Where did my pictures go? I'd love to have a nickel for every time I've heard that question!
The memory card in your digital camera is an electronic storage area for your images. The data stored on the card is just a bunch of 1's and 0's stored in various memory areas on the card. The camera takes the picture, processes the image into a digital code, and then transfers the information in that code to various empty memory locations on the card. In the process of storing the information, the camera writes a "table of contents" for the card known as the "File Allocation Table" or FAT. This is the place that your computer or digital camera will look to find the 1's and 0's that make up your image when it is retrieved for playback.
Sometimes, during the process of putting entries in the table and storing the information on the card, an interruption can occur. This can be from a low battery, an electrostatic shock, a malfunction in the camera, or just a glitch in the hardware of the card itself. The result is that the FAT is no longer consistent with the actual data on the memory card and the images that you have taken suddenly disappear. The good news is that the images may, and usually still do, exist on the memory card. This also applies to accidental erasure of images or inadvertant formatting of the memory card. The erasing of images simply removes them from the FAT which frees up the space that was reserved for the image. The erased image itself is still sitting in the same memory area waiting to be overwritten by a new image. Formatting the memory simply wipes out the FAT and the card is assumed to be completely empty. In reality the image data is still resident on the card.
We at Burlington Camera have the technology for recovering these "lost" images. The important thing to remember is that when you detect that there are missing images on a memory card, you should immediately stop using the card to avoid overwriting the images that you may want to recover.
So, heave a big sigh of relief and give Burlington Camera a call to get those pictures back that you thought were gone forever!
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