Pros v Cons of large storage media

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Clive, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Clive

    Clive Guest

    I've recently moved to digital and I'm pleasantly surprised at the low
    cost of memory cards.

    However rather than buy a 2gb+ card I've opted for several cards of
    512mb or 1gb.

    Now it's nice to be able to take hundreds of pictures on one card...
    but what happens if I loose it, it fails, etc, etc. All the pictures
    lost.

    Apart from that who keeps several hundred picturs on a card instead of
    transfering to PC?

    IMHO as a digital newbie, it makes more sense to store on several
    smaller cards.

    Am I alone in thinking this?

    Clive
     
    Clive, Jul 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. Clive

    Joan Guest

    Most people I know and probably all who would post here regularly,
    download their photos to a PC or MAC. You need the big screen to
    examine or edit the photos, you can back them up to CD or DVD as and
    when you want. You can take the CDs, instead of the storage cards, to
    a print lab.

    --
    Joan
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/joan-in-manly

    : I've recently moved to digital and I'm pleasantly surprised at the
    low
    : cost of memory cards.
    :
    : However rather than buy a 2gb+ card I've opted for several cards of
    : 512mb or 1gb.
    :
    : Now it's nice to be able to take hundreds of pictures on one card...
    : but what happens if I loose it, it fails, etc, etc. All the pictures
    : lost.
    :
    : Apart from that who keeps several hundred picturs on a card instead
    of
    : transfering to PC?
    :
    : IMHO as a digital newbie, it makes more sense to store on several
    : smaller cards.
    :
    : Am I alone in thinking this?
    :
    : Clive
    :
     
    Joan, Jul 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. I don't know anyone who uses the cards for permanent storage. The
    cards are a little too flaky and costly.

    I do have two cards so if I were to loose one between downloading to my
    computer I would not loose all nor would I be stuck with no way of taking
    additional photos is my one and only dies.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 2, 2006
    #3
  4. Clive,

    As you say, there are arguments both ways. I've tended to go for bigger
    cards than my wife, but we are both happy. I prefer to have fewer things
    to manage. When away, we share an Epson P-2000 image store and display,
    so that we don't rely just on the copy on the card. Neither of us tend to
    run out of card memory, though.

    Be aware that 2GB is as much as some cameras can use. 4GB cards may need
    the FAT32 format only offered by more recent cameras.

    Once home, when the images are on the PC, we tend to leave the images on
    the cards while we make any day excursions. Before a major trip, we would
    format memory cards in the camera.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 2, 2006
    #4
  5. Clive

    John Fryatt Guest

    I thought about this when I first got a digital SLR. I ended up going a
    middle route. My feeling was that too many small cards are a nuisance,
    but one enormous card was just adding another risk I need not have. I
    think I'm fairly careful but if I lost or damaged my one and only card
    it would be bad news.
    So, I use 1Gb cards with my EOS 5D. That gives about 70 images per card,
    which seems to work fine for me.

    John
     
    John Fryatt, Jul 2, 2006
    #5
  6. Clive

    dwight Guest

    I understand the tech paranoia, having suffered hard drive crashes and the
    like. I have yet to have a CF card fail on me, though.

    I have a 2gig in the Rebel XT, which is good for about 525 best-quality JPGs
    or 180 with RAW. I have never come close to filling up the card between
    dumps to the PC. I have, however, lost individual photos on the card as
    corrupted, though never a complete card failure.

    I also have three 512MB cards that I keep ("spare rolls of film," if you
    will), just on the off chance that the main card runs out of room (or -
    heaven forbid - fails).

    That being said, the very worst that could happen would be, say, if on
    vacation the main card fails (for whatever reason), and I lose 500+ shots. I
    could use the 512s, which would limit the loss to about 125 images, but
    where do you draw the line? I suppose that, if I really didn't trust my CF
    cards, I could use a dozen or so 256MB cards to really limit any potential
    loss, but that's a bit overboard.

    Any data storage comes with the eventuality/possibility of failure, and
    that's a risk we take. But I routinely format the card in-camera after each
    data dump to the PC, and keep my fingers crossed that the next shooting
    session will go off without a CF card hitch.

    dwight
     
    dwight, Jul 2, 2006
    #6
  7. Clive

    Dave Cohen Guest

    The key is number of files to be stored, particularly when on vacation.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Jul 2, 2006
    #7
  8. if you were able to buy rolls of film that had 300exposures, would you?
    lost, stolen, exposure to light, etc. are all the same problems.
    except, cards are re-usable.
    ifcourse, harddrives do crash, and external media dies off, such as
    zip, jaz, syquest, LS-120, shark, orb, etc.
    btw, you cant make copies of negatives, but every copy of a pic
    is same as the original.
     
    Mr.Bolshoyhuy, Jul 2, 2006
    #8
  9. Clive

    Shawn Hirn Guest

    A lot of people share your opinion. There is no right or wrong answer.
    Whatever works best for you is what you should do. I prefer to minimize
    the times I change memory cards so I can shoot more photos. I hate being
    in a situation where a photo op presents itself for a second and I lose
    the shot due to filling up a memory card; so I prefer to reduce the
    chance of that situation happening by using the largest cards I can find.

    What I do is download my images to a laptop as soon as possible after I
    finish shooting, then I back up each set of downloaded files to an
    external device.

    If using small memory cards makes you sleep better at night, more power
    to you.
     
    Shawn Hirn, Jul 2, 2006
    #9
  10. it does? I am surprised. I know shooting RAW would create large files,
    but only 70 pics on 1gb?! To shoot a wedding, how many cards would you
    need?
    I get 600 jpegs on a 512mb using a 4mp P&S.
    I used to buy 36exp ISO100 for 0.99c.
     
    Mr.Bolshoyhuy, Jul 2, 2006
    #10
  11. Clive

    JR Guest

    Never had a card fail.....in fact i have some useless 32 and 64mb cards
    from older cameras...For my D70 I had 3 512 cards and a 1 gig...none
    ever failed...Now I shoot with a D2x..i have 3 2Gig and a 4 Gig, again
    non have ever failed....I am a pro so when I do shoots for magazines, I
    like to take less things on location, so a 4 gig is usually about full
    for a shoot. For my studio shoots, I have my computer there so I shoot
    and then transfer...The size of the card paces the shoot, So I know when
    to change looks, ideas, poses, lighting etc, when a card fills up.
    Otherwise I'd get the biggerst card and not worry about it...I think
    those that wanna shoot on a bunch of small cards are being
    paranoid....but whatever works for you. For car races, I'd like to have
    3 8 gig cards and that would do me for the whole day....I wouldnt have
    to tote a laptop around at all.

    JR
     
    JR, Jul 2, 2006
    #11
  12. Clive

    Ray Fischer Guest

    No, but I don't share your preference.

    A couple of months ago I shot about 450 pictures in a weekend. They
    fit on a 4gb card and I didn't have to worry about running out of
    space mid-shoot. When I got home I transferred the photos to my
    computer and then made backups.

    With many small cards it'd be far more complicated. Which cards have
    free space? Which cards have been backed up? How many cards did I
    have?
     
    Ray Fischer, Jul 2, 2006
    #12
  13. Clive

    ASAAR Guest

    I've used PCMCIA, CF, SD and xD flash memory, and like you,
    haven't had any fail yet.

    No, that's not really the worst thing that could happen. If you
    thought that the lost shots were due to a failed card when it was
    the camera that had failed, you'd probably put another card in the
    camera and resume taking more (soon to be) lost shots. A pro might
    take several test shots with the new card to see if the problem
    continued, but if there was any time pressure, would probably switch
    to a backup card and camera and check out the first card/camera
    afterwards. Right now *my* backup camera is an old Canon digital of
    much lower ability, but that will eventually change, and in the
    meantime makes for a much better backup solution than running to
    RiteAid to buy a few disposable cameras, whether film or digital. :)
     
    ASAAR, Jul 2, 2006
    #13
  14. I have a 2gig in the Rebel XT, which is good for about 525 best-quality
    That's scary (losing individual photos). Do you reformat after each
    download? I haven't lost any photos yet, and certainly hope not to in the
    future. The one area of digital camera use that is of most concern is
    deleting individual photos; that's when you're really messing with the file
    structure.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Jul 2, 2006
    #14
  15. Clive

    John Fryatt Guest

    Well, the RAW files are around 12Mb. The camera actually estimates
    around 60 shots on a blank 1Gb card but I find it a little pessimistic.

    I guess you'd need several for a wedding, but fortunately I don't do
    weddings. Bleuugh!

    John
     
    John Fryatt, Jul 2, 2006
    #15
  16. I dunno, I find it convenient to not to switch memory cards until I have to
    switch batteries (right now, a 2 gig card will fill up about the same time I
    need to replace the battery, so it is convenient to switch both at the same
    time). If I use the new battery in my portrait grip, I can probably fill up a
    4 gig card before having to fall back to the standard batteries.

    If you are the type to copy your images to optical media before post
    processing, you might want to use 512MB cards if you are copying to CDs, and
    4GB cards if you are copying to DVDs. That way 1 card will fit on 1 CD or DVD.
    I have been known to take several hundred pictures in a single day (my current
    record is something like 900 on a day when I was the official photographer for
    a renaissance faire and I would winnow it down to a much more modest number of
    keepers, but in doing event photography it is better to blast away to get the
    perfect expression). As I am starting to use RAW more, it takes more size on
    the media, so even if I'm not blasting away, I still can fill a gig or two. I
    don't carry a PC with me during the day, so I would need to make sure I carry
    enough media to see me through the day. At the moment, I'm carrying 5.5 gig in
    cards (2 2 gig cards, 1 gig card, 1 512 meg card). Now that I have a PSD
    (portable storage device) that doesn't have a 2 gig limit, and 4 gig cards have
    become cheaper, I'm thinking about going for the 4 gig cards in a bit.
    On the other hand with more cards, you have the possibility of losing one or
    more cards. I have missed shots because I had to change cards in the middle of
    the action.
     
    Michael Meissner, Jul 3, 2006
    #16
  17. Clive

    dwight Guest

    Y'know... That's a possibility. I bought the 2gig card, just before a trip
    to Sedona. Not understanding just how many photos it would hold, I may have
    deleted a couple of bad shots early on, to save room on the card. The
    corrupted files were toward the beginning of the trip.

    Yes, I always format the card in camera after every dump, and I don't
    normally delete individual pictures until I've seen them onscreen. This was
    an exception, and may explain the corrupted images that I did NOT delete.

    dwight
     
    dwight, Jul 3, 2006
    #17
  18. I think this is a key point in the discussion. If you do action
    work, then you must track the frames left and change cards when the
    action is minimum or risk losing the shot. This was very wasteful
    with film and only 36 shots. The large the card with digital, the
    less often you need to change. If you only do landscapes, this
    may not be an issue, but with sports or wildlife action it sure is.

    Years ago when first getting into digital, 512 MB cards were the
    top end and very expensive. Now 4 GB is cheaper and not even
    the top end. What will it be in another 5 years?

    I currently carry 40 GBytes, mostly in 4 GB cards, a few 2, and 1
    GB cards. I'll only buy the fastest 4 GB cards now
    (currently the lexar 133x), and they are still cheaper than the
    512 MB of about 6 years ago.

    I've had 3 card failures (out of about 20 cards), but never
    lost images. I was able to get the data off but the cards
    failed to format or record more images. Two were
    sandisk ultra II, one an older 512 MB sandisk.

    Roger
    Photos, digital info at: http://clarkvision.com
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jul 3, 2006
    #18
  19. : I've recently moved to digital and I'm pleasantly surprised at the low
    : cost of memory cards.

    : However rather than buy a 2gb+ card I've opted for several cards of
    : 512mb or 1gb.

    : Now it's nice to be able to take hundreds of pictures on one card...
    : but what happens if I loose it, it fails, etc, etc. All the pictures
    : lost.

    : Apart from that who keeps several hundred picturs on a card instead of
    : transfering to PC?

    : IMHO as a digital newbie, it makes more sense to store on several
    : smaller cards.

    : Am I alone in thinking this?

    No you are not alone. Each of us will have our own reasone why or why not.
    None of the opinions are wrong, but if one or more reasopns resonate with
    you, use it.

    I do have a large card for normal use when I will be taking photos and
    then returning home to move the images direct to my computer. On the other
    hand, when I am on vacation I use smaller cards. I have several pairs of
    cards. Each pair is a 512 mb card and a 128 mb card. The reason for this
    odd pair is because I have a portable (battery powered) CD burner with
    integrated card reader. Each pair will fit on a single CD. Every few days
    of my vacation I copy the card(s) to CD. Thus if a single card or even all
    my cards disapear I would only loose those images taken since the last
    dump to CD. Since my CD burner is portable I have even carried it with me
    a few times when I plan on taking important photos (group photos for
    publication, for example) so I can copy them off as soon as I am done
    shooting, onto multiple CDs for safety.

    So I use different cards or card combinations for different situations.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Jul 3, 2006
    #19
  20. : With many small cards it'd be far more complicated. Which cards have
    : free space? Which cards have been backed up? How many cards did I
    : have?

    I solved that problem by getting several neoprene media pouches that
    attach to my camera neck strap. I have one pouch that I only use for blank
    cards. One pouch only for filled cards (and two pouches for spare
    batteries). When I make a CD backup (or two) I check the disk to be sure
    the images transferred and then erase the cards. So I never have to have a
    place for "backed up but still full" cards. If I did have a need for this
    I would just have a seperate media storage case that I kept with the
    device that I backed up the cards to.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Jul 3, 2006
    #20
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