Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Stacks Of Blooms
Images In Bloom • Pictures By Number • Going Long And Light • Cloudy With A Chance Of Storage
Q When running two or more cameras, how do you set the numbering system on each camera so that duplicate file names aren't assigned when downloading?
A I've had this problem, where two cameras generated the same image file names—and even duplicates from the same camera! It's a nightmare for file management and possibly a risk for inadvertent loss of your images. Truth is, file management diligence begins before capture by understanding how your camera assigns names.
In continuous numbering mode, the camera establishes a folder, beginning with 100, within which captures are numbered consecutively from 0001 to 9999 and then starts over with a new folder (101). The numbering sequence continues as memory cards are inserted, removed and reinserted. In this mode, identical file names will be generated from one camera to another.
However, in Auto Reset mode, the numbering sequence is rebooted each time a newly formatted card is inserted. This means that from one card to the next, identical sets of file names will be generated. I don't recommend this option.
Some DSLRs, such as my Canon EOS 5D Mark III, offer the option of changing the alpha prefix the camera generates. For example, I've set my Canon EOS 5D Mark III to name files with the first four characters MK3_, followed by the 4-digit file number. Some of my colleagues' Nikons have an in-camera renaming capability also; you'll have to find that old instruction book and figure out how to set yours.
No matter what the camera-generated file name may be, best workflow demands that you rename your image files in accordance with your own file plan, with a date, location or subject code, either before you begin to edit, or immediately after, as you save the files.
Going Long And Light
Q I'm headed to Bhutan for a number of months to work as a volunteer, and I must travel light and with minimum gear. I still want to record what's going on. What are my options for cameras and storage? Should I take many cards or backup drives?
A This question comes up often; when we travel to a new and remote location, it's difficult to anticipate what photographic equipment will be needed and even harder to leave some of our favorite stuff behind. Fortunately, in today's age of small, but capable digital cameras, there are a lot of options for traveling light.
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