Taking care of how you store and treat your SD card is just as important as keeping your camera in perfect condition. The SD cards that store your precious photos can sometimes be temperamental and shots can be lost or corrupted if your memory card plays up. Follow these tips to ensure your memory cards function properly.
Before you start to use your SD card make sure you format it so it is ready to work with your camera. Avoid using the same SD card in different cameras as different devices have their own numbering and formatting procedures, mixing and matching your card with another camera or other device can potentially cause corruption issues. If you have to use your card in another device ensure you have a back up of the images first and reformat the card.
Never pull out your SD card in a hurry after taking photographs or it may result in errors or the image being corrupted. The image needs time to write to the card. Often after a prolonged series of burst-mode shooting, the buffer will become full and the camera won’t allow you to take any more images. This will be indicated by a red light. It’s critical that you DO remove the memory card when the red light is on, as you could corrupt your images. Always wait an extra minute or two before removing cards from a card reader or camera.
Check your camera battery levels
You will need a certain level of power to properly write data to a card. Avoid using a camera with low levels and always keep a spare battery handy.There is only a 75 percent chance of recovering data lost by low battery issues.
Avoid editing on your camera
Avoid rotating pictures while viewing them through the camera as doing this causes the data to change, which means a new image is written on the card. File structures can be inadvertently changed if you move around images, so leave the manipulation to your desktop programmes such as photoshop.
Take care when deleting or formatting photos
When you are using the camera’s internal formatting and deletion tool, keep in mind that some use a destructive method of formatting or deleting. What does that mean? They write “0’s” to the entire card, which can overwrite the picture’s data, so the impacted image cannot be recovered. Some cameras don’t do this process, so recovery will depend on the make/model of your particular camera. Remember that storage is cheap, so don’t delete photos on the camera just to free up space.
Use a card reader to transfer images from your camera
Card readers are simple, easy-to-use, and cheap. They speed up the transfer of photos from your camera to your computer and require you to simply plug in the memory card. The readers use your computer’s power to run, so there is no risk of low battery problems.
Store and manage your cards efficiently
When not in use, avoid storing your cards in camera bag pockets as dirt and moisture can damage them. Invest in a card wallet to protect your SD cards. Devices have their own numbering and formatting procedures, and mixing and matching your card with another camera will potentially cause corruption issues. If you have to use your card in another device, be sure you do a full download first in order to protect yourself.
Backup, backup, backup
Never delete images or format your card until you’ve not only removed them from the card and saved them on your computer, but also backed them up.
Don’t panic if your card gets wet
Sometimes memory cards go through the wash or get dropped in puddles. If it happens, DON’T ! Let the card dry out for a day or two and then use a card reader to get the images off.
Watch the weather
Temperature extremes can cause havoc on memory cards. Take a hike on a summer day, and the interior of your camera bag can easily top 120. Don't leave your camera in the boot of your car in freezing conditions.
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