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Why some but not all are lost on card??


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Hey Brian,

Seems I keep running into these problems with bad cards.  This one is a completely new SD card (trashed the last compact flash that went bad last year).  My question is why would I only lose a select amount of files on a card rather than an entire batch?  Last week I photographed a session, at the end of the session mom and I were thumbing through them to make sure we captured all the ones we wanted, and then I downloaded them to my external that night.  Once the card was ejected, I went to the folder and confirmed that they were there.  The number seemed a little low considering it was a 1-1/2 hour shoot, but think to look for specific portraits.  Fast forward 3 nights, 2 sessions, and format later I realized that the entire first section of the session is missing.  Then the rest of them it seemed like every other one was missing.  

I know you mentioned before that the preview on the back of the screen can be a "lying, cheating whore that will show you anything you want", but why would some images go corrupt and not others?  And then I've continued to use this card for several other sessions afterwards and not had any problems?  Could it be something else that I need to look into?

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

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Are you deleting images on a normal basis on your camera? 

If you are, that's the #1 way to get into trouble. I know, "...but I've been deleting images on my camera for years and have never had a problem!!"

Always format your cards in-camera before a gig and never delete in camera. New way of thinking. 

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This is why you don't delete in-camera:

Taking care of your memory cards is the first thing. Don’t delete in the camera. If you’re out shooting and you have a problem with a card, take it out, set it aside, put a new card and continue to shoot. If you run out of room, don’t delete on the camera because typically on a clean card when you’re recording your writing is all sequential. If you start going through the card and deleting this file, deleting that file, then you fragment the card. So when you go to shoot again and you’ve got a little area free and another one over here and another one over here, as the camera is recording the camera’s going to put parts in different places. If you then do have a problem with that card, recovering it is even harder. Because if there is no file system left, the individual file data may no longer be sequential.

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What camera model and what make / model is your SD card? What's weird is that this is an intermittent problem. Do you have more than one SD card? I know, silly question, but I must ask.

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I stopped deleting in camera a few years ago.  I format the card in camera after I completely download and verify that they are on my hard drive.  I don't delete individual files or groups of photos in camera.  

This is with a new Canon 5D Mark 3 and Sandisk Ultra 32 GB SD card (80MB/s).  This is the only card that has been in this camera.  

Is there a way to check how old a card is?  

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Interesting.  This card was purchase June 2016, so its still fairly new.  I just ordered new ones from Lexar that come with image rescue software and limited lifetime warranty.  One thing I was not doing with the Canon 5D Mark III, but will be starting with these new cards, is utilizing BOTH card slots.  Thought maybe that feature wasn't useful to me since I'm not a wedding photographer and shooting 1000s of photos in one day.  Didn't think of using the 2nd one as a backup in case the first one failed.  

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That SD slot in the 5DM3...I'm not a big fan of. I usually tell people to avoid using it like the Plague. In addition, while I use Sandisk media, I NEVER use the "Ultra" line and prefer the "Extreme" line. The difference is one is consumer grade (ultra) and then other is professional grade. (Extreme). 

If you use both slots with a 5DM3, the writing time slows down to 30Mb/s, so expect longer times when the buffer is dumping stuff to the cards.

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The SD slot in the 5D Mark III sucks Monkey-Ballz. So it's the SD slot in the camera body I have issues with, not SD cards themselves. Though I would NEVER purchase and use a "Ultra" card. You NEVER cheap out on your media, whether it's a CF Card, SD card or another interface. Spend the extra $10-$20.

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Thanks, Brian.  Here I thought I was doing good going from regular to Ultra.  The new cards I just ordered were professional.  Do you have a preference of Sandisk vs. Lexar cards? Is the rescue software that Lexar advertises worth anything?

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I personally like the Sandisk Extreme line of cards. I will write the month and year on the back and cycle them out around 18 months or so, depending on the cards usage. Here is the 16GB 2-Pack that I recently purchased and am thinking about getting a few more, possibly the 32GB version. It seems that the cards I used to buy are no longer available.

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As far as software recovery, Sandisk uses the ORIGINAL SOFTWARE that was used for image recovery. In addition, it's Sandisk that owns the rights (and came up with the idea) for CF media. Lexar has to license it. So Sandisk is using the original stuff. As for which is better? Personally, I've never used Lexar; friends of mine have, but not me. They seem to have more failures, but then again this could be just a personal experience and not a hard & fast rule.

But to answer your question: Sandisk Extreme for me, and their software recovery.

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I've even seen bad USB cables and flaky USB ports cause issues. 

So it could be:

1. Slot in Camera

2. Bad Card

3. Card Reader

4. USB Cable

5. Bad USB Port

6. Transfer Software 

Those items are not in order. Honestly, I never use special software to copy images, I always use a card reader and manually copy over images from a CF card to my HD. Then those cards are pulled out of rotation until the images are delivered to the client. Multiple cards too expensive? Can't pull them from out of rotataion? Don't want to hear it. Lawsuits are expensive. Unhappy clients and bad word of mouth is expensive. If you are charging people money, you need to cover your arse and spend the money on quality cards. Period. 

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