Preparing and Testing New Memory Cards for a Shoot

There are no “take twos” in weddings or journalism.  Even if a shoot could be done over, often it’s at great time, expense, and a hit to your reputation.

Whenever I buy new memory cards, I want to QC them myself.  I suppose I could go out on a photowalk and shoot until my card is full, but that would mean reviewing all of those images back home to verify that nothing is corrupted.  Sounds like a lot of time to me.

Enter Charles Mihail.  What Charles has done is create a free little utility called Check Flash that tests memory cards by writing a known data pattern to the entire card, then reading back that pattern to be sure it matches what was written.   Continue reading Preparing and Testing New Memory Cards for a Shoot

Canon 600EX-RT, Disable Flash Firing but Use As Master

Canon’s ST-E3-RT was a disappointment for low-light and event photographers because, unlike it’s predecessor, it lacks the AF assist beam.  If you need the AF assist, you’re forced to use a full fledged 600EX-RT, but what if you don’t actually want the master unit to produce any light?  Simple.  Pop the flash onto your 5d mk III, and use the following steps (also works on a 1D-X.)

Select “External Speedlight control” on the first page of the red menu.

Continue reading Canon 600EX-RT, Disable Flash Firing but Use As Master

64GB Transcend SDXC Class 10 & 400x CF Memory Cards

Amazon ran a one-day sale on these cards a few days ago, so I picked a few up.  I like having a number of cards to choose from when going into a wedding or event, especially when those shoots happen over consecutive days.  It’s a good idea to hang on to your unformatted memory cards until you’ve sorted through the images sufficiently to know that everything downloaded properly.  Having additional cards allows you to put off overwriting an event even longer.

I chose to get two of the Transcend 400x 64GB CF cards, and two of the Transcend 64GB Class 10 SDXC cards.  I use one CF and one SDXC as a set in my 5d mk III* cameras, and configure it to “record to multiple” so my camera is making backups on the fly.  It is a wedding after all.  No second chances.

So how do these perform?  Pretty good!   Continue reading 64GB Transcend SDXC Class 10 & 400x CF Memory Cards