Memory Card Issues

I have been using Sandisk Extreme III CF cards for some while now, without any issues to report. However, this weekend I had to do a very important shoot – my first as a full time professional. I got through five cards, all 4Gb, one of them I have had for ages, four of them were brand new at this event.

After transferring the images to my computer, several files from more than one card are showing as corrupt. I have never had this before. I’m using a Canon 50D which is less than a year old, I have tried transferring the files by connecting the camera and by putting the card in a reader – both get the same result.

However, if I open the image straight from the card without importing it first, it appears to be okay.

Now I notice some pictures are missing altogether. Basically, I shot around 150 couples in a formal pose as they made their way into a dinner dance function. Whilst processing, I realized someone was missing; the event organizer, who is also my wife’s father! I knew I had photographed him right at the beginning, so I got out a copy of SanDisk’s RescuePro and ran it on the offending card. I found about eight images which were in the original transfer.

If it was one image, I could imagine having deleted it by mistake (not easy to do by accident, though). If it was a set of images from the very beginning of using the card, I could – at a real stretch – imagine that I had formatted the card without thinking (not that likely). But the missing images are a small group from within the middle of the card. I would have to have deleted eight images one after another and, apart from the sequence you go through to delete individual images, I just would not have had the time during the shoot.

I’m thinking there must be some kind of issue either with the card, the camera (firmware version) or a combination of the two. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or had similar (or other!) experiences with other makes of card?

Camera: Canon EOS 50D firmware version 1.0.3
Card: SanDisk Extreme III 4Gb CF (brand new, unused)

Spudz Lens Cleaning Cloths; Update

chopper-flamesI have been carrying around and using Spudz Lens Cleaning Cloths now for almost two years. I have had the tiny ones, the huge ones (not sure they are actually called “Spudz“), the “grey card” one and now the bit-bigger-but-not-so-big-it’s-not-practical one (large – 10″ x 10″).

And I still absolutely love them! I don’t think I ever go anywhere without one, either in my pocket and mainly reserved for cleaning my specs, or clipped on the side of the camera bag. I use them for cleaning my monitors and even the TV once in a while (although you do the really big one for that!).

Most impressive of all, is that I am still carrying (and using every single day) the very first Spudz that came my way. It’s the “grey card” one (I mean it can be used to do the job of a grey card; obviously it is not actually made of card) and it has seen enough action now to be possibly (probably?) the best value for money item in my kit bag, of all time. It’s such a simple concept, but the grey cloth is so handy for tweaking the white balance and exposure without the need to carry anything extra. I couldn’t be without one now, especially after I lost it for a short time when I failed to put it back in it’s proper place after use; a mistake I won’t make again!

union-jack-flagThey’ve been through the washing machine a few times without incident (tucked safely inside a pillow case). They get treated quite roughly on a day-to-day basis, but they are still in excellent condition – in fact, I just checked out the most used Spudz in the collection to make sure I’m not getting carried away and I can report that it has nothing more than a barely noticeable discolouration in the corner seams of the outer case. This is pretty remarkable.

I expect I have said this before on TDM, but it’s really hard to believe that something this brilliant is this inexpensive.

In terms of simple, effective, value for money camera accessories, this has to be one of the best ever. Spudz even rival Lastolite folding reflectors for these criteria, and that’s some achievement.

It’s a hard call to make, whether the 10″ square one is better than the 8″ square one. This is probably going to be down to your specific preferences. The 10″ square version feels like the “deluxe” model, with just that little bit more for your money.

If you go to the JP Distribution website you can find out about the whole range and where you can purchase them from.

Canon UK, You Are Grinding My Gears!

Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration (pretty much an outright lie, really). I don’t have any great issue with Canon in general, it’s just with the PR people.

On the Canon UK website, they have a section of “PR Contacts” complete with names and email addresses. However, I’ve emailed them all and not had a single response. I suppose it could be a problem with junk mail in either direction, but I don’t seem to have junk issues with other people.

It puzzles me why a company such as Canon would want to tell you who to contact and then not reply. Maybe The Decisive Moment is not “press” enough for them?

So, if anyone at Canon UK (or anyone who knows someone at Canon) reads this post then please get in touch. We only want to be friends!