This was originally meant to be a quick piece of advice on memory cards, as they are such a vital part of our voyage and there seems to be some confusion about which one to buy. Funny that something so seemingly insignificant can be important. Well, the memory card you use could fail, get corrupted or stop working for a variety of reasons which we will discuss.
There are a lot of big players in the memory card market. Naturally, SanDisk is the biggest as they essentially built the platform and have been working on it for the longest amount of time. I use SanDisk, because I think, hey, if they haven't figured it out by now, then no one will. Plus they have a massive advertising busget and have convinced me that they are the best.
The other brand I use is Lexar. Lexar, as I have been lead to believe, is a brand which many professionals use. They use Lexar because Lexar has a history of providing high quality cards. Lexar SD cards can be a tad more expensive, but it also can be worth it. And considering they also come with Image Rescue Software, you can't go wrong.
As well, I also do not believe in the rule of putting all you digital photo eggs into one basket. For example, while I might want to buy the largest card available, I also know that if I lose that card or if it gets corrupted right at the end, I will be out hundreds of photos. This would get very expensive as I would probably spend the next day drinking in sorrow, and that can add up.
Thus, instead of buying one Lexar 32GB card , I will opt for four Lexar 8GB cards . When one is finished, it goes into the bag or backpack to be backed up, while the next one in the rotation gets used. These cards will last you a very long time this way. It will be worth the investment.
You will get generic cards that last just as long, I am proud of you. In my case, SanDisk and Lexar are what work for me and I trust them.
As for what kind of card, you may already be aware that sizes vary anywhere from in the MB's to 64GB. Now the SD is different from SDHC, which is different from SDXC, although they all fit the same hole. Make sure your camera is compatible with either of these before buying into them. The SDXC are becoming very expensive, but well worth it, especially if you shoot a lot of video.
The Next setting on the card is the speed. This comes in 2, 4, 6 or 10. The higher the number the faster it will write information to the card. one again, if you shoot a lot of video into your SDHC card, you need a higher number to ensure the information will be written correctly.
Cards can easily become corrupted, so check out a few of these preventative measures to avoid any unpleasantry's when your snapping photos in your next trip overseas.
Cards can be corrupted...
...anytime you remove the card, turn it off, or do something to it while it is still writing data. To avoid this, make sure the camera is done writing information before doing anything to the card.
...removing the batteries or having the batteries go dead while shooting. To avoid this, always keep freshies in your gear bag, or stop using it when they get low. You may be able to successfully shoot photos until they run out. It is really a calculated risk that you take.
...formatting the card incorrectly. To avoid this, format the card a couple times a year in camera.
Do not use the computer to format a camera SD card. When you format the it is like starting everything over. New files new directories, basically like a brand new card.
...from regularly deleting images then shooting more, then deleting more and shooting more etc. Avoid this cycle of using the very last nano bit of space on your card by having spare cards on the ready. When your card is full, save the files as many times as you feel comfortable with, then format it.
...taking photo so fast that the camera can't keep up. To avoid this, get a faster memory card and slow down your picture taking. Or, get a faster camera.
If you do end up with a corrupt card, then stop using it. Take it out. Get a program such as Image Rescue or Disk Restore. Their are also other programs that can pull up corrupted files. You can also consider taking it to a professional.
There you have it, a basic guide to buying, using and abusing memory cards for your camera. The one thing I can't promise is that after buying the most expensive Lexar memory card, your pictures won't suck.
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