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Old Jul 28, 2003, 8:02 PM   #1
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Default Reclaiming CF card memory by selectively deleting pictures

I have a Canon G3 camera. Without removing the memory card from the camera, can I selectively delete non consecutive pictures on the card and reclaim/reuse that memory space for new pictures? I remember hearing a while back that digital cameras don't allow for splitting/fragmenting new files on a memory card, but will only write consecutively?

Thanks for any advice you may have.

Jay
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 9:27 AM   #2
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I have no experience with the G3. I can say that most cameras can delete individual pictures. I believe if the camera has to store a picture which is of equal or smaller size, it will consider using that newly freed space.

I would like to think that the camera will fragement an image into multiple free chunks of memory if necessary. CF uses a FAT table, just like good-old DOS, which supports file fragmentation. Does it? I don't know, but I would expect it to.

Eric
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 6:08 PM   #3
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NEVER delete non-contiguous files on memory cards leaving holes. This is a sure recipe for fragmentation. Your camera will never go back and perfectly fill the holes, meaning files will be spread out across the memory.

This has big disadvantages: The camera will get slower writing files as it splits them up into chunks and creates more than one look up pointer in the FAT table. Some card memory space will get wasted. Most importantly you risk giving a card recovery programme a hard time if you ever have to use one, also movie modes might freeze at random. If you are selecting different quality options (changing file sizes between shots) this makes things even worse.

ALWAYS TRY TO STORE FILES SEQUENTIALLY! If you ever get a BIG microdrive or CF card you will appreciate the advice.

If you are deleting files at random, you should consider reformatting the card in the camera on a more regular basis. Reformat is better than erase - and no, you don't wear out the card more quickly! VOX
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 10:35 PM   #4
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I agree completley with voxmagna, and in fact I always reformat my card (always in the camera, never in the computer) ever time I've finished downloading the pictures from the card. I pop it into the camera and reformat it.

Another problem with deleting them individually/selectively is that on larger cards they can be slower to use as the fragmentation increases. I have my guesses as to why this is true, and it makes sense. But I've never experienced it, as I alway reformat.

Eric
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