Using CF cards for other purposes


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red_ryder

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#1
Am I spoiling my CF cards?

I use it all the time as a removable storage device via my CF card reader whenever I'm not taking photos. I read and write files onto it just like a thumbdrive.

Recently a friend told me that I should never use CF cards this way if they are meant for digicam use. He said I should always use the camera to erase the CF cards and not the PC. Is this true?
 

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why_not

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#2
I am no smart alex;) but as far as my electronic knowledge goes there sould not be any problem. Even if you use your computer to read/write/erase data it is actually the camera that is handling the card right? I mean when you directly hook up the cam via usb port. Even if you use card reader, i guess there is no problem.
I have been using SM cards as thumb drives and I know a couple of friends who do it too.
Shoud not be any problem...
but still prefer to hear from smart alex ;)
 

red_ryder

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#3
What I was told is that the camera uses a different system to write data onto the cards compared to a PC. So if you keep using the PC to write onto the cards, it might "mess up" the filing system. Then the camera might not be able to recognise the card anymore. Or it might not be able to use the card to its full extent. e.g. a 128mb card that is formatted on the PC might end up being read as a 100mb card on the camera.
 

StreetShooter

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#4
Originally posted by red_ryder
Am I spoiling my CF cards?

I use it all the time as a removable storage device via my CF card reader whenever I'm not taking photos. I read and write files onto it just like a thumbdrive.

Recently a friend told me that I should never use CF cards this way if they are meant for digicam use. He said I should always use the camera to erase the CF cards and not the PC. Is this true?
1. Yes of course you can use CF cards as removable storage.

2. It is advisable to format the card using the camera prior to using it for taking pictures, because some computer operating systems may format it in a way that the camera cannot use. If the computer uses the same format (usually FAT32, I think), then both data and pictures can coexist on the same CF card, albeit in different directories.
 

Marx

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#5
Originally posted by red_ryder
Am I spoiling my CF cards?

I use it all the time as a removable storage device via my CF card reader whenever I'm not taking photos. I read and write files onto it just like a thumbdrive.

Recently a friend told me that I should never use CF cards this way if they are meant for digicam use. He said I should always use the camera to erase the CF cards and not the PC. Is this true?

Like you. I'm also using some of my CF cards just like a thumbdrive. Very handy when transferring some MP3's and other large files from my office computer then to my home computer and vice-versa. I don't see any problem with this, what I do is I put all the files inside the folder where the photos are being stored. I don't messed with the other file/s in the root directory. When I erase photos using the computer, I only erase the files inside the folder where it resides, not completely erasing the whole CF, (just like formatting). I'm afraid that when you do this the camera cannot/will not recognize the CF and therefore render invalid. But, that should not be the case, right? A simple card format from the camera itself should make it usable again. Or I maybe wrong and my name is not alex. ;)
 

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why_not

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#6
well may be there is some truth.
Once i copied some jpeg images from comp to card but it would not show on the camera.!!
But i think it might be becos the camera does not recognize the directory structure you create.
Anyway, if you have problem, just re-format it on camera..simple..right?
I dont think re-formatting memeory cards often will give 'bad-sectors';) But still prefer to hear from smart alex.
 

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why_not

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#7
Originally posted by why_not
well may be there is some truth.
Once i copied some jpeg images from comp to card but it would not show on the camera.!!
But i think it might be becos the camera does not recognize the directory structure you create.
Anyway, if you have problem, just re-format it on camera..simple..right?
I dont think re-formatting memeory cards often will give 'bad-sectors';) But still prefer to hear from smart alex.
I wrote this befor i read marx message.
let me add that i did not use the same directory as photos hence may be the cam did not see the photos. But I still could take prictures normally..with half of the card full with MP3 :)
But then there are cameras that play MP3 too right? :cool:
So the conclusion I guess is that we can use it as a thumb drive but be careful to ensure that it is properly formatted aleast when going out on a trip or when shooting something important.
 

#8
There could be some truth. Different writing formats for different machines. I borrowed a CF once for my cam and had to reformat it before it could be used. Anyway, if you always format something too often, you are inviting trouble lor ...

Then again, I am not really that smart, and I also not called alex/aleck :D
 

sehsuan

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#9
Originally posted by why_not
well may be there is some truth.
Once i copied some jpeg images from comp to card but it would not show on the camera.!!
But i think it might be becos the camera does not recognize the directory structure you create.
Anyway, if you have problem, just re-format it on camera..simple..right?
I dont think re-formatting memeory cards often will give 'bad-sectors';) But still prefer to hear from smart alex.
sometimes, you have to bear in mind that the pictures that you copied from your computer to the CF card are in the resolutions directly supported by your camera, otherwise it won't load for sure.

so far so good for me. :)

b.t.w., i think you guys are talking about the phrase, "smart aleck", not "smart alex". ;)
 

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