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Old December 4th, 2011, 03:40 AM   #1
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sd card life

I have 10 sandisk extreme (30mbs) card that i have been using doing weddings. They are 16gb units, and I am now getting an error that they won't write to the card at high speed. When I do a speed check they are now running at 11-16mbs. I have only used them 6 times. What is happening?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: sd card life

Do you re-format them in camera?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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Re: sd card life

no, on the confuser
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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Re: sd card life

Hi Paul

Always, always format the cards in camera, never via a card reader on your computer!!

With regards to life cards supposedly can survive 10,000 inserts so I doubt whether we will ever use them that much!! What I do for pure safety sake is run 8 cards in my "current batch" ...every 6 months I retire 4 cards and keep the "newest" four so I have 4 brand new ones and 4 that are 6 months old.

As I do weddings and Real Estate shoots I use the 6 month old cards for Realty work (if a card did fail I can simply re-shoot the house) and the most recent cards are assigned as wedding cards as they are definately not re-shootable!! Just for safety, when new cards arrive they are used during the week at Realty shoots to make sure they are 100% and then given the honour of becoming "wedding cards"

It might sound expensive but my card purchases are tiny over a year compared to what I used to pay for mini-DV tapes every week!!!

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Old December 5th, 2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: sd card life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ardesch View Post
I have 10 sandisk extreme (30mbs) card that i have been using doing weddings. They are 16gb units, and I am now getting an error that they won't write to the card at high speed. When I do a speed check they are now running at 11-16mbs. I have only used them 6 times. What is happening?
I'm going to "reinforce" Chris Harding's reminder to ALWAYS format and reformat in the camera the card is going to be used in. SanDisk will let you "get by" with what you have been doing for longer than most other brands will, but failure to format in the camera will eventually catch up with you as you have found.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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Re: sd card life

Always reformat in-camera. Computers are way more standardized, especially on how they deal with storage. Camera's are the worst when it comes to external storage, and the FAT standard (or lack thereof) just makes it even more of a problem.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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Re: sd card life

I've been using SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC cards in my 60D. The camera may not really need the 45MB/s speed of the ones I have on hand, but I just ordered one of the new 16GB 95MB/s cards from B&H.

$59.95

What impresses me about these is the steel clad construction, temperature proof, and waterproof. Performance has been great.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: sd card life

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Originally Posted by Paul Ardesch View Post
no, on the confuser
Never format the SD cards on the computer using Windows' own formatter! That type of format results in a file system that is not at all compliant with the SD Card Association specs. If you must format any SD cards on the computer, download, install and use the SD Card Association's (developed by Panasonic) SD Card Formatter. This will produce a file system that is compliant with the official SD Card Association specs. Then, insert that card you just formatted with the SD-specific formatter and re-format the card in the camera.

On the other hand, if your computer is a Mac, then you can use the OSX's native formatters, then reformat the card in the camera.

Last edited by Randall Leong; December 12th, 2011 at 06:32 PM.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 04:41 AM   #9
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Re: sd card life

But why don't you just format the new card in the camera in the first place? That's what I always do.

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Old December 13th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #10
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Re: sd card life

Here is the potential problem:

Even if you always format the card in the camera, SD cards can degrade severely in performance after as little as five uses because some cameras perform only a quick format (they have no "low-level" or "full" formatting option whatsoever). The "Low-Level" format option on Canon's cameras works properly only with a fresh card or a card that had been secure-erased on a computer; with cards that have been previously used in the same camera, "Low-Level" is exactly the same as a quick format. (This is due to woefully insufficient battery capacity in consumer cameras to permit a truly full card format, which can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours.) In fact, I did experence this many times with every single one of my cards regardless of brand, model and capacity: For example, the write speed of one of my cards suddenly dropped from 20 MB/s all the way down to only 8 MB/s after using that same card only five times. This is because newer and larger-capacity SDHC cards are now using very cheap MLC NAND flash chips that have a rated life as few as 1,000 (or even 100) write cycles. One would have to go all the way up the SanDisk line to the top-of-the-line Extreme Pro 90 MB/s line just to even find an MLC flash rated to even 10,000 write cycles. And even when fresh, many of the so-called "30 MB/s" cards have write speeds that are far slower than the read speeds (again, this is due to the use of super-cheap but short-life NAND flash chips); for example, my 16GB SanDisk Ultra 30 MB/s SDHC Class 6 card has an actual benchmarked write speed of only 7.5 MB/s maximum.

In other words, reliability-wise it's a race to the bottom, not to the top.

Last edited by Randall Leong; December 13th, 2011 at 12:33 PM.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 10:48 PM   #11
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Re: sd card life

According to my experience, memory cards are quite durable, though occasionally finicky when it comes to formats.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 05:50 AM   #12
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Re: sd card life

well peeps, its all sorted with the old 'format in the camera' trick. It has removed a fair bit of stress from me and the missus now not to mention keeping cash in my wallet. We bought 3 cards new each wedding just for the service and speeches to make sure that we got the coverage that we needed. Gees if its not the batteries, its the cards, now its my focus is a little out... I can't win.

Just because everyone is doing it heres a link to our latest Highlights!!
Anna & Jordan's Highlights Video - YouTube
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