Managing your camera’s memory card

Julie Hartwig's Carved by Nature won A Grade Honour

Julie Hartwig’s Carved by Nature won A Grade Honour

By Julie Hartwig, Tin Can Bay Camera Club

The memory card in your camera is the digital equivalent of film! This medium required careful handling and so does your memory card. Here are some tips to get the most out of your memory card:

  • Never handle the card by touching the “chip” end of the card. Contact with fingers leaves deposits of skin oil and other substances on these sensitive contacts that may affect the card’s image recording capabilities.
  • Avoid deleting “in camera”. When you consign an unwanted image to your camera’s Trash bin, the image data is not completely erased. Digital artefacts remain and over time, these accumulate and not only take up space on your card but affect the card’s “writing” performance.
  • Avoid filling your card up before downloading. The fuller the card, the more “writing” performance is affected.
  • Download your photos regularly. Not only does this keep your card performing well, but it will eventually prevent getting the dreaded “Card Full” message, which leads to a hurried “in camera” deleting session (see second tip!).
  • Format your card AFTER downloading. This will completely erase everything from the card, including residual artefacts from in camera deletions. The Format command is found in your camera’s Menu. Make sure your photos have downloaded correctly BEFORE formatting your memory card. It’s also worth creating a back-up copy of your photos on an external storage device just in case.
  • When not in the camera, store the card in a suitable moisture and dust free container.
  • Keep a spare memory card in your camera case/bag. Cards are relatively inexpensive which makes having a spare a viable and worthwhile option, and will be a life saver if your card fails or fills up.

If you follow these tips, your camera’s memory card should enjoy a long, happy and failure-free life.

The Tin Can Bay Camera Club’s next meeting: Wednesday June 21 at TCB Library, commencing at 7pm. For more information about club activities and to view members’ images, visit

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