Digital Wedding, offload? buy more cards??

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by dale_bergersen, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. I have been working with consumer digitals as my car club's sole
    editor for a while now, and am planning to purchase a D70 soon.
    For those of you who shoot weddings all-digital;
    I can visualize accidentally fat-fingering or mistakingly NOT dumping
    a card to temp storage, and later finding an empty folder - which
    would be fatal to a job, and horrible...
    Do you use multiple cards, and NO-offloading/reuse?
    Offload to a CD or disc, or laptop?
    It seems like the only sure way (or safest)would be to have all-
    single use memory cards, clearly labeled, and bagged, then download
    them all afterwards safely at the PC.
    So what? enough for 300+ shots at RAW size plus cards for backup?
    What is your workflow?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If at all possible, I would get sufficient memory cards to cover entire weddings. If you need to uploading images from cards and recycle/re-format them during the wedding and reception, you are inviting disasters. It is merely a matter of time that you'll make a mistake and erase unsaved images. At a minimum, I would dedicate one card (or 2, 3 cards and clearly mark them), perhaps a large 1G or 2G card, to cover the main ceremony itself. Do not format that card until you get home and verify that those images are safely uploaded and written into a CD/DVD.
  3. An 8 gigabit flash memory card was announced about 2 weeks ago. Give it alittle time,
    and prices will come down.
  4. I have an X's Drive Pro for temp storage with two 512 cards. I can't imagine a scenario where you could *think* you have downloaded but didn't. Its little LCD shows the folders & files it has loaded. If you're very paranoid you could download twice. It would put both copies in separate folders. The only risk I can see is in permanently crashing its hard drive. I suppose that's possible if you dropped it, but that's about like dropping your camera. Just don't do it. But always carry a spare in case you do.
  5. Multiple cards and upload to a computer and back that up to a CD-R or second hard
    disk drive ASAP

    Putting everything you shoot on a single 2Gb, 4GB or 8 Gb flash card and not
    downloading & backing up is just begging for trouble.
  6. A somewhat standard work flow is to have enough card storage for the entire wedding. Cards are backed up to a storage device during breaks in the action. Devices that are battery powered combination card readers/hard disks are good for this, and aren't expensive. They start at a little over $100, for 20 gig's of storage to fancier devices that have more storage and let you view stored images on a LCD. When you get home everything is downloaded to your PC and CD's are burnt as backup. Many photographers stick to 512 meg cards because the contents will fit on a single CD. Large cards leave you open to a single point failure wiping out a large part of the shoot. Backing up properly, so that you can reuse a card (backup to a hard disk and burn a CD) just takes too long at a wedding.
  7. The all digital weding shooters I know download & burn CD's during down time at the reception.
  8. I use 1GB cards and bring a notebook that I can download to if I get a break - but I don't count on that! The cards don't get formated until I check the downloads, which may not be until that night after the shooting is over. I definately agree with the comment about being able to verify your downloads as you go.

    I anticipate using a 1D mkII soon and I'll fell much better about memory card use because I'll be recording to two memory cards at once - comforting (if not foolproof) insurance against loosing images.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    A bit off topic here: have you guys experienced any memory card failures for that to be a concren? I have been using a DSLR for a year and half and have various 512K and 1G CF cards by SanDisk, Lexar and Viking. So far I have never had any problems with any one of them. I have never used microdrives, though. Since digital cameras haven't been around for very long, nobody is going to have 10 years of experience with them. However, so far I find them very reliable.
  10. My shooting partner has had two 1 gig cards fail. One was a total loss (even sent it to
    Lexar), the other was 70% saved using a retrieval program.

    I dropped a 1 gig Micro-drive 2 feet to a card table... total loss of images and card.

    Once I lost the entire contents of a 512 meg card when loading it to a desktop file. It was
    critical portion of a wedding. Suicide crossed my mind.

    I tried reloading it in my camera... zero images in the review. Checked the
    computer's trash. Nothing. Re-loaded the card in the card reader. Still nothing. Nowhere
    on my computer's hard drive. Gone.

    Restarted my computer with the card still in the reader. Virex began scanning the contents
    of the computer HD... then scanned the card contents !!!!!!! With the card mounted, I
    found them all in the trash... the card's trash, not the computer's HD trash. CF cards and
    Micro-drives are separate little HDs, and if you trash something it'll stay on the CF card
    but not show in the camera review. You have to empty your trash with the card in the
    reader, or reformat the card to get rid of them.
  11. Just shot my first digital wedding today, with a 6 megapixel Canon DSLR. Used a 1 GB Flashcard, with a 512 MB in reserve. At ISO 400 I got 224 highest quality JPEG shots off and the camera still showed 97 available shots when I finished, so the 512 MB card never was used, but this was a mid-sized wedding. Had I shot RAW I would have had to download and clear my cards to re-use prior to leaving, which I didn't want to do- it ain't easy getting away in the middle of everything, so I need to get a couple of gigs more worth of cards before I shoot something like that in RAW mode, but I did bring my notebook just in case. I wound up going ahead and downloaded the card before leaving so I'd have the images on the card and hard drive. Burned CD's as soon as I got home.

    On the plus side it was a great relief to no longer have to worry about running out of film and having to change rolls at the wrong time.
  12. I shoot all RAW and have about 12GB storage now. If you get a storage drive, use it as a backup, not to reuse cards. Do not erase anything till you copied them to your harddrive and burned DVD's.
  13. " If you get a storage drive, use it as a backup, not to reuse cards. Do not erase anything
    till you copied them to your harddrive and burned DVD's."

  14. I've used CF cards for several years (both in this life as a photographer and former as a computer person), only failures I've had
    were due to fumble fingering and forgetfulness (MINE ;{o ).

    Couple of tips:
    a) have enough cards to cover the event (already said)

    b) never delete from card until you have a backup (already said)

    c) ALWAYs use the right click "eject" when removing from the reader
    in the computer, and wait for the lights to go out if on.

    d) NEVER clear the trash until you've had a good nights sleep.

    e) ALWAYs create a CD or DVD before you even think about doing workflow processing. I do a two step 1) move from CF to hard disk
    2) copy from hard disk to CD.

    Incidently I use (4) 256MB CF, (3) 128MB SM
    carry a CDRW stack already formatted in the laptop case
    and burn indirectly from the CF/SM to the CD during the down times.

    Only had to think about clearing a CF once and that was a 12 hour
    golf tournament so the total works for weddings.

    IMHO - more smaller CF cards spreads the danger of a crash, and I
    wouldn't use a microdrive in the field on a bet. It's a (really small)
    hard disk that has moving parts, one corner drop on a marble step and
    gonzo. I've had a CF run over by a limo and it still worked.
    Microdrives are for the studio...


Share This Page