Card Failure

Ever wonder what a memory card failure looks like? I've been using a variety of compact flash cards and microdrives since 2004 without any issues. My new Lexar Professional UDMA 300x 8GB card, however, does this whenever I get more than 4gb of images onto it.

I visited Disneyland to photograph my niece dancing in the Celebrate parade, to photograph my daughter and her boyfriend having fun, and to see if I could make some interesting photos for an upcoming workshop on travel and vacation photography.

Photographing the parade was fun but challenging, because there was so much going on and a very busy background. After the parade passed our position on Main Street, my nephew, my daughter, her boyfriend, and I walked toward Toontown, where we would meet my nephew’s wife when the parade was over. Along the way, magic hour struck, throwing an alpenglow onto the Matterhorn (imagine that), and magnificent light on Sleeping Beauty’s castle, etc.  Working quickly, I posed my daughter and her boyfriend in various places and composed shots with the beautifully lit landmarks in the background.

This is what I got:

Sonia and Augie in front of the Matterhorn.

Sonia and Augie in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Normally I watch the screen after every shot, but when I’m moving fast, I don’t. I didn’t see what was happening until later, when we were in Toontown.  All in all, I lost about fifty images before I switched cards.  I lost ALL of the magic hour images. The funny thing is that I bought this card because I already have a lot of 4GB cards, but I felt an 8GB card would be useful when I shoot in RAW. It’s too late to send the card back to Amazon, so I’m stuck with a faulty card.  The lesson here: test new cards extensively, even if you have to take 400 pictures of your foot.

Disneyland lessons unrelated to card failure will be covered in future posts.

Edit: thanks to Tina Parker Horton for pointing out that it’s Sleeping Beauty’s castle, not Cinderella’s!


Filed under Camera Gear

2 responses to “Card Failure

  1. If you contact Lexar about the problems with your card, I think they will send you a replacement. That’s very common customer service practice among storage manufacturers. I’ve had hard drives and SD cards replaced for similar reasons.

  2. myrna

    i agree with David … you might consider contacting lexar … even better, send them this blog

    lexar did help me with a problem i had with my 4 gb card … they were correct, it was my reader and not their card

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