Formatting the memory card

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Toomanyputters, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Toomanyputters

    Miles Guest

    For the Canon PowerShot S70, could not find too much info in the manual,
    so called Tech and was told:

    1) Set "File No. Reset" to "off" and it will continue numbering. You
    can change it to "on" for restarting at 1 for a subset of pics, then when
    you return to "off" numbering will continue -- such as 1-100, then 1-10
    for a subset, then 111 onwards.

    When a pic is deleted, that number is not indicated, it's merely a blank
    space in the numbering. There is no method to close that gap.

    2) It's OK to delete from the computer, but format from the camera.
    Deleting leaves some dirt which uses space, so eventually you can end up
    with very little space! Formatting cleans it out and you gain back all

    3) It is Fat 32. Formating causes no harm to the CF.

    Miles, Feb 28, 2006
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  2. Toomanyputters

    Roger Guest

    Sure it does.
    It should have been, but not necessarily so. OTOH I had one bad image
    on a card and could not read the card in the camera. I deleted the
    bad image (in the camera) and I could then read the card.
    More likely it was the wrong format. You didn't say what OS or format
    the PC used, but if it was XP or one of the later incarnations of
    windows it would have either been FAT 32 or NTSF. Unless you
    specifically told it to use FAT 16. FAT 32 or NTFS would be used and
    would indeed give a system error.

    Nearly all cameras use FAT 16 although I understand there are some
    rare exceptions, plus some of the newer ones use FAT 32.

    Most will add the file structure to a formatted card as well. Again,
    there are probably exceptions, but I've not seen any.

    Two examples of file structure and extremes. I can insert a formatted
    card into my D-70, it will create the file structure, and I then shoot
    some images. With no changes I take the card out of the D-70 and put
    it in my old Olympus E-20N. The E-20N will also create its own
    directory structure on the same card and it will store its images
    using that structure. I then put the car in a card reader and view it
    through Windows Explorer. The card shows up as just another drive.
    When I look at it, I see both directory structures. I can read the
    images from either or both and either copy or move them onto one of
    the HDs. I can then put the card back into either camera and it'll
    work just fine.

    Also I can do the format in either camera and use the card in the
    other camera.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger, Mar 3, 2006
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  3. Toomanyputters

    Roger Guest

    Some cameras. All of the ones I use can interchange cards and the
    images are still numbered consecutively. OTOH I can specifically
    choose to start numbering at 1 every time I insert a blank card.
    There really isn't a gap on the card, just a missing number.
    This is misleading. Delete removes the pointers for the image(s)
    which frees up *all* of the space for future use. HOWEVER if a single
    image of say 10 megs in a series is deleted and the next image shot is
    9 megs then it will be written to that space leaving a gap of 1 meg.
    (This is fragmentation). If that 9 meg image is then deleted the
    available space is back to 10 megs. Delete all the images and you have
    the entire area (with the exception of the directory structure)
    available for use with no fragmentation.
    This comparison is flat out wrong. <Delete All> does as good a job as
    doing a format and recreating the directory structure. Only when
    individual images are deleted while others are left is any
    fragmentation created. This fragmentation disappears when the rest of
    the images are deleted.

    The directory structure in a memory card works just like the structure
    on a hard drive. It is nothing more than a group of pointers. These
    point to sub directories, or images. Deleting an image only deletes
    the pointers in the directory that point to the beginning of the image
    and the end. A complete format removes the directory structure and
    any pointers on the card. The images are still there even after a
    format and can be recovered if they have not been overwritten. If a
    format actually cleaned the card the image recovery programs wouldn't

    I have 250 Meg and 1 Gig cards that get swapped between cameras of
    different makes. These cards have had many thousands of images on
    them. After a <delete all>, or in my case a <move> to the second
    computer I still have the same space available as I did when I started
    with the exception of the second directory which takes very little
    Are you saying the S-70 uses FAT 32?

    Most cameras use FAT-16 and will give a system error with FAT 32. OTOH
    I understand some newer cameras are using FAT 32 although I've not
    seen any.
    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger, Mar 3, 2006
  4. Toomanyputters

    Roger Guest

    Both my cameras (D70 and E-20N) use FAT 16 and they do not care where
    I format the cards. They'll even use each other's cards.
    Now with that I agree. Mine all use NTFS, but I select FAT 16 when I
    format a card which is a rare opteration as I have hardley ever seen a
    reason to format a card.
    Maybe this is a way to get people to learn more about their computers?
    That, mine don't do. It'd be kinda handy.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger, Mar 3, 2006
  5. Toomanyputters

    Bill Funk Guest

    No, it's somethinmg akin to slack space.
    Fragmentation is when the *files* are fragmented, not the empty space
    on the media.
    Bill Funk, Mar 3, 2006
  6. Toomanyputters

    ASAAR Guest

    There's a simple misunderstanding here because you took what I
    said too literally. I meant that cameras will care where its cards
    are formatted if they end up with FAT32 and the camera only
    understands older FAT formats. I'm surprised by the above, since I
    would have thought that the D70 is compatible with FAT32. Or did I
    also misunderstand you? :)
    ASAAR, Mar 3, 2006
  7. Toomanyputters

    Prometheus Guest

    'Slack space' is the space between the end of the actual data and the
    end of the allocation unit, it can retain the previous data.
    Space can also be fragmented, if an OS can not fragment a file to use
    individual spaces smaller than the file a device can be reported as full
    even though the data on it is much less than the device can hold.
    Prometheus, Mar 3, 2006
  8. Toomanyputters

    Miles Guest

    The Canon tech guy told me that the S-70 is FAT32 -- which is a bit
    surprising since others have said that cameras with FAT32 is relatively
    new and the S-70 has been around for almost two years.

    Thanks for the info!

    Miles, Mar 3, 2006
  9. Toomanyputters

    Bill Funk Guest

    "... smething like..."
    But that's not what causes problems with performance.
    The system doesn't care about fragmwented empty space, while
    fragmented files cause a hit on performance.
    [OK, for the anal: yes, fragmented empty space can cause a very slight
    hit on performace on hard drives. But far less than fragmented files
    do. As well, on digital media, such as flash RAM, fragmentaiton of
    either type causes miniscule performance degredation.]
    Bill Funk, Mar 3, 2006
  10. Toomanyputters

    Roger Guest

    You are right, I wasn't paying attention at that time of morning.
    It's when an image is divided between that slack space that you get
    fragmentation. IE the image or file is not continuous, but is written
    with a portion here, and a portion there.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger, Mar 7, 2006
  11. Toomanyputters

    Roger Guest

    Mine is using FAT-16. I never thought to check to see if it'd
    understand FAT-32 as the Oly wouldn't. I'll have to format one of the
    old cards

    It formats in FAT-16 and I find no option for formatting in FAT 32.
    Now if I can find the manual to see what it might understand.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger, Mar 7, 2006
  12. Toomanyputters

    ASAAR Guest

    If the D70 is compatible with FAT32 it might only create those
    formats with very large cards, such as 4GB and 8GB, and it may be
    automatic, with no user option to format using FAT32 with smaller
    ASAAR, Mar 7, 2006
  13. Toomanyputters

    Keith Foster Guest

    Keith Foster, Mar 8, 2006
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