How to Properly Erase Your Memory Cards | Erica + Jon Photography

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We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.

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How to Properly Erase Your Memory Cards

So…you probably read the title of this blog post and concluded that we couldn’t possibly be serious! An entire blog on how to erase a memory card? Well, before you think we are insulting your intelligence, we should let you know that this is actually something we JUST learned ourselves – so hopefully it can be helpful for you as well!

We previously blogged on our preferred SD and CF cards of choice! We invest in professional grade memory cards with extremely fast recording speeds for a reason – we need the processing power! Despite our fast memory cards, we started noticing that they were recording more slowly than they had when we first purchased them.

Our normal process after a session is to back up our cards to an external hard drive. Erica then culls the images off of the cards and Jon clears the cards and gets the camera gear ready for the next shoot. It’s our work flow every. single. time. But we found out our process was flawed! You see, Jon would use his computer to double check the backups were there and then clear the card. Seems harmless, right?

What we found out after doing some research is that using your computer to clear your cards is actually the WRONG method! When you clear your cards on a computer, there are still trace files left on the card, even if you erase them and empty the trash! The proper way to clear your card is in the camera body, and to reformat the card each time instead of erasing.

We ran our slower cards through this process as soon as we learned about it and what do you know – they were back to normal speed! The camera actually told us that we had multiple gigabytes of old information taking up space on those cards even though we though they were erased!

It was an eye opening tip for us, and we hope it can save you some headache as well!

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