Which cards to use? … Card Size and Let’s back it up!
Updated: May 25, 2022
At TimeLapseCameras.com we ship all cameras with the manufacturer supplied 16 Gb SanDisk Ultra. There are several types of card speeds. ULTRA vs EXTREME.
In testing various brands we have determined the recommended card and speed to use is SanDisk Ultra.
The Afidus time lapse camera will accept cards up to 256 Gb in size. (update: as of May 2022, Afidus is now recommending only upto 128 GB. Which must be formatted as FAT32. Read on friends we have much to share.)
Cards larger than 32gb in size must be formatted correctly. In our experience, there is little need for large cards to be used.
WHY? only use SanDisk Ultra?
The Afidus Time Lapse system writes flies slowly. Our recommended advise, stay with Ultra.
Many speeds are available they are defined as: Ultra, Ultra Plus, Extreme and Extreme Pro.
"SanDisk Ultra is slower than the Extreme model with a speed of up to 100mb/s. The SanDisk Extreme is faster by about 60mb/s since its listed transfer speed is up to 160mb/s from 64GB. The 32GB Extreme model has the same listed transfer speed as the Ultra Plus model."
In testing various brands and speeds with the ATL-200S model, it became clear to us at TimeLapseCameras.com any speed greater than ULTRA is not recommended and will not work with the camera system.
More information regarding card speeds.
Format the card in the camera.
If you're like us and use multiple cameras (or devices which use the mSD cards) it's recommended "Best Practice" to always format the card in the camera before it's used. This is especially true in the new 200S camera. Any mSD Ultra card larger than 16 GB in size must be formatted prior to use.
Use a permanent marker to mark your 200S cards and we advise to keep them separate within the cameras/devices you use them in.
Now for the fine print with the ATL-200S
The ATL-200S has a better CPU with more features and better performance.
ATL-200S uses FAT32 as its memory card format.
The CPU doesn't support exFAT format.
The solution is: 1. Format memory card before recording. 2. Avoid switching the using the same memory card between the previous ATL-200 and ATL-200S models or any other device using that mSD card. (This tip is for users who happen to have both models).
Similarly this is a good practice to remember its not recommended to switch your mSD cards used generally between devices.
SanDisk states "swapping memory cards between different cameras is a bad idea. this can lead to disc corruption and dramatically reduces the life of the memory card."
Best card tips and practices article
"What about larger cards"
If you want to upgrade your card size-you can look to 32, or 64 in size. Stay with the recommended SanDisk ULTRA microSD. Within the monthly recording guide, the16gb has enough storage for most recording and is compatible with Afidus camera.
Most applications don't need the larger 64 Gb and above cards. Surveillance work might be the exception where you need to capture a lot over 24 hours to capture whatever you are looking for.
For most projects 16Gb is the best starting point between content and battery life. With the "minute-to-win-it-rule" a capture every minute for a month during a 10 hour workday (working Monday-Friday) is about 7.5 minutes of footage, for that month. This is around 3.4 Gb total, at which point we check the batteries and there is plenty of extra room.
Surveillance and short term wildlife motion sensing projects might be the only application where we have needed 64 or 128Gb card sizes. These typically record for 24 hours a day with a capture every five seconds, this uses almost 3Gb a day. A 128Gb card would fill in around 40 days. You would need solar power or alternate power source to power the camera. For a month of recording you would have about 7 hours of footage to comb through.
How do you remove the card?
Open the camera battery compartment
Remove the batteries
Tilt the camera upside down
Press the card until it clicks to deseat it
Use the tip of your finger to gently remove it from the camera.
Let’s talk Back-up
Our recommendation is to keep cards under 64 Gb in size due to the regular monthly checks for your projects. You never want to be caught in the situation your camera has disappeared and you have not saved your content for that month.
Backing up to a central drive, computer, and/or cloud storage allows for safe redundancy. As you move through your project, continue to save content to the folder structure you prefer.
Check and Clear that Card
After the card has been saved you must clear it off. In this screen example the card is full.
The information screen and main card screen will show how much available and used space is on the card.
If the card is full and you deploy it for your project the camera will look and operate like it is recording normally. You will be lucky if you get one file, a frame, a day or 10 days of content on that full card. There is not enough space to continue.
After downloading the card contents to your computer/drive/cloud to archive for future use, you must (Apple terms here) "trash the card" and empty the trash.
Need to Format the card.
Ensure the card has been emptied by checking the mSD information where there will be plenty of room on the card. This will delete the contents of the card allow you to keep recording.
The other method for formatting the card was mentioned above.
Format it within the Afidus App as mentioned above.
Be sure to check out the rest of our User Guide for full camera operation.