View Full Version : SD memory card error w/ istDS
05-18-2005, 11:26 PM
Yesterday I purchased a new *ist DS and have run into a weird SD card problem, first with a Lexar 1GB and then with an ATP 1GB (x60). When I put the Lexar in and powered the camera on it gave me a "memory card error" message. I'm totally new in the DSLR / SD world so I thought maybe it just needed to be formatted. Same error. I tried the card in my daughter's Nikon P&S camera and it said "Card cannot be used". So, I took it back for a refund.
I found a good deal on the ATP card from a different retailer and picked it up on the way home, put it in and was I ever bummed when it came up with the same "memory card error" message. We had to go out for a few hours (while I counted to 10 million) and when I came back the camera now it works - no errors. I cannot reproduce the error message now with the ATP card - I take it out, put it back in and it still works.
I read some of the threads on SD problems in the Memory Card forum that did not sound too good. But this sure sounds like a camera problem to me (contacts or something not so simple) so I thought I'd start here. I'm called the dealer I bought it from (before it started working) and I'm still going to take it back for them to take a look. But I'd appreciate any thoughts/tips if anyone has had any similar experiences. We are going to take a once in a lifetime trip and I'd like to have a stable camera…
05-19-2005, 12:09 AM
I would take it back to the dealer, just to be on the safe side... I have had no issues whatsoever with any of my SD Cards with the *ist DS....
05-19-2005, 02:31 AM
I've used a couple of these High Speed 1G x60 SD Cards with no problems. I also found that there was no speed performance inmprovement over PNY standard speed cards.
05-19-2005, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the tips. I plan on taking it back this evening. I'll let you know how it turns out. I didn't buy the replacement coverage, I thought it was just too expensive... (first time on something like this I have not done so). Since it is 2 days old I hope there's no problem.
05-19-2005, 11:21 AM
There's a similar problem reported over at DP Review with a user reporting a problem that was apparently traced to the internal card reader in the camera; *isD use CF Cards.
05-19-2005, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the tip on the DP Review forum. I went and searched there and found someone else with the same problem on an ist DS. The best post in the thread said:
"Mind you guys that low battery power could cause this problem. I have such experience with using a Minolta DC on SD card. When I used two 1300 ni-mh batteries, all sorts of problem came out and eventually put my SD card to rest in peace. It was until the KM service counter people told me not to use any batteries lower than 1800 and the problem disappeared."
There were a few other responses in the thread from people that seemed to have the same situation. I put some NiMH batteries in my DS that were not freshly charged. I looked at them with a cheap battery tester and went from there. This sort of makes sense as to why after the camera sat for a few hours it all of sudden worked. I was saving the my CR-V3 lithiums for a trip but they're going straight into the camera now. Does anyone know of a good, portable battery tester that actually reads out a voltage? I knew the NiMH's put out a little lower voltage. Sounds like this might be an issue.
05-19-2005, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the tip on the DP Review forum.
Does anyone know of a good, portable battery tester that actually reads out a voltage? I knew the NiMH's put out a little lower voltage. Sounds like this might be an issue.
I've recently bought a FAMEART PC07 which charges any combination of NiHi batteries in nominally 1 hour. It's an intelligent charger that monitors the charge and switches over to trickle charge as each of the 4 cells reaches it's final charge. However, it doesn't have a voltage meter.
I'm dubious about voltage readings anyway as a 'dead' cell 'off load' will assume a voltage close to the normal working voltage. I've a multimeter set to 10A and shorted out the cell for a SHORT period (seconds) to see what current it will draw relying upon the internal resistance of the battery/multimeter to limit the current; if the current falls rapidly, it indicates the cell is 'flat'.
05-19-2005, 04:52 PM
Good point about the off-load battery voltage reading. No current, no voltage drop (V=IR). Some of the posts gave me the idea that their cards had been destroyed by their battery getting too low. I'll have to research that one some more. I find it hard to believe that the manufacturers would let that one slip by. It also sounds like images could be corrupted by the low voltage situation. I'll try the multimeter approach to get a capacity read. Thanks to everyone for all the help. These forums are a great resource.
05-20-2005, 05:07 PM
I am planning to buy the Pentax *ist DS soon. I was considering the Panasonic Lumix FZ20 a few days ago, 'cuz of its zoom range and Leica lens, but I read somewhere that the Lumix has some amount of shutter lag and the Off-to-On time is much longer than that of the Pentax DS. I also read that the Lumix does not handle moving objects well and also low light conditions. This got me thinking and I figured if I were to spend $500 for a P&S digicam, I might as well chip in a couple of $$ more and buy a good amateur dSLR like the Pentax DS. Obviously it doesn't have a good zoom range like the Lumix, but I believe the picture quality and response is much faster. Now that I have a 5 month old son, I need a camera that works fast indoors, where I don't have enough light. I am hoping to take pictures at higher ISO to get a faster shutter speed to avoid picture shakes and have low noise at the same time. I believe Pentax has lower noise levels at ISOs until 600, but the Lumix has visible noise above ISO 100. I just hope I am making the right choice here, cuz I would want to use my Pentax for atleast 4 to 5 years and get a good value out of it for the kind of money I have spent. Now, I hear about this memory card problem if the battery level is low. Did someone say in this forum that the memory card becomes unusable if it was used when the battery level was low?? Does the camera give any indication or warning in the viewfinder/LCD saying that the battery level is low and it needs to be replaced? Can the memory card be used if new batteries are put in or does the memory card get damaged permanently? I can live with the camera not being able to store pictures into the memory card when the battery charge is low, but I cannot deal with it getting permanently damaged. If that is the case, then I really feel dejected for such a good camera having such a major flaw. :confused: Pls advise.
05-21-2005, 12:51 AM
A couple of thoughts. I thought the first 1GB SD card I tried became unusable because I put it in a different camera and got a similar message that the card could not be used. But I did not try changing the batteries in that camera. The card may have worked if I had done so. Also, I have not been able to replicate the problem with my DS since I put in fresh batteries. So, I really cannot say that the card was rendered unusable. I have been able to use my second card without a problem since I put in new batteries. If low voltage is a problem with the 1GB cards, it is not limited to the ist Ds. I am going to be as careful as possible though with keeping my batteries fresh…
05-21-2005, 04:09 AM
Now, I hear about this memory card problem if the battery level is low. Did someone say in this forum that the memory card becomes unusable if it was used when the battery level was low?? Does the camera give any indication or warning in the viewfinder/LCD saying that the battery level is low and it needs to be replaced? Can the memory card be used if new batteries are put in or does the memory card get damaged permanently? I can live with the camera not being able to store pictures into the memory card when the battery charge is low, but I cannot deal with it getting permanently damaged. If that is the case, then I really feel dejected for such a good camera having such a major flaw. :confused: Pls advise.
IMHO, curruption of SD Cards & it's association with low battery voltage is being taken out of context; if that was to be the case, then saved data would always be lost batteries became exhausted.
I use 2 SD Cards in my *istDS, 1 at a time that is, and they stay in the camera, except for transferring images to the PC, with the camera always left switched on; the camera goes into 'sleep mode' after a minute & 're-awakes' when I tap the shutter button to set the exposure for a subsequent shot. Battery life is so good, that it's several days before they eventually die, discharge that is, without absolutely NO effect on the SD Card's performance or it's ability to retain stored data.
I'm not too sure on the storage method used by SD Cards, or any other cards come to that, but it's bound to based on EERAM i.e. electrically erasable RAM which means that the data is retained even without power, pretty essentual if your going to being changing cards or removing them from the camera to read them. It extremely unlikely that the data would become corrupted by battery failure; it would need an electrical impulse or malfunction within the internal circuitry to achive this i.e. a camera fault.
05-22-2006, 02:16 PM
I went on holiday, took a good few photos on a 1GB SD memory card and then suddenly the screen showed CARD ERROR. I have tried the card in other cameras, at photo shops and various software packages. The card is a SanDisk Mini Adapter. I contacted SanDisk and they gave me the link for LC Technology where I could download demo software to try to retrieve the images. No luck - the camera isn't even recognised as new hardware when I plug in the cord. I know this sounds like a lost cause BUT I got engaged on this holiday and would love to somehow get these images downloaded. Does anyone have any advice for me?:( :confused:
05-25-2006, 11:59 AM
I've heard good things about PhotoRescue (www.datarescue.com/photorescue/), recommended by Imaging Resource, for recovering photos from messed-up cards. You can download it, try it as a demo to see if it finds anything, and if it does, you then pay for it and it lets you save the found photos to your computer. I think it's $29.00 U.S.
Hope that helps,
05-26-2006, 09:20 AM
Thanks Dan. I tried your suggestion to no avail. LC Technologies has offered to see what they can do with it so I'll post it off to them and cross fingers & hold thumbs.
05-28-2006, 04:18 AM
Hi drarmstrong I presume you are running firmware 2.00 ?? which has support for 1G cards. I use 1G sandisk ultraII cards and have not had a problem
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