How often do you replace your SD cards?

Started Mar 10, 2018 | Discussions
tcg550 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,732
Re: Low-level formatting
2

fotografffic wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

fotografffic wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

I think you're pushing your luck with only one card.

I have a couple of cards but because I have two different brand cameras, I don't switch cards between them.

What's the purpose of a low level format?

According to Canon, "Do low-level formatting if the card's recording or reading speed seems slow."

https://support.usa.canon.com/kb/index?page=content&id=ART109344

According to articles I've read in the past, low-level formatting erases all recordable sectors in the SD card.

How long does it take when you do a low level format?

I have a 16 GB card. Half full, it takes about 10-12 seconds as opposed to less than 5 seconds for a standard format.

That is not a low level format. Sure, that's what Canon is calling it but there is no way the camera is doing an actual low level format in 10 -12 seconds.

I wonder why they would choose that term to describe something it's not doing.

Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 2,421
When I lose them :)
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Photographizationalist Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

When it doesn't physically fit into the next camera I buy, because the camera uses a different format.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 32,067
Slow-level formatting
1

tcg550 wrote:

That is not a low level format. Sure, that's what Canon is calling it but there is no way the camera is doing an actual low level format in 10 -12 seconds.

Yes, they are telling porkies.

I wonder why they would choose that term to describe something it's not doing.

Just now tried a Class 10 16G SDHC card (which test writes at about 13MB/s) in my notebook with the official SD Association format program.

  • Quick format 4 seconds.
  • Full sector format, I gave up at 10 minutes and it was only up to 44%, so full format of 16G would take near 23 minutes by my calculation.

So full formats, that is real full formats, are only for the terminally paranoid with a lot of time to waste.

Regards..... Guy

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Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 25,727
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

fotografffic wrote:

I've used one of my Canon cameras for years because of it's small size, portability, decent image quality and features including zoom.

I've used the same SD card in it for the past seven years. I have not had one problem with the card, never! Every now and then I format it and, after heavy use, I do a low-level format.

Am I pushing my luck? Is it time to get a new SD card? How often do you replace your SD cards? Do new ones have decent reliablity?

Thank you!

Do you not at least have a backup SD card?  Seems silly not to given the low cost of cards.

OP fotografffic Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

Mark B. wrote:

Do you not at least have a backup SD card? Seems silly not to given the low cost of cards.

Of course, I do. I have several. I was just asking opinions about if it was time to retire one that has been used a lot during seven years.

alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 10,999
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?
1

fotografffic wrote:

I've used one of my Canon cameras for years because of it's small size, portability, decent image quality and features including zoom.

I've used the same SD card in it for the past seven years. I have not had one problem with the card, never! Every now and then I format it and, after heavy use, I do a low-level format.

Am I pushing my luck? Is it time to get a new SD card? How often do you replace your SD cards? Do new ones have decent reliablity?

Thank you!

I used SD card since going digitalisation some 15+ years ago.

Still have the 256Mb SD (no class specification yet) which costed me >US$100 back then (the older smaller capacity cards were long gone), but must have to upgrade them during the years not because they failed, but spec requirement. I am so ended up with quite many old SD cards from no class, class 4, 6, 8 to 10 etc of 1Gb, 2Gbs, 8Gbs... .

Today I use 64Gb and 32Gb USH-I U3 class SD cards of min writing speed not slower than 60MB/s, costed me <US$30 for the 4K video and 30fps 4K high speed still shooting... Tomorrow if I shall upgrade to a newer/higher spec camera, USH-II (or faster) would start to be a norm and whenever I need to utilize those newer features, I must use faster cards...

For normal shooting most of the older class 6 or faster SD card could still be used, but the buffer clearing, writing speed etc would be barely usable for the newer models...

It is not an issue of reliability or quality of the card, but the advancement of technology of our camera needs a newer card.

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OP fotografffic Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: Low-level formatting

tcg550 wrote:

That is not a low level format. Sure, that's what Canon is calling it but there is no way the camera is doing an actual low level format in 10 -12 seconds.

I wonder why they would choose that term to describe something it's not doing.

I have no idea except to say that Canon calls it a low level format, not a full format. I assume that we cannot assume they are the same.

nevada5
nevada5 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,484
Hmmmm

Fixing something that ain't broke.

Generally not advised.

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IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,461
Yearly

Company policy as of last year is that all cards are given one year and disposed of.

But to put that in perspective we are putting over a million shots each summer into our library, which is aproximates 4 cards per summer. They seem to break down at between 500k and 1m. We didnt even get to the end of last summer before we ordered in 4 new cards to have the last two weeks of work worry free. (2xCf, 2xSd).

Got an old cf here from the 2016 season, last weekend it failed, corrupted images. In the bin it goes. Thought I might get away from my 1 year rule. Nope.

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IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,461
Re: Slow-level formatting

I’m going to bet that they have been mislabled at some point.

A format is simply an erase of the files and folders, and the full format is the partition table being erased and recreated.

There is no way a full format is the old school full format of writing zeros and looking for bad blocks as that would take a considerable amount of time.

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 55,309
Re: Yearly

IR1234 wrote:

Company policy as of last year is that all cards are given one year and disposed of.

But to put that in perspective we are putting over a million shots each summer into our library, which is aproximates 4 cards per summer. They seem to break down at between 500k and 1m. We didnt even get to the end of last summer before we ordered in 4 new cards to have the last two weeks of work worry free. (2xCf, 2xSd).

Got an old cf here from the 2016 season, last weekend it failed, corrupted images. In the bin it goes. Thought I might get away from my 1 year rule. Nope.

Interesting rule. Is it based on anything?

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,130
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?
1

tcg550 wrote:

What's the purpose of a low level format?

From Canon:

https://support.usa.canon.com/kb/index?page=content&id=ART142743

  • IMPORTANT
    When the card is formatted or data is erased, only the file management information is changed. The actual data is not completely erased.
  • Be aware of this when selling or discarding the card. When discarding the card, execute low-level formatting or destroy the card physically to prevent the personal data from being leaked.
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trungtran Contributing Member • Posts: 880
Re: Yearly

IR1234 wrote:

Company policy as of last year is that all cards are given one year and disposed of.

But to put that in perspective we are putting over a million shots each summer into our library, which is aproximates 4 cards per summer. They seem to break down at between 500k and 1m. We didnt even get to the end of last summer before we ordered in 4 new cards to have the last two weeks of work worry free. (2xCf, 2xSd).

Got an old cf here from the 2016 season, last weekend it failed, corrupted images. In the bin it goes. Thought I might get away from my 1 year rule. Nope.

That is a lot of shots, does the camera survive the year as well or do you find they have to replaced.

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 3,850
Re: Yearly

trungtran wrote:

IR1234 wrote:

Company policy as of last year is that all cards are given one year and disposed of.

But to put that in perspective we are putting over a million shots each summer into our library, which is aproximates 4 cards per summer. They seem to break down at between 500k and 1m. We didnt even get to the end of last summer before we ordered in 4 new cards to have the last two weeks of work worry free. (2xCf, 2xSd).

Got an old cf here from the 2016 season, last weekend it failed, corrupted images. In the bin it goes. Thought I might get away from my 1 year rule. Nope.

That is a lot of shots, does the camera survive the year as well or do you find they have to replaced.

Indeed,I wonder if the cameras are sold on or disposed of.

Brisn5757 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,904
Re: Never.

Guy Parsons wrote:

fotografffic wrote:

I've used one of my Canon cameras for years because of it's small size, portability, decent image quality and features including zoom.

I've used the same SD card in it for the past seven years. I have not had one problem with the card, never! Every now and then I format it and, after heavy use, I do a low-level format.

Am I pushing my luck? Is it time to get a new SD card? How often do you replace your SD cards? Do new ones have decent reliablity?

Thank you!

The SD cards do theoretically have a finite life, they wear out with use.

To test that I put an SD card into a notebook and used it as the pre-fetch memory for Windows. It went for maybe 3 years flashing away all the time while using the notebook, it had equivalent of hundreds of years of camera use of write/read operations. still worked fine, is now in an old camera used occasionally. Still OK.

So forget about them wearing out.

Make sure that you buy from a proper source and have easy replacement if found to be faulty within the warranty period, or lifetime replacement for some brands. Do not buy from cheap eBay sources as they are most likely fakes and will not work well or will not be the stated capacity.

No need to do anything apart from an in-camera format when refreshing the card.

Do not use default Win/Mac formats, use only the proper SD Association format program from https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

Regards..... Guy

Looks like I'll die before my SD cards die.

Brian

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Anthony1970
Anthony1970 Senior Member • Posts: 1,213
using them

Since they came on the market, I only had one card failing which got replaced for free by Sandisk,I always carry at least one spare card when going to an event.

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,616
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

If it ain't bust, don't fix it.

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Pepege Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Never.

Brisn5757 wrote:

Looks like I'll die before my SD cards die.

Brian

And those cards are quite tough as well: I just found one in my pocket, it has survived a washing machine and a dryer without any problems...

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 32,067
Re: Slow-level formatting

IR1234 wrote:

I’m going to bet that they have been mislabled at some point.

A format is simply an erase of the files and folders,

In my understanding a quick format just resets the file index, thus losing all the file addresses. The files are not touched and are still there to be recovered by recovery programs. Been there, done that a few times for others and myself. The SD Association format user manual says "It deletes all the file/directory entries by initializing file system parameters of the card, but does not initialize the data written in files."

and the full format is the partition table being erased and recreated.

A full format whether it be via Windows or via the official SD format programs writes to every area on the device, thus takes a hell of a lot longer. Again, the manual says "This option deletes file/directory entries by initializing file system parameters of the card, and erase all data by overwriting the user data area completely. This formatting option takes much longer time than Quick format depending on the card capacity."

There is no way a full format is the old school full format of writing zeros and looking for bad blocks as that would take a considerable amount of time.

They write all over and I guess if a write fails then that is logged as a bad sector, just like on a hard drive. That's why the full format of a 16G card takes 23 minutes and a quick format takes 4 seconds.

The Canon version as quoted is some swift quicky way of doing a bit more than a quick format but no way on earth could it ever be a proper full format.

For a real thrill try a full format or chkdsk of a 2 terabyte hard drive, then you get to know what slow is.

Regards..... Guy

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