How to Format an SD Card for Your Camera
Coletta Teske is a Lifewire writer focusing on consumer electronics. She has 30 years’ experience writing for Adobe, Boeing, Microsoft, and many others.
In This Article
After a while, the SD card in your camera may become filled with photos and videos, its file system may become corrupted, or the SD card may get infected with a virus. It’s easy to fix these issues when you know how to format an SD card to remove the files and start with a fresh SD card for your camera.
When to Format and When to Reformat
In everyday terms, format and reformat mean the same things. The difference is “format” refers to the first time an SD card is formatted, while “reformat” refers to the subsequent times the SD card is formatted.
In technology terms, format and reformat have slightly different meanings.
SD cards, like all types of removable disks and other media, need to be formatted before they’ll work as a form of storage. This formatting process creates a file system, or directory structure, to store files. When the SD card is formatted a second time, the formatting uses the same file system but deletes the files.
SD cards are reformatted to change the type of file system used by the card. For example, an SD card from a Windows PC needs to be reformatted to work on a Mac computer.
Here’s when you should consider formatting or reformatting an SD card:
- If you take a lot of pictures and regularly delete or transfer these images to your computer, format the SD card once a month or so. Regular formatting keeps your SD card operating at peak performance and reduces the chance of your files becoming corrupted.
- If you encounter a problem or receive an error message when using the SD card, the SD card may have a corrupted file system or a computer virus. Format the SD card to restore it to its original state.
- If you want to give the SD card to someone else, format it twice and be sure your files cannot be recovered. Format the SD card, fill it with public domain images, and format it again. Or reformat the SD card if the other person uses a different operating system.
Formatting an SD card doesn’t completely delete the files; formatting only removes the reference to the files. If you accidentally format an SD card, you may be able to use a data recovery software tool to recover the files.
How to Format Camera SD Card
The most efficient way to format the camera SD card is with your camera. The camera’s formatting process minimizes the chance of errors.
The steps to format a camera SD card vary depending on the camera brand. Look in the camera’s instruction manual or manufacturer website to find information on how to use the camera to format the SD card.
On the camera, select Menu.
How to Format the SD Card in Your Android
Many Android phones, tablets, and cameras have a microSD card. If the SD card shows signs of problems, format the SD card with your Android device.
Before you begin, back up the files on the SD card.
Tap Format SD card.
How to Reformat SD Card Using Windows
When you want to reformat an SD card to change the file system type, insert the SD card into your Windows computer and perform a high-level format.
Using a computer to format the SD card is faster than using the camera to format the SD card. However, camera formatting optimizes the file system for the camera.
Select the SD card.
In the Format SD Card dialog box, select the File System dropdown arrow and choose FAT32.
Either select the Quick Format checkbox if you’ve formatted the SD card before, or clear the Quick Format checkbox to format the SD Card for the first time.
How to Format an SD Card on Mac
Click Go and choose Utilities.
Double-click Disk Utility.
Select the SD card.
Click the Erase tab.
Click the Format dropdown arrow and choose ExFat to format the SD Card so it works on Windows and Mac.
In the Erase dialog box, click Erase.
To move an app to an SD card on Android 7.0 and higher, open the device’s Settings and go to Apps. Select the app Storage Change SD Card.
To transfer files (including photos) to an SD card on Android 7.0 and higher, open the My Files app. Tap Internal Storage and find the files you want to move. Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner Edit select the files you want to transfer tap the three dots Move SD card Done.
In many cases, straightforward troubleshooting restores access to the card. To fix a corrupted SD card, reinsert the card, look for a lock switch, inspect the card for damage, or reformat it.
Choosing the right memory card for your security camera
Security cameras. They’re static, rotating; hanging off the ceiling, sitting on a shelf; hidden, visible; indoors, outdoors. Whether in your home or place of business, security cameras are a part of the world we live in. No matter where or how they are used, they see and capture things we’d rather not see but are thankful for nonetheless.
Within these security cameras, the memory card is the vital piece of tech that allows us to see what the camera saw and recorded. We are, after all, capturing video that could prove necessary and useful at some point. So, it’s important to make sure images are clean and clear.
So, how do we assure ourselves that we are purchasing a memory card that suits our needs and provides quality images? We do our homework and check out a few critical features such as the capacity, speed and durability of the cards that interest us. After that, we choose a brand we trust.
As they say, read the owner’s manual. It probably has some nuggets of information regarding the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular model.
Next, how will the camera be used? Will it record continuously or only after motion detection? Continuous use requires a high-capacity/high-endurance card; on-motion, not so much.
Then consider the camera’s resolution. High-resolution videos (1080p or 4k) require more storage space.
Suffice it to say; however the card is being used, practical choices range from 32GB to 512GB.
While the speed rate of a memory card is based on its read/write speed, with security cameras, you really only care about the write speed, which is the rate at which the card writes (records) data to its memory. Too slow a speed could cause the video to skip or become sluggish, either of which defeats the reason for having the camera.
Most security cameras are designed for microSD-size cards. For that reason, we will limit the card speed conversation solely to them. The latest microSD cards offer higher storage, allowing longer video recordings (perfect for continuous-use security cameras). When shooting Full HD or 4K UHD you don’t want to worry about slow speeds and dropped frames. Look for cards with minimum write speeds of 70MB/s that support UHS-I Video Speed Class (V30).
It stands to reason that cameras that are continuously recording need a memory card that can stand up to the 24/7 usage. Likewise, cameras stationed outdoors in the elements need memory cards that can withstand temperature extremes, wet environments and high winds.
How to Select the Right Camera Memory Card
In today’s market if you want to buy a camera memory card, you may find it challenging to select the right one. A card comes with the following criteria; type, speed, price, capacity. If you want to buy a high capacity card with low price it might come with a low transfer speed. If you wish to buy a high transfer speed with high capacity card it may come with a really high price. If you want to strike a balance between both, you really have to compromise on quality.
What is a memory card?
A small removable memory medium which can be used to store data on one medium and to transfer the data to another medium.
Let’s see each criteria which will help you decide on a memory card in detail.
This one is fairly straightforward, and not a big deal. A 32GB memory card can hold up to about 1000 RAW photographs. Assuming that one RAW file size is 30MB, in general a Canon 5D MKIII will produce a RAW file between 25-35MB in size. Likewise a 16GB card can hold up to about 500 photographs, and so on. If you shoot in jpeg format, then a 32GB card can hold around 3200 photographs, assuming you have your jpeg settings as fine in detail, and large in file size. With that setting a jpeg file will come in at an average size of 10MB on a Canon 5D MK III camera.
There are many types of memory cards available on the market ranging from Micro SD card, SD card, CF card, M2 (from Sony). But there are only three type of cards being used primarily in the photography world, Secure Digital (SD) card, Eye-fi card, Compact Flash (CF) card.
Micro SD card
Micro SD card is a miniature version of the SD card and meant to be used in mobile phones. This card has capacity, as well as transfer speed restrictions. That is why it is used primarily in Smartphones where one can store music and apps, or any other relatively less active data.
Secure Digital card (SD card)
This type of the card is widely being used in digital cameras, primarily in point and shoot cameras and secondarily being used in professional cameras. The constraint in using this card is the capacity of the card. The initial high capacity is only 2GB when introduced in 1999. But as the time and technology progressed a later version as SDHC is introduced with a higher capacity of 64GB in 2006 (HC means Higher capacity). The recent third iteration of SD card been announced in 2009 as SDXC cards (XC stands for extended capacity). This type of card offers up to 2TB and increased transfer speed.
These are unique SD cards that come with built-in Wi-Fi. This allows you to transfer the data to your computer or a Cloud-based service or even to your Smartphone directly, thus enabling you to clear off the memory as you shoot, without having a need to replace the memory card. It is even possible to geotag your photographs with the available wireless service, but with less accuracy though.
There seems to be a promising future for this card!
Compact Flash card (CF card)
First introduced in 1994, CD cards have high speed, and high capacity. This is the reason why CF cards occupy the primary card slot in professional cameras. Present SD cards are equalling the speed and capacity of CF cards, but camera manufacturers are not leaving CF cards just yet. They often provide slots for both an SD and CF card, but some photographers wish they would offer two SD card slots instead. This provides some extra space inside the camera and saves money for the photographer (CF cards costs roughly twice that of SD cards). Hopefully they will switch the importance to SD cards in the near future.
As the name suggests this is a flash memory which aids high speed reading/writing speed, and has a higher capacity too.
Speed in SD cards
All memory cards come with speed, either mentioned or not. Speed here means both writing and reading. The one indicated on the card is the maximum speed the card can read, but the most important thing is the write speed. Read speed is the time taken to read the data from the card and the write speed is the time taken to write the data. Simply put read speed comes into action when you transfer the data from the card, write speed comes into play when you shoot. In general the write speed is about half of the speed of read speed in SDHC cards. In few other cards both the read and write speeds are about the same.
The speed of cards have been classified into classes by the SD Association, which are referred to below. The speeds are primarily meant for video recording, where sustained recording (write) is required and it is supposed to be the minimum worst case scenario speed.
You really need to give weight to this one single-most important factor, when you buy a memory card. All SD cards have a class noted on them. Check the attached diagram below:
Later, in 2009 another class, UHS, was introduced by the SD association and is designed for SDHC and SDXC memory cards. UHS utilizes a new data bus that will not work in non-UHS host devices. If you use a UHS memory card in a non-UHS host, it will default to the standard data bus and use the “Speed Class” rating instead of the “UHS Speed Class” rating. UHS memory cards have a full higher potential of recording real-time broadcasts, capturing large size HD videos and extremely high quality professional HD.
|UHS Class||Minimum Speed|
Speed in CF cards
When it comes to CF cards the speed is often mentioned as X times and in many cards it’s been mentioned as MB per second, which is pretty straight forward. Whereas when the speed is mentioned as 600X or 1066X what exactly does it means? X means 150Kb per second. It is a standard brought over from optical media recording. Now to find out what exactly the speed is of 600X – to find this multiply 600 by 150 and divide the result by 1000. The final result is in MB per second. Eg., a 600X speed card is capable of 90MB per second read speed (600?150/1000).
The latest CF cards come with the UDMA 7 which improves in clearing the camera’s buffer memory quickly, which allows the camera to get ready for the next burst. Firmware upgrade is required for the Canon 5D MKIII (yours may require it also, check with the manufacturer) camera to make full use of UDMA 7.
When it comes to price, the fastest card is the primary criteria which decides the price. The next deciding factor is capacity of the card. An SD card is 50% of the price in the same capacity CF card. So, if you want to buy a high speed card with same capacity you will need to pay more. On the other side if you want to buy a high capacity card at a lower price, it is possible to do so but you’ll get a lower speed card.
Hope you have gotten a bit of information from this article. Do share your thoughts in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев.
SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick Review
When everything is going wireless, why not our storage devices. SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick that allows you to extend the memory of your mobile devices, be it Android-based smartphones or iPhones, without the need to connect using wires. It allows you to transfer and save data from your smartphone wirelessly without the Internet thereby saving on data cost. You can play your favorite music and videos from the Stick directly thereby saving valuable space on your smartphone.
SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick – The Device
This wireless stick reminded me of the first generation of USB drives. You can also compare it to internet dongles of the recent past. The look is simple, neat and clean.
As a traveler, I appreciate the fact that it is not flashy. Flashy devices tend to attract attention and more prone to thefts.
Like any other USB device, this wireless stick too is a simple plug and play. In fact, when used as a USB drive, it is just like any other memory stick.
Comes in two colors – Black Copper and White Silver. My review device was While Silver.
At the time of writing the MRP of the 200 GB stick is Rs 9999/- but it is available at most online stores for Rs 6999/-
Other variants include 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB 128 GB.
You need to charge the drive for about 2 hours initially, and then regularly based on the usage. A single charge should last for 4.5 hours of use – I assume when accessed by a single device. The wireless stick can be charged by plugging into your computer or a UBS supported power adaptor. You probably need to charge it every day.
For this review, I tried looking for comparative products in the market. I realized it is one of its kind product and the competition is yet to respond to this.
Using the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick with Mobile Devices
You need to download their app on your smartphone. The app is available both on Apple Store and on Google Play.
My experience of testing the Wireless Stick
Their App is pretty simple and intuitive to use. In any case, an easy to refer user manual can be downloaded. There are videos available to guide you in case you feel lost.
I transferred some 2700 images from my mobile phone (an Android phone) to the stick. The transfer process was very simple – using the gallery backup process that lets you transfer photos and videos. However, as soon as I received a phone call, the process would stop and I would have to restart the backup. The backup started from where it left. It took about 90 mins to transfer the images. I believe this may be because of first-time use and the subsequent transfers, being incremental, should be faster.
My second test involved transferring 950 images and videos to the stick and it took about 23 minutes. If you keep backing up every day, it should happen in a jiffy. What I liked about the transfer though is that it is a one-click process. Just say ‘Galler Backup’ and the stick takes over. Within minutes you have a backup of your image, absolutely hassle-free.
Connecting the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick to the computer was also easy. Just connect to the stick network, go to the URL and you can view your files. However, it disconnects you from the broadband Wi-Fi and that means while you are using the stick wirelessly, you can not really use your internet. Not an ideal situation. So, I switched to using the device through the USB port and it worked like a charm.
Even on mobile when you are connected to the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick, your internet works on mobile data by default.
By default, there is no password to connect to the wireless stick. However, there is a provision to set up a password if you so wish.
User manual tells me that you can be connected to the Wi-Fi and still use the stick. I tried making it work, but could not. I am sure it does work, but let’s say that is not as easy if I can’t make it work in one go.
The range of the Wi-Fi signal was as good as my Wi-Fi modem. I tried transferring data to the wall and it worked well. This means you can keep common data on the stick and the team in a small office can access it effortlessly.
When connected to USB, the Wi-Fi functionality is disabled – that means the two functions are mutually exclusive. However, I do understand that this feature is disabled to ensure data security.
I think this is a perfect device to back up your data on the go. Every time I come back from a trip, I am anxious about all the images and videos I have captured till the time I reach home and backup them. This wireless stick can ensure that I can do daily backups on the go.
Sharing of data with your team simultaneously from the wireless flash drive.
Streaming videos on your tablet or phone without really burdening the storage. This is particularly useful when you are sitting at an airport and you want to watch films or listen to music without really having them on your phone or tablet memory.
It is a blessing for iPhone users who can now extend the storage capacity of their phones.
Overall, this is another key step in our mobile dominated lives.
Disclaimer – SanDisk 200 GB Wireless Stick was provided to me by the company for review purpose.