Which Brand of Flash Cards: A small yet vitally important decision!

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Which brand of flash cards do you use? Do you know offhand without looking?

This decision might seem small and virtually unimportant, but I can tell you firsthand just how vitally important this decision is to your work!

I know that talk about photo equipment usually revolves around the latest and greatest camera bodies or lenses. Other essential equipment such as flash units, monopods, camera bags, etc. are also discussed at length in photographer’s circles. But flash cards? When was the last time you had a lengthy discussion about flash cards?

Today I was on an online chat regarding a compact flash card that is failing. The problem is that the first three images come up as blank images. This is not good, especially if any of these first three images are important captures! This is the second flash card I had fail on me, too. I just don’t have the time to be dealing with such unreliable products even if they are replaced by the manufacturer’s warranty.

So, I want to share with you which flash cards I use on a daily basis for my photography: SanDisk.

Now my intent here is not to get into another war on words such as MAC vs. PC, Nikon vs. Canon, etc. If you have a brand you prefer that’s fine. However, have you ever had a flash card fail? How often? Is it a recurring problem?

My photography experiences point to specific examples of what works and what works only sometimes for me. I prefer SandDisk cards because they are fast, reliable, and dependable. These three elements help make my decision on which brand of flash cards to buy a no brainer. When I am capturing images, the last thing I need worry about is how reliable my flash card is working!

For me and my cameras, it is SanDisk!

Keeping Up

I remember when I was a little boy. My dad and I would go on long walks behind our house in the fields and woods. It was difficult for me to keep up with dad. His legs were longer and he was stronger. My little legs worked okay but just couldn’t keep up. My lagging behind might also have been attributed to any number of distractions that sidetracked me, too!

Keeping up with one photo shoot after another is not always easy. Good intentions are not enough. Part of the problem is time. You get back from a photo shoot and are tired and hungry. You need a break, so you put your equipment in its place, kick up your feet, and relax. Or you get a bite to eat, start talking with your family, and completely forget about the flash cards that need uploaded.

Two days ago I had to upload several flash cards that were well overdue for attention. It turned out that I did upload about half the batch, but it was a pain to take the time to go through them to double-check and upload the previously forgotten cards.

Getting into a routine is the best approach. It is similar to how we actually approach a photo shoot. Before we leave the house we go through a checklist to make sure we have everything. Then, on a photo shoot, we again step through a well-planned routine to help us capture the right moments. So why do we get so lax at the back-end of a shoot?

Prudence is the key for a successful photographer. Don’t be lazy. Do it now or you going to have to do it later, and it will be more difficult and take more time.

Keeping up isn’t always easy, but it is important! Just ask my dad!

Handling Flash Cards

I have a Nikon D300 camera so I use compact flash cards. I have CF cards in the following sizes: 8GB, 4GB, & 3 1GB. I keep each card in its individual case until the one in use is full and then I switch them. The problem is twofold. First, it takes time to take a fresh CF card out of its plastic holder and then swap it with the current one. Second, once cards are filled it can be confusing to which ones are still empty. I do try to keep the empty cards in my right pants pocket and the filled cards in my left pocket. Only once have I ever inadvertently formatted a card that full of photos. It hurt to lose these photos and prompted me to seek a better procedure in handling flash cards.

So what do you do? How do you handle your flash cards? Could you please explain the process you use? I’ve been thinking that a case to hold all of my cards could be helpful, but what do you do when handling flash cards?