SanDisk has just launched the 512 GB World’s Biggest SD card. Now in a single stroke of a corrupt, non-volatile memory bit, consumers can lose 10,000 or more photos.
SanDisk also announced a memory recovery service to help customers recover images from corrupt memory cards. “It only makes sense,” said SanDisk CEO Getmore Prophet. “We want to hook customers on our memory cards and then make even more money when they lose their photos. It’s a beautiful business model.”
SanDisk would also like for consumers to upgrade to newer cameras so that they will use more megapixels and to lose more memory cards so the will have to buy replacements.
About Mark Mizen
I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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> Now in a single stroke of a corrupt, non-volatile memory bit, consumers can lose 10,000 or more photos.
This just isn’t true. The design of flash memory cards makes them very reliable when used properly. Loss of data because of flash memory failure is very rare, and one defective bit at worst will corrupt a single file. Even that is unlikely, since ECC will correct for a single bit error. With errors greater than a single but the flash controller will rewrite the affected data to elsewhere and flag the entire block of cells as bad. Flash cards will eventually wear out, but in normal use obsolescence will likely occur before a camera’s memory card wears out.
This doesn’t mean failures can’t and don’t happen, but such failures are extremely rare. Most flash card data corruption can be attributed to other factors, such as battery exhaustion or removing a card during a write operation, improper formatting and problems during data transfer to or from a computer.
Patrick….you state ‘when used properly’. That there is the key. How many people do not use technology properly? How many times has that cell phone slipped out of your hand and fell to the ground? How many times, did it accidentally fall off the table? How many times did you leave that camera in the hot sun or the cold winter? There are just too many variables to trust memory cards with information for a long period of time. In a split second that information could be gone. Personally, I don’t think currently there is any need for a memory card to be 512GB. Seriously, get your data onto much more reliable storage medians and backed up frequently. I would never recommend that your storage median be a memory card. I have seen failures happen over and over again and I work with many individuals who have lost their precious photos because a card has failed. And more often than not, it’s all or nothing.
I don’t disagree that stuff happens, but in my experience, and after much research, most flash memory failure issues are not the fault of the flash card itself, but external factors. I also agree with you about metaphorically putting all your eggs in one basket, but there are people who can put this kind of capacity to good use. I think it is up to the user to decide what his or her comfort level is with large flash memory, and I think calling 512 GB flash drives a “product to lose more images” is a bit unfair.
By the way, I think the initial price of over $700 per card will be enough to discourage all but those who really need cards with this capacity from buying them.
My son recently had an SD card fail and he lost everything on it!
It happens, luckily it hasn’t happened to me but I know plenty of people who it has happened to. I use 1 GB memory cards but I suppose they’ll soon be hard to find. I replace them every two years, needed or not. I also take my photos off the camera after each event of shooting or I may wait for 2-3 events if they are small events. I believe the key is to not losing photos is to get them off the camera, edited, PRINTED, and backed up to two other places. I’m overcautious but I’ve not lost any photos either.
I don’t think you are overly cautious but rather smart. I work with pictures all day. For my self and for Clients and I always tell my Clients to get there pictures of there Cameras and put them onexternL hard drives. Even if a card does not fail, it is to easy to loose them as well.
Memory cards definitely fail. I had a card fail and, in spite of my best efforts, I could not recover the photos. See
https://allaboutimages.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/a-saga-of-lost-memories/ for the complete story.
Uh, I’d like to chime in here: Whether or not a card FAILS on its own isn’t the only concern. Human error comes into play more often than not. Cameras are dropped, lost, broken, stolen and otherwise misplaced. That means the card/data is lost. I had a Best Buy STORE EMPLOYEE erase my card during a visit to have my camera repaired. I had JUST taken those photos the day before! People DO get busy/lazy or just don’t want the hassle of backing up their photos. They don’t know how easily everything on a card can be LOST in one way or another. To me, 512GB is just asking for MAJOR trouble.
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