Monday, July 12, 2010


BEWARE! Memory cards for digital cameras can and do fail. To avoid problems, consider this:
  • Upload your photos to a computer every day, and more often if you are doing something critical.
  • If you are doing product shoots, like I did this past weekend, consider shooting tethered. This automatically sends the photos to the computer, either over a cable or via wireless transmitter.
  • Copy the photos to another hard drive, just to be safe. And copy them to DVD.
  • Occasionally reformat the memory card, using the format function found in the camera; this ensures a clean file structure on the card. This erases the photos on the card!
  • Wedding photographers, especially, use cameras that can write the images to two cards simultaneously.
  • Get software that can recover data from the memory card. This is not necessarily a good safety net, though, as I found out today attempting to recover data from a friend's card.
These may work for you:

I use Nikon Transfer software to copy photos from my camera. This is a free download from Nikon. If you keep the camera cable connected to the computer, you can configure this software to make uploads simple and painless:

Nikon Transfer

You can configure this to automatically save the images to a second location. Adobe Photoshop has a similar program that also works well.

Some tethered applications:
  • Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 Software offers tethered shooting for Nikon cameras.
  • Canon's EOS Utility, which comes with Canon DSLRs, has tethered shooting built-in.
  • Sofortbild is a freeware tethered shooting application for Mac and Nikon DSLRs.
  • A review of more applications can be found here.
PhotoRec is a a free data recovery program than runs on Windows, Mac, and Unix. There are a myriad of commercial products that do recovery also.

Canon EOS 1D series cameras can write to multiple memory cards simultaneously. So does the Nikon D3 series cameras. These are expensive, but because you don't want to get the bride angry, they are worth every penny.

1 comment:

Tina aka Snupnjake said...

Having a spare memory card might also be a good idea as well. Nothing like paying 2x the price at a gift shop for a basic memory card...

But if you are in the field as it were, you might not be able to get a replacement.

I'm glad I was able to supply you with a topic for a blog post :)