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Can recording problems be caused by cheap SD cards?

Greg147

Novice Member
Hi all,

I'm definitely an amateur when it comes to cameras, so forgive me if this is an obvious question. I'm having some trouble with a number of action cameras I've tried recently, and was wondering if anyone might be able to help.

I've been trying to find a budget action camera, and keep coming up with the same problems each time. The camera will crash 50% of the time during recording, corrupting all files previously recorded since the power was switched on. The files are .avi format, and those affected have all their file properties missing, and simply read 'file not supported' when tried to play with any software.

At first I put this down to the cameras being cheap, but all three having almost the exact same problem seems like it's something I'm doing wrong.

The only common factor I can think of is the SD card I'm using. It's a cheap, unbranded Class 10 32GB card from a eBay shop. It's the only thing I can think would be causing this in every camera I try to use, so my question is, before I invest in a more quality product, would a cheap SD card cause these problems?

Many thanks for any help
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
One way to find out is to buy a branded SD card and try again. SanDisk is a good name and a 16Gb Class 10 ultra is only £10.00.
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Certainly got to be worth trying a branded card. I find Kingston very good. Anything Class 4 or higher will be fine for video.
What's the make and model of camcorder?....
 

Peter Brereton

Active Member
Problem is there are so many branded fakes out there, if an item is, quote, "Dispatched from and sold by Amazon" on their website or sold through a reputable high street name, in-store or on-line I think you're safe.
 
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Greg147

Novice Member
Thanks for the assistance guys, I've ordered a Sandisk model, and will give that a try when it arrives.

The camera in question is a Vivitar DVR785HD. I know it's cheap, but I'm willing to sacrifice quality for a lower price tag, if only it would function as intended. If the new card works, that would be nice, but otherwise I think I'm going to have to return it and start looking at GoPros.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
You might also check the gold-contacts are clean, but don't use any solvent or abrasive - best check on Sandisk site.
The most likely reason for those multiple camcorder failures is the common link as you have suggested. The unbranded memory-card.

GoPro do have a good reputation.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The camera in question is a Vivitar DVR785HD. I know it's cheap, but I'm willing to sacrifice quality for a lower price tag, if only it would function as intended. If the new card works, that would be nice, but otherwise I think I'm going to have to return it and start looking at GoPros.

I noticed on the Amazon site that your choice of camera came in for heavy criticism as not being a good buy. (what the customers said is unrepeatable:D)
What I would do is call up all the suitable action cameras and rate them using the customers comments and star ratings. A similar camera to your Vivitar is the Sunco which rates 5 stars.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
Apparently some devices also recommend not using class 10 cards. Why an overspecified card might be prone to problems eludes me, but its out there.
Definitely a fake card (reporting a capacity greater than the available tested memory cells) will cause data loss and is possibly responsible for the device crashing.
Free Windows utility H2testW.exe will test and report the actual capacity easily identifying cards sold as larger than they really are.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
nvingo it eludes me too - the unnamed poster may have confused fuel-ratings, but even that is Tosh as higher octane is always "better" (er, IMHO), - - - perhaps they just wanted to say something to see if others believed it...?
I'm not sure how a Card could report more memory than is present - certainly the label can lie - that's easy . . . and yr checker-exe may be useful where is it...in the OS?, but I've not needed it yet. I buy 16GClass 10 as they were the Best-value and now 32G Class 10, although the Camcorder works OK with Class4, it does mean you may be able to use the Memory in an up-rated camcorder later, when 4K is the norm.
I've been buying SDGC 4G Class 4 (good prices) for my Audio Recorder, as these are getting more difficult to buy.

Good Luck, all.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
...I'm not sure how a Card could report more memory than is present - certainly the label can lie - that's easy . . . and yr checker-exe may be useful where is it...in the OS?..
Fakes - had their controller chip hacked to report a larger capacity; used QA rejected memory chips.
That checker is downloadable - not part of Microsoft Windows.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
I don't fully understand what you say as most chips are tested at the wafer stage - if the wafer is faulty then it will be reprocessed and many hours work trashed. However, if there are a few they can get through to the die-stage where the wires will be attached, then the tests will establish the memory works OK - and that fail should be "blown" so they cannot be used ( and don't risk wasting further time in Test).
However, I can see a route for "fakes" that would be to buy good chips (of low capacity no longer valuable) and piggy-backing another controller ( as you mentioned ), so it could report a greater figure if the capacity is taken from a location that contains ( eg ASCII) Text.... do you know this is what happens?

In the past PC Memory was "tested" at Boot, by writing to each location - so each had to respond correctly and I doubt lower-capacity memory cards would pass. I am not aware that modern PC Memory ( now running into several Gb) are sequentially tested . . . . anyone know?
I say this as the response time is so fast, I rather doubt each location could be W/R .
 

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