Today’s unpleasant discovery about my digital camera

I’m fairly happy with my digital camera, a Casio Exilim P-600. It doesn’t record sounds any more (that broke early in its life, and an attempt to use Fry’s “Performance Guarantee” convinced me never to buy a “Performance Guarantee” again, as well as to buy as little as I can from Fry’s), but that wasn’t a core feature anyway.

But Jeff is getting ready to go to Israel for his senior class trip, and I wanted to send the camera with him and for him to have enough memory not to have to worry about filling it up. So I picked up a 2GB SD card at Radio Shack this evening for $18, dropped it in the camera, and was happy when the display showed 793 pictures remaining.

I, however, am paranoid about these things, so I told the camera to reformat the card, which it did…and suddenly the capacity was only 393 pictures. Hmm, said I, and took the camera to my PC. Which told me that my 2GB card had an E: partition of 968MB. And nothing I could do in the way of reformatting the card changed the situation.

A bit of Googling led me to RITEK USA‘s recovery utility to regain the missing capacity on the card. And a bit more Googling got me an unRAR program, since, for unknown reasons, they distribute the program as an EXE inside a RAR inside a ZIP. And a minute later, I had a 2GB card again, formatted in FAT.

Inserting it into my camera bought me a “CARD ERROR”. I tried again, same result. I tried formatting the card as FAT32, and the camera wouldn’t even boot up.

Eventually, I found the answer at Steve’s Digicam Forums. The maximum capacity SD card for the Exilim S-600 is 1GB. Putting a 2GB card in can work…sort of…but it’s fraught with peril.

So tomorrow, it’s back to Radio Shack to buy a 1GB card for Jeff to take on the trip. I’ll keep the 2GB card, though, because I suspect there’s a new camera in my future anyway.