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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Format Card? or Erase all?
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08/07/2005 08:35:52 AM · #1
I am using Canon S1 IS camera. It has two options for erasing all the images from the card. 'Erase all' or 'Format'. I am mostlty using 'Format'. Does it make a difference?
08/07/2005 08:55:01 AM · #2
1. Erase all does not erase images which have been protected (the key symbol).
2. Erase all takes longer.
3. Format isn't actually made to erase images, but to adapt the memory card to the camera. An unformatted card might be slower, or even unreadable for some cameras. The loss of data is a 'side-effect'.

(4.) I think that most recovery programs can only restore lost images from a memory card if they have been erased, not if the card has been formatted, but I might be wrong with this.
08/07/2005 09:21:43 AM · #3
I always erase my images from the computer after I have verified a successful import. I use a Mac and simply trash all the folders on the card and then empty the trash.

I've suspected that I might not recover all the usable space on my cards this way so I've experimented with erasing them in camera and reformatting the card in camera. All three methods result in the same "space available" on the card.

My conclusion: makes no dif how you erase the card.
08/07/2005 10:26:39 AM · #4
you might find this thread useful
08/07/2005 10:28:45 AM · #5
I always MOVE my images from the card to my PC.
Then I format the card in the camera, this removes the old folders.
Seems to work fine, been doing it for about 3 years now.
good luck...
08/07/2005 10:31:26 AM · #6
Originally posted by gloda:

3. Format isn't actually made to erase images, but to adapt the memory card to the camera. An unformatted card might be slower, or even unreadable for some cameras. The loss of data is a 'side-effect'.


That's not true, afaik all cameras nowadays do a quick format which involves rebuilding the file table from a special sector on the card, that sector having been written at the factory - there is only one way to format such a card, and the process is completely camera independent. Formatting the card in software using a card reader however might have different results, as the software would choose how to rebuild the file table.
08/07/2005 10:39:23 AM · #7
I format in camera every time I have uploaded a batch to the puter.
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