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Thread: delete or format?

  1. #1

    Default delete or format?

    hi there:

    jus wondering do you guys usually delete all images in the card OR formate the card when it is full?

    is there any difference? i jus feel formating is deleting + reseting the card or ??? i don know.

    anyone can advise which way is better?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    I always format all my cards before any shoot. It's faster.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    Quote Originally Posted by m3lv1nh0 View Post
    I always format all my cards before any shoot. It's faster.
    yea, deleting a full 1 GB card takes minutes! formatting can be done in < 5 seconds

  4. #4
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    Format...

    to ensure that it's properly cleared.
    Michael Lim
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  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    format a card only take few seconds, just press two buttons at the same time (Nikon)

    delete all have to go in main manual, go here go there, before you are done, already gameover liao
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  6. #6

    Default Re: delete or format?

    Hi all,
    I think I read somewhere that it's good to format your card at least once a month? Not too sure what the benefit is though. Anyone can share, apart from the speed factor of course.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    Quote Originally Posted by saurtan View Post
    Hi all,
    I think I read somewhere that it's good to format your card at least once a month? Not too sure what the benefit is though. Anyone can share, apart from the speed factor of course.
    Each time you format the card, the data is cleared and the card is prepared for the file format the camera will be using.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  8. #8
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    I notice that format also helps to recover some of those lost file spaces which can not be recovered by delete.

    For me, I prefer format.

  9. #9
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Each time you format the card, the data is cleared and the card is prepared for the file format the camera will be using.
    Actually, this is just a "Quick Format" which only clears the File Allocation Table (FAT - the file system most cameras use is FAT16 or FAT32). The FAT is the directory of all files on the storage device. If it is deleted then the storage device appears empty although the actual data are still there and can be recovered. The sectors and allocation units are still intact. (Sandisk includes a program into the CF cards that can do such recovery operations.) So quick format doesn't bring any advantage other than a fast deletion of files.
    A full format can be done at any computer that supports FAT16 and FAT32. In Windows just make sure you don't tick the box for "Quick Format". This will take a bit more time because a full format also recreates all allocation units at the storage device. The old structure is completely replaced, former data are no longer recoverable (ok, only for Computer Forensics).

    Deleting the FAT (Quick Format) is fully enough to clear the memory cards. This also helps to prevent file fragmentation, a common problem of the FAT file systems. As far as I know only the Canon 1D series uses FAT32 file system whereas all other camera models use FAT16. When formating the card in computer just make sure to select the correct version to prevent problems.

  10. #10

    Default Re: delete or format?

    thks to all for the promt reply.

    looks like most of us prefer format, or quick format as it should be.

    seems like we can still recover our images even after deleting or quick formating.

  11. #11

    Default Re: delete or format?

    I prefer formatting. Thought that its cleaner.
    Canon EOS 5D MK I | Nikon D40

  12. #12
    Senior Member erictan8888's Avatar
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    i always format before a new shoot... read somewhere that it ensures pictures will be stored properly...
    also heard of ppl format using card reader and end up with errors... so i always format using the camera body.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    Quote Originally Posted by erictan8888 View Post
    i always format before a new shoot... read somewhere that it ensures pictures will be stored properly...
    also heard of ppl format using card reader and end up with errors... so i always format using the camera body.
    Learnt something new today!

    Formatting seems to be the way!

  14. #14

    Default Re: delete or format?

    Hi,
    Formatting the card before any new shoot will prevent defragmentation if you shoot jpeg, thus faster write and read, but will also delete all protected images.

    So just make sure all the images are unwanted before you format the card.

    By the way, remember to use those secure delete software, such as Norton Wipe Info, to clean up all the pictures in the card if you sell them... unless you don't mind the possibility that some of your pictures might appear on the internet without your knowledge...

    Have a nice day.

  15. #15

    Default Re: delete or format?

    I format mine. I just prefer to keep it clean..
    When I do right, no one remembers. When I do wrong, no one ever forgets.

  16. #16

    Default Re: delete or format?

    yeah.. format for me too..
    [Canon EOS 5D II + 40D | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II] [Fuji X-Pro1 + XF35mm f/1.4]

  17. #17

    Default Re: delete or format?

    you should always format your card.

    this prevents corruption, and also deletes non-photo files (eg other files you store, photos from other cameras, folders, etc.) which you cannot delete/access when you choose to delete your pictures.

  18. #18

    Default Re: delete or format?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.8photography View Post
    you should always format your card.

    this prevents corruption, and also deletes non-photo files (eg other files you store, photos from other cameras, folders, etc.) which you cannot delete/access when you choose to delete your pictures.
    Especially the dreaded thumbs.db file windows creates =\
    Meow!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: delete or format?

    Learnt my lesson long ago..

    I use to delete my files till one day, I can only shoot a few photos on a 2Gb CF card. Reason was, I did not empty my recycle bin after that. All the file memory still in card. After that horrrible lesson, I format my cards before use. I also heard that formating using yr camera is better since the OS of the camera we use is different from our PC or Mac. I even format when I use the card on a different camera just to be safe.

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