Are these still true?

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    Topic: Are these still true? Read 1674 Times
  • John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 164
    Cameras, Lenses and Shooting Gear
    on: May 10, 2021 at 11:59 am

    There are a number of “truisms” that float around out there.  They are all probably based on factual issues – at one time.  But hardware design moves on, bugs get fixed, things get better over time, and old issues just are not issues anymore.  I thought I’d throw out for discussion a few of these “truisms” that I question relative to modern digital cameras.  What do you think?

    1. Never use image stabilization on a tripod.  If true, does it apply to both optical and IBIS?  I’ve forgotten to turn off IBIS on my Sony A7Riii numerous, even with my 100-400 that has optical stabilization, and I’ve never noticed any problems.
    2. Never delete an image in-camera.  I question this one because, while it may have been true with older systems (remember when we had to de-frag our Windows PCs), I find it mind-boggling that a modern camera could have a memory failure due to memory-file management.
    3. Always reformat your memory cards – don’t just delete images.  I have the same issue relative to #2.

    Any others?

    JSS

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Never delete an image in-camera; no way.

    Always format the card in-camera; yes.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    John Reed
    John Reed
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Interesting questions – I have certainly been instructed to obey all three over the years. I have stopped bothering to turn off image stabilisation and have not had any problems – Sony a7r4. Given the speed of response, especially from IBIS, might it not still be helpful when strong wind gusts can cause a little movement even with a solid tripod? When I’m next out with a long lens and a gale I plan to test this idea.

    I have deleted images in camera since my first 4mp Olympus and never had a problem. I do format memory cards, so would be pleased to know whether I can also abandon this practice too!

    A truism that has passed its sell-by date is not being able to assess depth of field in low light through the viewfinder when using small apertures. Some DSLR viewfinders were better than others – eyes also – but those of us who have gone mirrorless know the power of WYSIWYG….
    JMR

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 164
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I’m not buying it.

    As I stated, there may have been some justification for early digital cameras.  Memory management is Computer Engineering 101.  Are we believe that digital camera electronics, which has evolved so dramatically over the years, is stuck with circa 2002 memory management?  That’s pretty hard to believe.

    An internet search yielded articles that expressed the full range of opinions: from never delete & always reformat; to the risk is very small (and essentially zero with a backup memory slot) for the reasons I just expressed.  One article said that deleting images in-cameras “is a great way to scramble the FAT table” (FAT = File Allocation Table).  True, perhaps 10-15 years ago, but that’s got to be utter nonsense today.

    Personal Experience:  I have a Sony A7R3.  I delete images in-camera almost every time I shoot and I seldom reformat my disks.  I’ve never had any issues with the A7R3.  In 10 years of the same practice with a Nikon D700, I experienced one disk failure.  That disk was a hard failure – it could not be reformatted.  So that was not likely simply a “scrambled FAT.”

    Flash drives do fail – but that has nothing to do with deleting files in-camera or reformatting.  It is just a failure of an electronic part.

    Technical Details
    No modern memory system stores files contiguously in memory.  Memory is allocated in fixed-sized blocks (typically 256 bytes) distributed across the memory space and intermingled between files.  It sounds like a mess, but that’s how memory works.  Back in the day, we had to defrag our MS Windows systems because file fragmentation degraded performance.  That’s just not true today.  You might be thinking this would slow down the system when shooting at a high frame rate.  But images are buffered in RAM before writing to Flash, and the overhead of managing fragmented files is negligible.  Files are stored as “linked-lists” blocks.  Each block points to the next block in the list.  The file table contains only one pointer to the lead block in the list.  It simply doesn’t matter how much the file blocks that scattered (fragmented) across the memory space.

    Moreover, reformatting does not “wipe the disk clean,” as some people think.  The FBI can still recover data from reformatted memory.  The memory management system, including the file table, is stored on the disk.  All a reformat does is resets that system.  Similarly, “delete all” just resets the file table.  There’s not much difference.

    JSS

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Not all ‘reformatting‘ is the same or equal. Which is one reason its recommended to reformat cards IN the actual camera.

    One can reformat a drive making far harder to recover any data (although I’m sure the FBI and similar can in some cases, get to that data). One can reformat and write zero’s to the drive.

    Again; deleting images with the camera; if this were an issue, its hard to believe all the camera manufacturers would allow us to do so.

    Funny story and true. When I taught a workshop with Jay Masiel on the Amazon, Jay would delete images from his card all the time. Why? He shoots a lot and didn’t bring ‘enough’ cards with him and its not like getting cards delivered to the Amazon river is possible. I had extra’s and offered him cards to use but no, he was happier just deleting his images from the camera. No big deal doing so of course.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 164
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Again; deleting images with the camera; if this were an issue, its hard to believe all the camera manufacturers would allow us to do so.

    But in your previous post you said “Never delete an image in-camera; no way.”  So, what’s the deal?

    JSS

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #6 on: May 11, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Never delete an image in camera: NO WAY means that’s WRONG.

    Let me attempt to clarify: Go ahead and delete images in the camera. The concept you shouldn’t? No way. I delete images all the time, have done so for decades, never an issue. DSLR, mirrorless, iPhone.

    That’s the deal.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 164
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Let me attempt to clarif

    OK – I misinterpreted your post – I thought you were saying don’t delete in-camera.  My apologies.

    I generally still don’t understand the need to reformat.  The only thing that might make sense is that during formatting the system identifies bad blocks.  But that would mean that the reformatting process has to test all memory blocks – which should take several minutes.  So I’m not sure reformatting actually does that.  I could be wrong.

    If it makes you feel good – reformat.  From a computer engineering point of view, I don’t see the urgency.

    JSS

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #8 on: May 11, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    The ‘need‘ to reformat is to get all the images off the card after getting to them where they belong, quick and easily, so you can shoot more <g>.

    Are you suggesting:

    1. Don’t reformat, just keep buying cards?

    2. Don’t reformat, manually delete each image, one at a time?

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Silver Member
    Posts: 164
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    The ‘need‘ to reformat is to get all the images off the card after getting to them where they belong, quick and easily, so you can shoot more

    Well, that doesn’t make any sense from a computer engineering point of view.  There is no “get all the images off the card”.  All of the old image data is still “on the card”, until it is over written with new data.

    So, exactly what are you talking about?   Honestly, what you are saying doesn’t make any sense.

    JSS

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    John, this is really simple. It has NOTHING do to with engineering!

    You have a card that can hold say 500 images. You shoot 400 images. Now what do YOU do so you can get another 500 or 400 images on that card?
    Option 1. Format. Fast, one now has, for all practical purposes an ‘empty‘ card on which you can shoot 500 NEW images. KISS.

    Option 2. Delete each image, one at a time. Or maybe go though some dance where you select the images and then delete them.

    Option 3. NEVER do either, keep buying cards. That’s utterly stupid IMHO.

    You gotta do one or the other. Format takes a split second, makes the card such, you can shoot and fill the card. Who the F*&K cares what the formatting actually does, its fast, you have an ’empty’ card.

    I’ll tell you how I do it: Select Format Card on the back of the camera (I even have the ability on all my cameras to go to a user menu, find it ASAP, tap on it); done. Simple. Card allows me to reuse it and fill it with new images.

    But by all means, do tell us how you deal with card with images you’ve pulled off them and now wish to fill with NEW images.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    Re: Are these still true?
    Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Not that Olympus (and other camera manufactures) know John:

    https://olympusamerica.com/crm/oneoffpages/ask_oly/crm_ask_oly_01_11.asp

    Format the card occasionally Memory cards should be formatted to maintain top performance. They should only be formatted using the camera – never format using a computer as it may render the card unreadable by the camera. If a memory card is new or has been used in another camera, it is best to format the card in the camera that it will be used in. Formatting creates a directory called the File Allocation Table (FAT) in the camera and on the card that is used to manage and save the image files.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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