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Old 24/03/07, 17:48   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to erase pixs from SD card ?

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I have been erasing pixs from SD cards for years, but think I may be doing it wrong? When I take pixs, then insert the SD card into the reader, and transfer the pixs to my computer, I then delete the pixs from the card, though the computer.

I have now been told that this is not the correct method, and I should be erasing them inside the camera, Is this correct?
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Old 24/03/07, 18:08   #2 (permalink)
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Default AW: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

That is indeed correct. You can do it in the computer and be lucky, but it may cause incompatability problems with the camera in some cases. It is also a good idea to format the card from time to time in the camera, to remove resting small files which might be using up some memory.
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Old 24/03/07, 18:10   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

Robert, the recommended process is to copy the files to the computer and then place the SD card in the camera (if the card was not copied while in the camera) and format it.

While it is true that it is convenient to use computer practices on an SD card that looks just like a drive, it's not recommended practice.
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Old 24/03/07, 18:18   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

I understand that some have had problems deleting on the computer, but I suspect that just a few people had real trouble, and lots of people repeat the "wisdom". Anyway, I won't recommend that others do this, but I have been deleting pictures from my CF (7000 pictures) and SD cards (1000 pictures) from day one, and never had a related problem. I format in-camera once in a while to appease the knock-on-wood gods.
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Old 24/03/07, 21:09   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

Not to offend any previous commenters, but the "wisdom" in the pro world (where Murphy reigns supreme) is to ALWAYS format your cards in-camera. Like toothbrushing, frequently is better! Note, it's format, not erase - they are different things. The only computer-related file management that should be done in your OS is downloading images. Period.

While some folks may have never had problems with other methods, you (or me) aren't necessarily one of them. There are FAR many more reports of camera/card compatibility issues that have been traced to computer managed deleting of files or formatting in the OS. The wisdom mentioned above comes from the experience of a very broad base of users.

I format a card every time it goes back in the camera after downloading. I'd consider it risky to go any other way, especially since it's so simple! Cheap insurance!!

Tom
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Old 24/03/07, 22:46   #6 (permalink)
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Ausrufezeichen Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

I wholeheartedly agree with Tom... Format every time you re-insert your SD card into the camera and you minimize potential problems...
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Old 24/03/07, 22:51   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

Format everytime it goes back in the camera. Simple and takes mere seconds.
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Old 25/03/07, 04:43   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

I'm another "always in the camera" and "always format instead of delete" guy. I'll delete images on the fly or before uploading to the computer, but always do a full format before the card goes back into the camera for another shoot.

If you look at the visible file structure on a card, you'll see there is a DCIM folder, and within that a labelled folder for a specific camera's images (e.g. Leica101 or Sony100 or whatever).

Simply deleting pictures erases the image files ( or to be more accurate, removes their existence in the file directory while leaving the data intact until overwritten, which is why rescue programs can often save the "hidden" images), but leaves the basic folder structure in place.

Doing so with a computer may add "invisible" files such as "_Trashes".

Use a card on several cameras only using "delete" between each use and you can end up with separate folders for each of the cameras cluttering up the DCIM folder. I have two M8 bodies, and even those identical camera will leave TWO "Leica..." folders if I don't format between swapping a card from one body to the other.

Formatting the card with a computer sets up the card as generic empty memory, without the needed DCIM and camera nested folders (since the computer is not a digital camera, it does not know how to build a camera-compatible file structure).

Formatting in-camera: 1) wipes the file folder structure in addition to the image addresses, removing any folders left over by other cameras or from a computer, and 2) creates a new file structure in the precise format the camera expects and needs.
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Old 25/03/07, 05:41   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenw
I understand that some have had problems deleting on the computer, but I suspect that just a few people had real trouble, and lots of people repeat the "wisdom". Anyway, I won't recommend that others do this, but I have been deleting pictures from my CF (7000 pictures) and SD cards (1000 pictures) from day one, and never had a related problem. I format in-camera once in a while to appease the knock-on-wood gods.
I'm with carsten on this one. Deleting images off a card on/with a computer is NO different then doing it in/on the camera. The camera IS a computer. All that happens when you delete a image is it is removed from the File Allocation Table. The image is still there until you format the card.
When I get images off the card I normally CUT them from the card, Ctrl+X keys, and paste them to the folder on my hard drive, Ctrl+V, and only some times format the card in the camera. I have never had a problem.

Last edited by Shootist; 25/03/07 at 05:51.
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Old 25/03/07, 05:50   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teehas53
Not to offend any previous commenters, but the "wisdom" in the pro world (where Murphy reigns supreme) is to ALWAYS format your cards in-camera. Like toothbrushing, frequently is better! Note, it's format, not erase - they are different things. The only computer-related file management that should be done in your OS is downloading images. Period.

While some folks may have never had problems with other methods, you (or me) aren't necessarily one of them. There are FAR many more reports of camera/card compatibility issues that have been traced to computer managed deleting of files or formatting in the OS. The wisdom mentioned above comes from the experience of a very broad base of users.

I format a card every time it goes back in the camera after downloading. I'd consider it risky to go any other way, especially since it's so simple! Cheap insurance!!

Tom
This is a urban legend. Formatting in a computer is good for the card, as long as you do another format in the camera so it can setup the file and directory/folder structure on the card for that particular camera.
Card failures and incompatibilities are because the card goes bad. Just like hard drives go bad. Or you're using a Mac
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Old 01/07/08, 07:06   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re:sd cards

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help!
my m8 just seized up when I tried to format a new San disk extreme 4gb card. The red light kept flashing, but nothing happened. No pc with me, I'm in japan on holiday. Any ideas?
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Old 01/07/08, 07:50   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: sd cards

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Originally Posted by adampiper View Post
help!
my m8 just seized up when I tried to format a new San disk extreme 4gb card. The red light kept flashing, but nothing happened. No pc with me, I'm in japan on holiday. Any ideas?
It is probably an SDHC card and thus not compatible with the M8 and it's current firmware. You need to get a std SD card. Sandisk Extreme III 2GB is such a card.
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Old 01/07/08, 16:04   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

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Originally Posted by intex View Post
I have been erasing pixs from SD cards for years, but think I may be doing it wrong? When I take pixs, then insert the SD card into the reader, and transfer the pixs to my computer, I then delete the pixs from the card, though the computer.

I have now been told that this is not the correct method, and I should be erasing them inside the camera, Is this correct?

The SD card file system is a plain old Dos FAT, but for our computer that's a relic of the past, so either because it does not check before formatting, or gets it wrong, our pc could do a "bad" format, i.e. just using Fat16 vs Fat32 could confuse your camera at the startup when it's trying to identify the media. This could raise errors in use or even result in an unusable card on that camera.

Besides it's my understanding that some cameras do just a quick format instead of a full one when they recognise a card is already formatted, as they assume it's the correct one, but eventually they could be unable to write to it. This could explain why in some cases you have to format the card in a different camera to make it usable again.

So to be on the safe side it's always better to access the card from your computer just for reading and doing everything else inside the camera. Last but not least the computer does not know the logical structure the camera expects, so this will have to be written in a later step. Faster doing it all at once in the camera.

As for the formatting vs deleting, my question is the other way round: what's the advantage of deleting the files?
Usually a format is faster, and is not affected by the number of files, check it on your camera with a full card. Besides it's a must when you switch a card btw different cameras. Even if they are of the same type the least you could loose is the picture numbering.

One of the arguments that have been used in favour of format is that delete does not wipe the fragmenting of files while on the other hand formatting does clear it all.
While this is certainly true, in practice fragmenting is important just with media that have moving parts, i.e. hd, as it's affecting the speed because you need more seeks to access a file, but this is not with solid state memories, that have none and accessing any sector takes always the same time.
So if speed is not an issue, we should anyway remember that an unfragmented file layout will definitely improve our chances when recovering files from a card.

Another point worth mentioning is that all solid state memories can be written a finite number of times. I do not have an exact figure for SD cards, but even if we assume it's huge, with a format we do hundreds times less writes than with delete, as each file delete always involves a full write to the card.

To sum it up, it's safer to write to the cards only in the camera to avoid "misunderstandings", and, as delete does not offer any advantage, it's better to use format which in any case saves on the life span of our cards, is usually faster, and last but not least gives us better chances if something goes havoc with our card
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Old 01/07/08, 16:45   #14 (permalink)
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Default AW: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

On the topic of flash memory cards, there are quite a number of urban legends circulating …

Contrary to popular wisdom, there is normally no reason to format a card – ever. Formatting is something you do when something goes wrong and you assume the card’s file system to be damaged.

There is normally no need to format a card when switching cameras. All digital cameras use the same DCF system of files and folders (which is based on FAT16 or FAT32 in turn) that is an industry standard. DCF was designed to allow for using the same card in different cameras. Each camera creates its own subfolders for storing images. Admittedly, Canon cameras sometimes don’t. (This isn’t just theory: I am sucessfully using the same cards in lots of different cameras from different vendors.)

Formatting doesn’t wipe the data off the card. All it does is to reset the file system to its virgin state. After formatting a card, the image data can still be recovered.

Deleting image files on the computer has no adverse effects. In fact, the FAT file system pretty much defines what deleting a file amounts to, and the computer and the camera do it in exactly the same way. I have been deleting files on the computer as standard procedure for many years now, with no ill effects.

Some believe that deleting doesn’t remove fragmentation, but deleting all files is actually just as effective in combatting fragmentation as formatting is. The only way to create fragmentation is by deleting some, but not all the files on the card. Whether it is the camera or the computer deleting images is immaterial.

Fragmentation usually isn’t a big issue with flash memory cards, but it could be when a high throughput needs to be maintained over longer periods of time – in other words, when recording video. But modern cards are usually fast enough anyway.

Contrary to what vendors such as Transcend will tell you, there is no such thing as a 4 GB SD card. 4 GB cards are either SDHC or they are no SD cards at all. There are two versions of the SDA specification in current use, SDA 1.1 and SDA 2.0 (SDHC). SDA 1.1 specifies cards with up to 2 GB while SDA 2.0 allows for up to 32 GB. A 4 GB card that doesn’t conform to SDA 2.0/SDHC doesn’t conform to SDA 1.1 either, as the latter is limited to 2 GB max. Unfortunately, the M8 will accomodate some pseudo-SD cards with 4 GB, but not true SDHC cards. I’m not sure whether the M8 will still support those cards once a new firmware version provides SDHC compatibility; there are cameras compatible with both SD and SDHC, but rejecting pseudo-SD cards.
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Old 01/07/08, 16:59   #15 (permalink)
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Default AW: How to erase pixs from SD card ?

Just a remark with regards to SD cards bigger than 2GB: Many people here recommand to not put all your eggs in one basket. Use smaller cards, change more often, and in case a card goes bad, lose "only" 200 shots, not 400 :-)
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