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Effective tips for using memory cards safely

12 Effective Tips for Using Memory Cards to prevent Photo Loss

February 8, 2016

The memory card is undeniably the most crucial part of a camera. Whether you are using a DSLR or the old school digi-cam, you need to take utmost care of the memory card. The tiny element of your device stores all your photos so that you can transfer them safely to your computer. But, we all know how every technology has its own risks involved. The same can be said about memory cards. A few mistakes and you might lose all your photos. Seriously, imagine losing all your spectacular images and memories forever. The mere thought is nightmarish. So better be careful rather than regretful. This post describes to you 12 important tips that will save you from memory card problems and disasters. 

1. Do not exhaust your batteries

This is one of the most common mistakes people make. They tend to use the battery even when it indicates that it’s running low. Take the warning sign and stop exhausting the batteries. In some cases, it might happen that the battery gives up while your camera is writing to your memory card. The sudden shutting down of camera while transferring data can corrupt the memory card and lead to major data loss. To avoid this problem, change your batteries as soon as the old one indicates that it is running low. Read more on SD card recovery

2. Keep enough space on your memory card

Do not overload the space in your memory card. Every time you click pictures, the screen on your camera displays a number. This number tells how many shots you are left with until your memory card gets completely full.  Focus on this number, do the calculation and estimate your available number of shots. It is important because if you take a photo when your card is full, it tries to accommodate the new pictures. The extra load on the memory card leads to damage and you end up corrupting the entire data. Save yourself from the trauma, always leave a bit of extra space on the card.

3. Always format your memory card as soon as you get one

As soon as you buy a memory card, format it. Yes there are cards that come with “preformatted” tag, but no matter what, it is always a better idea to format the card again in your own camera. One thing that you should always keep in mind is that format the card from your own camera itself. Do not do it via a memory card reader on your computer. This way, you can also ensure that the file system used by your memory card is the one that your camera recognizes.

4. “Safely remove the hardware”, listen to your computer’s advice

Every time you transfer your photos to your computer, make it a point that you don’t just directly remove the memory card out of the memory card reader or the USB cable. Always eject your memory card properly. The option is easily available on both Windows and Macintosh. The process is crucial because even when you think that your computer is no longer reading or writing on your card, it might still be accessing it. Ejecting it will halt all the communications and you can remove it safely.

5. Do not delete photos rather format your memory card

Formatting is a way of repairing and maintaining your memory card. It is in a way refreshing and resetting them. When you delete photos, you just free the space occupied by the images. But when you format your memory card, you also get rid of all kinds of disk errors that may have occurred due to consistent use.

6. Avoid big cards and prefer using smaller ones

The idea of buying a huge memory card is highly tempting as it saves you from the hassles of switching again and again. But that is not a wise choice to make. Storing your photographs is like making an investment; if you do it all at a single place, the risk is higher.  If your big card fails you will lose your data. It would be better if you use smaller cards. This way, you will have your photos in multiple cards and the probability of losing them all at once would be really low.

7. Carefully store your memory cards

Your memory cards are made up of fragile connections and it is important to handle them with utmost care. You need to be highly careful of the contacts on your memory card. Even a tiny fickle of dust can damage the card and cause major reading and writing problems. It is advisable to keep your memory cards in a case. I there is no case available, store them at a safe place instead of leaving them loitered around.

8. Always turn off your camera before removing your card

Though this is generally a common practice, there are instances when the photographer is in a hurry and forgets to turn off the camera. Whenever you remove the memory card while the camera is on, there might be a possibility that you remove it while the camera is reading/writing into it. This can potentially damage the pictures and videos stored your memory card.

9. Never ever compromise on the quality of the card reader

The memory card reader is generally treated as a side dish. Although, it is only used to read the memory card, it can potentially damage the card if the quality is not good. The best idea is to ensure that the card reader and the card belong to the same manufacturer.

10. Keep separate cards for separate cameras

There might be a case when the space on memory card is available even after you have used it on one camera. Do not use the card on any other camera. This is because all cameras have different file systems, even the ones that are manufactured by the same manufacturers. If you use same card on multiple cameras, the chance of it getting damaged and corrupted are very high.

11. Ensure that you keep your camera up to date

The manufacturers release updates for the cameras from time to time. These updates are important as they help to keep your camera free of problems. Updating also fixes general errors that are identified with the camera. This keeps your memory card safe as all the interaction errors are resolved too.

12. Always use good quality memory cards

Never ever compromise on the quality of memory cards you use with your cameras. Cheap brands are not durable and you might face issues like mysterious disappearance of photos. Prefer brands that are consistent with their quality and offer considerable guarantee and warranty. There are some good companies out there in market which are extremely efficient and do not burn a hole in your pocket. Read article on buying SD cards

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your photos secure

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