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When you take a picture, your camera has to give it a name of some kind, and as you have probably already discovered, it tends to give it a name that's mostly numbers. In fact, though, they are sequential numbers. Every time you take a picture, the camera increments its image number. By default these numbers keep going up until you hit 9999, at which point they roll over to 1 and start over. The images are stored inside a folder on the camera's media card, which is inside of another folder called DCIM. Each folder can hold up to 9,999 images.
If a folder fills, a new one is created with a sequential number of its own. You can change the numbering scheme, though, so that it resets every time you put in a new card or create new folder. So every time you put in a new card you'll get a new numbering scheme. You'll also get a new numbering scheme every time you take out your old card, empty it, reformat it, and reinsert it. If you want, you can also reset the numbering manually. In most situations, the default continuous numbering scheme is the best way to go. If you have numbering set to reset every time you change cards, then you'll possibly run into troubles with duplicate file names.
For example, maybe you're on vacation. At the end of each day you dump all of the images you have shot into a folder. If the file names are resetting each time, then you will have duplicate names every day. I am here in the Custom Setting menu, in the d category, Shooting/display. If I go in here and down to d5, File numbering sequence, I see that it defaults to on. I can change the way files are numbered as I shoot. By default, with File number sequence set to on, every new image gets a number that's one higher than the previous number. Images start at 1 and count up to 9999.
When they get up to 9999, a new folder is created, and renumbering starts at 0001. Even if I turn the camera off, format the card, put in a new card, whatever, the camera will always pick up with the next number in the sequence. If I prefer, I can switch this to off, and now every time I create a new folder, reformat a card, or put in a new card, file numbering will restart at 1. However, it will only count up to 999, then it will create a new folder and start the numbering sequence at 1 again.
Or if I like, I can hit the Reset button. This will look in the current folder, find the highest-numbered image, and number the next image starting from there. So if I put in a card that already has some images on it, I can hit the Reset command here to ensure that new images follow the previous image number sequence.
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