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!

Don’t Wait – Reformat that flash card now!

I am a procrastinator and this gets me into trouble in a variety of ways. And as a photographer it does not pay to be a procrastinator.

Take, for example, the simple task of uploading photos from a flash card to a computer. This is a simple step and only takes a few minutes, so why wait to do it? As soon as you get back from a photo shoot it makes sense to start this process. Then, once the photos have been transferred and backed up, reformat that flash card. Don’t wait!

Here’s the danger. Let’s suppose that you have an unexpected photo opportunity early one morning that came from out of the blue. You didn’t know it was coming and your flash cards are full. Did you back up the photos on these cards? Is it okay to reformat these cards or are there important photographs on them that need to be transferred? See the problem? If you had just transferred the photos right after the last shoot and reformatted the cards you wouldn’t be facing this annoying dilemma.

So don’t wait. Process your photos, back them up, and reformat your flash cards as soon as possible. One day you’ll be glad you did!

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?