recovering from card problems & image organisation

I am looking for some specific advice just now, and Dpreview and google searches have churned up moderate information, but no firm answers. Any help appreciated, even just to point me to the right sites. I use a Mac..

I need to recover around 100 images from a Sony MS duo I was using (via a sony adaptor) in my Canon 20D. Usually, various combinations of using different card readers, different computers or loading it through a Sony camera have worked, but these ones have stubbornly refused to budge. Is there recovery software for my setup?.

I do not have much money at present to buy new software, unless it is imperative. If possible, Id like to make do with Finder, Photoshop and Bridge. I have thousands of images to sort through and store from various locations round the world..

I can see various problems:.

Some of my images have the same filenames, through the card problems I encountered. I will need to change the relative filenames. But, am I better to rename or renumber my filenames wholesale, away from the IMG0001 etc?.

Then what if file IMG0001 gets edited for a magazine, then for the website etc. Is it better to always keep the same name, with perhaps a suffix to ID it IMG001MAG? Is there a better way to keep track of linked files, so the negative is always identifiable?.

All my images are highest res Jpegs, which I think will suit my current purposes. Is it best to convert them all to TIFFs? Then store all future work as TIFFs?.


Comments (8)


I see that you also posted this query on the Pro forum and got no response. I think that you've packed too many issues into one post. It's hard to know where to begin to answer them. Consider separate postings for each problem; you may get more responses..

File Recovery.

You are having difficulty downloading images from your MS card? Can you still view the images on the camera's LCD display, or have they completely disappeared? Have you tried running a file recovery program to retrieve the images? Example: Hard to make suggestions because we don't know what you mean when you say that the images "stubbornly refuse to budge"..


You've already converted your images, in camera, to the JPEG format. You will lose no further information if you simply leave them that way. There is nothing to be gained by converting these files to TIFF format. What you don't want to do is make edits and then save those back to the original file. The JPEG compression algorithm runs anew each time an image is altered and re-saved, and with each run, more artifacts are introduced. Save your edits as separate files.

File Names and File Organization.

Two separate, but linked, issues; there are many approaches to each. Simple questions will generate more answers. Examples:.

What file naming system do you use? Do you replace default names with subject or date info? What works for you?.

What file organizing scheme do you recommend? Folders by assignment, by client, by occasion, by date? Do you use any DAM (Digital Asset Management) software? How can metadata help me organize and locate my images? If you outline what your needs are in this are, people will be more likely to feel that they can help you.Regards, John...

Comment #1

1. Set your camera to number images sequentially and not reset to zero every time you take the card out/reformat..

2. You give far too little information for me to want to guess the nature of your problem regarding file recovery. Do a search in this forum on "file recovery"..

3. There are many programmes that will rename files. I use Irfanview which is a free download..

4. There are endless ways to organise files. I use event and organisation specific folders and subfolders. I also have 9 (3 x3) dedicated folders for sorting the output offloaded into dedicated offload folders. All output gets renamed, sorted, PPd then stored in dedicated folders which are backed up on an external USB drive..

5. I simply rename my files by adding a camera specific prefix so DSC_xxxxx become DSC8_xxxx for my D80 and DSC5_xxxxx for my D50. Be aware that when you buy another Canon DSLR that will have the same file numbers as your 20D and somewhere there will be duplication and risk of overwriting. On my D80/D50 the counter will roll over at 100,000. So if I get that far I shalll need DSC8a_xxxxx etc..

6. Others give all files an event specific name e.g "Honoluluxxxx"..

7. Decide what works for you and stick with it..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #2

Thanks for responding. I take on board what you say re posting..

My card problems originated in possibly a unique way:.

I had a load of Sony MS duos, and got a Sony CF card adaptor from an Alpha, thus enabling me to use them in my EOS20D..

The adaptor made the writing to card very slow. Once or twice in haste I switched the camera off after taking photos whilst it was still writing. Of course, this caused an error. Unfortunately, the set up meant that pressing certain buttons whilst it was writing to card also caused an error. The camera refused to function at all or even switch off. It would no longer read the card whenever it was put back in..

In spite of taking more and more care when using the MS in the Canon, it still happened regularly (on a long trip) and even though I recovered most cards myself (as in first post) there are still 2 cards which I cannot access in any way..

I'll have a look at the link you posted and let you know how I get on, but if this new info helps with a solution, it would be good to hear...

Comment #3

Thanks for the advice..

I'll look into Irfanview. Anything has to be quicker than Bridge, although my mac is getting a bit old now, so it could be the issue..

I appreciate the file archiving info too. I have thousands of images to catalogue and sort out, and want to avoid (by seeking info) the worst mistakes now, so I don't need to redo this task later..


Comment #4

Flatfunk wrote:.

Am I better to rename or renumber my filenames wholesale, awayfrom the IMG0001 etc?.

Then what if file IMG0001 gets edited for a magazine, then for thewebsite etc. Is it better to always keep the same name, with perhapsa suffix to ID it IMG001MAG? Is there a better way to keep track oflinked files, so the negative is always identifiable?.

There is no simple answer to this topic. I suggest that you read Peter Krogh's "The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers." While the specific tools discussed there are not necessarily current, Krogh's preliminary discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches is still relevantand quite readable..

For a couple of quick answers:.

1) There is no particular value in keeping the "IMG..." filename. You should rename your files on download, and then leave that name on them permanently..

2) Krogh recommends keeping original files in one folder structure and derived files in an entirely separate folder structure. This is somewhat informed by Krogh's basic filing approach, which is to file into folders the size of your disk backup (4.7 GB for DVD, for instance)..

3) IPTC/XMP is your friend. Put a permanent image identifier into the "Title" field of your original, and it *should* be automatically copied into all of your derived files (some editing software fails to do this). Most IPTC/XMP software will default to putting the filename (sans extension) in there, which is a good choice for most of us. Then even if a copy of a file gets renamedsay, if you ship it off to a magazine for publicationyou can always find the original by looking in the Title field. There are lots of other reasons to use IPTC/XMP& marking your photos with your copyright and including contact information being a big one...

Comment #5

You've got some good answers here....

A card reader and some recovery software might be your only option with those Memory Sticks. I had some luck with StellarPhotoRecovery with an xD card. That's for mac. Got most of my files back even though the camera wouldn't read the card at all. There's a a few photo recovery programs around. They can be downloaded from the internet and they don't cost much..

But you must stop using those MS's in your canon. It's been nothing but trouble, yes?..

Comment #6

Yes! Trouble with a capital T..

However, when given 20GB of them as a work leaving present, versus only a few GB of CF cards, then going on a very long trip, I thought it well worth the risk. I was wrong, but was in countries where it became too expensive to buy additional CF cards..

I suppose I am fortunate that these last remaining 70-100 images are the only at risk ones.Thanks for the info. I will be trying the recovery soon...

Comment #7

Thanks. I'll look out that book. I need all the info I can, then time to put things into practice. One day I am hoping to cross the line between amateur snapper and making money from photography.Phil...

Comment #8

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