The case of the disappearing NDP photographs

I bought a new 2GB CompactFlash II card so I could take lots of National Day Parade photos using my dad’s Nikon D70 SLR camera. I thought it would be good to get a high-speed card so that large files could be saved quickly, which would make it ideal for taking fast-moving objects and fireworks.
In summary, NDP 2007 rocked, and I took over 500 photographs 🙂 However, when it came to downloading them into my computer, I lost several photos as they seemed to be corrupted.
The thing is, the photos looked fine when previewed on the camera itself. But my old SanDisk 6-in-1 card reader failed to recognise the CompactFlash II card when connected to my Mac. Another card reader which I purchased last year, just prior to SXSW in March, also couldn’t read the CompactFlash II card.
My last hope was a relatively new PC we purchased last year, which has a built-in card reader. This time, the photos in the CompactFlash II card could be viewed. Well, most of them. I lost the first few shots and the very last shot. Even their file names looked truncated. What I did next was transfer the photos from this CompactFlash II card, into a 2GB SD card. Using this second card, I transferred all the photos into my Mac.
During this second transfer, I lost another 2 photos. One photo looked like its top half got cut and pasted to the bottom. Another photo simply couldn’t be viewed at all.
It was getting worrying, like soldiers moving from location to location in a battle and a few getting killed at each point. And these are relatively new memory cards! Both were high-speed. Do any of you know if high-speed cards cause more problems? Cos if so, I’m switching back to normal speed cards.


  1. zulkamal

    What brand of memory card did you get? I’ve read of some brands not working well with nikon. I don’t remember which brand but lexar methinks? Personally i’m using a pair of 2GBs and a 4GB Sandisk Ultra II on my Nikon d200 with no problems whatsoever.
    You could try to do a recovery. I havnt had theopportunity to try it out(which is a good thing!) but photorescue( has a lot of rave reviews from field photogs esp those who went on the antarctica expedition. I’d try a recovery and then send the card for exchange if i were you. Seems like you received a bad card to start with.

  2. vantan

    Hi Zulkamal! Nice to hear from you.
    My new CompactFlash card is a SanDisk Ultra II.
    My SD card, which I purchased last year, is a Kingston Elite Pro, 50x.
    Both are 2GB in size.
    Fortunately the photos were not super essential to my collection … just extras of Singapore flags in various areas and some night scenes. But thanks for the recovery link! Wasn’t aware of such options.

  3. acroamatic

    I used to have a high-speed Lexar 1GB CF card which was okay with my D70 to begin with. But it became all but unusable after a while.
    It works fine on my girlfriend’s Canon A540. So, that’s where the Lexar is now.
    I have a 512MB SanDisk Ultra II and a 2GB Kingston ElitePro which work fine with my D70.

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