Another dead memory card

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
I know a lot of people claim that memory cards are so reliable that you do not have to worry about failure, but it still happens. I went outside last night to photograph the lunar eclipse and when I went to look at the photos this morning, the card was dead. Absolutely nothing! Like putting a cardboard cutout into the card reader!

I was shooting with a 7D2 and recording to both cards, the Sandisk CompactFlash card has the images, the Lexar SD card is toast. This is why I like to shoot important events with a dual card setup; the likelihood of card failure may be low, but when it happens you are screwed without a second card.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,106
1,652
Irving, Texas
I know a lot of people claim that memory cards are so reliable that you do not have to worry about failure, but it still happens. I went outside last night to photograph the lunar eclipse and when I went to look at the photos this morning, the card was dead. Absolutely nothing! Like putting a cardboard cutout into the card reader!

I was shooting with a 7D2 and recording to both cards, the Sandisk CompactFlash card has the images, the Lexar SD card is toast. This is why I like to shoot important events with a dual card setup; the likelihood of card failure may be low, but when it happens you are screwed without a second card.
That's too bad. Glad you had the second card slot. While I am just a hack photographer I do not believe I will ever buy another camera without dual slots for this very reason. I generally don't get paid to shoot, but it is those special moments at home with the grandson I'd be concerned about not capturing. Sorry for you bad luck, but so happy to read you've got the images on the other card.

I do have a question for you though. I generally use the CF card to transfer the images to my PC. The thing that worries me is the possibility of accidentally bending or breaking a pin in camera. Have you ever had that happen? Your story got me thinking that maybe I shouldn't pull the CF card in and out all the time and use the SD card to transfer the images instead.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
555
536
Would be interesting - provided possible - to know which SD cards fail most often.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
Would be interesting - provided possible - to know which SD cards fail most often.
I know it isn't a big enough sample to work from, but so far I have had 1 Sandisk fail and three or four Lexar fail..... over a 20 year period.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
That's too bad. Glad you had the second card slot. While I am just a hack photographer I do not believe I will ever buy another camera without dual slots for this very reason. I generally don't get paid to shoot, but it is those special moments at home with the grandson I'd be concerned about not capturing. Sorry for you bad luck, but so happy to read you've got the images on the other card.

I do have a question for you though. I generally use the CF card to transfer the images to my PC. The thing that worries me is the possibility of accidentally bending or breaking a pin in camera. Have you ever had that happen? Your story got me thinking that maybe I shouldn't pull the CF card in and out all the time and use the SD card to transfer the images instead.
I worry about the same thing... I usually use the SD card to transfer the images.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
That's too bad. Glad you had the second card slot. .
If it is a paying job, loosing the images is inexcusable. You can't ask your client to get married again, or the workers to rebuild that bridge, or any of a host of one time events. As a pro, you MUST get the shot! That's why so many go with multiple cameras and dual cards.....

This time, it was me shooting for my own pleasure and trying to get some shots of the lunar eclipse. If I had lost the images it would not have any real effect on me, but it would certainly be annoying to have spent 2 hours outside at -26C (-43C with wind chill) and had nothing to show for it.....
 

bluediablo

EOS T7i
Oct 23, 2017
79
87
california
If it is a paying job, loosing the images is inexcusable. You can't ask your client to get married again, or the workers to rebuild that bridge, or any of a host of one time events. As a pro, you MUST get the shot! That's why so many go with multiple cameras and dual cards.....

This time, it was me shooting for my own pleasure and trying to get some shots of the lunar eclipse. If I had lost the images it would not have any real effect on me, but it would certainly be annoying to have spent 2 hours outside at -26C (-43C with wind chill) and had nothing to show for it.....

Happy you didn't lose your files and damn that's cold!. The clouds parted here as the eclipse was halfway and as soon as it became full the clouds and rain returned. Happy to see it and even got a couple shots in as well. This morning the super moon sat on the horizon and would have been a great opportunity to photo, but alas I did not have my camera in the car.
 

StoicalEtcher

EOS 80D
Jan 3, 2018
175
82
Yorkshire
Don,
Sorry to hear about the card - though thankfully you had the second card in use.
I was up and shooting the blood moon too- thought I was cold at -2C !! But, on that subject, just wondering whether your extreme cold may have had something to do with the card failure? I've always felt the SD card electric contacts are a little less protected than those in CF card slot (though I'm a photographer, not an engineer, so I may be totally wrong).
Stoical.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
Don,
Sorry to hear about the card - though thankfully you had the second card in use.
I was up and shooting the blood moon too- thought I was cold at -2C !! But, on that subject, just wondering whether your extreme cold may have had something to do with the card failure? I've always felt the SD card electric contacts are a little less protected than those in CF card slot (though I'm a photographer, not an engineer, so I may be totally wrong).
Stoical.
I was well protected from the cold. I still have my clothing from when I worked up north, and after -65C before wind chill, nothing around here comes close! The camera had a couple of towels wrapped around it and the lens to help keep the cold out and it seemed to work quite well, I didn’t even get the lcd screen freezing
 

old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
391
33
For the record, I've had only one card failure in roughly 14 years since switching to all digital. It was a Sandisk SD card, but I only use Sandisk so no sense as to the relative frequency compared with other brands. Last night I was relatively warm compared to Don, it was -1F here (-18C). I was shooting mirrorless so battery life was only issue. Also focusing. I've had some arctic training and very limited experience. I find my eyes always water when its really cold and windy (wind chill was -28C last night) . That makes focusing tough. AF wasn't working too well as I was focal length limited and the moon was too small a target for reliable focus. Congratulations to anyone who got great shots of the blood moon -- I wasn't real happy with mine.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,526
755
The pattern of failures seems to be random. I've had literally hundreds of cards over the past 20 years and never a failure from any brand. I have about 25 of them around at any given time.

Card readers are a different story, lots of failures there.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
The pattern of failures seems to be random. I've had literally hundreds of cards over the past 20 years and never a failure from any brand. I have about 25 of them around at any given time.

Card readers are a different story, lots of failures there.
At work, several card failures, and they are all Sandisk. I am sure the fact that we only have bought Sandisk cards has something to do with that :) and to be fair, there are about 100 or so cards in operation at any one time in test equipment and sensors.....
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,526
755
At work, several card failures, and they are all Sandisk. I am sure the fact that we only have bought Sandisk cards has something to do with that :) and to be fair, there are about 100 or so cards in operation at any one time in test equipment and sensors.....
It does seem strange, are they heavily used? I think that cards definitely have a much shorter life if they are heavily used.

I expected the micro SD cards (Sandisk) in my surveillance cameras to fail early, they are recorded to 24 hours a day, in very hot summers with direct sun one one camera, and cold winters to 10 degrees below, sometimes colder. After 1.5 years, no failures. I did upgrade one card to the High Endurance Version, I needed a card, and ordered the rugged one for the camera, and put the used one to use in my tablet. I'd recommend one for auto dash cams as well.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1123508-REG/sandisk_sdsdqq_064g_g46a_64gb_high_endurance_video.html
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,579
152
The thing that worries me is the possibility of accidentally bending or breaking a pin in camera. Have you ever had that happen?
Be careful enough when inserting the card and it won't happen. Check orientation, push it from the middle to keep it aligned until it makes first contact, and then gently push again until it stops. If everything is OK, it will settle without much force. Otherwise, stop and check.

Readers with good guides that will keep the CF aligned when sliding will avoid bent pins. Canon cameras have good guides, some effort is needed to insert the card misaligned or reversed. Still, hurry may bring havoc, if one slams the card in it from an edge, could damage the pins.
 
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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,153
1,687
Canada
It does seem strange, are they heavily used? I think that cards definitely have a much shorter life if they are heavily used.

I expected the micro SD cards (Sandisk) in my surveillance cameras to fail early, they are recorded to 24 hours a day, in very hot summers with direct sun one one camera, and cold winters to 10 degrees below, sometimes colder. After 1.5 years, no failures. I did upgrade one card to the High Endurance Version, I needed a card, and ordered the rugged one for the camera, and put the used one to use in my tablet. I'd recommend one for auto dash cams as well.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1123508-REG/sandisk_sdsdqq_064g_g46a_64gb_high_endurance_video.html
There are a bit over 100 cards in sensors running 24/7, and then a bunch more in test equipment. It's a lot of cards! It is incredibly heavy usage. The cards last much longer than hard drives.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,526
755
There are a bit over 100 cards in sensors running 24/7, and then a bunch more in test equipment. It's a lot of cards! It is incredibly heavy usage. The cards last much longer than hard drives.
Are they developing bad cells from reaching their limit to write cycles? There are high endurance cards which last for more cycles. They cost more, so the economics varies according to the case.

Industrial cards may use SLC cells rather than MLC cells which survive more writes and are less likely to lose data.

https://www.delkin.com/blog/high-endurance-sd-card-facts/
 
I use CF size cards only. I have never had an issue with SanDisk, which is all I will buy now. I have had three somewhat high capacity Delkin cards and two of the three failed fairly quickly. I got them because that was the brand they sold at the photo lab I was working at, but I will never buy Delkin again. (The Delkin card reader I have been using for years still works well though).
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,526
755
I use CF size cards only. I have never had an issue with SanDisk, which is all I will buy now. I have had three somewhat high capacity Delkin cards and two of the three failed fairly quickly. I got them because that was the brand they sold at the photo lab I was working at, but I will never buy Delkin again. (The Delkin card reader I have been using for years still works well though).
Like most of the card makers, the memory is purchased from a supplier. You never know for sure if you will get a batch that fails sooner. I've seen posts from people having issues with every brand.

Delkin Black cards use SLC memory which is said to be more reliable, but that does not guarantee that failures will not occur. After 20+ years and hundreds of cards, I have seen no failures, but I do not use cards for as many cycles as some do. It did see one Card failure damage a camera that I sold. The person had a camera failure and needed a replacement. I sold mine along with a memory card. When the person went to put their memory card in the camera, it flickered and died. Then, they realized that that same card had ruined their previous camera. Mine was still in warranty so Canon fixed it. The card was a Hitachi, I think it was a type II, the type with a micro drive in it. I have one in my box of old cards, I think that the 5D MK IV will not accept them if I recall correctly. Its been years since I used it. I also have a PCMIA Type III used by my Kodak DCS 460 that still works.