Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: SD Cards

  1. #1
    MrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hertfordshire, England
    Posts
    1,034
    Real Name
    Philip

    SD Cards

    Two questions regarding long-term SD Card reliability -

    1. Is there any general consensus amongst experienced (and/or professional) digital photographers on which manufacturer makes the most reliable SDHC cards ?

    2. Is it best practice to transfer photo data from the camera to the computer by using the USB lead, or by tranferring the card into a card reader, or does it make no difference?

    Philip

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: SD Cards

    Hi Philip,

    1, I think it fair to say that the majority of people use either Sandisk or Lexar. There are other makes such as Fujifilm and I think Panasonic make their own. Personally I've always used SanDisk since coming over to digial.

    2, I use a card reader. I don't think it makes any difference other than the fact you have to have your camera "powered up".

    Hope this helps mate.

  3. #3
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Re: SD Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    2. Is it best practice to transfer photo data from the camera to the computer by using the USB lead, or by tranferring the card into a card reader, or does it make no difference?
    Philip,

    Mark's answer for #1 is the same I would give. Others may provide more info.

    #2 - I personally recommend never connecting the camera via the USB lead - if for whatever reason (ie: power surge) the voltage on that USB line spikes, your camera could be damaged. Must safer (and cheaper) to just lose a memory card instead of your camera too!

    - Bill

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,196
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: SD Cards

    I cannot speak for SD Cards but, my last two Kingston (8GB and 16GB) CF cards which I purchased from Frys Electronics (an electronics chain in the USA) have been faulty and, although I have several earlier CF cards from Kingston which work O.K.; I will no longer purchase Kingston memory products.

  5. #5
    MrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hertfordshire, England
    Posts
    1,034
    Real Name
    Philip

    Re: SD Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post

    I personally recommend never connecting the camera via the USB lead - if for whatever reason (ie: power surge) the voltage on that USB line spikes, your camera could be damaged. Must safer (and cheaper) to just lose a memory card instead of your camera too!

    - Bill
    Thank you Bill; however, as many would say - sometimes the photographs are the irreplaceable items. Hence I am trying to assess opinion about the reliability of different cards and the safest way to use them to best preserve their data.

    Cheers,
    Philip

  6. #6
    Jim B.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    1,218
    Real Name
    Jim

    Re: SD Cards

    I use both CF and SD cards.Another vote for SanDisk.They can be pricey,but in my opinion it's worth it.I also use a card reader.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    304
    Real Name
    Tim

    Re: SD Cards

    Well, I inadvertently disconnected the USB while downloading my daughter's prom pictures. I am pretty sure that they are lost The laptop won't recognize the camera. If I put the card into a reader, it has an error, but I can still look at the nice pictures on the camera display, so I know what I am losing, I guess. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to save these pictures?

  8. #8
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Re: SD Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by tameigh View Post
    Well, I inadvertently disconnected the USB while downloading my daughter's prom pictures. I am pretty sure that they are lost The laptop won't recognize the camera. If I put the card into a reader, it has an error, but I can still look at the nice pictures on the camera display, so I know what I am losing, I guess. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to save these pictures?
    Tim,

    Give this a try... http://www.pandorarecovery.com/ - I've used it in the past and it is great. Free, no adware, just works. Definitely worth giving them a donation!

    - Bill

  9. #9
    dje's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    4,133
    Real Name
    Dave Ellis

    Re: SD Cards

    I use Sandisk and my experience with them has been all good. I use the faster Ultra or Extreme versions because i shoot some HD video with my still camera.

    I prefer to use a card reader as it is faster for me.

    Cheers dave

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    304
    Real Name
    Tim

    Re: SD Cards

    Thanks Bill,
    I bought a card reader and paid for a recovery program and unloaded it no problem. I could have saved $40 with your suggestion, but I was at Office Depot for the card reader anyway and didn't want to take any chances.
    - Tim

  11. #11
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: SD Cards

    Just as an aside, some SanDisk cards come with a free recovery program. I don't know if it works or not as I've never had to use it!

  12. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1

    Re: SD Cards

    Must put in my two cents for Sandisk. I have used these cards in various forms in both cameras and industrial devices with no problems. Studies on storage disks (SD, compact, etc.) have always given Sandisk the highest approval due to the "rock solid" functioning of their product. Just got a new 16GB Extreme Pro yesterday and it is about twice as fast (updating between shots) as my old Extreme card!
    As for readers VS. usb cable/camera, readers are somewhat better but they do have their own set of problems from time to time. Best thing to do is get your photos off your card as soon as possible, back them up on a hard drive in a different file and if they are important make another copy on a DVD or CD.

    Good luck and happy shooting.

    Butch

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    304
    Real Name
    Tim

    Re: SD Cards

    BTW, looking at the card to fix it, I noticed that there was 2 GB of a movie file on there, probably put there by bit torrent, or something. My daughter is a college student and was using it, and I am thinking a trojan or virus put it there. So now I have a lot more room to shoot.

  14. #14
    ktuli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    1,518
    Real Name
    Bill S

    Re: SD Cards

    Tim,

    Something you should be doing with your cards a regular basis if reformatting them. That would have solved the problem you just listed with that 2GB movie file, and may have helped to prevent the corruption you recently had. Because file systems never really delete files (they just delete the pointers to them, which is why recovery programs like Pandora work), and only reuse the space once the card becomes full and they need to overwrite something, they become prone to corruption like that. When you reformat the card, it resets all of those file pointers and starts writing the card back at the beginning.

    As long as you know there is nothing you need on the card, reformatting it helps to keep things clean and stable. I personally reformat my cards (by using the in-camera format option) almost every time I return it to the camera after copying photos off.

    - Bill

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: SD Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    When you reformat the card, it resets all of those file pointers and starts writing the card back at the beginning.
    "Sorta". Because flash memory wears out, the controller chips physically map the data to areas different to the logical areas assigned in the file system so that all areas are utilised more evenly. Formatting resets the logical file structure back to a known point, but doesn't "start the card writing back at the beginning per sec". I should add that I agree with the advice about formatting though - that's the only way I ever clear my cards.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: SD Cards

    Hi Philip,

    There's a lot that goes on "under the bonnet" with SD cards - many "manufacturers" will use memory and controller chips from 3rd party manufacturers, and there's a lot of ambiguity in performance standards. So whereas two cards might be Class 6, one may be many times faster than the others.

    Many here have recommended Sandisk - and I'll add my name to that list. Lexar also have a good reputation, but I don't have any personal experience with them.

    If in doubt, run with Sandisk, and you won't be disappointed. Just a word to the wise though, there are a LOT of fake Sandisk cards out there - so don't buy from eBay - buy from the likes of B&H / Adorama etc.

  17. #17
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: SD Cards

    Philip,

    Just an addition to Colins advice on fake stuff on ebay etc, I noticed that you're based here in the UK. One of the best places to purchase photographic stuff here is Warehouse Express.

  18. #18
    Black Pearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whitburn, Sunderland
    Posts
    2,175
    Real Name
    Robin

    Re: SD Cards

    I too use Sandisk cards exclusively and I've never had a duff one yet. I see every brand going through work and while I understand why customers buy the cheap ones to save a few quid they often drive me insane. Some are pathetically slow to download onto our printers, regardless of what speed is written in the label. The fail rate of some brands is alarming and even the build quality of some is rubbish.

    The advantages of the Extreme range is that they are waterproof, shock proof and crush proof so if you are thinking long term and reliability then these are the boys to spend your cash on.

    I'll add my weight to the DON'T BUY THEM FROM EBAY comments. A huge proportion are fake, faulty not as fast as advertised or even have anything in them.....according to a Sandisk rep I was talking to they had a batch of complaints about cards and USB drives that turned out to be completely empty - oddly the customers were wondering why they didn't work.

  19. #19
    MrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hertfordshire, England
    Posts
    1,034
    Real Name
    Philip

    Re: SD Cards

    Thank you very much to all contributors to this thread. I am most grateful for all the excellent advice and recommendations. I am also very pleased to have found and joined CiC!

    Philip

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •