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The right way to safely configure an SD card for your camera

A damaged SD card is perhaps the worst nightmare of a photographer. All the stunning photos can be lost forever because some 1 and 0 bits are in the wrong place !!!

Although you may be able to retrieve your photos from a corrupted SD card, you definitely do not want to be in this state, which means you need to know how to format them properly.
It also means working with a high-quality SD card. Buying a cheap, non-branded card is unjustified, especially if you store unique files that you can not find somewhere on the Internet, like your personal photos. There is no excuse for not using the best card.
Delete VS Configuration
When the SD card of your camera is full, you will most likely be tempted to see it from your computer, delete some photos from it, and then re-install it on your camera, ready for download. Do not do it!
Simply deleting files from an SD card is a bad idea for the reasons:

  • Any additional functionality (or use, if you prefer) increases the likelihood of data corruption.
  • Deleting some photos is a very slow way to get space on a card.
  • SD card performance is downgraded using.

Instead, format your SD cards when they're full (or whenever you can). The configuration wipes and cleans the card and at the same time resets the digital camera (DCIM) folder structure. And it does so without the disadvantages of simply deleting files.
Save and back up your photos
First, do not format an SD card that contains photos and you did not back up somewhere else. Remember, when it comes to data security, that one copy is not enough and you should always have two or more.
We recommend that you import your photos to a computer through a photo browser and at the same time cloud storage provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive etc (Don't use Google Photos because this service squeezes photos to save space and you lose their original resolution). This way your photos are well organized and, even if something happens to your computer or external drive, they are safe in the cloud.
Reformat the SD card in the camera
Once you're sure that you have backed up all the photos on your SD card and the backups are fully created, then you can configure the card.
There are other ways to format SD cards and if you do not do something sophisticated (such as trying to change the format or add partitions or do anything strange), everyone will work fine. But the usual advice from most photographers and every camera maker is that the best way to format an SD card is to do it with your camera rather than your computer to minimize something wrong. It's also the fastest and most convenient way, since you do not have to plug in any additional software.
So, with modern operating systems, you can format an SD card, but our advice is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and do with the camera (do nothing but make it up).
The configuration process varies slightly from camera to machine, but in general, it should be something like this: With a Canon camera, go to Menu> Setup> Card format (Menu> Settings> Format card). Select the card you want to format and then press OK. If for any reason you have difficulty finding the card configuration option, refer to your camera user manual.


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