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Old Jun 14, 2004, 12:35 AM   #1
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umm....i'm gonna go out on a limb...and sound really stupid...lol

but i'd like to know the upside to "formatting" your memory card....in the past i've just deleted them one by one....

well..thanks in advance...

excuse my stupidity here...lol

Vito
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 7:55 AM   #2
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I just format My CF card every time I put it in the camera. My opinion is to start fresh and You won't have any writing or reading problems. With My Nikon 8700 it is fast and easy to do.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 8:13 AM   #3
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Not stupid at all.

Yes, you should format, and not delete, the CF card (after you have copied everything off.) It is better.

The big reason to reformat the card IN CAMERA is that it rebuild the FAT table (the place where file locationsare recorded.)

The FAT16 file system when used on computers was known for loosing track of files and is very easy to corrupt. By rebuilding it each time, you reduce the chance of loosing any pictures in a hicup/glitch.

I've taken over... 8000? 9000? pictures, and not lost a single picture. I don't know if that is a good stastic or not, but It's worked for me. I've only reformatted the CF card once when I shouldn't have. Didn't loose anything serious, but I'm still a bit annoyed. So now I'm more careful. I always download first thing when I get home.

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Old Jun 14, 2004, 9:43 AM   #4
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ok..thanks eric!

that's the exact info i needed....

wow! 8000 pictures!? not with one card right? lol
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 11:59 AM   #5
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Ditto what ERIC just wrote -

Play it safe - develop a strict step-by-step process for downloading and stick to it.

Check your directory (folder) and look at a few photos you have downloaded.

Last step is to reformat your card IN THE CAMERA ONLY. Your computer can add confusing info to the FAT file registery on the card, if you reformat from the computer.

Never deviate from this routine and you should be OK. I am using little 128Mb. cards that I had for my Kodak 240 about 6 or 7 years ago.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 12:20 PM   #6
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ok....i got it..i wouldn't know how to format it on the pc anyway...lol

that would be with a card reader right?

btw....the strict step by step thing, is to keep me from reformatting with pictures that i haven't downloaded yet right? lol

i'm just making sure before i go reformat....

thanks for your help btw

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Old Jun 14, 2004, 1:38 PM   #7
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There isn't anything wrong with deleting, but you should format when it is convenient. You can extend your shooting away from home quite a bit by deleting redundant and bad images to make room for more.

I have cameras that format quickly and some that take quite a while. If I am in a hurry I just check the images from the ones that format slowly and delete them. I try to format the next batch. Cameras tend to slow down if you don't format the cards on a fairly frequent basis. I'm not sure I agree that regular formatting keeps the cards reliable though. It seems there could be more problems from an interrupted format than from deleting from a card that is formatted properly. Don't format if your battery is about to run out of juice.

If your camera shows up as a drive you can right click on the drive and format it without a card reader. It is a bad idea regardless of how you do it.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 1:40 PM   #8
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ok then....i'm gonna format now, with the AC adapter..lol...

it'll be the first time i've done it, so i don't know how long it'll take....

thanks for the help!


EDIT

well...just finished...it took like 2 seconds...lol is that normal? i took a test shot....recorded and reviewed like normal....
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 2:11 PM   #9
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That is normal for some cameras. My Oly takes a long time though. For 2 seconds and with an AC adapter I see no reason to do it any other way.

Some cameras vary the format time according to how long it has been since you formatted. My Minolta does that. The Oly seems to go through a full card format every time rather than just a quick format like some cameras.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 2:16 PM   #10
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I know that with my camera it doesn't take 2 minutes... more like 10-15 seconds (if that.) So that does seem like awhile.

You might want to read about what format does with your camera. If it's a high level format, that is what you want. If its a low-level format, that isn't what we are talking about. That touches every sector on the CF card and isn't what we are talking about (it serves a purpose, but not "quick formats instead of deletion.")

In general I agree with what Slipe said, but not completely. He is right, if you were in the middle of a format and the battery died, that would probably be bad. I format just before I go out, so the battery is fully charged. So in theory that is true... at least for me the practice is that I don't let my batteries get that low.

Deleting incamera does serve a purpose. If you really need the space and you are in the field, do it. If you know the picture was bad, delete it and take another. Personaly, I'd rather be taking the pictures than editing them when I'm out. So I only delete when I have to.

Fragmentation of space on the CF card is the other thin you are preventing. If you never delete, you never get fragmentation. If you delete everything, you should also be safe. But if you delete some take more, delete some, ... you can start to fragement the free space on the CF card and that will slow things down.

Eric
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