Service Photo has sold memory cards for well over 15 years now, and we have seen the constant evolution of size & speed throughout that time. It’s funny to think that a 32Mb card once cost several hundred $ – and I still remember advising many professional photographers to purchase 2 – 512Mb cards instead of the new 1Gb cards, because it might not be idea to put “all of your eggs in one basket”. Yep, times have changed. Cards have gotten larger, faster, and certainly less expensive. However, one thing has not not changed – and that is the simple fact that cards will occasionally fail.
Let’s face it, memory cards do not fail often. But when they do, it is often a situation that sends the photographer into a panic. Memory cards can fail at anytime, but it usually happens after shooting an important job or event – and almost always something that cannot be duplicated.
We rescue images & videos from memory cards, using specialized software, regularly. I often see panicked photographers who have mistakenly formatted their cards and those who have had their cards fail for no reason at all. Most times, we are able recover the images without issue, and transfer them to a USB drive easily. However, I was recently brought a 128Gb for recovery – my largest recovery request to date – and it made me realize just how large memory cards had become.
It took more than 9 hours to scan the 128Gb SD card, write the recovered images to a hard drive, securely “wipe’ the card, and then transfer the images back to the repaired SD card. Needless to say, our fee was more than usual. And, it’s something to ponder for photographers & videographers. Is putting 128Gb of important information onto a memory card too risky? For my money, I’ll take a handful of 32Gb cards instead.