Friday, November 02, 2007

Van Update

The van is coming along well.

The Proper Care & Feeding Of: CF Cards

Ok so everyone always asks me how to deal with certin issues, so I am going to start a new series, "The Proper Care & Feeding Of:..."

Everyone always brings me CF cards and bats their eyes at me and ad asks, "can you get the images off this for me." I always feel bad for them and say yes, but I always give them the CF card speech.

Choosing a CF card seams simple but there are a few things you should consider. Canon cameras do not like Lexar cards; this is my biggest customer, people that use Lexar cards with Canon cameras almost like clockwork bring me there cards. If you don't believe me just google lexar canon. Do not use to big of a card, when we used to shoot with film we would change out a roll of film at most ever 36 frames, so if you lost a roll of film you would not lose the whole job. I am not saying get cards so small that you need to change it out every 36 frames but don't get a 8GB card with a 40D. I like to get around 100 Images on a card. Also keep in mind that the High end Canon's and Nikon's have two card slots and you can shot to both of them at once, so you are backed up at the source. Somf you don't need speed a micro drive is much more stable than a CF card.

The simplest advice is as soon as you buy them organize them! I don't know how many time I have seen people trying to figure out if they have used the card or not. It is simple, just put a number on the back 1 to whatever and when you start shooting always start with number 1.

Before shooting you should do a few things. Format the card on your computer, use apples disk utility to format the card as an MS-DOS file system, this is the base system on the card before you format the card in camera. I do this before ever shoot, if I need to reuse the card during the shoot after downloading it I just reformat it in camera.

During shooting, make sure you formant it in camera every time you use it, don't just delete all, and don't pick and chose what files you want to delete, in my experience this is what tends to corrupt cards the most. Do not fill up the card! The way that the camera determines how many images can be stored on the card is by estimation, since file sizes vary if your last image is larger than the estimation it can lock up the card as well.

After shooting, do not browse the card, if you use an application to browse the card it can attempt to write files to the card and lock it up. Download the cards and make a copy on an external drive ASAP.

When storing your cards I recommend a good sealing card storage container like Gepe, do not just throw the card in your pocket or bag, the contact points for the card are in the tiny holes you don't want to get stuff in them.

When things go wrong don't try and reuse your card, just place it back in your card holder and continue shooting with another card. When you get back to your computer you can get the images off 3 out of 4 times. There is a bunch of software and services out there to recover your CF cards, the one that I have found to be the best is Data Rescue from Prosoft. The reason that I like this software is not only can it do CF cards but it can do hard drives as well, if you want you can get the Drive Genius + Data Rescue package, it comes with a whole host of tools that are great for digital photographers.