I carry a little Canon PowerShot SD 990 camera everywhere. After all, you never know when you’ll see something worthy of memorializing. But a consequence of my “shoot now, ask questions later” attitude is that memory cards fill up very fast!

A while back, I decided to handle the problem once and for all, and got a 32GB SD card. Most of the time only about 8 GB of it is really full, but sometimes if I shoot a lot of video clips, it can get higher.

This has caused several issues. iPhoto began crashing on trying to display the new images when I connected the camera directly. Switching to a card reader, the iMac (running Leopard) still had trouble sometimes mounting the SD card on the desktop. There were so many files in one folder, I was nearing some kind of ultimate limit for the OS.

Luckily I had access to another computer that was able to mount the card, and cleared it off. After that, I found that setting the camera to Auto Create a new folder daily fixed the problem:

(Menu button > Click the Tools tab > Select Create Folder > Auto Create > Daily).

A second issue came up much later, when a lot of those Daily folders had accumulated on the card. I connected the camera directly to the computer using a USB cable, but found only a “Camera Communication Error” message on the camera’s display screen. There was no indication on the Mac that it knew the camera was connected.

Apparently there is a limit on either number of folders or total size of files that the Canon can handle. Deleting folders from the card using a card reader fixed that problem, and I’ll just have to be more careful.