SDHC Cards – FYI

I am known as an advocate and proponent of shooting to SD cards in the EX1 – I’ve never suffered a problem in all the time I’ve been using them, and I have 16x 16GB cards and 8x MxR adaptors plus my two original Kensington 7:1s. I’ve even managed to capture short bursts of 60fps material on them, but that’s a different story. But…

Today, I want to issue a little missive of warning.

Nothing too dire – it’s got nothing to do with the camera, nor the adaptors. But it is a fairly fundamental issue that’s cost me two cards and some other cash spent on fancy cases.

I found a rather nice box that would store 8x SD cards, and bought several of them. I could have two sets of cards, and once filled, a card would be transferred from one box to the other, or so I thought. Anyway, the SD cards looked very slick and neat in their case and I looked forward to the ‘loading’ ceremony once on the job.

A couple of cards – as luck would have it, the first two I tried – would come up with errors on the camera. They wouldn’t format, they wouldn’t record. They played back fine. Hmmm. Tried changing adaptor, same problem. Cut to the chase: let’s check the write protect tab! SD cards can have a little write protect thingy that protects the card when slid back.

Well, the troublesome cards didn’t have one. Ah. That was the problem.

The snug-fitting SD case and my initial pressure in putting the cards in had snapped or pulled off the write protect sliders on two of the cards. Of course the camera won’t write to them. Nor will they erase them. Nor will the Mac and nor will ShotPut or any other software I could muster. I tried twiddling around with a needle, and that didn’t work.

They’re basically toast. I’ve lost the use of two SD cards. Bother.

Today’s lesson: keep the cards in the adaptors, keep the adaptors in boxes. Yes, they’ll take up room, but they’re safe and sound.

However, the two duff cards have still got stuff on them. So I am going to propose a little test involving a form of controlled torture of SD cards. I’ll try laundering them and see if they’re still readable. After that, I’ll get as creative as I dare before risking the blowing up of my MacBook Pro’s PCIe slot…