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The D800 has two media slots: a CompactFlash slot and a Secure Digital slot. You can control the camera's relationship to those two slots, and kind of how it handles the both of them, using a couple of menu items here in your Shooting menu. First of all, there is a Primary slot selection option. If I open that up, I can say I want you to start shooting on either the SD or the CF slot. It defaults to SD. I'm going to actually change that to CF, because the CompactFlash card that I have in the camera right now is faster than the SD card, and I'm going to be doing some bursting and want to be sure that the buffer clears out quickly. So I'm going to set OK.
At other times I might set the SD card to be the primary slot, maybe because I need to simply hand the card to someone and they've asked for an SD. Or maybe I have, say, an i5 SD card, which is an SD card with a little Wi-Fi transmitter in it, so that you can automatically upload images directly from the camera. But i5 cards only come in SD format, so I might choose to make the SD slot the card that I'm shooting to. Whichever slot is primary is the one that the camera is currently storing images on. So what does it do with the second slot? Well, I can tell it a couple of different things to do.
By default the second slot is simply overflow. When your primary slot fills up or the card in your primary slot fills up, it simply starts writing data to the secondary card. I can also tell it to back up, that is, to write the same image to both cards, so I get immediate redundancy. Finally, if I'm shooting RAW plus JPEG, I can tell it to put the RAW files on the primary card and the JPEG files on the secondary card. I'm just going to use this simply as overflow, so that if my primary card fills up, it'll switch to the second.
This is great if I am shooting a performance or an event of some kind where I don't want to have to stop and change cards. I can simply load the camera up with two cards and not have an interruption in my shooting until they're both full. That said, you're going to want to give some thought to your primary card selection based on the card's speed and capabilities. If you're going to be shooting video, you may have a card that's too slow for video, so you're going to want to be sure that that's not your primary card.
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