No, seriously! Your memory card is your friend and, just like any other friend, you will want to keep it close as much as possible. Here are some tips on how to preserve the life of your memory card and enjoy a beautiful friendship.
First of all, invest!
This might seem like an obvious piece of advice and you might not think of it as much of a tip, but you would be surprised to know how many people ignore this very simple, yet essential step. The market offers a large variety of memory cards, many of them at very low prices and it is tempting to settle for something cheap, but it is important that you choose quality before anything else! This is why the best thing to do is to go for a brand whose target is the professional user. Sure, the price is a bit higher, but you can rest assured that it will not fail you when you least expect it.
Do not mistreat it
Yet another Captain Obvious moment right here, but hey, it’s the most obvious things that we are most likely to forget. So you went for a good quality memory card. This does not mean that you are allowed to treat it poorly. You want to make sure that it doesn’t break, so treat it gently. Also, if you have more than one memory card and want to know which is which, a good solution is to mark them with a pen or a marker instead of using stickers. This will make sure that your card does not become stuck in the camera.
Formatting is the key
Even if the card is labeled as “pre-formatted”, it is advisable to do it again. Better safe than sorry, right? Formatting the card in the camera after purchasing it will make sure that its format will be recognized.
You should also reformat it from time to time. A good idea is to format the card in the camera instead of just deleting the photos while the card is in the computer.
“Less is more”
This phrase might be overused nowadays, but it applies here: don’t overcharge the memory card with data. If the card is already full when you want to take a photo, the camera might try to store it on the card, only managing to do so with part of the photo. This can only lead to an error that you will not want to occur.
This should be the only way to use the memory card. It is there to store you photos, so whenever you insert it into your computer, transfer the images and remove it immediately. It is not a good idea to edit the photos directly on the memory card, even if you’re short of time! If you need them back on your memory card, you can always copy the edited versions back. It might not save you time, but it will surely save your card.
Last, but not least, neither of the tips above will be useful if you lose your memory card, so make sure you remember where you put it.