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Old Feb 19, 2004, 1:26 AM   #1
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Default Memory Cards: how big is too big?

I understand the tech weenies desire (mostly because I am one) for bigger and better storage but I view the huge cards and the monster microdrives with a suspicious eye. I also look at really big hard drives for PCs with that same eye.

The problem that I see is that the more data you stick in one place, the more that you stand to lose if something goes wrong.

In another thread, someone commented that he could store 1,200 photos on a microdrive. That is an incredible amount of memories or work to lose in the event of a head crash.

My camera will stick 42 pictures onto a 32 MB card. With a spare card in my pocket, I'd be set for a day at Disney World and if anything happened to card 1, I might lose my picture of Tigger but I'd still have Cinderella on card 2.

On the other hand, if all of my vacation pictures are on one card and my wife accidentally formats the card while trying to get a picture of a manatee, everything is GONE.

Thoughts? Comments?
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 8:04 AM   #2
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Too much of a good thing...........

32 is way too small. 42 shots are ok for a couple of hours work around town, but I surely wouldn't even waste the space in a camera bag for something that small.

On the other hand I wouldn't even thing of storing more than a couple of hundred pics on one card! 1200 is down right foolish!
If you are on a ego trip or out to impress (as those with monster yuppie trucks are) putting even 500 shots in one place is questionable unless it is for short term storage (a couple of hours for example).

See my thread on the 6GB CF card.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 8:10 AM   #3
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The "eggs in one basket" argument against large storage devices ignores the major source of memory problems: handling. The more memory is handled, the more chance there is for a problem. So a single large memory can easily be much safer than several smaller ones since with less handling, is it less likely to have problems.

Do you want you eggs in one well protected basket or in several different baskets that are being hit with hammers?

With reasonable care, the chance for problems is small in either case. If you are really worried about losing pictures (e.g., wedding shooting), you really want to back up everything by shooting with several cameras and even the key shots being shot on film as well as digital. Shoot with a DH2 so you can wirelessly and contiously send them to a PC which backs itself up a couple of different ways.

Simply breaking your memory into smaller chunks doesn't go far enough if back-up is really critical. If back-up isn't that critical, it really doesn't much matter which way you go. So some combination of cheapest/fastest/lowest power is the way to pick your memory. I didn't include reliability since it is nearly impossible to get good data on that.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 8:39 AM   #4
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For me 1GB is about right. I would even consider a 2GB card but prices are still a bit high. I use a 320MB card only as a spare when I fill up the main card, which occasionally happens.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 9:15 AM   #5
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1G is good for me too. I rarely fill it in a day of shooting (although I have on occasion.) I keep a spare 512MB around... well, because that is what I had before the 1G!

The only downside to me for the larger ones is that they were (for a while) a bit slower. That isn't a huge issue any more, though, as most good manufacturers seem to have solve that.

I do agree that I wouldn't want to put 1,200 pics on one card. That is too much of a risk for me. BillDrew is right; if it really, really matters (a professional job) then you use smaller cards and have an assistant backup the card periodically. That way you know if something went wrong you can (hopefully) reshoot.

Eric
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 9:24 AM   #6
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Just make sure that whatever larger size you decide on, your camera's filesystem can use
No point in getting one of the new 8gb cards if you camera FAT filesystem can only use 1gb or 2gb.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 12:43 PM   #7
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lol! eric! you filled a 1gb card in one day! where'd you go! lol
i have a 128MB right now.....it fills up pretty fast.......but as long as i can dump it every night(only if i have to lol) i don't need to get much bigger....there is the chance though that i will need bigger cuz lately i've been taking a lot more pictures of the same thing (which is MUCH better to do) so i might need to upsize it lol (no bigger than 512 i don't think.....)
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 1:11 PM   #8
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You guys obviously lead different lives than I do. If I filled up a 32 MB card at a basketball game, I'd have missed most of the game (32 minutes of play, 40 pictures?). The same is true of a day at Disney World.
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 1:36 PM   #9
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You guys are missing the point... (or have no need for large memories, or not enough megapixels :lol: :lol: :lol!

Try to shoot in RAW (not JPEG) you'll understand why... the alternative is to dump the smaller CF cards into a portable hardrive, which again is all your eggs in 1 basket argument all over again!
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Old Feb 19, 2004, 1:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHL
Try to shoot in RAW (not JPEG) you'll understand why... the alternative is to dump the smaller CF cards into a portable hardrive, which again is all your eggs in 1 basket argument all over again!
or a laptop or computer and burn on a cd......
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