Canon 30D Problem with Lexar CF Cards
This week I encountered my first problem with my Canon 30D Digital SLR camera. After my brief fiasco with the Err 99 issue on my Canon 10D, I had the urge to panic—my Canon 30D is less than a month old.
Since I did not do any real shoots last week (only a trip to the zoo and some leisure walks) I had kept most photos from the last week on my camera. When I went to download them I could not read from my memory card (a 512 MB 80x Lexar CF card). When I put the card back into the camera, I could view only some of the photos… the rest came out with the warning of corrupt data.
I assumed that I must have bumped the card on its way out of the camera, but I could not remember mishandling the card.
Using R-Studio I made an image of the disk in hopes that I may someday be able to salvage the photos, then formatted the card. The next day I went out on shoot at a local historical farm. There I ran into this same problem again. This time I could not even shoot on the card and a warning came up—"Err CF”.
I was getting concerned now since that same card had been used flawlessly on my Canon 10D for almost a year.
I went online and found a lot of information relating to this very issue—but the comments were not including the Canon 30D. After switching out cards back and forth from my two cameras, I have concluded that the issue with early Lexar 80x cards also affects stability in the 30D.
What is happening is that the card is using a speed technology that is not working in perfect harmony on most of the high-res Canon DSLR family. According to Lexar, you can get your CF card replaced, but you have to have your proof of purchase. Since I did not keep mine past a few months, I am out of luck in replacing it.
I had never expected to have to research which card I should have bought. And because it had worked so well on the Canon 10D, I did not expect any problems. While the issue disturbed me, I am glad I discovered the problem before a wedding next week. (Still, my eyebrows are raising because I bought my Lexar 80x at a slightly reduced price last May from a photo retailer that had every reason to know about this issue.)
Most websites that discuss this topic suggest that you should refrain from reviewing images until the red access lamp is off, meaning that all writing to the card is finished. Apparently this will likely cause the problem on the Canon 20D, 30D and the more expensive Canon DSLRs.
It’s obvious that Lexar is trying to re-establish confidence in its cards with the Canon photographer community. In early April, 2006 Lexar announced a show in Las Vegas where top wedding and portrait photographers are demonstrating the Lexar products in use. Of interest is that the press release states, "All three professionals shoot with Canon digital cameras and Lexar professional flash memory cards.”
I guess this just means that I will pay some more attention to the memory cards I purchase for my cameras in the future. I never dreamed that there would be a disparity in the operation from one card to the next other than speed. It just figures that the speed difference is more complicated than I had assumed.