Nikon CF Memory Cards

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by DS, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. DS

    DS Guest

    Are there a best or better CF cards for the Nikon D70-D-200? I am using 1G
    Lexar Professional 80Xs and just had an issue with one where it thought it
    was full and I could not delete from camera. I was however able to delete
    the files off the PC and the card seems to be working again. Also, should
    I be hesitant about switching cards between both cameras (D70 and D200)?

    Thanks for all your help, this group invaluable,

    DS, Jul 14, 2006
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  2. DS

    tomm42 Guest

    Lexar cards are "certified" by Nikon as are San Disk, that means those
    are the safest to use and if you do have a read/write problem you can
    call Nikon tech support, and they won'ty say "you are using an
    uncertified card". That said I believe when the D200 was first out
    there was a problem with Lexar WA cards. It has been sorted out. I
    don't delete my files I just reformat the card in the camera, while
    they do essentially the same thing, format allows the card to rewrite
    smoother than delete (bad explanation) anyway I just feel better
    reformating the card. There are a lot of cards out there and most work
    well. Cards do fail, though it is rare. In my office we transfer files
    via memory cards, evvery once in a while one stops working, so far
    reformating the card on a PC and then again in the camera gets the card
    As for switching cards back an forth between cameras, I just feel
    better if the card is formated for the camera I'm using.

    tomm42, Jul 14, 2006
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  3. DS

    Harry Krause Guest

    I reformat the cards on my computer, figuring doing so doesn't waste
    camera battery power.
    Harry Krause, Jul 14, 2006
  4. DS

    Jeff Heyen Guest

    Harry, FWIW both Nikon and the retailer from whom I purchase my D70
    (National Camera, Minneapolis/St. Paul) strongly recommend you format
    your cards in the camera, not via your PC.

    Jeff Heyen, Jul 14, 2006
  5. DS

    tomm42 Guest

    Cards should be formated in the camera they are used in, sometimes you
    can fudge between cameras of the same make. The format lays down the
    file structure the camera wants to see. On the cameras I use regularly
    it never takes more than a couple of seconds to format. The computer
    format has little to do with what happens in the camera, I'm curious
    are you still getting the two folder structure on my D200 it is
    \Dcim\100D200 the picture files are in the second folder.

    tomm42, Jul 14, 2006
  6. DS

    DS Guest

    Thanks for all the info.

    Yes I am getting the same file structure on the D200. I just ordered a 2G
    Lexar professional that I will use exclusively with the d200 and see how
    that works out.

    DS, Jul 14, 2006
  7. DS

    Randy Howard Guest

    DS wrote
    There is a site somewhere that publishes performance data for
    various cards on different camera bodies (sorry, can't find the
    link right now). Although some of the newer cards are very fast
    (and expensive) they often aren't any faster in a given camera
    body than a cheaper card.
    I have used a lot of different ones over the years, but have
    sort of standardized on Lexar just because I can usually get a
    good deal on them, and the pro cards have a lifetime warranty
    (although I've not had a reason to test the warranty). I have
    been using Lexar 80X 1GB, 2GB and more recently 4GB cards in a
    D70 without any problems at all.
    I don't have a D200 (yet), but I can't think of an obvious
    reason why switching back and forth would be a problem at all.
    Randy Howard, Jul 14, 2006
  8. DS

    Randy Howard Guest

    Jeff Heyen wrote
    Yes, that's the boilerplate answer. However, I've never
    formatted a CF card in my camera, and they all work just fine.
    I don't ever reformat them either. I just delete the files and
    go back to shooting again.
    Randy Howard, Jul 14, 2006
  9. DS

    Randy Howard Guest

    tomm42 wrote
    (in article
    Please. This is such an urban legend.
    The "format" is FAT or FAT32, which have been around for a very
    long time, and are not subject to camera vendor variation. All
    the camera does afterward is create some folders, which it will
    also create on a card formatted elsewhere if they're not
    Randy Howard, Jul 14, 2006
  10. DS

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Hmm ... that strikes me as producing ever increasing
    fragmentation, and thus slowing the camera down over time. (I don't
    know whether the camera is capable of storing an image broken between
    two or more fragments -- it all depends on the file system firmware in
    the camera.

    Hmm ... that might be the explanation for the camera not being
    able to put anything more in the card somewhere upthread from here.

    I *always* format the CF card in the camera, and with fast cards
    (e.g. the 80X 1GB Lexar, and the 133X 4GB Lexar ones), the amount of
    time (and thus power) taken is minimal. And I then *know* that the
    camera is presented with a filesystem which it knows how to handle.

    If I were to format in the computer, I would have to select the
    appropriate form of FAT filesystem to match the camera (which might not
    be the default in the computer). When the *camera* does the formatting,
    you know it will use the filesystem format which it knows how to handle.

    IIRC, there have been mentions of the D50 being unable to format
    anything larger than a 2GB SD card, but being able to work with a larger
    one formatted in a Windows box -- but that might lead to problems at
    some point.

    DoN. Nichols, Jul 15, 2006
  11. DS

    Don Wiss Guest

    Same here. I've never formatted a card. I use the format that came on it
    when purchased. I've never had a problem. And I do switch them around
    between my cameras, which are all Nikon.

    Back to the OP. If you have a D200 and you want to take a lot of pictures
    rapidly, best that you get a fast card. One being the Sandisk Extreme III.
    Other vendors have similar under different names.

    Don <> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
    Don Wiss, Jul 15, 2006
  12. DS

    Harry Krause Guest

    Not to worry; I've defagged my CF card in my computer.
    Harry Krause, Jul 15, 2006
  13. DS

    Randy Howard Guest

    DoN. Nichols wrote
    If there are no FAT table entries, what is to fragment?

    If you deleted some of the images, but left others, over time,
    sure. But if you delete them all, no.
    the camera knows how to handle FAT. period.
    Wrong. The proper "form of FAT" depends upon the capacity of
    the CF card, nothing more.
    Sorry, but that's just bogus.
    Randy Howard, Jul 15, 2006
  14. Okay, but that's the pattern a number of other people who *have* had
    trouble use.

    "Still -- if what you're doing works, feel free to keep doing it; if
    you have a problem, reformat the card in the camera" is not bad advice
    for somebody who already has habits.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 15, 2006
  15. There might, however, be bugs in some one camera's implementation of
    FAT[32]. Those bugs might not cause problems writing in the camera on
    cards formatted in the camera, or reading elsewhere, but might show up
    when writing to a card formatted elsewhere.

    However, you can make "might be" arguments favoring *any* sequence
    that works, so that's not dispositive. Still -- don't assume
    perfection in any part of the system! It's not a safe assumption.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 15, 2006
  16. DS

    Randy Howard Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet wrote
    FAT32 is trivial. There are reams of open source code around.
    Formatting is the simplest part of supporting FAT32. It's a
    wive's tale told by those that have had a flaky problem. CF is
    not perfect, it will degrade over long periods of time, and
    pretending like formatting in the camera is a fixall for that
    sort of thing might be comforting for some, the same way not
    walking under a ladder comforts the superstitious.
    I'd love to see a single documented case of a camera with "FAT32
    bugs" that are magically fixed when you format the CF card in
    that camera, but do not work when formatted on a PC.

    Not "I think that was the problem", but reproducible failures
    with steps to reproduce the problem. I won't hold my breath.
    Randy Howard, Jul 15, 2006
  17. If you have need to shoot in continuous high speed mode and worry about
    filling the in camera buffer causing you to lose a shot you might care
    about how fast the card is. Ratings can be found at:

    As to switching, since the default directory structure for the D70 and D200
    are different, I wouldn't think there would be any problems with the
    numbering sequence from one being picked up in the other, though I have not
    confirmed this in mine.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Jul 15, 2006
  18. DS

    Kevin Agard Guest

    Of the reviews I've read, all seem to suggest that there is really
    little significant difference between Extreme III and Ultra II in
    camera. Where there was a bit of a difference was in a card reader
    attached to a PC. So unless someone has a relatively new camera with a
    really fast CF bus that can take advantage of the difference, why pay
    the premium for the Extreme III?
    Kevin Agard, Jul 15, 2006
  19. DS

    tomm42 Guest

    You still didn't answer, why not format in the camera, faster than
    formating on a PC (maybe not but infinitly faster at work where our IT
    staff doesn't let you format anything). Deleting on a PC seems counter
    productive, formating is easier and doesn't leave the former file
    structure. Onthe D200 I just press menu (the shortcut takes longer on
    my camera) have it set for format two down arrows and enter, the format
    on a 2 gig card is finished before I look at the top LCD. I'm using San
    Disk Ultra IIs and a 2G Kingston Pro. Also if you read the manual Nikon
    strongly recommends formating in the camera. I would imagine that if
    you have a read-write card error it would be one of the first questions
    they would ask. Never had a card failure (knock on wood).

    tomm42, Jul 16, 2006
  20. DS

    Randy Howard Guest

    tomm42 wrote
    (in article
    I see no reason to format at all. The cards come formatted,
    ready to go. Unless they develop bad blocks later, no need ever
    to reformat. I wonder if formatting in camera can even handle
    bad block marking, as formatting on a computer can?
    Nothing is faster than not doing it at all.
    I'm sorry you have a typically incompetent IT department. They
    are so commonplace now though, I doubt we'll ever see good ones
    How could it possibly be counterproductive? It marks the blocks
    as unused, very, very quickly, and you keep shooting.
    I think you need to read up on FAT. You are missing how
    trivially simple it is.
    On my D70, I never format at all, so I push no buttons, no
    arrows, and don't need to look at the LCD. YMMV.

    Yes, they also recommend taking your camera in to be serviced to
    remove dust bunnies. Sometimes the manual is written to make
    life easier on tech support by having people all use a common
    method, even when it doesn't serve any other real world purpose.

    If I had a card error, I would try formatting with verify turned
    on with a PC and see if it marked any blocks bad. I wouldn't
    call Nikon first.
    I have, but it was one of the very first CF cards, years ago.
    Randy Howard, Jul 16, 2006
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