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Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary

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So all the help I seem to find regarding max card size seems to be related to allowing CHDK to boot on camera start up.  If my camera is on all the time via a power adapter for timelapse purposes and I don't care about starting CHDK every time I turn on the camera (only every few days when I have to clean data off the card), can I use the max size memory card my camera will accept? 

I tried CHDK on an 8GB SD card in a G9 a month ago when I started using CHDK and it seemed to work fine, but I found all these mentions of "limitations" of 4GB if you're going to use CHDK.  SO that scared me that something bad would eventually happen to my pics stored on the card if I didn't use a 4GB.  Now that I know a little more about CHDK it seems that this is only a limitation if you want it to boot into CHDK automatically when you turn on the camera.  Is this true?

If this is the case, I'm going back to my 8GB card.  Thanks!!

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Offline SkyWalker9

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Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #1 on: 02 / March / 2011, 20:46:58 »
So all the help I seem to find regarding max card size seems to be related to allowing CHDK to boot on camera start up.  If my camera is on all the time via a power adapter for timelapse purposes and I don't care about starting CHDK every time I turn on the camera (only every few days when I have to clean data off the card), can I use the max size memory card my camera will accept? 

I tried CHDK on an 8GB SD card in a G9 a month ago when I started using CHDK and it seemed to work fine, but I found all these mentions of "limitations" of 4GB if you're going to use CHDK.  SO that scared me that something bad would eventually happen to my pics stored on the card if I didn't use a 4GB.  Now that I know a little more about CHDK it seems that this is only a limitation if you want it to boot into CHDK automatically when you turn on the camera.  Is this true?

If this is the case, I'm going back to my 8GB card.  Thanks!!
@spe672

You should have no problem using the larger SD card. The 4G limitations you may have read about normally refer to two different topics.

1. The first 4G topic has to do with formatting an SD card - the largest partition that can be formatted as FAT16 is 4G. The FAT16 format is important because it required for installing the CHDK autoboot capability (DISKBOOT.BIN). But for your 8G card we intentionally make the FAT16 partition smaller than 4G - just large enough for the CHDK files; the rest of the SD card is formatted FAT32 and CHDK stores all photos & movies on that partition (all in one place rather than two different partitions). Photos & movies will be just as safe on either partiton.

2. The second 4G limitation mentioned is usually the maximum size movie recording that the Canon camera can create before it stops recording. A lot of people wish this maximum could be overcome. If you were to google this topic, you'll find numerous theories on why the 4G limitation - some think hardware, some think software, some think Canon internal policy, and some attribute to how European governments tax cameras vs camcorders.

Bottom line - use the larger SD cards instead of the smaller 4G cards.

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Offline reyalp

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Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #2 on: 03 / March / 2011, 23:44:14 »
2. The second 4G limitation mentioned is usually the maximum size movie recording that the Canon camera can create before it stops recording. A lot of people wish this maximum could be overcome. If you were to google this topic, you'll find numerous theories on why the 4G limitation
4GB (-1 byte) is maximum possible filesize of a file on a fat32 filesystem. This is fact, no need for any other theories.

Canons frequently restrict video to lower size or time limits, which might be related to the theories you mention...
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #3 on: 05 / March / 2011, 11:15:47 »
Can you please direct me to a tutorial on running CHDK with a 8gb card? I have had a hard time finding it.

I installed chdk on a 128mb SD card I had lying around with card tricks. Now I want the same program on my 8gb SDHC Micro card in a CD adapter. Anyone know if this is possible? I need the space for time lapses.

@Spe672 -- how do you leave the camera on for a while on power? I want to do some time lapses of flowers blooming but I haven't figured that out yet. I'm using a Canon SD1200 IS (the basic small pocket camera).

thanks


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Offline SkyWalker9

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Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #4 on: 05 / March / 2011, 12:47:55 »
Can you please direct me to a tutorial on running CHDK with a 8gb card? I have had a hard time finding it.
The process to run CHDK changes very little - the changes to transfer your photos and add scripts changes the most since you'll be using two partitions instead of just one. Using an 8G card requires two partitions and can vary depending on how you setup your SD card. But don't worry, it's relatively easy to setup even on a Windows OS system.

Since you mentioned you want to do timelapses sequences I suspect you'll want to have the maximum space available. That usually means setting up the SD card with two partitions: a small bootable FAT16 partition and the rest of the SD card as a FAT32 partition. All photos will get stored on the large FAT32 partition automatically by CHDK. You didn't mention which operating system - if you are using a Windows OS you will need to have a copy of sdminste.exe to allow you to swap partitions to upload photos to your computer. That process is explained in a tutorial I wrote last year on how to setup SD Cards for CHDK. Here is a download link to the tutorial: http://hotfile.com/dl/104082286/06e667c/Installing_CHDK_on_SD_Cards_(Windows_OS).pdf.html

The method to create the badpixel file for DNGs has changed since I wrote the tutorial, however, just make a copy of the one from you 128mb card as well as your CHDK config files - they'll be the same for the new SD Card format as well.

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I installed chdk on a 128mb SD card I had lying around with card tricks. Now I want the same program on my 8gb SDHC Micro card in a CD adapter. Anyone know if this is possible? I need the space for time lapses.
Absolutely!

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@Spe672 -- how do you leave the camera on for a while on power? I want to do some time lapses of flowers blooming but I haven't figured that out yet. I'm using a Canon SD1200 IS (the basic small pocket camera).
You need two things: one of the intervalometer scripts from the scripts forum and a power adapter made for your camera.

A google search using: 'power adaptor for SD1200'  found this (among others) "Replacement AC Power Adapter Supply Kit For Canon PowerShot SD1200" at http://www.amazon.com/ACK-DC40-Replacement-Adapter-PowerShot-Digital/dp/B003D7PDKY  Most are just as reliable as the Canon adaptor, just make sure it has at the least the capabilities that the Canon adaptor recommends.

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Offline reyalp

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Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #5 on: 05 / March / 2011, 15:46:24 »
Can you please direct me to a tutorial on running CHDK with a 8gb card? I have had a hard time finding it.
If you want CHDK to boot automatically, you need to partition the card, see http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Bootable_SD_card

If manually loading is OK, then you can just put the PS.FI2 on your card, and use "firm update" every time you want to run CHDK. Edit to add: In this case, the card can be formatted normally: a single FAT32 partition.
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I installed chdk on a 128mb SD card I had lying around with card tricks. Now I want the same program on my 8gb SDHC Micro card in a CD adapter. Anyone know if this is possible? I need the space for time lapses.
I've used a partitioned micro SD card in an adapter without problems. Your adapter must have the SD card lock if you want to autoboot. The lock is just a mechanical switch, so you could modify an adapter to have the appropriate notch.

If 4GB is enough for your needs, you may find it more convenient to just buy one or more 4GB cards and format them FAT16.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #6 on: 05 / March / 2011, 21:42:47 »
Thanks guys.
@SkyWalker9 that tutorial was pretty helpful. I managed to get two partitions going, and my camera recognizes CHDK, although it looks a little different on this card than on my 128 MB. Most importantly, the natural canon message appears "Memory Card Full," so I can't take any pictures. Does the DNG configuration / bad pixel have anything to do with that? I used card tricks the first time around so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. I think the camera is only seeing the 2mb partition instead of the swap. I can navigate to the Swap partition option on the camera, but a dialog comes up saying "This camera only has one partition" -- Maybe I didn't do the partitioning right (even though it seemed like it based on the partition swapping on Windows 7 with sdminste.exe

@reyalp

I may just get a 4gb--would any work, even a sdhc? I'd avoid buying a new card if I could use the ones I have, I know it is just a matter firguing the process out and then going with it.

Thanks again for your advice and let me know what you think.


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #7 on: 05 / March / 2011, 23:38:52 »
I may just get a 4gb--would any work, even a sdhc? I'd avoid buying a new card if I could use the ones I have, I know it is just a matter firguing the process out and then going with it.
Yes, SDHC is fine, assuming your camera supports SDHC at all (G9 does).

4 GB FAT16 is actually non-standard, but AFAIK no one has ever reported problems with it on these cameras.

Single partition is more convenient in many ways, the $5-10 a card costs may well be worth it if you don't need more space in a single shooting session.
Don't forget what the H stands for.


Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #8 on: 06 / March / 2011, 17:19:23 »
4 GB FAT16 is actually non-standard, but AFAIK no one has ever reported problems with it on these cameras.

I have only used FAT16 4G SD (not SDHC) cards on my CHDK camera, and it is true that I have never found one error, not one photo, nor one byte ever lost. Plus the increased write speed from the FAT16 format really helps with burst rates as cards get more filled-up. However, I have a Toshiba laptop with a built-in SD/HC, Memory-Stick, MMC, xD, card-reader. Try as I might I can't get it to read FAT16 formatted SD cards. Nor, oddly enough, will it read micro-SD cards in any standard SD adapter whether they are formatted in FAT16 or FAT32. (That is infuriating, I use micro-SD cards a lot for many other device as well.) Oddly again though, that built-in Toshiba card-reader will read and write to micro-SD cards just fine when inserted into a Memory-Stick adapter first as the go-between interface.

So, while it's true that you won't have any problems with FAT16 IN the camera, getting something else to read it, on rare occasions with particular equipment, might prove problematic. Conversely, I also have a very inexpensive USB multi-card reader. It reads them all in any format just fine, as well as the micro-SD cards of any format. So there will always be quick and inexpensive ways around this if one odd-ball reader-device does not work. (If anyone is curious, the built-in card-reader in that Toshiba laptop has driver software written for it by Texas Instruments. A card-reader brand-name to probably avoid if looking for more thorough compatibility. Outside of this one little bottleneck, the Toshiba is a very nice laptop. They just went with the wrong company for their card-reader is all. A minor annoyance with easy work-arounds.)

Just one data-point to consider about FAT16 cards and any possible problems.  :)

Re: Largest SD card you can use if making card bootable is NOT necessary
« Reply #9 on: 07 / March / 2011, 12:32:59 »
It also happened to me. On a toshiba satellite the included sdhc reader isn'r reading the dual partition card while my netbooks do. Also, my third card reader is reading this, after buying some cheap ones. I don't know why it happens. Anyway, I put sdm installer + chdk on my both partitions just to be sure I don't get caught in a dead end.

 

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