Question: Formatting SD cards?

Started Jul 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
dylanbarnhart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,268
Usually yes, but not always.

No, formatting is not all the same. However, most cameras built around the same time will use the same setting, so generally formatting on one camera will work with another camera.

If you ever formatted a memory card using a computer, you'll know that there are FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, EXT3, etc. FAT32 allows larger memory card size than FAT16, NTFS has extra security built-in, and EXT3 is for linux. Then there are sector size differences. For example, if you use 4KB sector size, then a 4MB picture will be read as 1,000 pieces.

Older cameras usually use FAT16, while newer ones usually use FAT32 for the larger file size. Sector size can varry, and pretty much any sector size will work on any camera.

Not only that, when you format, the camera will create a folder structure to store images, videos, etc. The folder structure is usually different depending on the manufacturer. So when you insert the card from one camera to another, the photos might not be visible because the second camera looks into the wrong folder. Most newer cameras though, will try to scan all folders for pictures.

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