RX10MiV: Why reformat an sd card?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Enders Shadow
Enders Shadow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,437
Re: RX10MiV: Why reformat an sd card?

Technically, deleting a file only updates the FAT file. And, a normal format does essentially the same thing by reseting the FAT file. The actual data isn't touched.

But, there's more on the memory card than just the image files. Sony has their own weird database that supposedly keeps track of stored image and video files. It seems deleting files on your computer can cause problems when the card is returned to the camera. I haven't really seen this. But others have commented about having to use the recover image db option. And there's data structures on the card required for normal operations. Formatting the card will rebuild all the required structures. But, it will also delete the M1 through M4 custom settings you may have set.

I tend to let my cards reach 80-90% capacity before I delete any files. This gives me a chance to recover files should some disaster strike before a true backup is created. I have at least 2 cards assigned to each camera. When I remove a card, another is immediately inserted. I usually delete files in-camera using the delete all or delete in folder options. Any protected files will remain, but it's extremely rare when I use the protect function.

I typically format cards only after they have collected multiple empty image folders. Or, if a card exhibit unusual behavior. (Can't remember the last time that happened). My Canon cameras have a low level format option for SD cards. This zeros out all the blocks restoring them to their out of the box condition. Used to do this yearly, but now less often. Newer type cards, like CFexpress, support trim which should help eliminate the garbage collection problem.

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