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Old Jun 14, 2004, 2:16 PM   #11
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ok good...lol...you said something about only deleting instead of formatting would be better than it getting stopping in the middle or something....so i figured it took a while or something.....so i was worried something went wrong there..lol

thanks for your help!

Vito

p.s. it's so nice to have a place i can ask my photo-noob questions....lol
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 4:21 PM   #12
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With my Minolta S414, I had some problems early on with one of my flash cards and I lost some potentially beautiful sunrise pictures, I'll never get again. I had deleted some images, shot some more, etc. Apparently, the CF card became corrupted. I was able to download a few pictures from it but I lost the rest.

Since that incident, I have never deleted a picture in the camera. When I go out shooting, as soon as I get home or to a place where I can setup my wife's laptop (computer!), I download the pictures to the computer. Before I reformat the card, I burn the pictures just downloaded to CD (before any editing takes place). Once the images are on CD where I am 99% sure I can get them back, I reformat the CF card.

I have three 256mb Sandisk, and one 256mb Lexmark cards and they all work equally well. It takes about 20 seconds in both my Minolta S414 and Nikon D100 to format the cards using battery. I don't have an AC adapter for either camera.

One more note. Although I have not comfirmed this, I follow the advice. Never fill the flash card completely. Always change cards when you are down to under 10 shots remaining. Supposedly, the file structure can get corrupted when the card fills up.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 8:54 PM   #13
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One other reason to format the card is that your card can become fragmented [just like your hard disk] when you delete and save files of different sizes [like .jpg files tend to be]. After a while your card will not be capable of holding as many files as it could due to numerous unusable 'holes' in the disk/card physical blocks map.

When you reformat, the directory and allocation table all get reset, so you are ready to go again like with a new card.
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Old Jun 14, 2004, 9:00 PM   #14
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I always prefer to format the card. I delete only when I running low on storage space.
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 7:39 AM   #15
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Interesting topic. I have never formatted my CF card. I transfer the photos to my computer via a Sanddisk card reader. Think I will set up a step-by-step process like some of you use. You really do learn something every day!


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Old Jun 16, 2004, 2:29 PM   #16
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Although mine are SD, the steps are the same. I never format. Just dump the entire thing into the hard disk and once I have verified that every picture (just a quick glance) is ok I then wipe the card clean either in the card reader or the camera. I have two cards and have taken some 6,500 pictures with them. No problems so far.
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 4:36 PM   #17
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While it seems like it's working for you, my general rule is that you should only reformat the card in the camera.

Some cameras do funny things in their format that are not done when you format from the computer. So you can render the card unusable when formated from the computer. There is also the risk that you'll do it wrong and not use FAT16 (or FAT12!)

It doesn't sound like you've made those mistakes, so you're ok. But I've heard from others who have.

Eric
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 5:01 PM   #18
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luisr wrote:
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Although mine are SD, the steps are the same. I never format. Just dump the entire thing into the hard disk and once I have verified that every picture (just a quick glance) is ok I then wipe the card clean either in the card reader or the camera. I have two cards and have taken some 6,500 pictures with them. No problems so far.

If your camera will take TIFF and doesn't buffer them time your write time to the card for a TIFF. Then format the card and time it again.

A couple years ago when I got my first digital there was a site where people were comparing CF cards in Minolta 7X cameras. I had the same card as a couple others who had submitted times for the D7i. But my write times were much longer than theirs. I reread the instructions and saw I was supposed to format the card first. After I formatted my times were the same as theirs. I've formatted ever since.
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 7:02 PM   #19
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slipe wrote:
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If your camera will take TIFF and doesn't buffer them time your write time to the card for a TIFF. Then format the card and time it again.
My camera won't do TIFF and it does buffer the pictures because I can take the next picture almost immediately. I can't do that test.
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 11:12 PM   #20
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While it is possible that a reformat incamera will chance the format to something which is more compatable with how the data get written I don't think that is that common.

Still, my worry would be that formatting in camera will break something. Clearly this isn't an issue for luisr... but I've heard too many people break things by doing the format in the computer that I don't recommend it. Can it work? Yes. Can you really, really screw things up? Yes. And it's very easy.

Eric
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