As photographers, we have so much camera gear to capture the beautiful imagery that is our portfolio of work. The camera body, lenses, filters, and tripods are all essentials that we wouldn't want to live without. Then you need a quality camera bag and memory cards. Let's not forget the memory card cases.
Some beginner photographers will throw their memory cards into a side pouch and have a bunch of ready-to-use cards floating around. Others will use a cheap fabric pouch that is small and not waterproof. It kind of makes us nervous. Memory cards should be stored in a sturdy, waterproof container that protects the memory cards against all elements.
Your memory cards are valuable, like gold or diamonds. To your clients, they carry very precious memories and should be treated carefully. So it makes sense to invest in high-quality memory card cases.
Memory card cases help you keep track of your cards. When you are shooting and your card is full, you can quickly find a new one and continue shooting with minimum delay. When you get back to your home or office, you can easily find the cards to use and download them onto your computer to begin backing up the files and editing them.
Memory card cases keep your files safe and secure. You might want to use a second case for images that need to be backed up. This will streamline your workflow and help you stay organized.
Pelican versus Think Tank
So let's look at some examples to help you find the right memory card case for your precious cards. If you are not using a card case, you will want to buy one or two as soon as possible.
The Pelican SD card case holds 12 SD cards, six mini SD cards and six micro SD cards and is a favorite holder for many photographers. It has a water-resistant seal to protect against weather conditions such as rain or humidity. It is a robust and strong product that Pelican claims is virtually indestructible when closed. It sounds a little like you are James Bond transporting sensitive Government files and in our mind, it is a fair comparison.
We use this product and are impressed with the storage and protection it offers. We are not the only ones. There are plenty of positive reviews online from hobbyists and professional photographers.
Another great memory card case is the Think Tank card case. Think Tank has a range of fashionable-looking wallets to store your memory cards. These are more compact and discreet compared to the Pelican version. The folding wallet can hold 10 SD cards, so a few more than the Pelican brand. We love the modern colors and handy clip-on strap. There is also a life-long guarantee for the original owner of the case. It is water-resistant but isn't as solid and sturdy as the Pelican case.
Due to the strength and durability of the Pelican brand, it will appeal to photographers working outdoors in nature, doing sports and event photography, and travel photographers who might be on long trips for their work. If you are shooting in a studio, as a hobby or part-time as a news photographer, you probably would be happy with either brand. Of course, there are many other brands on the market.
Knowing your files are protected and safe after you finish a photoshoot is a great feeling. Having peace of mind that your work is in your camera bag is worthwhile. But we are only human.
Human error, Mother Nature and technical issues can strike any photographer. If you ask a seasoned professional photographer about a time they lost (or thought they lost) files, you will hear stories that make you shudder. The feeling of horror, fear and panic that washes over you when you can't find a memory stick is awful. At least with a good memory card case, you will reduce the chances of this happening to you. They are also affordable accessories, so there's no reason not to invest.
More Memory Card Tips
- Replace memory cards every couple of years to reduce the chance of putting a damaged or corrupt card in your camera. You might never experience a card issue, but it's not worth the risk.
- Back up your photo files immediately after a photoshoot. Don't format your card until you have edited and saved the images and/or delivered them to your client.
- Use the format function on your camera when you need to remove images from your card. Don't format a card, then use it in another camera as it can trigger a malfunction in rare cases.
- Use multiple cards if you are shooting for several hours or longer. Also, use backup memory cards, so if one card fails, the other will have the digital files stored.
- If you aren't shooting for a while, take your memory cards out of the camera and store them in your memory card case in a cool place.
- Don't leave your camera gear unattended while on a photoshoot.
- If your card seems damaged or you are having issues stay calm. Take the card out and use a new one to continue shooting. Later, you may be able to recover the files with data recovery services or tools, which are becoming far more sophisticated every year.
- Put a sticker with your name and address inside your memory card case (and other compartments of your camera bag). If you do lose or have your bag stolen, it will increase your chances of recovery. You can also take a photo of your contact info, so it's on the memory card as another backup.
So, make sure you have a quality memory card case to protect your photos. Without your memory cards, you can't take photos, so they are an essential part of your camera kits that need to be cared for. Upgrade to a new one if yours is looking a little worn and tired. We guard our cards with our lives, and you should too.