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As you've seen, the Mark III has two media slots, it's got a CompactFlash slot, and right next to it, there is a Secure Digital slot. I do not have to have cards in both slots; I can have a single card in either slot, or I can have cards in both. I can configure the camera to use those two cards in a few different ways. I am going to drop into the menu system here and in the setup menu, in the very first menu, the very first item is Record function and card/folder select. If I go into there, I have a number of different options.
First off, I'm set for Standard Record function. That means that it is going to record what I shoot onto a single card. I can select which card I want it to record to by going here to the second option, which is Record/play. If I go into there, I can now switch from CompactFlash to Secure Digital, so now it's recording to the SD card, and you can see it's moved over here. I am currently set for shooting at best quality JPEG, so it's showing me the format that's being recorded on this card. It's going to record into this particular folder; we'll look at changing folders later.
I am going to switch it back to the CompactFlash card, and you can see that's jumped back over to there. So that's the standard recording behavior. If I pop this menu open, I get a couple of other options. Auto switch card will automatically fill up this card, and then switch to the second card. So if my CompactFlash card fills up, it will start recording on this Secure Digital card. If I go to Record separately, I can now record separate formats onto each card.
So let's say I am shooting RAW plus JPEG; I can record RAW to my CompactFlash, card and JPEGs to my Secure Digital card. Now, right now it's showing that I've got the same format on both. So to switch to JPEG over here, I need to go back up a level, which I can do by pressing the Menu button, and I am going to switch back over to my shooting settings, and go in here to Image quality. Now in Image quality, you can see that there are two options here. If I go in, I can independently set recording settings for each slot. So I'm going to change CompactFlash to be a RAW, and then I'm going to leave my Secure Digital card set to best quality JPEG.
So now, when I come back over here to my tools menu, and go back in here, I can see that I am set to record separately, with RAWs on this card, and JPEGs on this card. Or, I can choose Record to multiple. This will record the same image to both cards, so I get built-in redundancy. So it's defaulted back to my JPEG setting here. So it's going to record a best quality JPEG image to both cards. Now, when I'm doing that, my maximum burst speed is going to go down, because that's just a lot of data for it to be moving.
And of course, with any of these operations, the speed of my cards are going to have an impact on how quickly I can burst, how quickly my buffer will fill, and so on. So if I have a fairly slow CompactFlash card, but a nice speedy SD card, then if I was doing my record separately thing, in that case, I might want to put the RAWs over here, and the JPEGs over here. Notice that it did remember my last settings. So with these two slots, I have the ability to have a lot more storage on the camera at any given time, and with the commands in this menu, I can really control how to use those cards to make sure that I'm using them to the best possible advantage.
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