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Poll request: compact flash failures

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rahim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rahim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Poll request: compact flash failures
    Posted: 11 November 2007 at 19:06
I know a number of photographer friends who keep multiple flash cards rather than one large card. The common justification is having a back-up should the card in the camera die in a critical situation.

I'm contemplating my next card purchase (probably when I finally get round to buying an A700 which may be some time!) and I'm wondering how common card death really is? If there's only a tiny number of failures across all the members here I'd be inclined to get a big card to avoid the hassle of switching.

(A common second justification is often minimising the number of shots lost due to equipment theft/loss, but I'm just as, if not more, inclined to lose a floating second card...)

Anyone else interested enough to justify a poll?
 



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redmalloc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote redmalloc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2007 at 19:55
I would be interested to know how many have had problem with memory cards. Personally I have never had it happen.

Also another reason to buy multiple smaller card vs 1 big one, is cost. Generally it is easier to find cheap deals (cost/GB) in smaller memory densities.
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stiuskr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2007 at 19:58
I'd be curious to see the results. Up until just very recently I always reformatted the card in camera after downloading. Then I realized it's just as easy to delete them all at once with the cam still tethered to the computer. I've heard that excessive reformatting can degrade a card, but I've done it literally hundreds of times with no problems so far.
I've got three cards, a 2G SanDisk Extreme IV, 1G Dane-Elec(came with the gifted 7D) and 512MB SanDisk Ultra II(only thing I could find at Myrtle Beach when I received the camera). Of the 12000+ frames taken so far 99% were with the 2G card, and since I first got it it's only been removed from the cam maybe 3 or 4 times.
We could probably have three or more polls concerning cards that I can think of.
1-Have you ever had a card failure?
2-What size card resides in the camera?
3-Do you download with a card reader or the camera tethered?
4-Do you delete all pics or reformat after downloading?
5-How many frames has the card seen?
From these choices here I'd be most interested in the first two.

Edited by stiuskr - 11 November 2007 at 22:03
Rob Suits Jr.
a99M2 a99 a77 a700 KM7D|Min24/2.8 Min35/2 So50/1.4 So50/2.8 Min85/1.4G Tam90/2.8 Tam180/3.5|Tam17-50 CZ24-70G2 KM28-75D So70-200G1 So70-300G So70-400G1| SonyF60 AD200R2
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Post Options Post Options   Quote anderslynge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2007 at 20:29
Never happend to me... I use a Sandisk Extreme III one gigabyte and a Sandisk Extreme III two gigabyte. I bought the one gb first, and the two gb when it was the same price as the one gb was half a year before :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote OniFactor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2007 at 20:42
my entire thought about it is the same as for film.. spread your shots across multiple rolls/cards. if you lose one roll/card, that's not a chunk of time taken out of the photos, it's just a few from here or there..
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David_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote David_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2007 at 23:04
I recently had a 4gb transcend card fail. Newegg sent a new one no questions asked. I tend to carry a couple of 4gb cards when I travel and a couple of slower 2gb as backup. 1gb just fills up to quickly.

DS
 



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polyglot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polyglot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 03:04
27k actuations across my two digital cameras, no card failures. Both were using Ritek cards (512MB in the D7i, 4GB in the A100).

Repeated formatting will have no meaningful adverse effect on a card, certainly no worse than file deletion and possibly better than file deletion. The flash media in cards does wear out, but they have wear-leveling firmware built in so that writes are uniformly distributed across the physical media and the important sectors (FAT, free list and root directory) do not wear out prematurely.

Writing a single jpeg to the card will wear out the card more than an in-camera format. Deleting hundreds of files individually from a very full card will require many sectors to be overwritten to erase all those diretory entries whereas an in-camera format will write only a couple of sectors to generate the minimal empty structure.

Formatting on the computer though can cause significant wear (equivalent to filling the card entirely) if you enable bad-block checking in the format process.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote camelriders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 03:34
I have one 4 and one 8GB compact flash micro-drive, which I no longer use because of poor performance - these cards are slow.

I have a Snadisk Extreme III 4GB card and a Lexar 133x 4GB card - I have found the Sandisk a little fast than the Lexar.

I have never had a card go bad in any of my Minolta/Sony cameras, however. I do have a 256GB Dane-elec card that went bad a few years ago and a 16meg card from many years ago that went bad as well.

I have no plans on getting cards that are too large and will most likely stick with 4GB cards or possibly 8GB when I get a new camera if I need it - don't want the card to be too small or two big.

I always use a card reader to load my pics to my PC as I see no reason to use my cameras battery power to handle this operation. Also, sometimes I perform a delete all of my pics on my card if there are not many, otherwise, I format the cards. If the card is full it takes a very long time to delete all the pics and uses to much battery power, whereas. If I format the cards, it's done in seconds.

Edited by camelriders - 12 November 2007 at 03:36
Regards,
Bruce.
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stiuskr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 04:21
ah-hah. Thanks much for that clear explanation, polyglot. I was going by a recommendation from Kim Komando (the digital goddess) about formatting and write cycles. Even though she was talking about usb thumb drives I figured the same applied to cf cards. So, back to reformatting for me. I'll still do all downloading in cam vs. the card reader though as I use the a/c power adapter so battery draw is not an issue.
And personally I've only maxed out the 2GB card maybe 3 or 4 times with the 7D, now that I've gotten away from bracket shooting I rarely take more than 100 shots at a time anyway. But if I do ever get the a700, or another Alpha yet to be released, I'll probably step up to a 4GB.

#6-How often do you fill your cf card in one session?
Rob Suits Jr.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 05:00
I think the concerns over card failure aren't very valid. The issues causing card failure are preventable.

I have card from 4meg to 4gig, never an issue. Including my micro drives.

Thing is, you should be practicing "safe flash card usage".

1) Only by the best stuff. The only MDs I would by are Hatachi, but they are no longer of use as flash is so cheap now. Any issues I have ever seen people have with MDs is non Hatachi units, or very early units, or ones people yanked out of portable devices. Other issues were caused by user that would be the same for CF.   For flash. I now only buy Sandisk. I'd be fine with buying a Lexar too, and now probably wouldn't be an issue to buy a Sony card. But all the cheaper brands, no thanks. It's not like buying the best cards cost you much more. Why risk it. So many times when someone has a real problem, it's an off brand.

2) Never by cards from ebay or similar. I still do not understand why folks buy from ebay, of course this isn't just cards, but about anything. Ebay is not a store. It's an action site, it's for used things. If it's new, and it's on ebay, don't buy it. And besides we all know most the cards on ebay now are fake. By them from real place, reputable places like BH, newegg, or best buy.

3) Format in the camera every time. No exceptions. Do not use delete, do not delete or format in the computer.

4) Don't switch around between devices. Dedicate cards for a single device.


Most CF failures aren't failures, they are corruption's. Mainly caused by people not formating, or formatting in their computers. Also people yanking them out not powered down.

I've never heard of an actual real failure of a top brand card from the card just dying without anything being done that would cause issues.

To me having a lot of cards laying around in your bag and loosing one is more of an issue. Or putting a filled card back in and formating over it by mistake.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MojoRick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 06:03
I put one though the washing machine AND the dryer. That was almost two years ago, and it is still working.

It is a 1 Gig SanDisk Ultra II.
Rick
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rahim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rahim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 09:14
Originally posted by David_S David_S wrote:

I recently had a 4gb transcend card fail.


That's not what I wanted to hear! My current card is a 4GB Transcend too! Only problem I've ever had has been file corruption after using a dodgy card reader.

Originally posted by MojoRick MojoRick wrote:

I put one though the washing machine AND the dryer. That was almost two years ago, and it is still working.

It is a 1 Gig SanDisk Ultra II.


LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dipsausje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2008 at 01:51
I've never had any card fail. Not with my MemoryStick , MicroSD or CF. So I don't really worry about that happening.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote camelriders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2008 at 02:06
My friend has had a 100% failure rate on his cards, no matter what brand.

Though I do think itís him. Heís the kind of guy who will pull it from the camera with the camera running, plug it back in with the camera on, etc.
Regards,
Bruce.
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