Your memory card(s) can be the most important piece of any shoot. I mean, without them, you wouldn’t be shooting anything. It stores the one thing you get paid for…but what happens when it “craps out” on you? It’s not just memory cards, it also hard drives. No matter what, all of these things are more than essential. If all of the footage is on one memory card and one hard drive, then that’s all you have.

It has happened to all of us: we dump the memory card onto our computer and when we plug them in, it doesn’t show up. That feeling overwhelms us. First it’s denial, then shock, and gradually full-blown panic.

However, there are ways to fix this. On a Mac, you can open up Mac Disk Utility and repair the disk, which takes about 5 minutes. That often solves the problem. If not there are programs like Disk Warrior that help.

But why does this happen?

What causes a memory card to go corrupt?

  • Interrupting the process of writing files to/from the card
  • Removing the card from the camera without turning the camera off first
  • Files could still be read/written when the camera is on
  • Removing the card from the computer without ejecting it (especially for Macs!)
  • When shooting video, renaming the files or changing file structure of the card
  • Static shock or power surge
  • Touching/rubbing/scratching the gold contacts on SD cards (keep in mind that this happens over time so it’s good to replace memory cards ever so often)
  • Not formatting the memory cards in the camera before every shoot

One of the downsides of using DSLRs is the lack of simultaneous dual-card recording capabilities. In the video industry, cameras record at a certain bit-rate, just like how megapixels are to stills. Since video requires much more power, the cameras simply don’t have enough power to write both cards the same way you could if you were shooting pictures. That’s why there are professional, industry-grade cameras such as the Canon C100 cinema camera.

What can you do different?

Another option would be using an external HDMI recorder. Atoms makes a few great recorders that can record 4K, broadcast-quality from the HDMI port on your camera. You’ll often see some cameras such as the Sony A7S camera needing these external recorders if you want 4K video. Having one of these with an SD/CF card is a good plan for a main recording source and backup source.

You can find SD/CF memory cards for rental here.

Check out: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Hard Drive + How to Hold Your Camera

Let us know about your crazy memory card stories int he comment section below!

IE Photo Rentals

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Pomona, CA 91766






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Camera and Lens Rental Service for Inland Empire, Los Angeles and Orange County Areas.

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