Dangers in copying pics from camera to computer

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macca, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. macca

    macca Guest

    Dont see your point..seems to me everyone is taking 1 step forward and 3
    steps back to accomplish what, in essence, is a simple process. ie transfer
    files from camera to pc..
    Plug in your USB connection & Power supply then use any existing program to
    transfer/edit/delete your pics..
    Seems simple enough to me.>>
    macca, Feb 1, 2006
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  2. macca

    Jim F B Guest

    A friend has alerted me to the potential danger in copying your digital
    pictures directly from your camera to your computer. Apparently, if the
    camera battery goes flat while the transfer is taking place, it is possible
    to lose all your pictures. Worse still, there is the possibility of
    permanent damage to your memory stick.

    Of course, the way to overcome this risk, is to use a card reader to
    transfer your pics on to your computer. I was rather surprised to learn
    about this possibility because I have always transferred my pics to my
    computer directly from the camera.

    Can anyone advise me why memory sticks and SD cards are subject to failure
    in this manner? I would have thought that the manufacturers would have been
    able to build in safeguards so that this sort of thing could not happen! Has
    anyone experienced loss of pictures or damage to SD cards as a result of a
    flat camera battery during the transfer process? Do you think it is a wise
    safeguard to invest in a dedicated card reader?

    Thanks for your advice.

    Jim F B, Feb 1, 2006
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  3. sounds like a fairy tale to me. Do you have a web link? Someone must have
    reported this if true.
    news.xtra.co.nz, Feb 1, 2006
  4. macca

    Battleax Guest

    The manual will clearly state that you should use the power cord while
    transferring images
    Battleax, Feb 1, 2006
  5. I've had images corrupted on transfer from a Sony P&S camera when the
    battery was low. Fortunately, I noticed before I deleted them from
    the card and re-read them after charging the battery. That time they
    were all OK.

    Flash memory can get rather screwed up if the power fails while it is
    being written. Reading should still be safe, but be careful: the
    operating system might update a "last accessed" timestamp on the files
    when reading them, and if this goes wrong, you do indeed run the risk
    of losing many files.
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?=, Feb 1, 2006
  6. macca

    Krazy Bob Guest

    Why would you even try transfering pics when your camera batt is flat :-s
    Krazy Bob, Feb 1, 2006
  7. Any one who is even a little bit serious about photography would buy a card
    reader ... they ain't all that expensive!
    Charles Schuler, Feb 1, 2006
  8. Per Jim F B:

    Also because of:

    - The convenience/portability factor. Keep it in your bag and you can
    upload to somebody else's PC without installing anything.

    - No worries about installing dicey camera mfr software on your PC.

    I got a little USB2 plug-in reader for my CF cards at CompUSA. It's also
    extremely fast..
    (PeteCresswell), Feb 1, 2006
  9. macca

    Martin Brown Guest

    Plenty of card readers (and Dozy OS's) do not honour the "media changed"
    flag so you are between the devil and the deep blue sea.

    XP will quite happily try to mangle flash media that you unplug without
    explicitly unmounting, and then splat down the directory info of the
    previous media onto the next thing you plug into the same socket. And
    eject is conveniently next to format drive on the right click menu...

    I have seen more media cards trashed by using card readers than by
    connecting cameras as drives (remember that with USB 2 it takes only a
    short time for a 1GB transfer). It is a bad idea to do file transfers
    with a low battery - most cameras now do shutdown gracefully without
    loss of data but not all of them.

    User error is the most frequent cause of data loss by far - unplugging
    an active drive with memory writes still in progress.

    Murphy's law always applies in these situations.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Feb 1, 2006
  10. macca

    CeeBee Guest

    For 10 to 15 bucks getting rid of all the hassle of connecting your camera
    to the PC you mean? You bet.

    Recently I wondered if there are still people owning cameras with memory
    cards using a cable to go through the hassle of installing dedicated
    software and dowloading pictures to a PC. I understand they're still around.
    CeeBee, Feb 1, 2006
  11. macca

    Jim F B Guest

    In my experience, you often don't need to install dedicated software when
    you get a new digital camera, Windows does it all on its own. I don't really
    find it a hassle connecting my camera to a cable, it's probably just as
    quick as taking the card out of the camera and putting it into a card
    Jim F B, Feb 1, 2006
  12. macca

    Jim F B Guest

    Thanks for this interesting reply. I'm glad to see that most cameras will
    shut down without loss of data, but I guess it's worthwhile knowing the
    dangers of using flat batteries, even if damage is likely to be fairly rare!
    But tell me, how could a media card be trashed by a card reader, this sounds
    fairly serious, does it happen often?
    Jim F B, Feb 1, 2006
  13. macca

    Helen Guest

    The word "invest" is a little strong considering the pocket-money cost of
    card readers nowadays.
    Helen, Feb 1, 2006
  14. The hassle need not be very great. One of my cameras (Sony DSC-V1)
    acts as a USB mass storage device (aka card reader) so no software
    needs to be installed. The other (Canon 350D) acts as God knows what.
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?=, Feb 1, 2006
  15. macca

    Freedom55 Guest

    The card door on my my A95 is flimsy. So, rather than run the risk of
    breaking the door, I simply plug my camera into the USB port for
    transfers. I have had the power go flat on a transfer without ill
    effects. The danger as the OP mentioned is more imaginary than real IMHO.


    And it really doesn't matter if
    I'm wrong I'm right
    Where I belong I'm right
    Where I belong.

    Lennon & McCartney
    Freedom55, Feb 1, 2006
  16. macca

    Dontcha Guest

    Not necessarily so. I often just remove my card without unmounting from the
    card reader and Win XP has no problems with it.
    Dontcha, Feb 1, 2006
  17. macca

    Dontcha Guest

    And does stop the "wear factor" on the card that some folk are concerned
    It would stop the scenario that happened to one of my relations. She
    managed to bend the pins inside the camera when inserting a CF card into a
    Canon. Fortunately Canon repaired it free of charge.
    Dontcha, Feb 1, 2006
  18. macca

    Mark B. Guest

    This is one reason I always recommend the use of a card reader. I now also
    have devices with 3 types of memory cards, so a card reader is way easier
    than keeping the various cords on hand. Also, I typically have more than 1
    card to download from if I come back from a lengthy trip. It's also faster,
    regardless of the fact that your camera may be USB 2.0.

    Mark B., Feb 1, 2006
  19. A statement that is not necessarily appropriate.
    My camera uses xD cards. My card reader has a dual slot for xD cards, and it's
    extremely difficult to actually push the tiny card into that huge slot and find
    the proper position.
    What's more, the card reader (HP) is actually A LOT slower reading info from
    the card than my camera (Oly 5050), despite the fact that it transmits data to
    the comp via ethernet rather than usb.

    The only time it makes even remotely sense for me to use the card reader is, if
    I want to do lengthy operations on the card: multipe copies, renaming as I go,
    rotation....(as discussed, to avoid draining the batteries in the camera with
    possible problems arising).
    As a day to day operation, rather than finding my reading glasses, and fumbling
    the card into the reader, then waiting 3 minutes for the reader to initialize
    all the pics on the card, I rather plug the usb cable into the camera, into the
    hub on my monitor and I am away in seconds, without messing with that tiny

    I have used some of the larger card formats from other people's cameras in the
    reader and at least the fumbling part does not apply. Just as slow, though.

    Peter Huebner, Feb 1, 2006
  20. macca

    Jim F B Guest

    Yes, you can use the memory card in most cameras as you would a hard drive,
    that is, you can record your word processing, spreadsheet, and any other
    files on it, but its capacity is rather limited (hard to get cards here
    greater than 4GB). A 60GB Ipod is a better supplementary drive to back up
    all your computer files on.
    Jim F B, Feb 2, 2006
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