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Fixation Share Some Memory Card Maintenance Tips

Fixation camera repair and rental specialists share some top tips for maintaining your memory cards successfully.

| Memory Cards

Fixation, a camera repair, cleaning, rental and sales specialist based in London has been thinking recently about the importance of memory card maintenance when it comes to photography.

We all dread the day we get a read error on our cards, and the sinking feeling you have when you know there are unbacked up photos on there. Well, a little simple maintenance can go a long way in reducing the chances of anything going wrong with your cards so Fixation have put together a handy guide of simple things you can do to maintain your cards:

Fixation Share Some Memory Card Maintenance Tips: memory cards


Regular formatting

Rather than deleting images, format the card on your camera (once you’ve checked that your images are backed up elsewhere). Even deleting single images as you’re shooting can cause problems with the database structure on the card, and can lead to card errors. Memory cards use the FAT32 or exFAT format, depending on the size of the card. Both these formats can be deployed on a Mac or PC, but it’s generally safer to format the card in the camera itself.

Fixation's Nikon workshop manager, Barry Edmonds, has also come across issues in the past when customers are formatting cards on a Mac: "I’ve had customers reporting the storage space decreasing over time, even though they’re formatting their cards regularly. It seems that in some cases, the cards will retain ‘Apple .Trashes’ files on the directory, despite the cards being formatted in the camera. Formatting the cards on a PC seemed to clear the problem."


Keep space on the card

The golden rule for computer hard drives is to always leave around 30% of the space free, and exactly the same principle applies to memory cards. The performance of the read/write speed will start to suffer as the card becomes full and you run the risk of data corruption as the remaining space becomes fragmented.


Don’t use cheap cards

Despite some common misconceptions, not all memory cards are created equal! There are different qualities of flash memory and controllers out there, and if a card’s cheap, it’s a good indication that perhaps that manufacturer isn’t using the highest grade materials. Yes, the likes of Sandisk and Lexar are more expensive, but do you really want to run the risk?


Use a card reader

However careful you are when the card is in the camera, when it comes to transferring your images to your computer, don’t use your camera. If your battery doesn’t have much juice left and it depletes halfway through the transfer process, there’s a good chance the files will be corrupted. A good quality card reader is a much safer option and is much more convenient too.


It's a sad fact that even the most careful of us will experience the failure of a card at some point, and if that moment does occur, don't worry. There are dedicated recovery softwares that should be able to help you recover lost images. 

Find out more over on the Fixation blog page

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