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I want to delete more than 1 photo at once but not all of them on my Canon PowerShot sx160 &120

oceans88
Contributor

Hey everyone. I've always wondered is there a way to delete more than one photo at a time, but not all of them, from my Canon Powershot sx160 and my Canon Powershot sx120? I don't want to clear the whole chip I know how to do that. But I have a lot of photos to delete and my finger and my thumb are sore LOL. And don't know if there's a way to delete a group of photos but not everything that's on the camera instead of doing it one at a time? Thank you for the help I appreciate it 🙂

11 REPLIES 11

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

Is there a specific reason you are deleting large numbers of images on the card rather than transferring them to a computer first?

Let me explain.  When files are deleted in a camera's File Allocation Table (FAT32) filing system, they are not actually deleted.  The first character of the file name is replaced by a 0, which basically indicates that the space occupied by that file can be overwritten.  This is true for computers that also use a FAT filing system. 

There are implications to this in that when a file is then is written to the card it will use the first available spaces, which are often those made available, but will almost certainly not be exactly the same size as the space made available.  This means that the file is saved in chunks across multiple spaces on the medium. 

This will slow down the system a bit, especially on the old non-solid state discs of computers.  Since you are referring to an SD card that is not so critical, but what is significant is that this massively increases the number of entries and complexity of the entries in the FAT table, and that increases the risk of errors that will cause read/write errors and can even render the card unusable.  This risk is increased on cameras because the filing system of a camera is far less powerful and more prone to errors than a computer.

For that reason, best practice for camera cards is to do the following:
With the camera turned off, remove the card from the camera
Insert in a computer's SD card reader, and copy the files to the hard disc of the computer - once this is done it is far easier to select multiple files, using your computer's file manager than the camera, and will be significantly faster.  It's about using the right tool for the job.
Having copied the files, remove the card from the camera 
Reinstall the card in your camera and format it clean with the camera's file system. 

This is the only way to guarantee that the card is truly clean as the FAT table is also emptied.  You may find that your card will record and read bit faster, but the main benefits are speed in managing your images on a more sophisticated file system, and a reduction in the risk to your files on the card  and even the integrity of the card itself.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Hi I think it my age and how long I've been doing photography that is a little bit over my head LOL 😞 what I do is I always load the photos that I've taken recently into my computer straight from the camera. And then I just delete the images I don't want anymore on the camera. I've been doing that for years 🙂 on my newer camera the sx160 not as big of a problem cuz of course I started out with a fresh card and not as many photos on there yet. But on my sx120 I don't always delete all the photos even though they are in my computer now as I need them to show people when I go somewhere fast so I use the camera for that to take with me. So for instance tonight I deleted about 35 photos just using my thumb and scrolling with the wheel delete delete LOL so anyway my question still is is there any way to delete more than one photo at a time as I'm going through the photos in the camera and not just deleting and clearing the whole chip? If that's possible you can let me know thank you so much again I do appreciate the help

I actually looked up the user guide for your camera and it's not as sophisticated as other models in terms of mass deletions.   Even the SX160 is in the same situation - FYI, I enclose a link to the PDF copy of the manual:
pssx160is-cug-en.pdf (c-wss.com)
The best reference I can find starts on P124.  I recommend you read that section.
That said, in all sincerity, using your working SD card as your backup medium is a high-risk strategy.  I recommend getting a USB connected hard disc and use that to back up your current data location.  When you plug the new drive it, you go to the folder that contains all of the image folders and files you have on your hard disc and just copy that across to the new drive.  That is a LOT safer than using a SD card, especially one that is being constantly deleted from and written to.  I have seen people in tears when they catastrophically lose the contexts of their SD card.  I don't want to happen to you.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Hi yes I've already downloaded the manual for the sx160 a few weeks ago and I've already read the pages that you were looking at too I still don't see any one easy specific way to delete a whole bunch of photos at once. If there is a way I am not reading it correctly then cuz I just don't see it. The other gentleman here who replied suggested I just go through the photos that I want to protect and erase all the rest. That sounds like an easier method. I think that is possible to do on both these cameras the sx160 and the sx120. But I still haven't figured out if there's an easy way to do the protect thing? I do see the protect setting in the menu. But after that I'm not sure how you do it even though I've read that page a few times it's still not very clear to me. When I click protect it just says in the top left screen protect but then if I change to another photo I don't think it's saving the protect setting even when I hit the function button so I don't know if I have to go through each photo to do something special to protect it? But it does seem the easier way to go cuz I have way less photos I want to protect then the amount that I want to erase 🙂 and like I said mostly all of these photos are in my laptops and some of them are even on a flash drive and in the Google Drive cloud.:-) I just would like to erase a big chunk of them on the camera now but still save a few

p4pictures
Whiz
Whiz

If the number of pictures you wish to delete is more than the number of pictures you wish to keep, there is a way.

Put the camera in playback mode and then from the menu protect the images you want to keep. Then you can do an erase all images which will erase only the images that are not protected. Some cameras have the option to protect a range of photos which can help if you have several in a continuous group. Since the ones being kept are less than the ones deleted it takes less keypresses to protect them and delete the others.

However if you miss protecting an image it will be deleted. Some recovery tools will get them back if you don't write new images to the card.

In general you might find it better to use a computer and copy the images you want to keep on to the computer, external drive or even another memory card. 

 


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

Yes hi but that's what I'm trying to figure out how to do I don't know how to do what you said I keep trying to look it up and I can't find anywhere that tells you how to do that but I think there is a way LOL. I do have all the images I need save to the computer. And then I usually delete the ones I don't need but a lot are still on my camera because I take the camera with me and sometimes need to show a few of the photos to people very quick and the easiest ways to just take the camera. But I do have a lot of photos I would like to delete now but not all of them from the camera so even though you said there is a way to do that I still can't figure out in the menu or the sequence of where or how to do that? Thank you so much for the help and info I do appreciate it

In the menu I see the protect the image thing but I also think see some settings where it says you can select images, or deselect and then clear them but I don't know the correct sequence in that menu and it's not working when I try to select images it brings up like the movie playback screen that says set and play I just wish I could figure this out cuz I would like to delete a bunch at once lol. My thumb and finger are killing me I deleted about 50 individually tonight LOL and then as soon as I go out with the camera I always accumulate more. I do load them into my computer at the end of the day. But some photos that are very very important to me I keep on the camera for a long time, as I don't trust my computer either it could die or crash. I do have a lot of photos stored in the Google Cloud but not all of them

In the select range screen you need to select the first image in the range and then select the last image that you want to protect. Once you see the first image to protect press SET then it will take you back to the menu to select the last image to protect, do the same, scrolling through images as needed - holding down the cross key makes the camera scroll through images at speed - and mark the last image to protect. If you are not sure of the process check out the manual for the camera. I just worked it through on an older PowerShot S95. 

I hope you know that the memory cards used in cameras can also fail like computer drives do, and they are not a long term storage medium. If you have very, very important photos on the camera only then I suggest you ensure they are backed up on other systems too. Usual data storage suggestion is the 3-2-1 rule; 3 copies, 2 different media with 1 copy at another physical location. 

 

 


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

Hi thank you so much for the chat. I think you right you can only protect images but I don't see any way at least on my older one the sx120 to delete a bunch of images at once without deleting all. Am I correct in thinking you have to delete one at a time, or just delete all of them that's the only option I'm seeing on my older sx120. I do see the protect image thing but I think I would still have to go through a whole bunch and click and scroll to like clicked a whole bunch of ones I want to save. As I said all these photos are already saved on my laptop. And a lot of them that I've added and/or super important to me I have saved to my Google Drive also. At this point I'm thinking it might be easier to just get another flash drive stick I already have one but that one is full LOL. Then I could clear some more room off my computer and load some more onto a flash drive stick to save... but I still have the same problem of just wanting to save a few on the camera but want to delete most of the ones on the camera. And I'm trying to save scrolling in circles with my thumb and then clicking delete I did about 65 photos that I deleted tonight. I know they are for sure in my computer. LOL

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