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Dual Card slots: The Ultimate location back up?

Personally, I am a very clumsy person but when I decided photography as my full time work I knew I had to get my act together and being a wedding photographer who shoots unrepeatable events I definitely had to get my act together.

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The biggest fear of a photographer is losing images. I personally know that feeling and if some of you don’t, I pray that you never will. The error message on the back of the your camera, the hard drive failure, spending several thousands to retrieve data at Nehru place. I’ve learned from my mistakes and made a system for myself that I now stick with to avoid any more mistakes.

But what about Dual cards slots, are they the ultimate location back up?

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My SD card collection which comes handy when I am shooting with second photographers

Dual card slots are quite handy for instant backup, and many of the of the latest high-end DSLRs have this feature. Dual CF, Dual SD or a combination of both. However, this system can create additional confusion and risk if you do not fully understand how your camera works.

It’s quite important to the playback card to be the fastest card. Here are a few possible systems you could adopt for dual card backup:

Identical formats: The most simple thing you can do is to set your cards to be redundant. So, if you’re shooting in RAW, you’ll be duplicating an identical RAW file to both the cards. However, this is not an excuse to buy two identical gigantic cards and put all your eggs in one basket.

Recording different formats: You can write JPEGs on one card and smaller RAW s on the other one. The playback card is still the chosen and that is the one that will be used for deleting images and playing them back.

Auto switch card: If you’re using two smaller cards, when one card fills up then the camera automatically changes over to the other card and starts writing there.

Canon’s plays from a single card which you designate, however it can change if you remove the card from the slot or remove your camera battery. So, always keep a track of which memory card is your primary card.

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My SD card stores the RAW files while the CF card is for the backup JPEGS.

The advantage of using dual card slots is, one of the card will have the entire shoot, so that we can download it in one go instead of having to download from 3-5 different cards.

Just keep one thing in mind, keep a track of verifying and formatting two separate copies of your images. If you delete any images on the back of your camera, they are NOT DELETED from both the cards, just one card which is designated for playback.

For me, I use auto switch and in this way: I put one high capacity card in one slot and lower capacity card in the main slot. This way if my camera gets damaged or stolen during the wedding/shoot, I still have the rest of the wedding day backed up on my primary cards that are in my pocket.

So tell me in comments how do you protect your data and what works best for you. Also, if someone knows tricks to safe-proof their favourite cookies from the other half, the suggestions are welcome!

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