SD cards; common practices for photographers

Digital photography offers a fast and convenient way for photographers to get their work done. However, with convenience comes the issue of managing camera memory cards. There is a big risk when shooting digitally that your SD or hard drive will fail, so here are some tips to protect your photos.

The first rule of thumb for protecting your digital photos, as with all data, is to back up regularly! That may seem obvious, but we see dozens of SD cards every month that have failed mechanically or been physically damaged, and the user hasn’t backed up. Backing up periodically can save you a lot of time and effort.

You should always transfer photos from your camera’s memory card to your computer’s hard drive as soon as you can. Some image management programs will allow you to delete photos from the memory card as soon as transfer is complete; we recommend holding off from doing this until you are sure the files are on your computer and working.

Flash memory cards are easily breakable. Because they are delicate, they are prone to damage, so it is a good idea to replace your flash memory cards occasionally. A typical flash memory cards can endure around 10,000 erase cycles. You should also never carry unprotected flash memory cards in your pocket. Static buildup in your clothing can zap the card and make it unreadable, and there’s a danger of breaking the card by sitting on it, or putting it through the wash