1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Warning about format function

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by adwb, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. adwb

    adwb TalkEmount Regular

    127
    Sep 30, 2015
    Bristol UK
    Alistair
    Warning

    As I have discovered to my cost when using the format function from the memory options , it does exactly that, it completely erases the card and if you have made a mistake you cannot recover images with a recovery program; the sony A7RII does a full format.

    Well what did you expect I hear you saying, i expected to be able to reverse that's what, if I format a card with my Olympus body or any of my Pentax bodies I can still recover images and I was used to that fail safe if I messed up.

    Don't fall into the same trap, if your Sony say format then it b****y well means it!!
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. jpfigueiredo

    jpfigueiredo TalkEmount Regular

    168
    Jan 15, 2015
    Leiria, Portugal
    Blame Olympus and Pentax. :D

    Seriously now, for me, a format will always be something which will completely erase everything. For ever.

    I never had the illusion that it could be reversible (maybe because I never used those systems).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    When I read your post my first reaction was, "That can't be right." So I pulled the card in my A7RII (that I formatted when I returned it to the camera). I fired up Lexar's Image Rescue 5 and did a scan.

    Sure enough. No files found.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    I'm wondering, however, how this is? The Sony "format" process doesn't take nearly enough time to overwrite over all the images that were on the card. I think there were about 85 compressed raw files (at 40mp each). That's about 3.4gb of information. It would take a bit of time to overwrite all that data, and much longer to overwrite the whole (64gb) card. It's a mystery.
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Um, ya.
     
  5. Sucofni

    Sucofni TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 8, 2015
    Isn't that the whole point of formatting ? Cant say I have found any other brands any different. But then I've never needed to
    try and recover anything from a card I've formatted.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    On my NEX-7, when I go to format there is a warning that all data will be lost. I have to press the button twice to format. Does that no longer exist with the A7 series?
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Thats about what I would expect. Erase is where I would think you might be able to recover something but not when you format.
     
  8. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount Veteran

    419
    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    Christina
    I format mine every time with no expectation of saving anything! I learned to do this because the Mac left it's own files on the card which meant that it slowed down considerably unless a complete format was performed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    yes it does give the warning. I really don't see the issue. I believe what is being said is that with other cameras you can still recover files after formatting.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Hmm what about skipping that formatting thing and use the cards as you would film having them as backup? Or is that a terrible idea?
     
  11. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Probably not effective and flash memory integrity isn't assured over time. Electrostatic based storage is still prone to error.
    BTW, Sony offers a free flash memory recovery software app at their website. Worth seeing if it can help.
    I am aware of low-level recovery software out there that can deal with quick formatting.
     
  12. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Good point.
     
  13. pbizarro

    pbizarro TalkEmount Veteran

    349
    Nov 24, 2014
    Portugal
    Yes it does exist. You really have to be distracted, to be polite:) to press the button twice and then wonder where the files have gone...
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    I don't reformat my SD cards in my Sonys (primarily because it deletes the card name that I write to it externally). Instead I delete the photos while the card is in my laptop after downloading them, however I don't expect to go back to get them because they are going to be overwritten eventually anyway.
     
  15. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    Tom,

    My understanding is if you delete photos on a computer vs. formating in the camera you open up the possibility of traces from the file showing up when you shoot as the systems are different. Formating in the camera you are using is your best way to ensure the SD card is "clean".
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    It's never happened to me Chris. I've been doing this with Nikon, Olympus and Sony cards for years (although the Sony addition has only been in 2015).

    And what do you mean by "traces?" Do you mean smears of images appearing in your more recent photos?
     
  17. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    From the article linked...http://improvephotography.com/676/9-things-photographers-need-to-know-about-memory-cards/



    Memory Card Tip #3: Never “erase all images” on your card. Always format the card. DSLRs provide both an “Erase all images” option and a “format card” option. Choose the format card option in order to prevent a host of different errors that can arise by simply erasing all images. Formatting the card will re-organize the folder structure and prevent database errors.

    Memory Card Tip #4: While we’re discussing how to erase all images, never erase any of the images by using the computer. This will taint your database and can cause even more errors than “Erase all images.” If you persist in erasing images by using the computer, you Canon shooters will face the famed ERR-99 (side note: that is a general error that is not specific to memory card problems, but memory card problems are one of the things that can draw the error).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    Hmmm, maybe it is a Canon thing? As I said, I have never experienced this.
     
  19. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    It's an SD card thing. Canon will give you an error message. Formating is different from camera to camera - it's to make the SDcard compatible with the camera it's inserted into.
     
  20. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    My understanding of "formatting" is that it's like erasing the lines in a parking lot. The lines may be gone, but any cars remain. (But, unlike cars, when the device assigns that space to something new, the device simply overwrites what was there.)

    If "formatting" actually erased all the data (reset all those memory locations) the process would take much more time than it does. That's assuming that the camera could know exactly what locations to address. To address (write over) all the locations on a 64gb card (even the fastest card, at 95mb/sec), for example, would take 10-15 minutes.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1