Since i received my X-T2 about two years ago I’ve been playing with the memory card configuration. I’ve tried all the option: Sequential, Raw/Jpeg, and Backup.
Sequential: It just works. No worries. Fill up the card in slot 1, and the camera automatically rolls over and begins using slot 2. A no brainer there. Great for casual shooting, and casual shooters — of which I’m neither.
Raw/Jpeg: This is the option I’ve most often used. I always shoot raw/jpeg anyway but wind up keeping the raw files, and deleting the jpegs 90% of the time. This option makes it so much easier not having to load both jpeg/raw’s together. I just pop the card containing the raw files out of the camera, and import my images into LR. Easy enough. The only problem I find is if the card containing the raw files is for some reason corrupted or somehow damaged I’m left with only the jpegs. Now don’t get me wrong, the jpegs are nothing to sneeze at; as a matter of fact, the fuji jpegs are just amazing out of the box but as a travel, landscape and stock photographer I ‘really’ need those raw files. Granted, I’ve been shooting digital since 2002 (back then using “Smartmedia” cards in my Fuji 4900z) and in all this time I’ve only had one card go bad on me. This particular CF card actually worked and I would have never, ever know it wasn’t working – that is – until I pulled the card out of my D700 at the time, uploaded the images to my computer and discovered that a Nikon raw file was missing every four-five images! I would never had known this if I had just formatted the card, and went on my merry way. This is why I always purchase, and test, test, test. I wound up returning the card for a refund, but continued to use my other Transcend cards with full confidence. Frankly, I think it was just a bad sector on the card, that formatting both in camera and in computer did not fix.
Backup: This is it. This is nirvana! Yes. I found it. This week, after much trial and error and flip-flopping between the three methods I’ve decided to use this option going forward. Even though I have not experienced a catastrophic card failure while out in the field, I still feel much better knowing that I have a “backup” of both jpegs and raw files on card 2. The way I’ve set this up is to use a 32G card in slot 1 of the X-T2, and then use my 128G card as a backup in slot 2. Yes, the backup card is massive; I normally would never, ever use a card this large in any camera but for backup? Why not.
There are two very important reasons why using very large memory cards is not the most optimal solution:
- Two cards, identical speeds, 32G and say 128G or 256G, the smaller card will ALWAYS write and read faster. Proven point.
- Using smaller (32G) cards doesn’t put all your eggs in one basket. If something happens – camera is stolen, you drop it in a lake while photographing beavers (been there, done that) at least you will only lose the images on the card at the time. I recall a story from a workshop leader of a woman on a 10-day excursion into the Amazon. She had one huge CF card in her camera. On their last day there, they were at a local roadside cafe where she, for some reason, decided to pop out her memory card, and promptly dropped it in a puddle of water. Images lost. 10 days worth. So, no. DO NOT place all your eggs in one basket. Think of it this way: You’ve paid for the gear, you’ve gotten yourself to a great location, got the images you came for. Are you going to risk losing it all because it’s all on a single card? Heck no.
So for me it’s now 32G in slot 1, and my 128G in slot 2 for backup purposes. That 128G will stay in there until it’s full which means I can run through FOUR 32G cards in slot 1 before the 128G card needs to be wiped. So my images will remain on there for the duration of the trip, or until I get home, upload them, and decide I’ve got what I need.
On another note, but along similar lines: Once I have a card full, and it’s removed from the camera, that card is NEVER, EVER in the same location as any of my gear. Why? Because of the nature of my work, if my gear get’s stolen, or lost, the most important asset – the images – are safe, on my person. In practice if I’m shooting all day, get back to my room and then decide to go out to get a bite to eat, sometimes the cameras stay in the room, however, the memory cards are with me. The images I’ve taken become the most important asset to me after the cards are ejected from the camera. I can replace the gear, but not the photos… At least that’s how I see it.
Hope this post helps you out now or in the future. thanks for reading.