How to Not Screw Up Your DSLR Memory Cards in the Field

I had a revelation today on how to handle my memory cards while shooting in the field. You see when shooting DSLR video, I can burn through a lot of cards. Plus I typically have a couple of camera angles going off at once. An easy mistake to make (but deadly nonetheless) is reformatting a card that you've already shot to. So here's my surefire plan to keep things straight.

  • Right Pocket – The right pocket contains all of my empty cards that I wiped before the shoot. All cards are erased before you get on-set so you know if you put the card in and it has something on it, then that's footage that needs to be backed up.
  • Left Pocket – The left pocket contains all of the cards that have been filled up while shooting.

You're probably saying.... "Ummm... what's the big deal?" Well here's the killer memory jingle to not screw things up.

"The Cards in my RIGHT pocket are the RIGHT ones to use.... The Cards in my LEFT pocket should be LEFT alone."

Okay... I won't win a Pulitzer for that... but hopefully it'll keep me from accidentally screwing things up when shooting.

For more on the fusion of photography and video, check out From Still to Motion.