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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-06-2014

5D *Classic* memory card capacity?

I have Canon 5D Classic memory card capacity question (16 vs 32 GB). My apologies If this has been previously answered.

I have a 5D Classic which still has plenty of good miles left in her. I use 8 GB memory cards, but every so often I find myself running through my cards, even resorting to some old 2 & 4 GB spares (usually due to being where there will be no opportunities to download the cards for days as the picture count relentlessly continues to climb). I was considering getting some higher capacity cards for these occasions. My understanding is my 5D Classic (firmware 1.1.1) can readily handle 16 GB cards (yes??). For those times however when I'm eating up the memory, I think some massive 32 GB cards might serve me better...BUT can the camera reliably handle and fully utilize cards of that capacity?? I've been unable to locate any solid yes/no answers to this.

And So... Do any of you know if I would have success with 32 GB memory cards on my 5D Classic, or would purchasing a bigger quantity of 16 GB cards be the better choice? Thank you for your help.
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 790
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 5D *Classic* memory card capacity?

If it were me, I would use two 16GB cards instead of one 32GB.


In fact, I use currently fourteen 8GB cards and six 16GB.... and that's with 7D and 5DII cameras that generate much larger files than your 5DC.


After all, it only takes me 4 or 5 seconds to swap out a card, including formatting. It's rare, but occasionally I fill them all (that's roughly 5000 RAW files).


I just don't like "putting all my eggs in one basket". Using many smaller cards, I'll only lose a very limited portion of the day's shoot if I lose a card or it gets corrupted somehow (thankfully neither has happened more than two or three times in ten years+).


Just my 2 cents worth.


p.s. I finally got smart and now write my name and phone number on all my memory cards with a permanent marker.


Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories


New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-06-2014

Re: 5D *Classic* memory card capacity?

Thank you for your reply! I understand the "eggs in one basket" risk - wise advice for anyone (learned that years ago with something much worse than a memory card...a hard my backups have backups). I'm still however trying to obtain a solid yea/nay on the 5DC's ability to utilize high(er) capacity cards.
Posts: 108
Topics: 1
Kudos: 23
Solutions: 3
Registered: ‎10-17-2012

Re: 5D *Classic* memory card capacity?

Firmware 1.1.1 added support for high capacity CF cards. I believe this includes cards up to any capacity. 


They all will work but not necessarily at the performance level they are capable of.

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-13-2017

Re: 5D *Classic* memory card capacity?

Many people reported success with using 32 GB cards.


I just reacquired a (used) Canon 5D, and - after upgrading to the latest firmware (1.1.1) - the camera indeed recognizes 32 GB cards (I used a Sandisk Extreme UDMA 32GB), but also seem to recognize 128 GB cards (Sandisk Extreme Pro UDMA 7). The camera failed to recognize the Sandisk Extreme Pro UDMA 7 256 GB, very likely due to it being formatted as exFAT.


BTW, because 32 GB is the smallest card size I have these days, I had to use Windows diskpart to format it down to a size that the old firmware would recognize before the upgrade could proceed. I followed the example on the Microsoft website and chose 2 GB, which is plenty for the firmware file.

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