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TimG

Nikon D800 and SD-XC memory cards

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Hey guys

 

I'd welcome some expert advice please on Sandisk SDXC Ultra memory card capacity.

 

I'm using a Nikon D800 (I have had it two years) and have a 16GB CF card for the main picture-taking memory storage and a Sandisk Ultra 64GB SDXC card for the back up.

 

I have either chosen the wrong SDXC card or I am doing something wrong as the card seems to stop recording - or at least cannot be read - once it gets to about 32GB used.

 

I don't think it's a fault in this specific card as I have two of them and they are both the same. And I have two D800 bodies too and have the same issue with both.

 

I have tried reformatting the cards which has made no difference.

 

Is there a limit to the amount of memory that a D800 can address on an Ultra SDXC card? Have I just picked the wrong memory card (doh)?

 

Your views and solutions would be most welcome.

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Hey Tim!

 

 

https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17778/~/approved-memory-cards---d800%2F-d800eseems to indicate there's no inherent 32GB limit on SD cards. (Good, because I'd have had to start doing binary math because that's a confusing number!)

 

Can you tell me exactly what card we're talking about? There's so many types and categories and classes these days it's hard to keep track of them...

Did you format the memory card in camera? If not that's a possible cause for the issue.

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Hey Tim!

 

 

https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17778/~/approved-memory-cards---d800%2F-d800eseems to indicate there's no inherent 32GB limit on SD cards. (Good, because I'd have had to start doing binary math because that's a confusing number!)

 

Can you tell me exactly what card we're talking about? There's so many types and categories and classes these days it's hard to keep track of them...

Did you format the memory card in camera? If not that's a possible cause for the issue.

 

 

Thanks Fabian

 

Yeah, formatted the cards in camera for sure. Made no difference.

 

I suspect it's not a card that's on the Nikon support doc you kindly flagged up. It's a Sandisk Ultra 30MB/S 64GB SDXC. There are no other details. I don't know if it's the Sandisk Ultra listed but, in any case, the Ultra II is only listed up to 8GB.

 

I have a sinking feeling that, 2 years ago, I may have bought too low spec cards. Not that it has caused any real problem. It's just annoying not being able to use the whole card.

 

Looks like I should be using the Extreme Pro if I want 64GB backup in a Sandisk. Argh.

 

Thanks for your help!

Edited by TimG

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I assume it's this one? http://www.sandisk.com/products/memory-cards/sd/ultra-uhs-1-class10-30mbs-global/

 

From Nikon's documentation and the specification it seems like that should work. Another possibility would be that you are on an older version of the camera firmware that somehow had a bug with this - https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/60442/~/d800-firmware-update-a-1.10,-b-1.10- if you haven't installed this you probably should.

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Well done tracking that down, Fabian. Yeah, that is the bad boy.

 

I have the latest version of the Nikon firmware on my cameras (just checked) - so it's not that. And you are right, the card is on the Nikon approved list (misread it earlier and was looking at the CF listing). Very odd.

 

With both cards and both cameras files (always RAW) will be written to the card - but when downloading them from the card they cannot be read once you get beyond, say, about 30GB of data. So about half the files aren't readable. Not the most reliable of backups therefore!

 

I'm stumped. As I say, I've had this issue for couple of years and kept meaning to seek views. I'm off to the Red Sea next month and thought I'd try and get it sorted......

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What do you use to transfer images?

What operating system are you using?

Where in the chain do you notice the corruption?

Can you see the images when looking at them in camera, i.e. if you take out the CF, can the camera display the images?

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I use a CF/SD card reader (a Lexar Pro CF/SD - USB2.0 UDMA) plugged in to my iMac which is running Yosemite 10.10.3. I have the same problem though if I plug the SD card directly into the iMac - which is doable.

 

The files upload on to my iMac ok but if there are, say, 500 RAW files the first 350 are fine - after that the files upload but cannot be read and don't show up as RAWs or anything else but show as unidentifiable files. So the corruptions, as far I can tell, show up after the upload. But....

 

... silly though it may seem, I can't recall now if the "corrupted" files are viewable in-camera. I've got an SD backup card now with 35GB free (of 64GB) so I should be coming up to the problem point soon and will check.

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Wow,that's useful, thanks Fabian.

 

I'll get the SD card loaded up, try the uploads and see if I can read in-camera what won't read. And take it from there. And then have the software as fall back.

 

Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated!

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I wonder (and have no knowledge to back this up) if the issue is caused by having more data on your back up card than you can add to your primary card. Perhaps the camera's firmware sets a limit based on your primary card's size?

 

I have not had the problem with my D800/D810 although my primary card is larger than my back up.

 

It would be good to experiment with a larger primary or smaller back up to see if the problem replicates....

 

Adam

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I was wondering about that too, but if the issue doesn't start at 16GB (size of primary card) it seems very unlikely. My best guess at this point is that Nikon isn't very good at file system management. NTFS has the theoretical ability to address 2^64-1 clusters of data, so anywhere from 16 to 256TB, but it all depends on partition tables and cluster size and journaling etc. etc., almost an infinite number of things that could be handled poorly. Still worth testing what Adam said.

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Thanks guys

 

Hmmm, I'm pretty sure the backup card will accept more data than the primary - but will check it. The problem seems to kick in when the back-up card reaches about 32GB - half the size of the backup card.

 

The 64GB backup card appears to load correctly with backups of the images taken from the primary 16GB card. But when uploaded to my iMac (or MacBook) the files are reported as being corrupted after approx 32GB and they cannot be opened by any software I have (LR, PS, Preview).

 

I am going to recheck, as Fabian suggested, that the "corrupted" images are viewable in-camera - which I think they are.

 

I'll try Adam's suggestion too to see if I can get this to replicate using smaller higher/lower combination cards. I don't have a CF card larger than 16GB but I do have some smaller SD cards I can try. But I don't think the problem lies there.

 

Happily this problem isn't a show stopper as I know I can only, for the moment, back up approx 2x my primary CF card. But it's just annoying!

 

Thanks for all the help guys.

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I am having no issues with either of my D800E's. For CF I am using 64 or 128 GB SanDisk Extreme or Lexar 800x or 1066x. For SDXC I am using 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro or Lexar 600x. The CF is my raw primary, the SDXC is jpeg back up. After I down load to my external drives, I reformat the card in the camera. I download the CF and change camera batteries daily. Since the SDXC will hold over 2800 jpegs, it is only changed when full.

 

Elmer

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Thanks Elmer. Very useful to know.

 

I do suspect the problem lies with my SanDisk Ultra SDXC 64GB cards - despite the Nikon information.

 

Hmmm, do I spring for a higher spec SD card? I'll give Fabian and Adam's suggestions a shout first. Good to know though that you have no problems with the 64GB Extreme Pro. Thanks.

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I think I may have found the problem.... my "old" Lexar CF/SD card reader. It was (note the "was") the USB2.0 version. I saw the USB3.0 version at a good price on Amazon and thought I'd go for it.

 

I've now just downloaded 32GB off my backup card at remarkably high speed (compared to 2.0) and no problems at all reading the RAW files once uploaded (?downloaded).

 

Fingers crossed! At least I didn't have to buy new SD cards. Yet. :mocking:

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Tim,

 

My IT guy tell me it is important to update your computer peripherals as you upgrade your computer.

Your card reader problem is a good example of why one should upgrade.

 

Elmer

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