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Julian

How many/type memory cards on a safari

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I haven't used CF cards in years, but maybe a quick inter web search would yield low-cost back-up options.

 

-tom a.

 

Found this one from a few years ago, but you get the idea: https://petapixel.com/2013/03/26/how-to-back-up-your-pictures-using-an-android-tablet-and-external-hard-drives/

 

Just a thought.

 

-tom a.

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Danger= Spending too much time using it instead of paying attention to my other half when away on a trip !

 

 

 

Yes, I can imagine that is a high risk scenario.

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Posted (edited)

@@Dave Williams I ahve to agree with @@xelas. Your reasons for buying a very expensive Mac basically for storage are flimsy.... you wife may fall for the "compatibility" line (although I doubt it) but the rest of us are seeing a typical "start asking for help selcting a cheap compact camera for ''snaps', and end up ordering a new high-end DSLR and $1200 lens with a feeling that this is absolutely the cheapest solution longer-term" sort of logic going on here.

 

And you really should not be sat there proicessing files on holiday - wondering about Adobe CC is just looking for trouble (yes you can - your license covers two computeres unless you wangled a student price or something).

 

Explain why this would not work - although I have to say my solution was to buy a Zanbook, which is rougly equivalent to yours, so I have no expeirence. Is there a damger here?

 

Buy a cheap little out-of-date but sporty notebook. Disposable basically.

Buy 6 cheap but not too nasty 128GB cards.

Pass your photos directly from the fast card in your camera to the slow cards inserted in your card slot. Repeat to another card as back-up (or use space on your notebook if there is any space of note).

Install Faststone or similar to view the files and histogram (Canon softwatre or Lightroom are miles too slow when wife is waiting). You can only really say focus is in the right area and make histogram-based judgement,, but you are saying you are really expecting time to do more than that AND take 500GB of pictures? The ice is getting thinner and thinner!

 

This is one of my most hypocritical posts ever, but it's like when an alcoholic says you really shouldn't drink to solve your problems you know - it's kind of a good hypocrisy, right?

Edited by pault
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@@pault @@Swazicar @@xelas @@Geoff I am trying to curb an obsession...honestly! I really appreciate the suggestions but the deed is done, I have bought a 2015 13'' MacBook with retina display which had 10% off the list price in a cashback scheme that they hope you will forget to claim. Only 128gb of storage so an external hard drive is a must. I have amalgamated data on my existing ones to clear one specifically to take on this trip but I'll buy another soon as a back up too.

I chose an older Mac as it was cheaper and has an SD slot too which has gone in the latest model equivalent.

All the alternatives suggested are good ones but at the end of the day having two systems of Windows and Mac doesn't work, just like having Nikon and Canon at the same time which I also tried and failed with once upon a time. Transferring files without being able to see them is a bit frightening so one I want to avoid and transferring from card to card to storage device is a bit confusing. Recently I have had to transfer from Cfast to CF to SD using two camera bodies which usually has me confused as to what I have transferred and which card needs clearing as this operation is set up before heading off for sundowners and dinner. Yes, I think I probably have a slight drink problem too !!!

Claire can also use the laptop instead of her iPad when she needs to do something slightly more complex than the iPad easily allows.

Having everything in the Apple family is an advantage...they are not daft ! Windows machines do clog up and slow down very quickly whereas I expect this machine to work perfectly for years.

I do occasionally take trips with a birding friend where I won't be accused of dereliction of duty if I sneak off to do some pixel peeping but I will avoid doing this when away with Claire.That's one promise I have made to myself I hope I can stick to.

There, I have cleansed my conscience. Forum's are a bit like confessional boxes. Instead of curtains you have a screen, instead of a priest you have like minded sympathisers attracted by having had similar dilemmas. Maybe it's more like Alcoholics Anonymous, fortunately I have never been to either.

Yet.

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@@Dave Williams Well congrats on your purchase. Can i now suggest a nice 27" cinema display to go with it when using it at home. :)

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Posted (edited)

It looks like you are all set up and prepared, Dave! And I am ready and prepared to read all about your upcoming journey, including the tales of copying and backuping.

Edited by xelas
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*sigh My intervention was too late again. I like the one about how any Windows device was going to slow down....even though you were only using it for storage. The sudden appearance of Clair's needs and the insight of the definite usefulness of such a device on birding trips are re-engineering classics too.

 

Enjoy your purchase. :)

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take spare cards as it is possible to get a message on the screen that the card cannot be used

 

clean very gently with paper tissue , micro amounts of dust can matter

 

but it might to easier to use a new card

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take spare cards as it is possible to get a message on the screen that the card cannot be used

 

clean very gently with paper tissue , micro amounts of dust can matter

 

but it might to easier to use a new card

 

You can only clean the contacts on an SD card, which is why they are also more vulnerable to damage. I would always take spare cards anyway as you never know how much space you need in a single day.

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Posted (edited)

@@COSMIC RHINO A soft brush that is kept protected from dust and grease specifically for tasks like this and dusting off your lens might be better - unless there is dust actually stuck to the card contacts. Tiny bits of paper might just replace any dust - or become the dust if there wasn;t any dust in the first place.. I don't think it is likely to cause damage (touch wood, I have never had an issue so far with a good quality SD card - cheap ones are a differnt matter) but why take the risk? It's easy to pick up such a brush and it takes no space.

Edited by pault

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Contact cleaner spray.

But the cleaning alcohol that comes in sensor cleaning kits etc. can also help here.

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Posted (edited)

I have only ever used SAN DISC cards

 

the Lewa camp manager advised gently touch with paper tissue, that was a temporary fix , the problem came back ,so I replaced the card without a problem happening again

 

I was able to view and print images from the problem card

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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@@COSMIC RHINO A soft brush that is kept protected from dust and grease specifically for tasks like this and dusting off your lens might be better - unless there is dust actually stuck to the card contacts. Tiny bits of paper might just replace any dust - or become the dust if there wasn;t any dust in the first place.. I don't think it is likely to cause damage (touch wood, I have never had an issue so far with a good quality SD card - cheap ones are a differnt matter) but why take the risk? It's easy to pick up such a brush and it takes no space.

 

I have a Sandisk Extreme card that has somehow been damaged, probably when pushing it in to the SD slot on the back of my iMac ( silly place to put the slot as you are stood over the screen and pushing the card towards you. A kind of card Hari Kiri I guess.) The plastic guide alongside one of the contacts peeled back but remained attached to the card. I pulled it off with a pair of tweezers and the card is stall useable although it's only used in my point and shoot now.

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Contact cleaner spray.

But the cleaning alcohol that comes in sensor cleaning kits etc. can also help here.

I bought some Eclipse swabs and cleaning fluid but bottled out of sensor cleaning with it. I decided to use some to clean the computer screen and was staggered what a mess of smears it left behind . Surprised it actually cleans the sensor without adverse effect.

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Just to offer another perspective, I personally prefer to take several lower capacity cards as opposed to fewer higher capacity. I do this mostly out of paranoia though. If your 64GB card gets lost or is corrupted, you will obviously lose more photos. Also as someone mentioned earlier, it's easier to manage. I organise mine into labelled ziploc baggies :)

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I take two camera bodies - a Nikon D7200 which gets most use and D7100 as backup and for wider angle / landscape shots. I don't need to remove lenses on the trip at all. Both cameras take SD cards and have 2 slots. I use high capacity Lexar (64 or 128GB) cards. In camera I set slot 2 as backup so I have 2 copies of each image (both RAW). Every evening I download images form the card in Slot 1 to a laptop, usually when I'm out having dinner. Other than a cursory glance I tend not to do anything with them until the way home.

I use the same cards until I have only 400 shots remaining and then swap both cards out for fresh ones. I only swap cards in camp - never on the vehicle. Cards are kept in labelled original plastic boxes and in a zip-up wallet.

Personally I have never had an SD card fail but did share a safari vehicle with a couple whose (cheap) card did fail and they lost 3 days worth of images....

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I take two camera bodies - a Nikon D7200 which gets most use and D7100 as backup and for wider angle / landscape shots. I don't need to remove lenses on the trip at all. Both cameras take SD cards and have 2 slots. I use high capacity Lexar (64 or 128GB) cards. In camera I set slot 2 as backup so I have 2 copies of each image (both RAW). Every evening I download images form the card in Slot 1 to a laptop, usually when I'm out having dinner. Other than a cursory glance I tend not to do anything with them until the way home.

I use the same cards until I have only 400 shots remaining and then swap both cards out for fresh ones. I only swap cards in camp - never on the vehicle. Cards are kept in labelled original plastic boxes and in a zip-up wallet.

Personally I have never had an SD card fail but did share a safari vehicle with a couple whose (cheap) card did fail and they lost 3 days worth of images....

 

Doesn't backing up on a second card slow the camera down quite considerably, don't you have a problem with the buffer filling quickly ?

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Similar to @@pomkiwi I take lower capcacity cards but more of them. I have 7 fresh 16-gig cards for the next safari, and will reformat 4 old ones as extras. I do not download anything while I'm there, but when a card is taken out of rotation, I put it in a small case where I keep my passport. If lose that, I have a lot bigger issues than just not having my photos...

 

My new camera is the first I've had that will let me shoot JPEG and RAW, which I'm debating, but there are limitations when it comes to continuous shooting and how quickly they save. While it'd be nice to be able to dabble in some photo editing when I get home, I'm not sure my entire body of photos is worth it. (And I will likely need more cards)

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Posted (edited)

@@Dave Williams Thank-you. I hadn't considered this previously and as a result of your comment I have done some Google searching before some experimenting at home.

Saving as 12 bit RAW, lossless compressed files I shot some scenes using high speed continuous mode (6fps). The Nikon does not require the buffer to completely clear before allowing further shots. This was the D7200 - the 7100 performance would be much worse.

 

Slot 2 as backup: Buffer filled at 16 images, buffer cleared in 12 sec (or allowed just over 1 shot per second after it cleared).

Slot 2 as overflow: Buffer filled at 19 images, buffer cleared in 6 sec (allowing around 3 shots per second as it cleared).

 

There is a clear difference and now I need to ponder whether it is material enough for me to change my approach. In general I do not shoot in continuous mode but on the occasions I would want/need to it would be so frustrating to have the buffer fill.

 

Or maybe I should just buy a D500 and forget about the problem (it has a 200 RAW image buffer) :):)

Edited by pomkiwi

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@ pomkiwi If I was a Nikon shooter I would be sorely tempted to get a D500, it appears to be a brilliant piece of kit with worthwhile feature improvements over the D7100 and 7200. You loose on pixels and a built in flash but gain hugely on ISO. AF points and frames per second. You also have features like touch screen and built in wifi, if the former is as good as my Canon 1DX2 for selection AF points in live view and video you'll love it.

I think frame rate is hugely important if you want to try and capture the action, it really does make a huge difference.

 

The D500 is available from Hdew for £1399. They are a reliable UK based grey market outlet but don't worry about that, makes very little difference except you save a few hundred pounds.

 

One word of warning though. If you did buy one you wouldn't be able to use your CF cards in it as it only takes SD and XQD cards and to get the benefit of the buffer and to take 4K video you need to buy an XQD card and they are not cheap. I had the same problem as my No 1 Canon only takes Cf and Cfast cards so my SD cards became somewhat redundant. CFast are equally expensive to XQD.

 

Reverting back to your situation now as it stands, remember if you try wring to two cards at once it can only go at the speed of the slowest card. You need to check the speeds of the card in each slot and choose the faster one . Also note that the speed on the card is usually the read speed too, not the write speed which can be very misleading.

 

Recording on two devices during the day isn't necessary in my book but everyone to their own. I only have one copy to take home and then only one copy on disc then too which is probably a bit stupid.However I have my web site and Flickr so I can retrieve some from there should the need ever arise.

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@@Dave Williams Thanks again. Overall I remain very happy with the D7200 and on my last trip to Africa managed some usable (at least for casual screen/web use) images using ISO12800. The D7200 uses SD cards and I am currently using a pair of fast Lexar 128GB UHS-II cards (although the camera only writes at UHS-I).

 

I have looked fairly closely at the D500 and feel that at the moment I could not justify spending at least £1400 on the camera plus another £350 plus on a couple of high capacity XQD cards. There is a lot I can do to improve my technique before I can honestly say it is the camera preventing me achieving what I want to.

For the next year or two I think the funds are more likely to go towards some more trips to practice, starting with Kenya in two weeks time :)

 

On a slightly different note I do keep backups of my home computer on at least 3 portable hard discs (which are now really cheap), one of which lives at work. This and Apples cloud storage should provide a way of getting most of my life back in the event of a burglary or fire.

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Posted (edited)

@@pomkiwi Just realised a mistake I made., the D7100 and D7200 don't take CF cards . The cards you are using a fast enough to capture most things you are likely to shoot. Enjoy your trip, you leave roughly the same time as I do!

Edited by Dave Williams

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@@pomkiwi

 

It looks like yours ways are almost identical to my ways, both about camera gear and about back-up strategies :) . Main difference is that my in-camera back-up is made in JPEG as Zvezda likes to check the photos on her iPad every evening.

Have fun photographing in Kenya, should be on my to-go list for 2019.

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@@Dave Williams and @@xelas Thank-you both for your good wishes. Where are you off to Dave? From my brief research xelas I understand that saving the backup as a JPEG when the original is saved in RAW may delay the emptying of the buffer. However it doesn't appear to have caused any issues for your photography!

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