Caring for memory cards
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
We spend a lot of time worrying and thinking about the type of camera we want to buy: Do we want a point and shoot or are we ready to step into the dSLR world? What brand? Which model? Once we narrow it down it’s time to think about lenses. There’s a lot to consider.
However, what about our memory cards? Memory cards are valid things to think about and require a lot of care too. It’s important to take good care of our cameras of course. They’re expensive after all and aren’t simple to replace. Keep in mind though, the photos aren’t stored in our cameras or lenses, they’re recorded to our memory cards and if we treat those cards with neglect we run the risk of losing our pictures altogether.
If you’ve been busily following the tips I provided for photographing Mother’s Day, you’ll want to take good care of those pictures that are now sitting on your card. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when it comes to memory cards:
1. Avoid taking your memory card out while the camera is still on. It can cause some of the files to become corrupted and you might lose some – if not all – of the photos, especially if your camera is still processing the last shots you took.
2. Avoid strong magnets. You know how you aren’t supposed to put your debit or credit cards on the de-magnetizing bars at the store because you could wipe the card? The same dangers can lurk for your memory cards so be careful!
3. Keep your cards safe while carrying spares. Don’t just toss them into your coat pocket or the bottom of your camera bag. Invest in a case or use the hard plastic cases that sometimes come with the cards. It keeps them from being damaged.
4. Format your card after you download the photos to your computer. Just deleting the photos doesn’t clear up all the space but formatting will wipe it out completely.
5. Caveat emptor! Sometimes you’ll see really cheap memory cards at the store; sometimes that can be okay if it’s a known name brand that just happens to be on sale. The price of cards is indeed coming down more and more. However, if you see a card that comes from a brand you’ve never heard of and it’s incredibly cheap there may be a reason for it. I’d rather invest a little more money to get a good solid brand that has a great reputation than risk losing my cards because I saved twenty bucks by purchasing a low-quality card.
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