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Technical Questions

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Discuss technical aspects of photography
septembermorn
 
Posts: 201

card

Post Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:41 pm


How long is a flash card good for? (yes, I know I ended the sentence in a preposition)

I notice that photos of a while back are much better quality than now and am wondering if it is that I need a new flash card.

waggonerphotos
 
Posts: 176

Re: card

Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:29 am


I suppose anything can wear out given enough use but suggest you format your card in the camera it's being used in,
rather than on a computer!
Best of Wishes - Bob Waggoner
Bob Waggoner
Photographs comprise the communal memory of our times. (Unknown)

dougj
 
Posts: 2276

Re: card

Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:59 pm


septembermorn wrote:How long is a flash card good for? (yes, I know I ended the sentence in a preposition)

I notice that photos of a while back are much better quality than now and am wondering if it is that I need a new flash card.


Unlikely it's the card, they only record 1s and 0s. Format the card in the camera before each use and it should do its job. Cards do have finite lives, but the read and write cycles from use in a camera is unlikely to wear it out. Read and/or write failures are the most common card failures, not degradation of image quality. I routinely use some cards that are several years old without problems.

dw_thomas
 
Posts: 466

Re: card

Post Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:28 am


In its early days flash memory had a fairly limited number of write cycles on the internal memory blocks, maybe on the order of ten thousand, but the last I heard any numbers they were at ten or a hundred times that. It's my understanding that internal smarts in the cards move blocks of data around internally during large erase/write operations to even out the distribution of writes over the array and not hammer a few favorite spots. I have CF cards I've been using since 2004 without any problems, although I admit the older ones are smaller and tend not to see much use these days.

But as Dougj points out, the card is storing binary data not some mysterious analog signals. In fact, failure of a flash card will most likely show either as a file access failure, or if the reading hardware manages to somehow retrieve corrupted data from the file, card errors would likely show as stripes or pixelated blocks or other very obvious defects.

"much better quality" is not very specific -- are the differences in sharpness or contrast or color saturation or ? Are you using a different camera or photo editor than before? It is occasionally noted there are differences between brands and between models of cameras in regard to the internal tweaking or default settings of pictures as they are taken. This can mean you may want to do a little tweaking after the files are on your computer to get things the way you prefer them.

There's my speculative 2ȼ

DaveT


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