Corrupt CF card while shooting a wedding: My story.

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Comments

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,506Administrators moderator
    edited October 11, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    I'm still interested to know if there is anything factual or concrete to go on regarding the percived dangers of swapping cards and downloading. The fact that some people have an opinion and attitude towards it does not in fact affect the physical realities.
    Perhaps this too is a throw back from earlier days when there was a problem with this, purely percieved or real.

    My experience with swapping card has been one of zero issues and I have yet to hear of it from anyone that does it either.
    I don't have any data either, but remember that card connectors are "interference fit". Meaning you have male pins in the camera which get inserted into springy female connectors in the cards. We all know what happens when you flex metal springs enough times, they fatigue. It stands to reason that the springiness will be reduced and the connections become unreliable over time.

    Having a dual card camera is inarguably the best way to go for event photography. I'm not sure what downloading your pictures during the day buys you as it doesn't protect you from a bad card. If the card goes bad, it'll be bad when you go to download it. Better to just keep enough card storage in your pocket and cycle fresh cards thoughout the day and download when you get home. With the dual-card camera, the camera writes two cards at once. You have two copies of every shot the instant they're taken. You cannot beat that.
  • zoomerzoomer Major grins Posts: 3,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 13, 2014
    kick in the gut
    I know that feeling when you load the card and it says No Bueno....I lost a card once....luckily found it the next morning laying on the ground with the sprinklers running on it. Amazingly, didn't lose a shot. The next week went right out and bought my first dual slot camera.

    When you had your camera checked out did they find anything....if it is a camera problem...why wouldn't both images be bad if running dual slots?

    Stuff happens....sounds like you are doing everything you can. Still...it is just pictures....like others said, not the end of the world. Sounds like you are doing everything possible to recover the images....more than most photographers would do.

    Lessons learned......hope the recovery experts are able to recover some of the images for the couple.
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 13, 2014
    kdog wrote: »
    I don't have any data either, but remember that card connectors are "interference fit". Meaning you have male pins in the camera which get inserted into springy female connectors in the cards. We all know what happens when you flex metal springs enough times, they fatigue. It stands to reason that the springiness will be reduced and the connections become unreliable over time.

    Having a dual card camera is inarguably the best way to go for event photography. I'm not sure what downloading your pictures during the day buys you as it doesn't protect you from a bad card. If the card goes bad, it'll be bad when you go to download it. Better to just keep enough card storage in your pocket and cycle fresh cards thoughout the day and download when you get home. With the dual-card camera, the camera writes two cards at once. You have two copies of every shot the instant they're taken. You cannot beat that.

    I think it is a lot of fear but I'm sure it has some bearing in reality. How much? Don't know.

    Compact Flash used to be the only option, and then was the best option, but it has pins that can bend. Infrequent, but it happens. Why risk it was the thought I've heard.

    Removing a card means you are handling it. What if you drop it? What if you drop it in a place where it will be lost? Infrequent, but it happens.

    SD cards have the benefit of no pins to bend, but have exposed contacts, which make them prone to static discharge damage. Infrequent, but it happens.

    SD cards also also smaller, making it easier to mishandle, drop, etc.

    So I think the fears people have over swapping cards frequently are real, but very very rare.

    The benefit to using multiple smaller cards, however, is that if a card fails you will not loose every photo. I think the suggestion of dual cards, where one is very large and never removed, the other is small and swapped out often (with multiple cards that are not erased and reused that event), is the best approach. You have removed the single-point-of-failure option from the equation.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
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  • JimmyTwoShoesJimmyTwoShoes Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited October 16, 2014
    Connector Life
    FYI, Your camera connector for the CF is rated at 10000 mates/unmates. At 300 removals and 300 installs per shoot, in about 170 shoots its toast. (I did the math for you) After that the gold has fretted off, and the connections become intermittent, the worst possible situation. Just something to consider, based on over 35 years of designing military electronics.
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,506Administrators moderator
    edited October 16, 2014
    FYI, Your camera connector for the CF is rated at 10000 mates/unmates. At 300 removals and 300 installs per shoot, in about 170 shoots its toast. (I did the math for you) After that the gold has fretted off, and the connections become intermittent, the worst possible situation. Just something to consider, based on over 35 years of designing military electronics.
    Jimmy, do you have a similar rating for SD connectors in cameras?

    EDIT: Also, I see that the commonly cited spec for the connector on the CF card itself is 10,000 insertions. Ref: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Practical_Electronics/Memory_Devices/CompactFlash

    Nowhere have I seen a specification for the connector in the camera. That would be quite a coincidence if the camera connector is exactly the same rating as the card itself. You sure you got the right spec? Perhaps a reference would help.
  • JimmyTwoShoesJimmyTwoShoes Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited October 16, 2014
    This is typical of a high grade connector that you would find in a higher end camera.
    http://www.amphenol.com.cn/product/admin/upload/up_2007716165456.pdf

    The long boring explanation:

    The failures are either bent pins or wear on the gold contacts. When the gold wears off, two things happen. First, the diameter of the contact is now reduced, so the connection to the socket in the card is not as good. Secondly, the base material of the contact or the socket is now exposed, so surface oxidation starts. This is very dependent on the moisture levels present. Any time you have different metals in contact, there is a difference in electrical potentials of the materials (its referred to as galvanic coupling) What actually happens is you create a battery, and slowly one of the two metals is eaten. If water is present, it helps this reaction along. In this case, certain pins also are carrying voltage to the memory, which again speeds up the corrosion. Typically the 'rust' that forms is less conductive than the base materials, and this causes the intermittent connection.
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Between Denver and BostonPosts: 3,262Registered Users, Retired Mod
    edited October 24, 2014
    Yup, something very similar happened to me (http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=222119) try to get in touch with http://tallyns.com, he saved my butt! And now everybody, don't be risky and always shoot on 2 cards simultaneously! Thing DO happen and we are not always in control of things. Stuff can still go wrong when you shoot on 2 cards simultaneously, but I bet the chances go down quite a bit.
  • michaelglennmichaelglenn Major grins Posts: 442Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 30, 2014
    I have good news! The second card recovery place was able to recover over 1,000 images! However, this only covers footage from bridal prep up until the ceremony. Still missing family portraits and B+G portraits. The company has one more option, where they can do something called a flash dump? (I'm not sure if this is the correct terminology) to recover deleted images. The only downside is that the file names will be all messed up and out of order, but it could recover more images as a result.

    I will get to responses as soon as I can. Things have been so hectic these days. As for regarding Glort's comments, I didn't ball my eyes out when I told the bride and groom. I have a strong personal connection to why I do wedding/event photography in the first place. It has been a strong passion of mine, which shows up with the way I capture moments throughout the day. So yeah I was upset, but did I come off as unprofessional? Definitely not. I let them know the steps that were being taken and stressed how much we cared about doing everything possible to recover them.
    wedding portfolio michaelglennphoto.com
    fashion portfolio michaelglennfashion.com
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,177Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 30, 2014
    I have good news! The second card recovery place was able to recover over 1,000 images! However, this only covers footage from bridal prep up until the ceremony. Still missing family portraits and B+G portraits. The company has one more option, where they can do something called a flash dump? (I'm not sure if this is the correct terminology) to recover deleted images. The only downside is that the file names will be all messed up and out of order, but it could recover more images as a result.

    I will get to responses as soon as I can. Things have been so hectic these days. As for regarding Glort's comments, I didn't ball my eyes out when I told the bride and groom. I have a strong personal connection to why I do wedding/event photography in the first place. It has been a strong passion of mine, which shows up with the way I capture moments throughout the day. So yeah I was upset, but did I come off as unprofessional? Definitely not. I let them know the steps that were being taken and stressed how much we cared about doing everything possible to recover them.

    Excellent news! Good luck with additional recovery efforts. thumb.gif
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,311Administrators moderator
    edited October 30, 2014
    I have good news! The second card recovery place was able to recover over 1,000 images! However, this only covers footage from bridal prep up until the ceremony. Still missing family portraits and B+G portraits. The company has one more option, where they can do something called a flash dump? (I'm not sure if this is the correct terminology) to recover deleted images. The only downside is that the file names will be all messed up and out of order, but it could recover more images as a result.

    I think what they're going to do is copy the contents of the memory bit by bit. From that, they will try and reconstruct the files using everything but the directory entries. The files will have file names but not their original ones.

    It would definitely be worth the extra effort if they believe the directory entries are what's broken.

    All the best!
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 31, 2014
    Definitely good news!!

    Sam
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 5, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    Just got back from another OS gig doing cheer.
    278 performances the first day, 360+ the second.

    First day was 9 till 5:30, second day was 8 till 7. Neither day did we have lunch ( or anything like it) or a break for more than 10 min. I asked the 2 shooters from the US I was working with about no show going more than 12 hours and having an hour for lunch and they were keen to know which ones these were as they said they would love to get some nice easy jobs like that. Seems they have had as few gigs as I have where they were so relaxed.

    We download after every performance so in total we all did over 600 insertions/ removals in the 2 days plus a couple of dozen more for setup tests and checks. No card, reader or camera failures, not a single image lost or corrupted. Many of the single competitor performances went barely 2 min so we were on some occasions downloading quicker than 2;20 but most would have been between 3-3.5 min. We had it easy this event, probably 20 sec on average between performances. Last gig they were running them as fast as they could announce one team on and the next off. Mayhem.

    Given there were 3 of us on this gig the same as the last and the one before that, would add up to easily 20K insertions/ removals with not one failure, the odds that I have experienced first had of better to 20,000:1 chance of a card being corrupted due to being removed from the camera are pretty good I think. That's on the last 3 jobs. The guy I shoot with does major events in the states where he said they would do over 100K dumps between all the shooters and in the 10 years he's been doing it, still dosen't remember a failure.

    IF one has a backup with a 2nd card or whatever, by all means use it especially if it helps you sleep at night. I have a single card camera and will buy another in the next week and probably some 32 or 64 G cards and I'll still sleep plenty fine with that.

    I believe I said I don't shoot cheer. I looked up a few cheer events and looked the schedules. If I was incorrect in the times I apologize. Yet the times you just posted was for 8.5 hours the first day and 11 hours, that is less that 12 hours. :D

    As for damage to the cards, that comment was not from me.

    If you say you switch out the cards every 3 to 5 minutes so be it, but why the heck would you buy 32 gig or 64 gig cards for 3 to 5 minutes of shooting?

    Just out of curiosity how many runners are used to shuffle all those cards to the computer folks and return your downloaded cards?

    Also good to know that your so intent on answering my questions you come back to re-answer a question you answered a month ago, as well as answer comments and questions I never asked.

    Would love to see of your photography............:D

    Sam
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,311Administrators moderator
    edited November 6, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    Yes, Of course you would. But as I don't have anything online because it is not nessacary for the markets I work in as you well know I have already said, you'll have to look me up when you are next in Oz.

    Stick a couple on dropbox and link to them.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 6, 2014
    ian408 wrote: »
    Stick a couple on dropbox and link to them.

    Good idea.......the free dropbox will handle thousands of small jpgs.

    But to be honest I think Beelzebub will be ice skating in his backyard before we see anything. :D

    Sam
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 6, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    Ummmmm, Because I shoot weddings, Video and other work as well and I already have enough small cards. It would be irrational to buy any more say 4G's given the minor price difference.

    We need to find out where your buying your CF cards. The difference here in the USA is substantial between 4K and 32K or 64K cards, even for the really slow ones.
    Glort wrote: »
    Runners??? rolleyes1.gif
    Wow! You really don't shoot cheer or any other type of event work do you?

    I said I don't shoot cheer..............as for other types of events, I have never shot or talked to anyone who has shot any type of event where the cards were changed out of the camera every 5 minutes, and some how collected / downloaded / uploaded / etc every 5 minutes. [/QUOTE]
    Glort wrote: »
    There are 0 runners. Other than for someone occasionaly bringing food and water. Haven't used any card runners for any event thing I have done in at least 5 years. For cheer there is a card reader next to each shooter. The cards are inserted into the readers and Pulled onto the laptop on the floor from each shooter. From there they are then pushed to the server in the folder for that particular performance. The server/burner jockey then burns the disks and they are put in bundles for the coaches to collect. I think there were about 5000 Disks done over the 2 days of this show.

    Now I am more confused than ever. Now not only do you have to change out the memory cards out every 5 minutes you need get down on the floor with your laptop and remove / insert / download / transfer wireless the images. Assuming no one trips over your computer on the floor.

    Even more befuddling, how do you burn 2500 CD's a day? that would be about 5.21 CD's a minute for 8 hours. How many folks are burning CD's?
    Glort wrote: »
    When doing outdoor events, I have a Wi-Fi setup where the camera either is connected to the shooters laptop wirelessly or teathered and then the images are sent to the server through Wi-fi. The server checks for new images and when it sees them it updates the galleries which are available to the Vstations within about 20 sec of the pic being taken.

    What do you do if there is no WIFI? I don't think I would like trying to shoot an outdoor event with a tether to a lap top. If you can actually do this, it is way beyond anything I have heard of here.
    Glort wrote: »
    Always happy to help educate those that have the wrong idea or are way behind the times on what can be done with things photographic. Even though you haven't asked specific questions, there are others here that have raised them and may be interested in the information for their needs.

    I and a lot of others here in the USA seem to be way behind the time. Good to know your here to help us.
    Glort wrote: »
    Yes, Of course you would. But as I don't have anything online because it is not nessacary for the markets I work in as you well know I have already said, you'll have to look me up when you are next in Oz.

    Again, your outdoing all the wedding photographers here in the USA. Those poor bastards need to advertise, have a dynamite portfolio on the web, all kinds of sample albums.

    They just haven't figured out how to book American clients on the phone sight unseen.

    Would love to see one of your weddings.

    Sam
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 6, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    Good idea.......the free dropbox will handle thousands of small jpgs.

    But to be honest I think Beelzebub will be ice skating in his backyard before we see anything. :D

    Sam

    You're Right!

    The unspoken intentions of your ( and others) over interest in seeing what I do is both clear and far from any pure intent you may espouse. It's pretty obvious what you are really interested in so lets not play games about it 'eh? rolleyes1.gif
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,311Administrators moderator
    edited November 7, 2014
    Glort wrote: »
    I have heard of dropbox but have never used it and have no inclination to.
    What I have read however is endless accounts of peoples images being stolen and used without permission when posted on the web and I don't intend to join their ranks.

    Moreover however, I have no need or requirement for justification, compliments, advise, or critiques of what I do from other shooters on forums whom are not and never will be my clients. That is neither what I am here for nor is a reqirement.

    If others aren't happy with that, Oh well. They can just assume I am terribly ashamed to show my terrible work and feel satisfied with that.

    You have a lot of excuses.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • michaelglennmichaelglenn Major grins Posts: 442Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    AWESOME news!

    The card recovery company did the second method, and I'm proud to say we have a full recovery!!! 1600+ images safely recovered. I'll be contacting the bride very shortly with the great news. I'm incredibly thankful for the outcome, and this experience will forever change how I protect/backup my work.
    wedding portfolio michaelglennphoto.com
    fashion portfolio michaelglennfashion.com
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    AWESOME news!

    The card recovery company did the second method, and I'm proud to say we have a full recovery!!! 1600+ images safely recovered. I'll be contacting the bride very shortly with the great news. I'm incredibly thankful for the outcome, and this experience will forever change how I protect/backup my work.

    That is awesome news clap.gifclapclap.gif

    I bet you are sleeping better now. :D

    Sam
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    Glort

    I believe I have stated this before, but just to be clear..............I have an overall positive view of Australia, and Australians.

    Australia and America are more alike than different, that's what makes the differences interesting and fun.

    Any perceived slight or jibe is directed at you and / or the discussion. Not at Australia or Australians.

    Sam
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    Glort,

    I will attempt to address some of your comments.

    Yes I am clueless, confused, and even befuddled..................Don't tell anyone, but I even Have a note on my bathroom mirror.

    Yes this IS you............deal with it.

    As for being old enough to remember..............that's not the issue..it's being so old I can't remember.

    As to the web use for advertizing and promoting one's photography............ that's pretty much a given here in the USA. It is as normal and expected as a business card.

    Population and population density may contribute to this.

    Australia has a total population of aprox 24 million. California, the state I live in has a population of aprox 38 million. New South Wales has a land area about twice that of California with a population of only 7.5 million.

    Maybe the pace is faster, or travel and commuting more time consuming and difficult, but potential clients want to be able to vet vendors prior to a face to face meeting. There are an incredible number of photographers promoting themselves as wedding photographers. The competition is fierce. Weddings are a huge business in the USA.

    Photography is one of those services where the proof is in the product. IE: the images, prints, slideshows, albums, etc. Talk is cheap..............the proof is in the images.

    As for sharing images on a forum like DigitalGrin. There are as many reasons as there are stars in the sky. That said I think the majority are simply sharing with their online friends and looking for some feed back to improve their work. I know that many comments made on some of my images have caused me to take a second look at the image through other peoples eyes. I may or may not agree but a different view and opinion is always welcome.

    I personally don't know of any photographer who isn't looking to improve. No one can improve sitting in a dark basement by themselves.

    As for your cheer set up and workflow...................it really does sound very well thought out and state of the art.

    Sam
  • jheftijhefti Hyperope Posts: 734Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    A more common source of corrupted images for me is the card reader itself. Fairly often I get images that have registration errors, so the colors are way off and there is streaking and banding. Usually I just do a quick cleaning of the card reader and all is good.

    However, once I lost a whole set of images because I had Photo Mechanic set to delete the images after they were downloaded. I used to use this setting when shooting regular season MLB games, just to keep down the clutter. However, this particular set was a soccer game in a tournament that my daughter was in; really not a big deal, but just frustrating. Now I have Photo Mechanic set to incremental ingest (their term for downloading) and delete the images at a later point by reformatting.

    For important events (like the World Series) I always run dual cards. And if I am submitting live with voice captions I write jpegs to one card and raw to the other. That way I can clean up the first edit and replace with better images.

    I also replace my cards and readers fairly often, and have not had a failure since doing this. Thank god I haven't had the issues that the OP described. We live and learn.
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    jhefti wrote: »
    A more common source of corrupted images for me is the card reader itself. Fairly often I get images that have registration errors, so the colors are way off and there is streaking and banding. Usually I just do a quick cleaning of the card reader and all is good.

    However, once I lost a whole set of images because I had Photo Mechanic set to delete the images after they were downloaded. I used to use this setting when shooting regular season MLB games, just to keep down the clutter. However, this particular set was a soccer game in a tournament that my daughter was in; really not a big deal, but just frustrating. Now I have Photo Mechanic set to incremental ingest (their term for downloading) and delete the images at a later point by reformatting.

    For important events (like the World Series) I always run dual cards. And if I am submitting live with voice captions I write jpegs to one card and raw to the other. That way I can clean up the first edit and replace with better images.

    I also replace my cards and readers fairly often, and have not had a failure since doing this. Thank god I haven't had the issues that the OP described. We live and learn.

    I just visited your website....great sports images!

    Sam
  • jheftijhefti Hyperope Posts: 734Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 7, 2014
    Sam wrote: »
    I just visited your website....great sports images!

    Sam

    You're too kind!!
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,177Super Moderators moderator
    edited November 8, 2014
    AWESOME news!

    The card recovery company did the second method, and I'm proud to say we have a full recovery!!! 1600+ images safely recovered. I'll be contacting the bride very shortly with the great news. I'm incredibly thankful for the outcome, and this experience will forever change how I protect/backup my work.

    Fan-dang-tastic. thumb.gifthumbclap.gif
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • GlortGlort Major grins Posts: 1,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2014
    What was the final cost from this last company who got all the pics back?
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2014
    Michael, that is WONDERFUL news!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HOPE both the bride and the other photographer with whom you were working will add their testimonials for your commitment and integrity in this horrible situation. So pleased for a happy outcome!!! clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif
  • kanwalsinghkanwalsingh Beginner grinner Posts: 2New member Beginner grinner
    edited November 9, 2014
    I can't imagine what will happen if all the image files were lost. Tragedy! Thanks God all images were recovered.
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited November 11, 2014
    Alright folks, let's end the hijacking of this thread and end on the high note of Michael's GREAT news, shall we?

    It's very obvious that Glort knows what the hell he's doing, and his workflow is the standard for his industry, so I don't see a point in continuing to compare two separate, perfectly good systems.

    The bottom line is that this (Michael's) particular problem might have been avoided if he'd used his dual card slots, but thankfully the images were recovered.

    From the very beginning the point of this thread was not to argue about which workflow is best, (guilty as charged BTW) ...it was just to help any new wedding photographers out there consider their immediate / instantaneous backup options, and remember the importance of data safety overall.

    There are innumerable ways to ensure you NEVER lose an image; the important thing is not so much whose method is best, but whether or not we stick to our system of choice.

    Because when $$$ and precious memories are on the line, having a method you're familiar with is far better than some new-fangled system you heard about on the internet... ;-)
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
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