How much thought do you put into "Digital Storage" for your DSLRs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ButtUglyJeff, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    I recently had one of my two old Lexar Professional 512mb CompactFlash Cards (40x), craped out. And I've been forcing myself to live with only one, which is quite fustrating. So, I decided to get some new media. I decided on two Kingston 4gb Elite Pro CompactFlash Cards (133x). I'm amazed on how more costs less, and how there's so much to decide between. I think I paid $260 for my 2 512's, five years ago. And now I'm paying under $80 for 8gs total.

    I was just wondering how much thought all the photogs here put into media? What you look for, and rely on? And do you see real differences in read/write speed?

    I haven't seen any threads on this subject, so I though this might be worth discussing
  2. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2007
    Read/write speeds really only matter when accessing the data with your computer. They don't matter so much in-camera. Even the slow ones are fast enough and, in most cases, the camera's buffer more than makes up for the slowest of cards.

    I generally buy the middle range 8GB CF cards. I'm always tempted by the el cheapo models but worry about them dying on me.
  3. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Right now, we have a single 4GB Ultra II card. It holds close to 900 photos at the highest JPEG settings.

    I will eventually get another card so that I always have capacity available and will likely go with another 4GB card.

    The only downside in going with such high capacity cards is that you end up with too many photos on a card. If that card craps out before you downloaded to the computer, you're screwed. The bigger the card, the more photos you have at risk.

    Thinking back, I probably should have gotten two 2GB cards instead. 400 photos on a card is plenty. But I guess I'm all set if I decide to shoot RAW in the future.

  4. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Got 5 4gb and 2 2gb Sandisk Extreme III CF cards. As I shoot raw it's fairly easy for me to fill one or two. If I'm at an airshow then I can fill all of them (having 2 cameras helps!).

    I've avoided larger cards I'm not one for having too many eggs in one basket.
  5. ButtUglyJeff thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    Try RAW+JPEG. Now, that's some big files. :)
  6. DWimages macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2008
    How much thought do you put into "Digital Storage" for your DSLRs?

    I have in my cf card wallet 10 4gb cf cards all are are rated at 266 write speed or better with 6 Kingston Pro cards and 2 PNY, 2 Lexar 300 Series gold cards to round out my cf cards. I slso have 6TB's of storage space for my studio system. You can never have enough storage space when you average 3000 raw images a race weekend. Here is a selection of images of my latest work.

    Mike Doran

    Attached Files:

  7. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    I have several Sandisk Extreme II 2gb cards. I don't like anything bigger than 2gb because its just more files to lose. I keep backups on an external hard drive.
  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    A lot depends on the camera and the speed with which it can write to the card. Newer cameras like the D3 can write very fast and UDMA cards like the Sandisk Xtreme IV are useful, since that camera has "only" a 17 shot buffer. At 9 fps and big RAW or RAW+JPEG files, that buffer can fill quickly. Given the D3 fast write speed, however, the buffer clears quickly if you're using a memory card that can keep up. There are faster cards than the Xtreme IV, but they get increasingly expensive and I've found that memory card to be best bang-for-buck for my needs.

    IMHO, selection of a memory card ought to be tailored to the write speed of the camera it's being used with, and even then mostly useful only for cameras with smaller buffers and shooting situations that require a lot of continuous-high shooting.
  9. magiic macrumors regular


    Jun 17, 2008
    sucks for that guy on the end of the first one
  10. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I remember buying 4 megs of RAM for my Mac LCII for $300. I also remember when Apple used to sell 100MB Apple-branded external hard drives for like $400. What's your point? ;)

    But yes, I guess it is pretty amazing how dirt cheap huge amounts of storage is, whether it's RAM, hard drive, etc.
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    I use Lexar UDMA 8 GB CF cards in my D3 and D300, and I use a Lexar Pro UDMA 800 FW card reader. Because I shoot RAW I need and want the speed. Since there are times when I am out shooting all day and shooting a lot, I have several cards. Even in the very beginning, back in my Coolpix days, I always had more than one CF card handy..... I also do not believe in putting all of my (digital) eggs in one basket, so to speak, and therefore have not moved on to 16 GB cards.

    Yep, I remember back in the day when buying a 32 MB CF card was expensive, and the day I took the quantum leap to a 64 MB CF card I thought I was set for a long, long time......
  12. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    G' Vegas South Carolina
    I use a 6gb card and have only filled it up once while shooting a NASCAR race, and that was while I was learning to use the camera.
  13. apearlman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Don't think too much.

    With cards being so cheap, here's my approach:

    1. Stick to known brands: Sandisk, Kingston, Lexar, etc. When the price difference between a brand-name card and someone I've never heard of is just a few dollars, why take chances?

    2. Buy from a reputable store. Ebay is full of fakes, cards that look like a name-brand but are just junk with a Sandisk sticker. Again, why take chances to save so little money?

    3. Be prepared for 1 card to fail. How many cards to carry? Think about how much space you need for a long day of shooting (or however much time you go between emptying your cards). Then make sure you have that much space, PLUS an extra card in case one fails. Shooting JPG, I rarely need more than 1GB per day. So I carry two 1GB cards. If I needed 4GB in a long day, I'd use three 2GB cards.

    Cards are cheap. Choose your gear accordingly.
  14. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Lots and lots of cards. Please don't let me list them all.

    Lots and lots of different types too. Mainly SD and CF, most are Lexar just because they look cool, and since all of them really are the same.

    I take my archiving more seriously than my on the field storage actually. About to spring and get a few of those LaCie 2big triple disks.
  15. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    i have a few larger GB cards which i keep with the camera at all times.
    photos are uploaded into aperture, edited and backed up on 1 internal, then 2 externals and then backed up to DVD when I have enough files for 1 (I don't currently shoot in RAW just b/c i'm a hobbyist).

    as for cards failing, there is software out there which apparently works at getting pictures off - similar to the software used to recover data from hard drives.
  16. thr33face macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    I use mainlySandisk cards in my devices, because almost every time I bought a card there was some rebate on them.
    Also I like how the ExtremeIII SDs fit the looks of the camera (unlike the blue Kingston cards ;)).

    Basically I don't mind which manufacturer it's from, as long as it's reasonably fast and black.

    Interesting fact: When I extended my phone contract i got a SonyEricsson phone and to my surprise it didn't come with a Sony M2 card, but with a Sandisk one. (Now I know Sandisk and Sony jointly worked on the M2, but still...)
  17. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I have always been a fan of 8GB Transcend CF cards, mainly because they are cheap. The write speed has always been adequate (266x,) even for shooting 21MB RAW files at 5fps. I got a Sandisk 16GB Ultra III (newer version) card and it works well too.

    Color doesn't matter to me and there isn't much on the issue of "quality" between cards - they either work or they don't. I have about 4 8GB cards and a 16GB -- always good to have a backup!
  18. hana macrumors regular

    May 23, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I have a 2GB sandisk in my xt.
    I carry 2 1GB sandisk in my bag.
    I am an amateur and usually shoot less than 100 photos in RAW format

    I import the photos into an iPhoto library.
    Then a copy that iPhoto library onto a 4GB USB stick drive.
    When there are too many photos to fit on the stick drive, I copy the iPhoto library onto DVD.
    Then I start a new iPhoto library.

    Yes, I should be copying the photos to the external drives I have also.... and I will.
  19. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Disagree with the "it doesn't matter" crowd. At least with a 1dMIII the 10fps/10mp fills cards quickly and write speeds are key with high bursts. I shoot only sandisk extreme IV cards.

    I thought this thread might be aimed more for actual storage, I view CF cards as transport media, not storage.

    I take 4 8gb cards and 4 8GB SDHC cards for slot 2 with me, but the latter are definitely much slower.
  20. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I have experienced two drive failure that have cost me images. One was a Windows problem relating to Windows 2000 and SATA drive support that caused data corruption. The other was the recent physical failure of an external drive as a result of its shipment from California to Australia. Recovery of the drive may be expensive and is an effort I will initiate on my return to Australia later this month. No backup, of course...

    I am going to need to devise a more fault tolerant method (and process) of storing images, probably via a pair of disks with raid 1 mirroring and regular archival to optical media. I am still looking for OS X software that will make that archival step relatively painless. This is a high risk problem area for me.

    I buy additional flash media occasionally as prices drop and rebates are offered. I'm currently carrying 16gb, about half of which is UDMA. It meets my needs for now.
  21. ButtUglyJeff thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    There's alot of threads on RAID, externals, and the like. I do wish I put "on board" in the title though.

    I agree, cards are temporary for all of us, and I'm sure we all have have stories on loosing images on something failing. And I'm willing to bet we all have rigid backup routines in place. Even the ameratures here, like myself.

    It just seems there are so many choices in media cards. I was just wondering how you all filtered the options down to what you use today.
  22. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    There are many reports on the dpreview forum of large capacity Sandisk not working properly with the Kodak 14n and similar, and Lexar giving no problems. So I just went for some pricey Lexar CFs.

    For matching large SDs I had to gamble, as there was no such information for the lesser slot. So I just went for the best price and performance combination with some sort of noname brand. It worked properly, so then I stuck to it for a 2nd card.
  23. vagabondlife4me macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2007
    Try shooting some RAW on a slower card and the speed starts to make a huge difference in my experience. A drastic difference. But that is just my two cents of it all.
  24. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    Yes there is a huge difference in speed, I shoot RAW+JPEG and I notice it. I have some older off brand cards and they are horrible in my 40D, but not in an ancient Nikon 995.

    Of course in "some" cameras, many cameras I suspect, it doesn't make a difference. In those cameras, the camera hardware to card interface can be the determining factor.

    When 'faster' cards first began to come out, very few cameras could take advantage of them.

    I use primarily SanDisk Ultra II, and Extreme III cards. Currently I own four 8 Gig's, six 4 Gig's, and a few 2 Gig's. To date I have never had a card fail on me.

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