As photographers, we heavily rely on memory cards, because they store images captured by our cameras and we use them to transfer images to our computers / main storage. In some cases, photographers even rely on memory cards to be their secondary or tertiary backups when shooting in the field. The role of memory cards in a photography workflow should not be underestimated – a failed card may not only lead to many problems and frustrations, but can also create bigger problems, especially when dealing with commercial clients who could make the photographer liable for loss of their images. In this article, I will share some tips on how to properly use memory cards and how to take care of them based on my many years of experience, both as a photographer and as an IT professional.
With higher megapixel cameras, storage needs are growing rapidly, especially once you start using a redundant setup with dual cards mirroring data on modern DSLRs. I have been using SanDisk cards for many years now and whenever I see a good sale, I jump on to get the best deals. B&H just let us know that SanDisk is running a one day heavy discount promo, which will end tonight. So if you are looking for a good deal, check out some of these savings on all types of cards, including SanDisk’s Extreme Pro line (up to 160 MB/sec!).
The process to update the firmware on the D4 is straightforward, but if you are unfamiliar with it, Nikon has a PDF document on their website to assist you. However, it fails to mention a critical piece of information that may affect you. If you have been shooting tethered to a computer, you must turn off the the Network connection. Otherwise, the camera will not recognize the update file on the CF card or the XQD card and you will not be able to finish the install. If you have not enabled a network connection or you have already turned it off, you should not have a problem.
Many of our readers have been asking me to provide some information on how the new Nikon D800 (see our review) compares to the Nikon D700 (see our review) in terms of speed (“fps” or “frames per second”) and camera buffer. In the below video, I show the performance of both cameras side by side when shooting 14-bit Lossless Compressed RAW images with very fast SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB compact flash memory:
After losing a memory card with the best pictures from a trip I took across the western USA, I decided to write a quick article on how to store memory cards and how not to lose photographs during long trips. It was a lesson learned the hard and painful way, so a couple of days after the loss, I came up with a plan to protect my data going forward and try not to lose it any more in the field. Below you will find my plan and my recommendations.
I know that the chances of recovering a lost or stolen memory card are close to zero, but I still want to try it. As I have pointed out in my post earlier this week, I lost a 16GB Compact Flash card in Yosemite National Park. The bad news for me, is that I had the best pictures from the trip on that card. Since I did not backup the contents of the card on a daily basis (rookie mistake #1), I do not have a copy of the photographs. The card contained the full first week of the trip, along with some images from the second week. Why do I have the best images on that card? Because I periodically deleted some blurry/out of focus wildlife images from the first card on my D3s to empty some space (rookie mistake #2) and most next day sunrise images went on that card instead of the second one. In addition, the 16GB CF card I was using was brand new and I forgot to put my name and my contact information on the back of it (rookie mistake #3). When both CF cards on my camera got full, I inserted a new 16GB card into my camera and because I was busy shooting a waterfall in Yosemite, I temporarily put the CF card into my pocket instead of putting it away into my camera bag (rookie mistake #4). The card somehow fell out of my pocket the same day somewhere in Yosemite.