How often do you replace your SD cards?

Started Mar 10, 2018 | Discussions
Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 25,570
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?
1

fotografffic wrote:

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.

In that case, just replace it if/when it fails.

tcg550 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,583
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

richj20 wrote:

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.

Canon's version of a low level format takes a few seconds. There is no way it is overwriting data. I would not trust it to make all data inaccessible.  If I had sensitive data on a card that needed to be cleared I would use a program to write the entire disk with 1 and 0s.

bob5050 Contributing Member • Posts: 732
Once and done
1

SD cards keep getting cheaper, and the speed and capacity keep going up.

For casual around the house shooting I'll simply keep a card in the camera and pull images off it as I need to.

But when I'm traveling I go with a half dozen or more cards, and replace those in the camera(s) as they near fill. Once I'm home, all the images are copied to my network storage, and the original cards go into a card holder in a drawer. Once and done--they're now archives.

If we're carrying a $1000+ in camera gear, why balk at considering a $30 memory card a consumable form of off-line, back-up storage?

bob5050

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IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,449
Re: Yearly

Dareshooter wrote:

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.

It sounds very corny, but the old Rebel that managed 370k ish and is still working (retired years ago), the twice repaired 50D (now broken) and the broken 7D are all in my display cabinet “a job well done boys”.

The 7D2s seem to be able to take even more of a beating, and Canon will repair them for a fraction of the cost of new, so thats the path we are taking there. As we retire the backup 7Ds next year I guess (if the 7d3 comes out), then those will go to the cabinet of “a job well done boys”. And the 7D2s become backups as we move to 7D3.

My personal 7D2 did die at 1.03m last August, I wrote a thread in the 7d forum here about it. Its since been repaired by CPS, new mirrorbox, and new shutter, and we will be back to ramming speed in a couple of months.

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 3,753
Re: Yearly
1

IR1234 wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

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.

It sounds very corny, but the old Rebel that managed 370k ish and is still working (retired years ago), the twice repaired 50D (now broken) and the broken 7D are all in my display cabinet “a job well done boys”.

The 7D2s seem to be able to take even more of a beating, and Canon will repair them for a fraction of the cost of new, so thats the path we are taking there. As we retire the backup 7Ds next year I guess (if the 7d3 comes out), then those will go to the cabinet of “a job well done boys”. And the 7D2s become backups as we move to 7D3.

My personal 7D2 did die at 1.03m last August, I wrote a thread in the 7d forum here about it. Its since been repaired by CPS, new mirrorbox, and new shutter, and we will be back to ramming speed in a couple of months.

Seems you had your money's worth out of those cameras . 

IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,449
Re: Yearly
1

mamallama 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.

Interesting rule. Is it based on anything?

Based on experience.

It can be straight up corruption of an image(s), or the card starts to behave differently. For instance, a card might start download images in a random order - experience says that is never a good sign. Or the card and camera are fighting during the day, usually a write that suddenly takes longer than expected. Just little things. But it's always just before you start seeing corrupted images. And many of the errors are intermittent, so you can test the card on a machine, and it's testing perfect. A day later in the camera and it's not happy about something.

But the problem is that it starts to become unsettling to use a card that you're losing faith in. It's much easier to toss it in the trash and replace with a new one.

We're going one step further and just binning the cards at the end of the year and buying new.

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,730
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

I never gave any thought to replacing old ones but I bet that you're right. Ordinarily memory gets a lot more of a workout than cards in cameras so with the level of use that they get wearing out is unlikely to be an issue. Less likely for me because even though I take my camera out a lot, I'm typically not put all that many images on it at a time.... so that my cards are very slow to fill up.

I always have extra cards with me wen I'm traveling so that if one does fail, I have backup, but it seems to me that I'm probably not putting enough images on these things for them to be likely to wear out in the first place...

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Brisn5757 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,897
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!

It makes me curious on how manufacturers can continue to sell SD cards when the SD cards can be used many times without replacement. It must be when the SD cards are upgraded to handle a faster data rate for 4K video recording etc that they can continue to sell SD cards.

Brian

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 31,825
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?
1

Brisn5757 wrote:

It makes me curious on how manufacturers can continue to sell SD cards when the SD cards can be used many times without replacement. It must be when the SD cards are upgraded to handle a faster data rate for 4K video recording etc that they can continue to sell SD cards.

Brian

It's simple.

People buy cameras, want more SD cards, want faster SD cards, want bigger SD cards.

Regards...... Guy

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Brisn5757 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,897
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

Guy Parsons wrote:

Brisn5757 wrote:

It makes me curious on how manufacturers can continue to sell SD cards when the SD cards can be used many times without replacement. It must be when the SD cards are upgraded to handle a faster data rate for 4K video recording etc that they can continue to sell SD cards.

Brian

It's simple.

People buy cameras, want more SD cards, want faster SD cards, want bigger SD cards.

Regards...... Guy

It will be interesting to see how high the capacity of SD cards will increase to. I think at the moment it's 256GB.

Brian

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 31,825
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

Brisn5757 wrote:

It will be interesting to see how high the capacity of SD cards will increase to. I think at the moment it's 256GB.

Brian

Would you believe 1TB? https://www.pcworld.com/article/3122005/storage/boom-sandisk-just-dropped-the-worlds-largest-sd-card.html and that was in 2016.

The limit for the current technology is 2 Terabyte, so maybe in a few years when the 8K video craze takes over from the 4K video craze......

The makers must have new designs on their drawing boards to get past the 2 TB limit, so we wait and see.

Regards.... Guy

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,092
1TB card

Brisn5757 wrote:

It will be interesting to see how high the capacity of SD cards will increase to. I think at the moment it's 256GB.

SanDisk has a 1TB card.

EDIT: I see Guy has referenced this already..

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/9/20/12986234/biggest-sd-card-1-terabyte-sandisk

- Richard

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Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 25,570
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

Brisn5757 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!

It makes me curious on how manufacturers can continue to sell SD cards when the SD cards can be used many times without replacement. It must be when the SD cards are upgraded to handle a faster data rate for 4K video recording etc that they can continue to sell SD cards.

Brian

All the cameras being sold every single day need memory cards, whether because people are upgrading from an older camera and can most likely benefit from a larger faster card or because they are new to digital cameras.

Graham Meale
Graham Meale Senior Member • Posts: 2,723
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

I only replace cards because technology has moved on, and speeds and capacities are better. Otherwise I'd still be using my 128K memory stick that I bought (for about $400!) when I got my first Sony point-and-shoot in 2002. I've never experienced problems with cards.

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,612
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?
1

Guy Parsons wrote:

Brisn5757 wrote:

It makes me curious on how manufacturers can continue to sell SD cards when the SD cards can be used many times without replacement. It must be when the SD cards are upgraded to handle a faster data rate for 4K video recording etc that they can continue to sell SD cards.

Brian

It's simple.

People buy cameras, want more SD cards, want faster SD cards, want bigger SD cards.

Regards...... Guy

I have never bought a new card just because it was faster than my previous card. Why is everyone in such a hurry? You can always do something else whilst a card is downloading. Learn to multitask.

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bob5050 Contributing Member • Posts: 732
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?
1

JulesJ wrote:

[...] You can always do something else whilst a card is downloading. Learn to multitask.

It's not the read speed, but the write speed. The camera can't clear a shot out of its memory buffer until the shot is transferred to the card. If you're carefully composing each shot one at a time, then it probably doesn't matter; if you some x fps for an action shot, then a faster card makes a difference. Optimum is a card that can take data at least as fast as the camera can send it.

bob5050

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Brisn5757 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,897
Re: How often do you replace your SD cards?

bob5050 wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

[...] You can always do something else whilst a card is downloading. Learn to multitask.

It's not the read speed, but the write speed. The camera can't clear a shot out of its memory buffer until the shot is transferred to the card. If you're carefully composing each shot one at a time, then it probably doesn't matter; if you some x fps for an action shot, then a faster card makes a difference. Optimum is a card that can take data at least as fast as the camera can send it.

bob5050

It's also 4K video on cameras that are helping to sell fast SD cards.

Cameras seem to be progressing shots and writing to cards at a faster rate than they use to.

Brian

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