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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #1
Miqs
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Default SD card life span

Is there a life span to an SD card if used moderately and are there signs when a card is beginning to fail? I currently have three and try to rotate them but wondered if there are any signs of impending doom?
Also is it possible to check on the number of exposures a card has had?

Last edited by Miqs : 4th of May 2013 (Sat) at 09:44.
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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: SD card life span

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Originally Posted by Miqs View Post
Is there a life span to an SD card if used moderately and are there signs when a card is beginning to fail? I currently have three and try to rotate them but wondered if there are any signs of impending doom?
Also is it possible to check on the number of exposures a card has had?
SD cards do have a wear-out limit, but it is very high, on the order of 100,000+ erase/write cycles, and SD cards include wear-leveling technology to even out the usage across the card.

So, if used moderately (as you say) you will never reach the wear-out limit.
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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: SD card life span

100k is about the life of a shutter
where did you get that information from? i would think it should be much higher
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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: SD card life span

I think you don't see a SD card die because you have have written too much data on it.
I don't have any SD cards but one of my photography teachers has got an old memory card that looks like a CF card but it is something else with a little computer (you can also hear it) in it. He says he and many pupils have taken about 3 million photos with it and it still works. I think a storage will live longer than a computer.
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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #5
isoMorphic
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Default Re: SD card life span

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Originally Posted by lennartsw View Post
I don't have any SD cards but one of my photography teachers has got an old memory card that looks like a CF card but it is something else with a little computer (you can also hear it) in it.
It's called Micro drive and it's the same thing used in older generation iPods and such. Many moved away from them because if you drop them chances are it's game over. Unlike with flash which is extremely durable and is able to take a serious beating.
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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: SD card life span

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Originally Posted by kenwood33 View Post
100k is about the life of a shutter
It's also the expected life (in miles) of some automotive belts. I didn't get it confused with that, either.
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Originally Posted by kenwood33 View Post
where did you get that information from? i would think it should be much higher
The information is available lots of places (even wikipedia). Here's one source: http://www.snia.org/sites/default/fi...te_Paper_0.pdf (check page 5), but fair warning... that paper is not for the squeamish regarding flash memory error rates.
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Old 4th of May 2013 (Sat)   #7
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Default Re: SD card life span

Well people have done all kinds of testing on SSD and found 3-5 years (depends on the flash type) under constant use.

So SD could be anywhere from 3 years to a lifetime depending how much you shoot. I have cards that are over 20 years old and good as new. But of course they were not used that much so they have lots of miles left.
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Old 5th of May 2013 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: SD card life span

An SD card should last between 15 and 50 years before it reaches its write/erase cycle limit. If you're still using your puny little 32GB card (if you still have a camera that will accept SDXC cards) in 20 years time I'll be most surprised.
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Old 5th of May 2013 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: SD card life span

Considering the first SD card was a 32MB card produced in 1999-2000 the oldest SD is about 13-14 years old. Doubtful that you will find many of them still in use.
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