Storing photos in micro SD card?

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DanLbk Regular Member • Posts: 216
Storing photos in micro SD card?

Not a Fuji gear related question, but... my laptop has 256 GB of storage, which is quickly running out. It happens to have an in-body micro SD card reader, which gave me the clever idea of affixing a permanent micro SD card into my laptop, i.e. inserting a card and just leaving it there, and storing all my photos on the SD card instead to free up the laptop hard drive.

Does anyone have experience with this? Do you recommend it, given the risks? What are the alternatives? I already thought of a portable hard drive but it sounds cumbersome since I regularly access my photos.

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Daniel
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ninjagowoo
ninjagowoo Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?
2

since I regularly access my photos.

because of this, I think using a microsd card is a bad idea because of both speed and reliability issues. If you were just archiving stuff to it then maybe it'd be ok. Sounds like the best alternative would be to replace the internal hard drive of your laptop to something larger. If that's too much trouble, an external hdd would be best (preferably a ssd if you need it to be mobile).

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OP DanLbk Regular Member • Posts: 216
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

I read somewhere, for the first time, that regular writing/reading of the micro sd card wears it out over time. Is this what you're referring to by "reliability"? I hadn't ever heard of this issue before.

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Daniel
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ialarmedalien
ialarmedalien Contributing Member • Posts: 987
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?
TangoMan Senior Member • Posts: 1,639
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

DanLbk wrote:

I read somewhere, for the first time, that regular writing/reading of the micro sd card wears it out over time. Is this what you're referring to by "reliability"? I hadn't ever heard of this issue before.

Cards can fail, just like anything else, but they tend to do it without warning. One day you turn the computer on and the card can't be read. It's very rare though. The last one I lost was in 2005...

A microSD card as a hard drive extension is convenient and should work with zero hassle. Try it to see if the speed is adequate for your intended purpose and as long as you back it up once in a while, you should be fine. We already do it with our phones and it's a neat solution.

Greybeard2017
Greybeard2017 Contributing Member • Posts: 721
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

DanLbk wrote:

I read somewhere, for the first time, that regular writing/reading of the micro sd card wears it out over time. Is this what you're referring to by "reliability"? I hadn't ever heard of this issue before.

Its the writing that's the problem - not the reading - its true for all SSD drives - if the purpose is to just store files that you will then access and view this is a great solution.

(Its probably not a good idea to make this the single master copy of important images - but that would be true if you were using the internal storage on the laptop).

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a_c_skinner Veteran Member • Posts: 8,221
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?
3

SD cards are less reliable but reliability doesn't matter because you will have at least two backup copies of all your data won't you?

If you haven't (and the ideal is three or more copies of everything, kept up to date, stored carefully, off line, ideally at least one off site) then sooner or later you will lose everything (EVERYTHING for ever) because sooner or later all devices fail. But an SD card is a neat solution to storage.

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Andrew Skinner

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SVJIM Senior Member • Posts: 1,601
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

Let me second this suggestion. Get an external USB SSD drive. They are fast and safe and you can find some very attractive pricing. They also have a small form factor and are extremely portable. I would be afraid of trusting a micro SD card for anything other then maybe a backup.

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a_c_skinner Veteran Member • Posts: 8,221
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?
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" I would be afraid of trusting a micro SD card for anything other then maybe a backup."

Argh! Backup calls for the most reliable, not least.  As you use it just for backup it can be slow, cumbersome and inconvenient but it must be reliable.  Not that it matters because you'll have a second and third backup.

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Andrew Skinner

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OP DanLbk Regular Member • Posts: 216
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

Ok so it sounds like a micro SD card is a no-go in majority opinion. Thanks!

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Daniel
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Morris0
Morris0 Senior Member • Posts: 9,282
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

Greybeard2017 wrote:

DanLbk wrote:

I read somewhere, for the first time, that regular writing/reading of the micro sd card wears it out over time. Is this what you're referring to by "reliability"? I hadn't ever heard of this issue before.

Its the writing that's the problem - not the reading - its true for all SSD drives - if the purpose is to just store files that you will then access and view this is a great solution.

(Its probably not a good idea to make this the single master copy of important images - but that would be true if you were using the internal storage on the laptop).

I agree with this answer

Morris

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Darryl Brooks Regular Member • Posts: 260
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

To add to my suggestion above, for about the same price as a large, fast SD card, you can get a 500Gb SSD that will fit in your shirt pocket. I use it for backups on the road and an extra copy of critical files - meaning those files are now in 5 places.

RvEL Regular Member • Posts: 219
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

DanLbk wrote:

Not a Fuji gear related question, but... my laptop has 256 GB of storage, which is quickly running out. It happens to have an in-body micro SD card reader, which gave me the clever idea of affixing a permanent micro SD card into my laptop, i.e. inserting a card and just leaving it there, and storing all my photos on the SD card instead to free up the laptop hard drive.

Does anyone have experience with this? Do you recommend it, given the risks? What are the alternatives? I already thought of a portable hard drive but it sounds cumbersome since I regularly access my photos.

To be frank, even though, in theory, you could use an SD card as your secondary storage, I wouldn't really recommend. Please check for either an External HDD (e.g. WD Mybook,  Samsung T5 SSD etc. In my opinion the failure rate of Seagate is too high) or cloud storage.

Regarding the latter, if you are worried about data privacy, there are several end to end encrypted providers, meaning NO ONE has access to your data without a specific (your private) "encryption" key.

If you need more advice regarding the above, please let me know.

a_c_skinner Veteran Member • Posts: 8,221
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

No, for a bit more space on the laptop it is OK, but it must be backed up by a backup strategy that works.  As you need to do that anyhow an SD card in the laptop is perfectly OK, just make sure it never contains your only copy.

Try this workflow:

Inject new images to laptop drive.

Sort and sift the images. put the keepers in whatever way you choose onto the SD card.

Backup the SD card when convenient, at least twice, ideally thrice.

Delete the files on the laptop drive and format the camera cards when you've done that.

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Andrew Skinner

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Emile15 Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

Oh, I don’t know about that. Apple computers now more or less force you to go external and a few months ago I switched from the internal 1Tb on my Mac to a 5Tb Mybook (hardly known for its speed) external disk (USB3). I use it for everything and that includes all my photos (>100,000). Lightroom slowed down a tad, but I am used to it now and it has a negligible impact on my workflow. So I can easily imagine using a (fast) SD card. Of course upgrading the internal drive to a larger fast ssd one is better, but the costs are also much higher.

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bobitaly Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: Storing photos in micro SD card?

For years I have made it a habit to store and carry all my photo's on an external drive (2 Tb USB 3.0), together with my LR catalog. I ususally have it connected to a small desktop at home, but when I'm away I take the drive and my laptop with me. Imo, cards are mainly for moving data - either from one slot to another, or by legnet. Hdd's or sdd's are more robust, faster and more reliable, and better suited for frequent r/w oparations and long term storage. Besides, if they are dropped or mislaid they are easier to find back.

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bobcom

il_alexk Senior Member • Posts: 2,421
You've got an answer to a wrong question.

You asked about storing photos on SD card, but got an answer about using SD cards as a generic disk replacement.

Just think about it...

Regardless of what other people said, SD cards are commonly used to store and access photos or videos in mobile phones, right? And millions photographers including professionals trust SD cards in their cameras without any issues...

As for reliability issues, it is more likely for an SSD to fail than for an SD card. In fact some of SD cards come with a lifetime warranty.

Anyway, as a general rule, a flash memory shall withstand at least 1000-3000 WRITE cycles to a memory cell before it fails. Since you are only planning to store photos, not to overwrite each of them 1000 times, the likelihood of sd cards failure in your case is negligible. Simply because you will be storing your precious photos, not overwriting them with new ones every day.

Just get a good quality sd card (I use Sandisk Extreme series for extra peace of mind) and you will be fine.

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Cheers,
Alex

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