tfttf557 – Priorities

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Simon brings up an excellent point about when to format memory cards and when not to and Doug asks the very essential question about what these camera modes really do, and when to use them.

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  • Fraegle

    Hi Chris,

    In your show you are talking about deleting pictures on a flash memory versus formatting it. The issue with formatting is that it actually writes a new file system (well, actually that isn’t an issue, but exactly what you asked for). This confuses the wear leveling you already talked about. So while you would continue writing where your last picture ended even after deleting them all (and by that using all memory cells evenly), after formatting you would start writing from the beginning (writing to the cells in the beginning more often than to the cells in the end). I don’t know, if the TOC (the table of contents, where you get the write accesses when you delete files) is shuffled around by the wear leveling as well, but it very heavily depends on how the manufacturer implemented the TOC and the wear leveling, which technique grants longer lifetime. for your flash maemory. From that perspective I wouldn’t recommend either technique.
    On the other hand current flash memory is speced to survive 100.000 write cycles which (given you would fill each card once a week) would cary you through a little more than 961 years, even with the TOC being written on creation as well as on deletion.

    From that perspective the time-aspect is the only significant one. There I actually don’t see a big difference between deleting everything and formatting. By the way: The quick-format that you can select on Windows systems essentially does nothing more than deleting all files and folders. Unchecking the box made (for floppies and harddisks) the process slower, but I have to admit that I don’t know what about flash-memory.

    What I guess I am trying to say is that you should do whatever you are most comfortable with and there are few technical reasons to prefer one over the other.

    Kind regards
    Dirk