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Learn Digital Photography – One Large Memory Card Or Several Smaller Cards

November 27, 2016 Jon 0 Comments

One of the questions asked by new digital photographers is whether they should make use of one large card, such as two, four and eight gigs in size or several smaller ones such 256 or 512 megs. Does it really matter what the size is as long as you have enough space? 

Some photographers say that this really isn’t an issue as long as you have sufficient space to shoot the assignment you need to. This is not really the issue at hand. The problem at hand is that although the technology is really good and the likelihood of a card going bad is minimal, it still happens even with the best cards.

The question you need to ask yourself is that if a card does go bad can I afford to lose the images? I think there are two factors here to look at.

1. What is the purpose of the shoot?

Is the shoot for pleasure or one that I cannot afford to lose images on? Most of us don’t want to lose images even if it is a casual shoot for pleasure. On the other hand, there are times when it is essential that images are not lost, i.e. when shooting for business. Despite the purpose of the shoot, it is still good practice to regard any shoot as important. Get into the habit of regarding all data as sacred and put into practice methods to prevent any digital losses.

2. How to minimize any loss.

It is inevitable that there will be an occasion when you will either lose the card, drop it in water or the card will fail. The key to this is minimizing the loss. How is this done? Here is the answer to whether you should use one large card or several smaller cards. It is absolutely essential to use multiple cards when shooting important events or occasions. Why? If you are shooting across several cards or filling up smaller cards, the loss, damage or failure of one card means that you don’t lose everything. So by using several smaller cards you are able to salvage any shoot or occasion with the remaining cards.

So what strategy should we use when using several cards? Start at the beginning and just keep shooting, filling cards as you go? The method I use is a very simple one. Firstly, decide on the number of cards you will need to complete the shoot. Then as you shoot use this process to safeguard the integrity of the shoot. 

Block out the event, occasion or holiday into segments. For example, if it’s a holiday and you have ten cards to use and the holiday is over ten days, take three of the cards and alternate them each day until full. Then when they are full take the next three and do the same.

What you are achieving by doing this is spreading the images of the day, or the block of time you have decided upon, over three cards so that if one is lost you still have a good record of the day or event. It’s a little more work but it can save you a lot of trauma if one of the cards goes missing or is damaged. 

I suppose that you can see my point now if you were to use one large card over the period of time and it went missing. This method is even more vital if you are photographing as an occupation. Always keep in mind the fact that your data is precious and whatever the loss it is gone forever. So think before you go out and shoot.

Do you want to learn more about photography in a digital world? I’ve just completed a brand new e-course delivered by e-mail. Download it here for free: http://www.21steps2perfectphotos.com/. To learn how you can take your photography from ordinary to outstanding visit http://www.21steps2perfectphotos.com/21steps.htm

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