Delete pictures or just Format...Which?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Denny B, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Denny B

    Denny B Guest

    A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    to a CD-R.
    1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    delete the pictures and format the card.

    I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    if you format the card often to delete pictures
    you will damage the card.
    I was told don't format just delete the pictures.

    Is there a right way to do this?

    Thanks in advance.
    Denny B
     
    Denny B, Jul 22, 2006
    #1
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  2. Denny B

    Hebee Jeebes Guest

    I just delete the files and leave any folders the camera created. I also
    don't share cards between devices. Each SD device or CF device has its own
    set of cards that away I don't mess up the file numbering. Just my way of
    doing. I am sure formatting is fine.

    R


    "Denny B" <> wrote in message
    news:6Ahwg.158920$771.99539@edtnps89...
    >A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > to a CD-R.
    > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > delete the pictures and format the card.
    >
    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >
    > Is there a right way to do this?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > Denny B
     
    Hebee Jeebes, Jul 22, 2006
    #2
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  3. Denny B

    Daryl Bryant Guest

    Doesn't really matter when formatting card using the camera formatting
    utility!!! - I just do a move from card to hard drive. That way there is no
    need to delete!
    --
    There are no words that can be heard unless someone listens....
    "Denny B" <> wrote in message
    news:6Ahwg.158920$771.99539@edtnps89...
    > A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > to a CD-R.
    > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > delete the pictures and format the card.
    >
    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >
    > Is there a right way to do this?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > Denny
     
    Daryl Bryant, Jul 22, 2006
    #3
  4. Denny B

    Bob Williams Guest

    Denny B wrote:
    > A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > to a CD-R.
    > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > delete the pictures and format the card.
    >
    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >
    > Is there a right way to do this?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > Denny B


    I do No.3
    I suspect that the story of damaging the card by formatting in the
    camera is an urban myth. I don't see how that is possible.
    I've probably formatted my SD card 40-50 times with no problem.
    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Jul 22, 2006
    #4
  5. Bob Williams <> wrote:


    : Denny B wrote:
    : > A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    : > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    : > to a CD-R.
    : > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    : > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    : > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    : > delete the pictures and format the card.
    : >
    : > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    : > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    : > you will damage the card.
    : > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    : >
    : > Is there a right way to do this?
    : >
    : > Thanks in advance.
    : > Denny B

    : I do No.3
    : I suspect that the story of damaging the card by formatting in the
    : camera is an urban myth. I don't see how that is possible.
    : I've probably formatted my SD card 40-50 times with no problem.
    : Bob Williams

    There is a finite number of times that a particular memory location can be
    written to before it electronically wears out. But in most memory devices
    I have seen stats on, this number is somewhere around 100,000 times or
    more. Erasing an image removes the index from the file allocation table
    (FAT) but does not overwrite the actual memory locations. A Format does.
    So yes, formating instead of erasing will wear out the card faster, but
    unless you are a very prolific photographer the difference between 50,000
    and 100,000 uses is probably not a big problem. :)

    Having said that, my experience has shown that my camera and equipment
    seems to not have a problem with a card that just has had the images
    erased, instead of a full format. So that is what I do. If I begin having
    problems with capacity not coming back to full, THEN I do a format. But
    that is me, and my equipment. Either way is ok.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Jul 22, 2006
    #5
  6. Denny B

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Denny B wrote:
    > A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > to a CD-R.
    > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > delete the pictures and format the card.
    >
    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >
    > Is there a right way to do this?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > Denny B


    Unless you use your flash cards for multiple purposes, such as storing
    data for other than your camera's pictures (I sometimes do), then
    formatting is the preferred method for getting rid of all old pictures.
    In practice, I often download several sessions of pictures before
    clearing them from the card on my computer. I have never had a problem
    with this, but don't recommend it for all users as some do report
    problems with this procedure.
    Formatting in the camera is the most efficient method recommended for
    general use.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 22, 2006
    #6
  7. Denny B

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Randy Berbaum wrote:
    > Bob Williams <> wrote:
    >
    >
    > : Denny B wrote:
    > : > A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > : > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > : > to a CD-R.
    > : > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > : > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > : > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > : > delete the pictures and format the card.
    > : >
    > : > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > : > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > : > you will damage the card.
    > : > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    > : >
    > : > Is there a right way to do this?
    > : >
    > : > Thanks in advance.
    > : > Denny B
    >
    > : I do No.3
    > : I suspect that the story of damaging the card by formatting in the
    > : camera is an urban myth. I don't see how that is possible.
    > : I've probably formatted my SD card 40-50 times with no problem.
    > : Bob Williams
    >
    > There is a finite number of times that a particular memory location can be
    > written to before it electronically wears out. But in most memory devices
    > I have seen stats on, this number is somewhere around 100,000 times or
    > more. Erasing an image removes the index from the file allocation table
    > (FAT) but does not overwrite the actual memory locations. A Format does.
    > So yes, formating instead of erasing will wear out the card faster, but
    > unless you are a very prolific photographer the difference between 50,000
    > and 100,000 uses is probably not a big problem. :)
    >
    > Having said that, my experience has shown that my camera and equipment
    > seems to not have a problem with a card that just has had the images
    > erased, instead of a full format. So that is what I do. If I begin having
    > problems with capacity not coming back to full, THEN I do a format. But
    > that is me, and my equipment. Either way is ok.
    >
    > Randy
    >
    > ==========
    > Randy Berbaum
    > Champaign, IL
    >


    Sorry, but a format does NOT overwrite the data on the card, only the
    FAT and any directory structure. Data remains on the card as you can
    verify with any of the recovery programs available.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 22, 2006
    #7
  8. Denny B

    Prometheus Guest

    In article <e9smsd$i16$>, Randy Berbaum
    <> writes
    >There is a finite number of times that a particular memory location can
    >be written to before it electronically wears out. But in most memory
    >devices I have seen stats on, this number is somewhere around 100,000
    >times or more. Erasing an image removes the index from the file
    >allocation table (FAT) but does not overwrite the actual memory
    >locations. A Format does.


    A normal format does not. I have recovered data from a card that had
    been formatted after repair damage cause be a battery failure during a
    write. Incidentally, if you want to ensure data is never recovered from
    a card you should incinerate it, overwriting is not adequate.
    --
    Ian G8ILZ
     
    Prometheus, Jul 22, 2006
    #8
  9. Denny B

    3D Guest

    "Ron Hunter" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Denny B wrote:
    >> A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    >> What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    >> to a CD-R.
    >> 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    >> 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    >> 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    >> delete the pictures and format the card.
    >>
    >> I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    >> if you format the card often to delete pictures
    >> you will damage the card.
    >> I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >>
    >> Is there a right way to do this?
    >>
    >> Thanks in advance.
    >> Denny B

    >
    > Unless you use your flash cards for multiple purposes, such as storing
    > data for other than your camera's pictures (I sometimes do), then
    > formatting is the preferred method for getting rid of all old pictures.
    > In practice, I often download several sessions of pictures before clearing
    > them from the card on my computer. I have never had a problem with this,
    > but don't recommend it for all users as some do report problems with this
    > procedure.
    > Formatting in the camera is the most efficient method recommended for
    > general use.


    I agree! Deleting photos only removes that file and not the folder that it
    is stored in. If you constantly delete and not format, there will be many
    empty folders on the card, each taking up a small amount of space.
    Formatting in the camera is a clean and simple method to use and it ensures
    that there is no extra garbage around to confuse the issue.

    I always remove the card and use a reader to put the photos in the correct
    folders on the hard drive and have never used any cable to connect the
    camera to the computer, so if the programs that use this method to retrieve
    photos delete the folders, that would work fine also. I am not familiar
    with how these programs work, so I don't know what happens in this case.

    Don
     
    3D, Jul 22, 2006
    #9
  10. Denny B

    Hebee Jeebes Guest

    "3D" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Ron Hunter" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Denny B wrote:
    >>> A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    >>> What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    >>> to a CD-R.
    >>> 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    >>> 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    >>> 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    >>> delete the pictures and format the card.
    >>>
    >>> I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    >>> if you format the card often to delete pictures
    >>> you will damage the card.
    >>> I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >>>
    >>> Is there a right way to do this?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks in advance.
    >>> Denny B

    >>
    >> Unless you use your flash cards for multiple purposes, such as storing
    >> data for other than your camera's pictures (I sometimes do), then
    >> formatting is the preferred method for getting rid of all old pictures.
    >> In practice, I often download several sessions of pictures before
    >> clearing them from the card on my computer. I have never had a problem
    >> with this, but don't recommend it for all users as some do report
    >> problems with this procedure.
    >> Formatting in the camera is the most efficient method recommended for
    >> general use.

    >
    > I agree! Deleting photos only removes that file and not the folder that
    > it is stored in. If you constantly delete and not format, there will be
    > many empty folders on the card, each taking up a small amount of space.
    > Formatting in the camera is a clean and simple method to use and it
    > ensures that there is no extra garbage around to confuse the issue.
    >
    > I always remove the card and use a reader to put the photos in the correct
    > folders on the hard drive and have never used any cable to connect the
    > camera to the computer, so if the programs that use this method to
    > retrieve photos delete the folders, that would work fine also. I am not
    > familiar with how these programs work, so I don't know what happens in
    > this case.
    >
    > Don
    >


    Doesn't happen with mine. It uses the folders I leave behind just fine. I
    have never had more than one set of directories on any of my cards from any
    of my Panasonic cameras.

    R
     
    Hebee Jeebes, Jul 22, 2006
    #10
  11. Denny B

    Mark B. Guest

    "Denny B" <> wrote in message
    news:6Ahwg.158920$771.99539@edtnps89...
    >A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > to a CD-R.
    > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > delete the pictures and format the card.
    >
    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >
    > Is there a right way to do this?
    >


    Not sure there's a 'right way'; the only thing I would avoid is formatting
    in a card reader. I always delete in the card reader after verifying the
    copy went ok, then format in the camera. Never heard that deleting
    in-camera will damage the card, nor have I had problems doing this.

    Mark
     
    Mark B., Jul 22, 2006
    #11
  12. Denny B

    Ron Hunter Guest

    3D wrote:
    > "Ron Hunter" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Denny B wrote:
    >>> A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    >>> What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    >>> to a CD-R.
    >>> 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    >>> 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    >>> 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    >>> delete the pictures and format the card.
    >>>
    >>> I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    >>> if you format the card often to delete pictures
    >>> you will damage the card.
    >>> I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >>>
    >>> Is there a right way to do this?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks in advance.
    >>> Denny B

    >> Unless you use your flash cards for multiple purposes, such as storing
    >> data for other than your camera's pictures (I sometimes do), then
    >> formatting is the preferred method for getting rid of all old pictures.
    >> In practice, I often download several sessions of pictures before clearing
    >> them from the card on my computer. I have never had a problem with this,
    >> but don't recommend it for all users as some do report problems with this
    >> procedure.
    >> Formatting in the camera is the most efficient method recommended for
    >> general use.

    >
    > I agree! Deleting photos only removes that file and not the folder that it
    > is stored in. If you constantly delete and not format, there will be many
    > empty folders on the card, each taking up a small amount of space.
    > Formatting in the camera is a clean and simple method to use and it ensures
    > that there is no extra garbage around to confuse the issue.
    >
    > I always remove the card and use a reader to put the photos in the correct
    > folders on the hard drive and have never used any cable to connect the
    > camera to the computer, so if the programs that use this method to retrieve
    > photos delete the folders, that would work fine also. I am not familiar
    > with how these programs work, so I don't know what happens in this case.
    >
    > Don
    >
    >

    While other cameras may work differently, mine puts all the pictures in
    ONE folder, which is created when the card if formatted, or first used,
    in the camera. So, when I transfer the pictures, I just delete the
    picture FILES leaving the directory structure intact.
    And the FAT file system doesn't remove anything of the file but the
    first character of the filename (replaced with '?'), and the pointer to
    the FAT entry that is the first link in the file. Then the FAT is
    updated to reflect that this chain of 'clusters' is available, and
    rewritten to the card.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 22, 2006
    #12
  13. Denny B

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Mark B. wrote:
    > "Denny B" <> wrote in message
    > news:6Ahwg.158920$771.99539@edtnps89...
    >> A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    >> What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    >> to a CD-R.
    >> 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    >> 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    >> 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    >> delete the pictures and format the card.
    >>
    >> I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    >> if you format the card often to delete pictures
    >> you will damage the card.
    >> I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >>
    >> Is there a right way to do this?
    >>

    >
    > Not sure there's a 'right way'; the only thing I would avoid is formatting
    > in a card reader. I always delete in the card reader after verifying the
    > copy went ok, then format in the camera. Never heard that deleting
    > in-camera will damage the card, nor have I had problems doing this.
    >
    > Mark
    >
    >


    I haven't heard much about anyone having trouble with deleting in the
    camera, but it always much slower than formatting, if one has more than
    a few pictures.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 22, 2006
    #13
  14. Mark B. wrote:
    []
    > Not sure there's a 'right way'; the only thing I would avoid is
    > formatting in a card reader. I always delete in the card reader
    > after verifying the copy went ok, then format in the camera. Never
    > heard that deleting in-camera will damage the card, nor have I had
    > problems doing this.
    > Mark


    Why go through the extra step of deleting in the card reader if you are
    going to reformat in the camera? It's more work and uses up more of the
    card's write cycles.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 22, 2006
    #14
  15. Denny B

    Shawn Hirn Guest

    In article <6Ahwg.158920$771.99539@edtnps89>,
    Denny B <> wrote:

    > A digital camera CF memory card, Nikon D70s.
    > What is correct, after transferring the pictures
    > to a CD-R.
    > 1)do you just delete the pictures on the card.
    > 2)Or do you delete them, then format the card.
    > 3)Or just format the card which will automatically
    > delete the pictures and format the card.
    >
    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.
    >
    > Is there a right way to do this?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > Denny B


    I am not expert in microelectronics, but I have better things to do than
    to delete lots of photos off my CF cards. I have had some of the same CF
    cards for at least three years and they work fine with me formatting
    them each time I reload them into my Digital Rebel. Before I reformat my
    cards, I make sure that my photos are backed up. I suggest you do
    likewise.
     
    Shawn Hirn, Jul 22, 2006
    #15
  16. On 7/22/06 1:16 AM, Randy Berbaum wrote:
    >
    > There is a finite number of times that a particular memory location can be
    > written to before it electronically wears out. But in most memory devices
    > I have seen stats on, this number is somewhere around 100,000 times or
    > more. Erasing an image removes the index from the file allocation table
    > (FAT) but does not overwrite the actual memory locations. A Format does.
    > So yes, formating instead of erasing will wear out the card faster, but
    > unless you are a very prolific photographer the difference between 50,000
    > and 100,000 uses is probably not a big problem. :)


    Actually, it's the other way around! But, as you say, academic. I almost
    always use format, in part because it takes about 2 or 3 seconds instead
    of ten or so.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Jul 22, 2006
    #16
  17. On 7/22/06 6:54 AM, David J Taylor wrote:
    > Mark B. wrote:
    > []
    >> Not sure there's a 'right way'; the only thing I would avoid is
    >> formatting in a card reader. I always delete in the card reader
    >> after verifying the copy went ok, then format in the camera. Never
    >> heard that deleting in-camera will damage the card, nor have I had
    >> problems doing this.
    >> Mark

    >
    > Why go through the extra step of deleting in the card reader if you are
    > going to reformat in the camera? It's more work and uses up more of the
    > card's write cycles.


    David is right. Formatting in camera is also faster than deleting all
    via any means.

    But what I want to know is why this tiresome topic has to come up every
    other month and be so thoroughly rehashed?

    --
    john mcwilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Jul 22, 2006
    #17
  18. In article <6Ahwg.158920$771.99539@edtnps89>, Denny B
    <> wrote:

    > I have used #3 up to now, but recently was told
    > if you format the card often to delete pictures
    > you will damage the card.
    > I was told don't format just delete the pictures.


    Keep doing it the way you've been doing it. To wear out the card, you'd
    have to format it continuously day and night for the rest of your life,
    and you still wouldn't hurt it.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Jul 22, 2006
    #18
  19. Denny B

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 09:50:48 +0100, Prometheus wrote:

    > A normal format does not. I have recovered data from a card that had
    > been formatted after repair damage cause be a battery failure during a
    > write. Incidentally, if you want to ensure data is never recovered from
    > a card you should incinerate it, overwriting is not adequate.


    That's true for magnetic media, where a small percentage of
    previously written data can be recovered. Flash cards aren't
    compromised by imprecise mechanical alignment, and any recovery of
    previous data would be far less successful, would probably require
    physically removing the flash memory from its case so that
    sophisticated electronics could replace the card's controller, and
    what little might be recovered would depend on the data pattern that
    was used to overwrite the previously written data. If recovering
    overwritten data was a simple as you may (or may not) be implying,
    then by overwriting a 1GB card several times (with varying data
    patterns), 2GB, 3GB or even many GB's of data could be recovered
    from it, which is well beyond the capabilities of even a Poindexter.
     
    ASAAR, Jul 22, 2006
    #19
  20. Denny B

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 13:54:57 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:

    > Why go through the extra step of deleting in the card reader if you are
    > going to reformat in the camera? It's more work and uses up more of the
    > card's write cycles.


    If you always delete files in the card reader, by the time the
    card has been worn out, it'll probably be obsolete, and your cameras
    will probably be using cards with capacities in excess of 200 GB.
    For my first camera I bought a 64MB card, and added a 96MB card
    several months later. Used 'em for a good number of years and they
    haven't worn out yet. Do you have any old cards of comparable size?
    If so, how often do you use them? :)

    I agree, though, that it's usually more practical to format cards
    in the camera, but that's not the best approach for everyone. My
    cards are occasionally shared between several cameras (different
    brands) and some cameras wouldn't give any clues that the card
    contains images saved by another camera, and formatting the card
    would easily wipe out the other camera's images. The card may
    contain other types of data, such as files copied to it from a
    computer, or software provided by the card's manufacturer, all of
    which would be lost when formatting the card. It might be
    relatively safe to format your own cards, but if the cards belong to
    someone else . . .
     
    ASAAR, Jul 22, 2006
    #20
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