Storage Media cards are an important, but often overlooked part of your camera system. After all, their job is to safely store your images until you can download them. Because of their importance, they should be taken care of them properly. Here are five tips to keep them healthy:
1. Format new cards
Many of the storage media cards today are touted as being “pre-formatted” and “ready to use,” but ready to use in which type camera system? Not all camera systems use the same file system format, so it is always best to format a new card for the camera it will be used in. By formatting the card in the camera, you’ll ensure the card is in a format your camera recognizes.
2. Never fill your cards completely
Most cameras have some kind of indicator, either on the LCD screen or in a digital display on top of the camera, that tells you how many more photos you can shoot and write to the card before it is full. However, it is not a good idea to fill up a card. Replace the card when your indicator shows there is space left for one or two more images. Otherwise, by filling the card up, you may end up with a write error because there wasn’t enough room left to write that last file which can corrupt at least that image and possibly the whole card.
3. Never exhaust your batteries
Another item that can cause a write error is if your camera runs out of battery power mid-way through writing a file to the card. So replace your batteries with a fresh set once they start to get down to the bottom of the scale.
4. Reformat your cards in your camera
Some new photographers prefer to just delete photos from their cards via their computer once the images have downloaded. However, deleting images does not get rid of them. Always reformat your cards in your camera, instead of just deleting or erasing them. This will ensure the card is in fact empty and is in a format the camera expects.
5. Use good quality memory cards
Being you have spent a lot of money on your camera body and lens, don’t skimp when it comes to buying storage media cards. Remember the importance of these cards – storing your images until you can download them. It’s worth spending a few dollars more to buy quality cards thus ensuring your photos arrive safely at your computer. Besides the higher-priced cards usually have faster write speeds – an important consideration if you shoot action scenes and subjects. Three brands that I can personally recommend are SanDisk, Lexar and PNY.