the places which is often rewritten, ie the file
allocation tables (FAT). This and file allocation can be mitigated by writeing
the fat on new locations. On a harddisc you want fat+files as near as possible
due head movement. So first block(s) that are free is used. On a flashcard one
can use roundrobin allocation to make sure as few as possible writes are used.
Which requires that the user ofcourse doesn't reformat the card. Also bad
blocks that has gone bad can be marked "bad" and be avoided.

So when pic1, pic2 is written, and then deleted. pic3 is written on the
physical sectors that lies after pic2.

What can really wear out a flash card is a embedded system that uses the flash
card for swapping. Where one usually have to add enough memory and disable
swapping altogether.

It would be interesting to know if cameras verifies that the picture has been
written. And if it will handle a bad block situation well..

David J Taylor

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May 29, 2005, 4:23:22 AM5/29/05
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Confused wrote:
> On 28 May 2005 21:17:17 -0700
> In message <1117340237.5...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
> Posted from http://groups.google.com

> stra...@yahoo.com wrote:
>
>> Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
>>
>> These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing
>> 3 times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of
>> the life expectancy of 10,000 cycles.
>> <CROP>
>
> If that were true, it seems to me that the directory
> holding the FCB's for the 1st cluster of photos would
> reach 10,000 writes quickly. We *should* be seeing
> tons of failing card posts.
>
> Jeff

Yes, but I understand that the logical to physical mapping on cards is not
constant, for exactly this reason. Thus they wear evenly rather than
having a single region continuously hammered.

David


teflon

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May 29, 2005, 7:11:18 AM5/29/05
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On 29/5/05 3:30 am, in article QP2dnQNQyfV...@comcast.com, "Bill"
<bi...@nospamland.com> wrote:

Why tie yourself into knots worrying about the inside of a memory card? It's
about as pointless as worrying about the sensor in your camera wearing out
because of the different kind of pictures it sees.

Just take pictures and leave the insides of flash cards to the technicians.

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 7:43:57 AM5/29/05
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Yes, and it's true, but I would expect the card to be long obsolete
before you get near that limit. I usually let the card get a few dozen
pictures on it before erasing. It really isn't a practical issue.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 7:47:21 AM5/29/05
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If the CF slot on a device is properly designed, it would be impossible
to bend a pin unless something got into the slot. Unfortunately, NOT
all devices are designed that way. I never had a problem with inserting
a CF card, but then I was always careful.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 7:49:08 AM5/29/05
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Confused wrote:
> On 28 May 2005 21:17:17 -0700
> In message <1117340237.5...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
> Posted from http://groups.google.com
> stra...@yahoo.com wrote:
>
>
>>Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
>>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
>>
>>These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing 3
>>times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of the
>>life expectancy of 10,000 cycles.
>><CROP>
>
>
> If that were true, it seems to me that the directory
> holding the FCB's for the 1st cluster of photos would
> reach 10,000 writes quickly. We *should* be seeing
> tons of failing card posts.
>
> Jeff

Quickly? Say you wrote and erased the same sector 10 times each day,
that's 1000 days, or 3 years of use. I would probably consider that a
good use life. I understand that newer cards are rated at 5 times that now.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 7:50:13 AM5/29/05
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Mr. Mark wrote:
>>I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>>earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>>segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
>
> If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>
>
Uhhh, most people don't fill up a card before dumping the pictures to
the computer. THAT'S one of the advantages of digital!


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 7:51:36 AM5/29/05
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Water, alone, shouldn't hurt a memory card. Now if the camera was ON
when dropped into the water, all bets are off.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Bruce Coryell

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May 29, 2005, 8:38:29 AM5/29/05
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I've been using a 64 MB CF card for over four years now - erased it
thousands of times - actually outlived the camera!

Shawn Hearn

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May 29, 2005, 9:37:02 AM5/29/05
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In article <QP2dnQNQyfV...@comcast.com>,
"Bill" <bi...@nospamland.com> wrote:

Huh? That makes no sense at all. How do you expect to free up space on
the memory card unless you erase it or format it?

Scott Schuckert

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May 29, 2005, 9:50:04 AM5/29/05
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In article <2Whme.909$HN1...@fe02.lga>, Ron Hunter
<rphu...@charter.net> wrote:

> > I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> > earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> > segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

If you're taking the card out of the camera to read it, I'd be MUCH
more concerned with the number of insert/extract cycles the card
connector is designed to handle - I've never seen a spec on that. On
some computer cables, the number is only in the hundreds; I seem to
recall some internal connectors with rated cycles in the double digits.

Ken Weitzel

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May 29, 2005, 10:00:47 AM5/29/05
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Hi...

A few years ago, I left a smart media card in my shirt
pocket.

It got washed in the washing machine with detergent and
fabric softener - then dried in the dryer.

When next I wore the shirt, I found the card downloaded
the pics off it, and continued to use it. Best I know it's
still fine.

Ken

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 10:30:42 AM5/29/05
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On 29 May 2005 07:56:58 GMT,
pbde...@spamnuke.ludd.luthdelete.se.invalid wrote:

> Why would video recording wear the card out more than takeing stills?

Because you'd be writing far more quickly to the card. While it
might take sometimes take me a couple of days or weeks to fill a
large card taking stills, that same card could be filled with a
single video very quickly. With my camera, taking hi-res (640x480)
video will fill a 512MB card in only 7.4 minutes. On the other
hand, it's not too likely to effect the card's longevity because the
photographer will wear out long before the card does. :)

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 10:37:52 AM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 12:38:29 GMT, Bruce Coryell wrote:

> I've been using a 64 MB CF card for over four years now - erased it
> thousands of times - actually outlived the camera!

Really? You'd probably have to erase the card on average several
times a day for every day of those four years. Think of all the
labor that could have been saved by using a larger card! :)

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 10:42:26 AM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 00:27:44 -0700, Photobossman wrote:

> Well my 64MB SD card lasted aprox 3 months that is when
> it got wet in a Montana Mount lake around 45 degree water
> is all it took to destroy not only my memory but the camera
> as well. However I at least did not loose my fish.

The Gods were kind and let you off very lightly. :)

Uh, that's the camera's memory you're talking about, right?

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 11:02:02 AM5/29/05
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> Well my 64MB SD card lasted aprox 3 months that is when it got wet in a
> Montana Mount lake around 45 degree water is all it took to destroy not
only
> my memory but the camera as well. However I at least did not loose my
fish.

LOL! I lost a camera like that, but the cards were all still good after
drying out.

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 11:04:45 AM5/29/05
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> > If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>
> >
> Uhhh, most people don't fill up a card before dumping the pictures to
> the computer. THAT'S one of the advantages of digital!

I fill up all 5 256mb cards (about 300-350 photos) in just a few hours of
shooting. I take my laptop with me if I plan to shoot all day. What's the
advantage of digital? That it doesn't use film? That's the /only/
advantage of digital.

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 11:01:21 AM5/29/05
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> > If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>
>
> For some Memory Sticks it's as simple as flipping a switch. :)

I'll have to look into that. Thanks.

But downloading multiple times without
> reformatting would be more convenient if the camera had a menu
> option that forced all additional pictures to be stored in a new
> folder in the card.

Reformatting? Who said anything about reformatting? Deleting files only
writes the file location out of the file index, it doesn't actually write
zeros over the file.

> It's very slightly riskier to continue using the card until it's
> filled, before downloading.

Why is that?

Frank ess

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May 29, 2005, 12:11:27 PM5/29/05
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My guess:

There isn't enough effect in any changes the operator can make to
outweigh mental wear-and-tear involved in making adjustments to other,
more salient aspects of workflow.

Shoot until you want to use the images, store and manipulate them,
format the card and make some more images.

If the ship sinks (you miss a few shots while you log the number of
writes/rewrites), how important is it that the deck chairs are in a
line (card sites are ever-so-slightly less likely to be nearing
obscurity)?

--
Frank S

"Verbing wierds language."
—Calvin

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 12:46:43 PM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 15:01:21 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

>> But downloading multiple times without
>> reformatting would be more convenient if the camera had a menu
>> option that forced all additional pictures to be stored in a new
>> folder in the card.
>
> Reformatting? Who said anything about reformatting? Deleting files only
> writes the file location out of the file index, it doesn't actually write
> zeros over the file.

It amounts to the same thing. Do you really think that
reformatting zeros out the files? On some cameras reformatting may
be much quicker than deleting all files. It depends on how
efficiently the camera's software happens to have been written.
Some operating systems may do extensive disk writes when formatting
hard drives, but it's usually optional, and many format programs
defaulted to a very quick logical format, which allowed disk utility
programs to easily recover files from supposedly "reformatted"
drives. Substitute "deleting" for "reformatting" if you wish. But
if you have a large card, you ought to try reformatting it at least
once to verify whether on your camera it takes only seconds or many
minutes to finish, if you haven't already done so.

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 12:59:56 PM5/29/05
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Here is how I use my cards. I take pictures, download to the computer,
and let the pictures remain on the card until I have taken a few dozen
pictures. This assures that should I mess up a file on the computer, or
inadvertently write over an original, I can just get the file from the
card. Since the card I have in my camera now holds over 300 pictures at
max res., there is no real reason to delete the pictures each time I
take, and download a few. It isn't like film, you don't HAVE to fill
the card every time before you download the pictures!


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 1:02:53 PM5/29/05
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Nor does reformatting, in most cases, only rewrites the FAT and root
directory.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 1:02:10 PM5/29/05
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Mr. Mark wrote:
>>>If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>
>>>
>>Uhhh, most people don't fill up a card before dumping the pictures to
>>the computer. THAT'S one of the advantages of digital!
>
>
> I fill up all 5 256mb cards (about 300-350 photos) in just a few hours of
> shooting. I take my laptop with me if I plan to shoot all day. What's the
> advantage of digital? That it doesn't use film? That's the /only/
> advantage of digital.
>
NONSENSE! There are MANY advantages to digital. If you haven't
discovered that yet, you have a lot of pleasant surprises in store for
the future.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

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May 29, 2005, 1:03:39 PM5/29/05
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On my computer reformatting is MUCH faster than deleting 2 or 3 hundred
files!


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 1:01:56 PM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 15:01:21 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

>> For some Memory Sticks it's as simple as flipping a switch. :)
>
> I'll have to look into that. Thanks.

No need. That was said tongue in cheek. The switch isn't used to
delete files. It in effect enables 1/2 of the card and disables the
other half. When both halves have been filled you'd still have to
delete files using the usual methods.


>> It's very slightly riskier to continue using the card until it's
>> filled, before downloading.
>
> Why is that?

Accidents happen. Cards can be lost or stolen (as can the
cameras containing them), though not usually spindled or mutilated.
They can also fail and require replacement. If it ever happens, the
more that was on the card, the more that will be lost. What I said
wasn't meant to imply that losses would occur more often, but that
if it happened, on average, the losses would be much greater. And
the "slightly" was added to indicate that it may not be worth
worrying about too much as these losses are probably pretty rare.
But it's the same kind of reasoning many people use when they say
that they prefer using multiple cards instead of one large card,
which would be more convenient. If a card is lost or damaged, the
loss won't be as great.

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 4:48:48 PM5/29/05
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> > Reformatting? Who said anything about reformatting? Deleting files
only
> > writes the file location out of the file index, it doesn't actually
write
> > zeros over the file.
>
> It amounts to the same thing.

No it doesn't. Not at all. Formatting is going to perform unnecessary disk
writes - even a quick format.

> Do you really think that
> reformatting zeros out the files?

A full format - yes. A quick format, no. Because all a quick format does
is wipe and rewrite the file index tables. But it rewrites them from
scratch. If you delete files you don't go through this extra step.

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 4:53:39 PM5/29/05
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> Accidents happen. Cards can be lost or stolen (as can the
> cameras containing them), though not usually spindled or mutilated.
> They can also fail and require replacement. If it ever happens, the
> more that was on the card, the more that will be lost.

Well GEEZZ.. that's like saying don't shoot a whole roll of film because the
camera might get lost. I fill up 5 cards every time I go to the park.

> What I said
> wasn't meant to imply that losses would occur more often, but that
> if it happened, on average, the losses would be much greater.

I guess this only matters if you're shooting with a 3 gig card. But if you
were shooting a 4 hour event (wedding for example) you might well fill such
a card and would have a reasonable expectation to fill it. Filling the card
is just part of normal workflow IMO. But the pics don't stay on the card
long - I come home and off load those buggers to the hard drive so I can
loose them when /it/ fails. :)

> And
> the "slightly" was added to indicate that it may not be worth
> worrying about too much as these losses are probably pretty rare.

Agreed. :)

> But it's the same kind of reasoning many people use when they say
> that they prefer using multiple cards instead of one large card,
> which would be more convenient. If a card is lost or damaged, the
> loss won't be as great.

I miss shots because I'm changing cards.. multi-cards - bah!

clu...@lycos.com

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May 29, 2005, 4:55:06 PM5/29/05
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pbde...@spamnuke.ludd.luthdelete.se.invalid wrote:

>Why would video recording wear the card out more than takeing stills?

Cause a typical session uses much more of the card's memory?

Wes

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 4:55:30 PM5/29/05
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> Nor does reformatting, in most cases, only rewrites the FAT and root
> directory.

Actually, deleting a file on from a Windows based FAT only changes the first
character of the file name.

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 5:02:53 PM5/29/05
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> > I fill up all 5 256mb cards (about 300-350 photos) in just a few hours
of
> > shooting. I take my laptop with me if I plan to shoot all day. What's
the
> > advantage of digital? That it doesn't use film? That's the /only/
> > advantage of digital.
> >
> NONSENSE! There are MANY advantages to digital. If you haven't
> discovered that yet, you have a lot of pleasant surprises in store for
> the future.

At the risk of starting a very long thread...

Please give me a couple examples of advantages of digital over film that are
not directly related to the mere absence of film in the process. All the
advantages that I can think of are only conveniences derived from
eliminating film from the work flow. These would be speed (shutter to
view), compact (carry a bazillon photos in your pocket), ease of publishing
(web), long term cost effectiveness (i've burned over $700 in film dev in
the last 3 months), etc.

Message has been deleted

Mr. Mark

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May 29, 2005, 5:04:38 PM5/29/05
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> Here is how I use my cards. I take pictures, download to the computer,
> and let the pictures remain on the card until I have taken a few dozen
> pictures. This assures that should I mess up a file on the computer, or
> inadvertently write over an original, I can just get the file from the
> card.

You should consider making your files on the computer read only as part of
your work flow. I only had to resize one image and save it to the original
file one time to learn that lesson. Ick.. what a yuck feeling.

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 7:37:20 PM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 20:48:48 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

>> Do you really think that
>> reformatting zeros out the files?
>
> A full format - yes. A quick format, no. Because all a quick format does
> is wipe and rewrite the file index tables. But it rewrites them from
> scratch. If you delete files you don't go through this extra step.

Oh, no. As far as I'm aware that would only be possible if
formatting is done by the computer with the card in a card reader,
generally considered to be bad practice. Formatting in the camera
is where it should be done, and I'm unaware of any camera that
performs a full format. But as I've probably used far fewer than 1%
of the existing cameras there may be a few the allow full formats.
Maybe G.P. knows of one. :)

ASAAR

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May 29, 2005, 7:47:59 PM5/29/05
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 20:53:39 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

>> Accidents happen. Cards can be lost or stolen (as can the
>> cameras containing them), though not usually spindled or mutilated.
>> They can also fail and require replacement. If it ever happens, the
>> more that was on the card, the more that will be lost.
>
> Well GEEZZ.. that's like saying don't shoot a whole roll of film because the
> camera might get lost. I fill up 5 cards every time I go to the park.

You misunderstand. What I'm saying is that if it takes a week for
someone to fill a card, they shouldn't wait until the card is full
before copying files to the camera. At the end of each day they
should at least copy all of the new pictures to the computer. To
blindly follow what you percieved to be my recommendation would
require you to do something like buying another 5 cards and when you
return from the park you'd have 10 half filled cards. Clearly an
absurd practice. On the other hand, if you understood what I was
trying to get across, if you went to the park with 10 cards and
returned after filling only 5, when you returned home you'd copy the
5 cards images to the computer immediately, rather than waiting
another day or so until all 10 cards would be filled.

Ron Hunter

unread,
May 29, 2005, 10:23:43 PM5/29/05
to
Sorry, but if you delete files, then a multi-step process takes place
where each file is located, the directory entry rewritten to make it
available, and then the FAT table is also rewritten for that entry.
This takes place for EACH file, instead of just rewriting the FAT in one
write, and the Root directory in one write.
This is MUCH faster than deleting many files.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

unread,
May 29, 2005, 10:27:11 PM5/29/05
to
If you miss shots while changing cards, then you are either very slow,
or you should be using a video camera... How many shots can one miss in
15 seconds?


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

unread,
May 29, 2005, 10:28:27 PM5/29/05
to
Mr. Mark wrote:
>>Nor does reformatting, in most cases, only rewrites the FAT and root
>>directory.
>
>
> Actually, deleting a file on from a Windows based FAT only changes the first
> character of the file name.
>
And rewrites the associated FAT table entries.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Ron Hunter

unread,
May 29, 2005, 10:30:34 PM5/29/05
to
Ease of post processing. Immediate feedback as to the picture quality.
Cost of each picture. Robust media.
In camera processing, and review.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Steve

unread,
May 29, 2005, 10:34:20 PM5/29/05
to
On Sun, 29 May 2005 21:02:53 GMT, "Mr. Mark" <e.ca...@southpark.com>
wrote:

>At the risk of starting a very long thread...
>
>Please give me a couple examples of advantages of digital over film that are
>not directly related to the mere absence of film in the process. All the
>advantages that I can think of are only conveniences derived from
>eliminating film from the work flow. These would be speed (shutter to
>view), compact (carry a bazillon photos in your pocket), ease of publishing
>(web), long term cost effectiveness (i've burned over $700 in film dev in
>the last 3 months), etc.


For the pros, you probably have a good point.
But for us amatures out there digital allows us to tweak our photo's,
and thus save a picture that would have been totally trash on film.

The ability to see a thumbnail of our pics immediately afterwards,
often allows us to retake a particular pic if we didn't like the
outcome.


ASAAR

unread,
May 29, 2005, 11:33:35 PM5/29/05
to
On Sun, 29 May 2005 21:02:53 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

> Please give me a couple examples of advantages of digital over film that are
> not directly related to the mere absence of film in the process. All the
> advantages that I can think of are only conveniences derived from
> eliminating film from the work flow. These would be speed (shutter to
> view), compact (carry a bazillon photos in your pocket), ease of publishing
> (web), long term cost effectiveness (i've burned over $700 in film dev in
> the last 3 months), etc.

Based on one of your earlier statements in this thread, you left
out one that you seem to consider important:

> I miss shots because I'm changing cards.. multi-cards - bah!

OK, you don't want to miss shots so you avoid the approximately 10
seconds during changing cards when the camera isn't able to take
pictures, by using a large card that can hold hundreds of pictures.
But with a camera that uses 20 or 36 exposure rolls of film to take
the same number of pictures, you'd have to change the film a couple
of dozen times. Each change represents an opportunity for something
to go wrong, you'd have to carry a lot of film (or make frequent
trips to get more), and each change would probably take longer than
each of the card changes - changes that won't be necessary if the
card is large enough.

Other advantages? Here are four that probably are more useful or
relevant to casual shooters rather than pros:

1. Most new digital cameras can take videos. Quality varies and
length of recording is nothing to get excited about.

2. Still images can be voice annotated.

3. No more incompetent processing where film is lost, returned
scratched, frames at beginning or end of roll cut in two, swapped
with another customers pictures, or the police are called because
someone noticed that a 10 month old infant wasn't wearing a diaper.

4. Digital has the "chimp" factor in its favor. :)

Message has been deleted

Roger

unread,
May 30, 2005, 3:44:47 AM5/30/05
to
Ignoring the word "should", you can if you want to, but you don't have
to.

Contrary to what some believe neither format writes zeros to the data
blocks on the cards. If they did the data recovery programs would
not work.

Normally you gain nothing by formatting, but you lose nothing.

Memory cards do not *normally* get fragmented unless you only delete
some of the photos and leave others. Once you delete all photos then
all blocks are available with the exception of those devoted to the
directories.

So... If you want to delete them, do so. If you want to format the
card, then do so. I stick the card into a reader, copy to one
computer and move to the other which leaves the card clean.

Normally formatting is faster than deleting, but neither take
long...depending on how they are done.

My cards are over 2 years old now and have only been formatted a
couple of times. I did format one today as I had been using it to
copy programs and to update the firmware on my D-70. After all that I
decided I wanted to clean the card although it most likely wasn't
necessary. As the card was already in the camera I did the format
there.

Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com

Message has been deleted
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Nostrobino

unread,
May 30, 2005, 9:36:19 AM5/30/05
to

"ASAAR" <cau...@22.com> wrote in message
news:8k0l911fq1u1ocej0...@4ax.com...

:-)

>
> 4. Digital has the "chimp" factor in its favor. :)

5. Exposure data is recorded. I have a couple of Minolta 35mm SLRs that will
do this too, on an expansion card, but digital cameras do it with much less
bother, automatically, and provide a lot more information besides.

6. Dating (on the prints, not amorously). While I've never had much use for
this myself, a lot of people do. I bought my sister a 35 with the date
feature and she loves it, uses it all the time. But with 35s either the
negative *is* dated (in which case you can't easily get rid of it) or it *is
not* (in which case it can't easily be added to the prints). Digital
provides the ability to add date to the prints at some later time if, and
only if, desired.

What's the "chimp" factor?

N.


Ron Hunter

unread,
May 30, 2005, 9:54:16 AM5/30/05
to
John A. Stovall wrote:

> On Sun, 29 May 2005 15:04:45 GMT, "Mr. Mark" <e.ca...@southpark.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>>>>If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>
>>>>
>>>Uhhh, most people don't fill up a card before dumping the pictures to
>>>the computer. THAT'S one of the advantages of digital!
>>
>>I fill up all 5 256mb cards (about 300-350 photos) in just a few hours of
>>shooting. I take my laptop with me if I plan to shoot all day. What's the
>>advantage of digital? That it doesn't use film? That's the /only/
>>advantage of digital.
>
>
> 4 Gig cards solve that problem. Sounds like you need better equipment.
>
>
>

Does 'putting all your eggs in one basket' mean anything to you.
Perhaps some 512-1GB cards would be a good compromise.


--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Nostrobino

unread,
May 30, 2005, 9:54:26 AM5/30/05
to

"John A. Stovall" <johnas...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:bs1m91dupm20gogup...@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 29 May 2005 23:33:35 -0400, ASAAR <cau...@22.com> wrote:
>
[ . . . ]

>>
>> Other advantages? Here are four that probably are more useful or
>>relevant to casual shooters rather than pros:
>>
>> 1. Most new digital cameras can take videos. Quality varies and
>>length of recording is nothing to get excited about.
>
> I would consider that a negative.

How is it a negative? While I very, very rarely shoot short videos in a
digital camera myself, it does provide some entertainment value and there
are users who like to do it more often than I do. It doesn't *detract* from
the camera's functionality in any way, doesn't seem to add a dime to the
cost and if you don't want it you just ignore it.


>
>>
>> 2. Still images can be voice annotated.
>

> Why bother that's why you carry a small note pad.

Why bother with a small note pad when you can voice annotate in the camera?
Then you never wonder about which note goes with which photo.


>
>>
>> 3. No more incompetent processing where film is lost, returned
>>scratched, frames at beginning or end of roll cut in two, swapped
>>with another customers pictures, or the police are called because
>>someone noticed that a 10 month old infant wasn't wearing a diaper.
>

> You sent your film out?

You process your own *color* film? Eeeuuwwww. I did that 15 or 20 years ago
and it didn't take me long to get sick of it. Maybe it's a lot different
now, but why bother anyway when there's digital?

N.


Ron Hunter

unread,
May 30, 2005, 9:56:24 AM5/30/05
to
John A. Stovall wrote:
> I consider in camera process more of a negative and don't use it.

Or course you do. Some processing is done in the camera in all cases.
Many cameras have adjustable parameters for things like sharpening, and
newer ones will even lighten dark areas, and suppress noise. You
wouldn't want an 'unprocessed' ISO 1600 picture from any current digital
camera.

--
Ron Hunter rphu...@charter.net

Nostrobino

unread,
May 30, 2005, 10:36:13 AM5/30/05
to

"Scott Schuckert" <n...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:290520050950043958%n...@aol.com...
> In article <2Whme.909$HN1...@fe02.lga>, Ron Hunter
> <rphu...@charter.net> wrote:
>
>> > I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes.
>> > If I
>> > earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the
>> > first
>> > segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> If you're taking the card out of the camera to read it, I'd be MUCH
> more concerned with the number of insert/extract cycles the card
> connector is designed to handle - I've never seen a spec on that.

Same here, and I often think about that when I use a card reader. But if I
*don't* use a card reader then there's the number of plug/unplug cycles of
the camera USB connector to think about. I wonder, is there any reason to
suppose one is hardier than the other? Of course the USB connector would be
plugged/unplugged only half as often.


> On
> some computer cables, the number is only in the hundreds; I seem to
> recall some internal connectors with rated cycles in the double digits.

Can you remember what sort (or general type) of connectors those would be?

N.


David J Taylor

unread,
May 30, 2005, 11:22:58 AM5/30/05
to
Nostrobino wrote:
> "Scott Schuckert" <n...@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:290520050950043958%n...@aol.com...
[]

>> On
>> some computer cables, the number is only in the hundreds; I seem to
>> recall some internal connectors with rated cycles in the double
>> digits.
>
> Can you remember what sort (or general type) of connectors those
> would be?

That was certainly true for some larger connectors used on larger computer
systems (e.g. VAX in multiple 19-inch racks cabinets), which were only
intended to be connected at system build time - and perhaps if the system
was moved.

It might also be true for some of the connectors on today's PCs - those
intended just at build time - although this would surprise me.

David


ASAAR

unread,
May 30, 2005, 11:34:26 AM5/30/05
to
On Mon, 30 May 2005 12:32:31 GMT, John A. Stovall wrote:

>> Other advantages? Here are four that probably are more useful or
>>relevant to casual shooters rather than pros:
>>
>> 1. Most new digital cameras can take videos. Quality varies and
>>length of recording is nothing to get excited about.
>

> I would consider that a negative.

Did you say that to hint that you're a pro as opposed to a casual
shooter? I think you don't understand how "advantage" is being used
here. It doesn't imply an endorsement of the feature. It simply
means that it's a feature that owners of digital cameras can take
advantage of if they so choose, while film camera owners don't have
the same option.


>> 2. Still images can be voice annotated.
>

> Why bother that's why you carry a small note pad.

Are you so limited in imagination that you can't think of several
reasons why using a note pad would not be as useful? It takes more
effort to take notes and is slower. I'd have to make sure to record
the image's filename with the note, and later have to transfer the
information into the computer, either into a database, EXIF's
comment section, or use some other method, leading to another
problem. What if it's the "voice recording" that's wanted, such as
a friend or relative commenting on the picture that was just taken?
That can't be captured on a note pad. But it can be easily played
back for the enjoyment of others, either directly from the camera or
from the computer, where the audio files are easily associated with
the image files (by filename).


>> 3. No more incompetent processing where film is lost, returned
>> scratched, frames at beginning or end of roll cut in two, swapped
>> with another customers pictures, or the police are called because
>> someone noticed that a 10 month old infant wasn't wearing a diaper.

> You sent your film out?

I'm detecting a pattern here.


>> 4. Digital has the "chimp" factor in its favor. :)
>

> I take it you don't show RAW.

Uh, this is a comparison of differences between digital and film.
Which film cameras have RAW capabilities? I'm not sure whether the
pattern indicates that you're obtuse or trying to troll. Maybe
both? In any case, I'd like to know what your point is, as with my
camera at least, there's no difference between whether the camera
records images as RAW or JPG files. When "chimping" successive
images on the camera's LCD display, you don't even know which ones
were taken RAW and which ones weren't unless you choose to view
additonal image information on the display.

ASAAR

unread,
May 30, 2005, 11:50:48 AM5/30/05
to
On Mon, 30 May 2005 09:36:19 -0400, Nostrobino wrote:

> 5. Exposure data is recorded. I have a couple of Minolta 35mm SLRs that will
> do this too, on an expansion card, but digital cameras do it with much less
> bother, automatically, and provide a lot more information besides.

True. My old Nikon could record a limited amount of information,
but required a data back to do so. The "pro" models could record
more, but as you say, was more bothersome and I believe required
addition equipment, such as a Zaurus, IIRC.


> 6. Dating (on the prints, not amorously). While I've never had much use for
> this myself, a lot of people do. I bought my sister a 35 with the date
> feature and she loves it, uses it all the time. But with 35s either the
> negative *is* dated (in which case you can't easily get rid of it) or it *is
> not* (in which case it can't easily be added to the prints). Digital
> provides the ability to add date to the prints at some later time if, and
> only if, desired.

And I think that there are a few digitals that can burn the date
info. into the image just like the film cameras, which I guess could
be a worthwhile feature for some people that use their P&S just like
their 35mm their cameras. With the same drawback you mentioned.


> What's the "chimp" factor?

Haven't you ever taken pictures of kids and had them immediately
run to the camera to see what the picture looked like? Substitute a
bunch of curious chimps for the kids. But it's also used by
photographers to refer to themselves ("I 'chimped' the pictures to
see if I had to retake some of the shots".) With film there's no
comparable chimp factor unless you're taking pictures with something
like a Polaroid camera. :)

Message has been deleted
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Barry Pearson

unread,
May 30, 2005, 12:57:46 PM5/30/05
to
teflon wrote:
[snip]
> Why tie yourself into knots worrying about the inside of a memory card? It's
> about as pointless as worrying about the sensor in your camera wearing out
> because of the different kind of pictures it sees.
>
> Just take pictures and leave the insides of flash cards to the technicians.

Whether you are using film or digital, it is still worth being
vigilant.

When I used film (for a mere 40 years or so) I always had the question
in mind "what can go wrong?" Baggage being lost? Film going astray
to/from processing? How could I minimise these problems?

Now I almost exclusively shoot digital, and I keep the same questions
in mind. We are aware of the recent announcements of firmware problems
in top-end Lexar cards that can cause images to be lost in some Canon
cameras in rare circumstances. It makes sense to stay aware of such
problems, in case they affect our cameras. And to upgrade our cards
where relevant.

http://www.lexar.com/support/cust_advisory.html

"Vigilant", not "paranoid".

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.barry.pearson.name/photography/
http://www.birdsandanimals.info/

Barry Pearson

unread,
May 30, 2005, 1:13:16 PM5/30/05
to
Ron Hunter wrote:
[snip]
> Here is how I use my cards. I take pictures, download to the computer,
> and let the pictures remain on the card until I have taken a few dozen
> pictures. This assures that should I mess up a file on the computer, or
> inadvertently write over an original, I can just get the file from the
> card. Since the card I have in my camera now holds over 300 pictures at
> max res., there is no real reason to delete the pictures each time I
> take, and download a few. It isn't like film, you don't HAVE to fill
> the card every time before you download the pictures!

I won't comment on what you do. But I'll simply say that what is
important is that you have a workflow that works for you.

My own workflow is totally different. But it works for me.

I convert to DNG straight from the cards, into a folder on a disc that
I don't use for Photoshop purposes. Then I copy to a folder on the disc
I use for Photoshop. I verify the conversion & copying using Bridge /
ACR. Then I reformat the cards in the camera. (I only get about 70
photographs on a 1GB card).

On this Photoshop disc, I let CS2 / ACR rewrite the DNG files to
include the settings & adjustments. It appears to be able to do this
non-destructively.

So the key for me is to have good copies of the Raw files in 2
different places, so that I am not vulnerable to single points of
failure. (Except the house falling down). I archive to CD before
deleting either of these copies. But I am worried about the longevity
of CDs, so I have decided to keep one copy on magnetic disc anyway.

Message has been deleted
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jojo

unread,
May 30, 2005, 1:57:24 PM5/30/05
to
I agree. Never erase cards until your images are in 2 places. Get a
bus-powered, pocket-sized hard drive to dump your images to on the fly.
I like Other-World-Computer's little hard drives that are made from
Powerbook 2.5" drives...they're pretty cheap and fast.

Also, don't erase...re-format.

jo