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Photography Question 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005

CF Cards...scary....

I am going to shoot my first wedding with a digital SLR and I can't help but worry about using CF cards...
I keep thinking...will the photos transfer to CD and computer before the card needs to be reformatted unexpectedly? I am just so scared of losing all information on the card before I can save the pics. I've heard of people using a few 1 GB cards rather than 1 4 GB card. Any thoughts?

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5/10/2005 8:50:30 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
Don't fret.

I have taken thousands of pictures on several different CF cards and have never had one "need to be reformatted unexpectedly". The most important thing is to never try to remove the card when the camera is still writing data to it. Most cameras have a blinking light to let you know.

A few thoughts about large format cards. There is a big difference between cards that are 2GB & smaller and cards that are larger than 2GB. Cards larger than 2GB need to be formatted as FAT32, while smaller cards are formatted as FAT16. Check first to make sure your camera is capable of using a larger card before buying one.

Lexar has some info on this at:

In their 4GB card white paper, they admit that most cameras will write a file to a FAT16 2GB card faster than to a FAT32 4GB card.

I don't have any cards over 1GB yet, and I'm not in a hurry to get any. 1GB cards are pretty cheap now. It's not that much trouble to change cards. Just dont wait til it's completely full, and change cards when you have a break in the action, or you're moving from one vantage point to another.

If you use several cards, get a sharpie and put numbers on them beforehand to help stay organized.

Good luck.

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5/11/2005 9:58:32 AM

Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
  Thanks, Chris. that's really helpful information. Will you please let me know what "pretty cheap" means to you? :). Is there a difference between generic and name brand cards? Thanks!
Cyndee ><>

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5/11/2005 11:26:28 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I usually check the weekly newspaper ads at Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Max, Office Depot, CompUSA, etc. Almost every week, they'll have either 512MB or 1GB cards on sale (sometimes with rebates). This week Best Buy and Circuit City have 512MB CF cards for $30 after rebate. Their regular price for 1GB cards is around $100, but I bought my last 1GB card when they had them for $60 after rebate a while back.

I don't think I have any "generic" cards, but I do have lots of different brands: Lexar, Kingston, Viking, and SanDisk to name a few. I've never had any problems with any of them, so it's tough for me to say if any brand is better than others.

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5/11/2005 1:33:20 PM

Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
  Hi Cynthia,
This is just my own personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I have done only 2 weddings and have several more lined up and shoot with a DSLR. Personally for myself, I prefer to use several smaller CF cards and just change them out. The thought of most of my photos from a wedding on 1 card scares me!! Have you ever heard that saying, " don't put all your eggs in one basket"? That's how I look at it. I use several 256 and 1 512 card. I guess it just depends on how many pics you take and if your shooting RAW. I have each one labeled and when thru with one it goes in a special pocket in my bag. That's just my way of thinking about it, so.... Chances are nothing will ever happen to your images, but when it's a wedding I don't take any chances if I can help it!! Good luck with your wedding!!!

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5/11/2005 5:21:43 PM

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