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Formatting SD and CF cards

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#1 frisco


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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:21 AM

Hi All,

I am reading the 4th edition of Martin Edge "The Underwater Photographer" (great book BTW !!!) and I discovered that CF and SD cards should always be formatted in the camera not in the computer; deleting images from the card in the computer and putting back the card in the camera may lead to data loss due to the fact that CF and SD cards are designed to be formatted with a FAT16 file structure and most computers use FAT32 file structure.

Question is: does this apply also to the most recent card models, particluarly to the SanDisk Extreme SDHC III 4Gb and 8Gb cards (I only use these cards for the time being and I do not shot video) ??? It seems odd to me tha cards manufacturers would still use the obsolete FAT16 file structure in their newest products ....

Thank you very much for your comments and assistance !!!

All the Best ...... Francesco
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#2 KenByrne


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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:57 AM

FAT16 supports a maximum size of 2GB anything larger has to use FAT32 so all SDHC cards and the larger CF cards use FAT32. I always format the cards in camera to be safe but really as long as you use the right format for the card size you should be OK.
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#3 Plyschmannen


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Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:58 AM

I was a bit surprised with that too. Another thing reading the book it seems you WILL get errors on your CF-card if you fill it up and then remove single picture and shoot it again. Done that several times, no problem. To be honest, that kind of "this is how it is!" with (in my opinion) erroneous information makes me doubt other stuff in the book as well.


#4 Tjsnapper


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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:55 AM

Having had a few cards fail on me over the last few years I do my deleting on the computer not on the camera, unless i am really short on space. I always format in camera an never via computer. Fortunately the cards that corrupted when i deleted in camera only cost me money in lost shots of celebrities that were of value to me /press but not by the organization that I was working for. Sometimes I shoot a few thousand shots a day and deleting in camera is appealing but once bitten, twice shy. Imagine loosing a card when shooting a wedding... ouch.
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