What you need to know about Memory Cards

I was reading one of the lessons from the distance learning photography course I am taking and I came upon this information about the memory cards we all use in our digital cameras.  Very good to know and not something I have seen on or in the packaging of memory cards available today.

Memory Card Variety

Memory Card Variety

So here is 10 things you need to know about Memory Cards:

  1. Before you turn your camera off, make sure it has finished saving the image.  Many cameras have a blinking light to let you know its working.  Personally my camera will tell me it’s “busy” if i try doing this.  You risk losing your images or even corrupting the memory card entirely if you turn off your camera too soon.
  2. Never remove the memory card from your camera while it is still on.  Again you can lose all your pictures.
  3. There is a speed at which your camera takes a pictures and saves it to the memory card.  This is called transfer speed and it is measured as frames per second or fps for short.  The higher the fps rate is, the more continuous pictures you can take and save to your memory card.  And if your camera can record video on top of taking still photographs, than you definitely want a memory card with a high transfer rate otherwise your videos will appear choppy upon playback.  It is recommended to get a memory card with a Class 6 or higher rating.  These memory cards should have a transfer rate of 30fps.
  4. Don’t use up all the memory available on the card.  Just like when you have too many files saved on your hard drive, your computer will slow down considerably and may not be able to read or find the images on the memory card.
  5. Always use fresh or a fully charged rechargeable battery in your camera. Good to monitor your battery light while taking pictures too.  Little to no juice in your battery can prevent your camera from saving those pictures to the memory card.
  6. Do not place your memory cards near powerful electrical sources or strong magnetic field.  Just like your credit card, those sources cn instantly erase all the images stored on the memory card.
  7. Hndle the memory cards properly.  Pay attention when inserting the cards into their appropriate slot.  They only go in one way and forcing them could permanently damage the memory card.
  8. Store your memory cards in a safe place so they won’t get damaged.  Either keep them in the plastic case they originally came in or purchase a soft case that has individual pouches for storing multiple memory cards.
  9. Do not touch the electrical contacts on the memory cards.  Touching the contact can damage the delicate circuitry that makes them work.  Memory cards can also be damaged by the oily residue on your fingers, exposure to liquids or moisture.
  10. Constantly deleting the images from the card can lead to damage or memory card corruption.  It is better to reformat the card once you have transferred your images to your computer.  Most digital cameras have the option to reformat cards available in their menus.

Well there you have it.  Some useful tips to preserve your memory cards and protect the precious moments we capture with our digital cameras.