Sadly, no. But the incidence of card failures is really really low, but we all know that if it happens, it will be painful.

but if you read this thread on the planet5D forums, you’ll find an excellent recommendation by Dave:

When ever we buy new cards (and we have about 40 now!) the first thing I do is :


  • format
  • fill ’em up
  • read ’em off

..and repeat at least 3 times before we ever use it for a paid job. That way I know I’ve got a good card (or not).

So I asked if they were shooting stills (which would take a long time to fill up a card) or something else:

We record video in-camera. It sits on a tripod recording the TV so we know we’re getting moving pictures and sound rather than a single static image. It’s also how we test new gear (including batteries!). It sits in the office and runs and runs until we’re happy it’s all stable, otherwise it doesn’t go on a shoot.

In the past I’d fill the cards with still images because it was quicker, but cards are so big now that I’m not going to trash the shutter life just for the sake of it.

Obviously, that won’t totally guarantee a card won’t go bad during a shoot, but I think it at least gives you a more comfortable feeling about the card.

More – added 2013-11-26

Found this article:

Memory Cards – How to Extend Their Life and Keep Them Healthy

Any tips you have?

Do you have a way to test a card before you use it? Share below!

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chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind — which covers every aspect of HDSLR cameras (and a whole lot of other cameras as well). A lover of photography since his early days, he graduated to selling stock photos to make a little bit of spare cash. It wasn’t much, but it allowed him to upgrade to better cameras as well as computers, and it wasn’t taking money away from feeding his family.
He loves the stories that the still image can tell. In the summer of 2008, he read a story written by Arnold Kim called “I Quit My Job” — Arn is the owner of He started macrumors in 2000 as a hobby, and by 2008 he was making more money with the site than he was on his day job, so he quit. The surprise to the story is that he was a doctor making more than six figures! Right then and there, planetMitch dreamed about doing the same thing.
September 2008 rolled around, and Canon announced this new version of the incredible 5D — the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was the first Canon DSLR to shoot full HD video and the earth moved! (It really was a huge deal in the photography world.) planetMitch knew if there was ever a chance to ride a wave of something he was really passionate about, this was it — and the blog at was born. It is now one of the most popular HDSLR blogs on the planet, and he is making a full-time living from blogging. He couldn’t be happier!
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