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my rebel xsi will not format my 128 GB sd card

CMB
Apprentice

I just bought a Sandisk 128 GB Extreme PRO card, but my Rebel Xsi will not format it in the camera. Can I format it in a Win 8.1 machine, and then use it in the camera?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

The XSi uses SDHC format, which has a maximum size of 32GB. That should give you close to 2000 RAW files.

Before you buy a new card try formatting it in Windows in FAT32 format and then reformat in camera.

The card you have is SDXC and it uses the EXFAT format.
John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, M200, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, Lr Classic

View solution in original post

7 REPLIES 7

I don't believe that Rebels of that vintage knew how to handle cards that large. So even if you succeeded in formatting the card correctly, there's a good chance that the camera wouldn't be able to see it all. And at least a risk that images would get misplaced, lost, or garbled.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Thanks Robert. Would you know what would be right card size. I bought a 128GB, because I wanted to shoot RAW. I could not find any info on card size in my camera manual. CMB

The XSi uses SDHC format, which has a maximum size of 32GB. That should give you close to 2000 RAW files.

Before you buy a new card try formatting it in Windows in FAT32 format and then reformat in camera.

The card you have is SDXC and it uses the EXFAT format.
John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, M200, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, Lr Classic

I would highly recommend you get several smaller cards anyway, rather than use one gigantic one.

 

If anything happens to that single big card, you'll lose all your work.

 

If the previous response is correct (that you can put about 2000 RAW files on a 32GB memory card) if it worked in your camera you'd be able to take 8000 shots with that 128GB. 2000 or 8000... That's way, way too many images per card, in my opinion. Just imagine if you filled up the card, then lost it or it failed for some reason!

 

I use 16GB and 8GB cards with my more recent models (that generate much larger RAW files than your camera). Those give me approx. 500 and 250 images per card, respectively. Even when I'm doing an intensive shoot and fill up a dozen or more memory cards in a day, it only takes a few seconds each time I need to swap in a fresh card. I have four memory card cases: three Pelican (practically bulletproof!) that hold 4 memory cards apiece, and one Think Tank "wallet" that holds eight.

 

Incidentally... write your name and phone number or email address on each of your cards with a permanent marker... just in case. On another forum someone reported finding a memory card full of a large number of wedding images, lying on the sidewalk where someone obviously had dropped it. Using the images, the person who found it was able to identify the church, then called or visited it to track them down and return the card to one very grateful photographer! But, not everyone is so nice... And not every lost card is found.

 

***********


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
FLICKR & EXPOSUREMANAGER 

Kebal
Apprentice
Hello sir,
Here I got some problem about my Canon Rebel XSi DS126181 with lens EFS 18-135 mm . Its working good but unfortunately its shows error called "Card not Formatted , format card with this camera " then I do as per the instruction but it does not work and show error messege of "Cannot format ,Change Card " after that I check my SD card on my Laptop and it is fine there but does not work on camera after format from Laptop . Even I tried another Card but its not working. So I need help to overcome this problem?


@Kebal wrote:
Hello sir,
Here I got some problem about my Canon Rebel XSi DS126181 with lens EFS 18-135 mm . Its working good but unfortunately its shows error called "Card not Formatted , format card with this camera " then I do as per the instruction but it does not work and show error messege of "Cannot format ,Change Card " after that I check my SD card on my Laptop and it is fine there but does not work on camera after format from Laptop . Even I tried another Card but its not working. So I need help to overcome this problem?

Per the previous posts... the XSi can use "SD" cards and "SDHC" cards.  It cannot use "SDXC" cards.

 

Get a card marked as an "SDHC" card ... it will have a capacity which is 32GB or less.  If it has a capacity more than 32GB then it isn't an SDHC card... it's an "SDXC" card and your camera will not be able to recognize the filesystem format.

 

True "SD" cards use an MS-DOS "FAT12" or "FAT16" filesystem.  FAT12 was designed for use with floppy diskettes.  FAT16 (the replacement for FAT12) was updated to address the "large" disks that people started using in their PCs... like 20MB hard drives (that wasn't a typo... a typical PC had a 10MB or 20MB hard drive... if you had a 30MB hard drive then that was really big).   The FAT16 filesystem's maximum addressable capacity was 2GB... a size so incredibly lare that nobody ever thought hard drives would be that big (well that's we all thought back in the 1980's).  Now just one image from 5D Mk IV would take more space then the entire capacity of the hard drive (a typeical RAW file from that camera is around 45MB... varying slightly from shot to shot.)

 

The "SDHC" cards took advantage of new memory densitities which could make cards up to 32GB.  It uses the MS-DOS FAT32 filesystem type.  But 32GB is the max that filesystem can handle.

 

This is when your camera is built... in an age where the "FAT32" filesystem exists (which your camera can use) but larger filesystem types do not exist.   Your camera doesn't know how to deal with filesystems that didn't exist when it was made.

 

The industry stagnated for a bit... or more accurately it forked off in many non-unified directions.  Microsoft pushed their own NTFS filesystem for large filesystem types.  Apple used HFS+.  Linux used ext2 followed by ext3, etc.  and unfortunately there was no single large common filesystem type that would be recognized regardless of which computer or device uses it.  

 

FINALLY the exFAT filesystem type was created and this is a common filesystem type.  

 

The "SDXC" cards use this filesystem.  It is used for filesystems larger than 32GB and up to it's max limit of 2TB (though I don't think anybody makes a card with a 2TB storage density... at least not yet.)

 

The advantage of exFAT is "in theory" you should be able to take the card from a modern camera (one new enough that the camera was designed and released after the filesystem exists and knows how to take advantage of it) and that same card can be used in any modern computer (PC, Mac, Linux, etc.) and they can all recognize and use the filesystem type.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

The good stuff first: If you're seeing the "Card not formatted, format card with this camera" and then after the instructions you get "Cannot format, change card" it is because the camera is not directly SDXC compatible. I found a solution for my 64 GB SDXC card -

 

I used a program http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm (or search "Ridgecrop FAT32 GUI") and click on the giant image to download it (weird, but they're British). I scanned it and it was clean & safe, but I won't guarantee anything about it. Windows' built in programs will not let you format as FAT32 - but this will. I believe Mac OS will format as FAT32 just fine but I can't confirm.

 

It opens right away and then you just tell it to format your SDXC card (make sure it is the correct one! formatting deletes everything on the device). It will format the SDXC card as FAT32. Popping it into the Rebel XS camera just worked and I was able to take pictures and they were saved without fanfare.

 

Note: I have not filled the camera past 32 GB so I do not know if the camera will throw a hissy fit (and not save pics) if you go over the 32 GB limit SDHC cards have.

 

 

 

I do want to note important technical information. SDHC cards are limited to 32 GB sizes but that's not because of the file system. SDHC cards' filesystem is defined to be ONLY FAT32. SDXC cards are limited to 2 TB sizes (we're not there yet) and again that is not because of the filesystem. SDXC cards' filesystem is defined to be ONLY exFAT.

 

SDHC and SDXC cards are probably the same physically - but the old Rebel XS series will not be able to read exFAT since they were never programmed to do so. A computer setting an SDXC card to FAT32 will be readable by the Rebel XS though, and so that's why it works if you make the formatting happen.

The FAT32 filesystem can handle at least 2 TB sized cards or drives. Windows itself will throw a hissy fit if you try to format a drive that's larger than 32 GB as FAT32 - but there are plenty of programs that let you do it (see above) and then Windows will interact with it just fine. And any other OS will do it as well. You can format a 2 TB drive as FAT32 if you wanted. The downside to the FAT32 filesystem is it can only handle 4 GB or smaller files - which means big videos or anything large won't work, but that's not a problem for single picture cameras.
Sum up:

SDHC - FAT32 format only - 32 GB limit due to SDHC standard

FAT32 - 2 TB limit, file size limit of 4 GB (video recording on FAT32 cameras involves chunking the video into 4 GB chunks that you stitch together later)

 

The exFAT filesystem can handle up to 128 PB (PetaBytes) but they recommend to limit yourself to 512 TB since it lacks filesystem overhead features that protect large amounts of data from corruption. The file size limit is as large as the drive. The downside to the exFAT filesystem is that it is not universal - Microsoft owns exFAT, like they own NTFS, and thus support becomes limited - especially in various Linux OSes. Mac OS has come around to supporting exFAT but it is not preferred by Apple.

Sum up:

SDXC - exFAT format only - 2 TB limit due to SDXC standard

exFAT - 512 TB limit, no file size limit

 

I hope this helps seperate the filesystem from the SD card standard - the SD card standard defines the maximum card size, not the filesystem. SDXC could still use FAT32 but the 4 GB file size limit is annoying for video recording (due to the chunks of video 4 GB sized each), so it doesn't. Microsoft probably lobbied for their exFAT filesystem to be used to help force its adoption.

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