Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Delete In-Camera

Traditional Dhow Sailing Vessels in Dock with the City of Doha Behind

I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at some point; usually when we want it to least… but running out of space whilst shooting in the field is possibly the only good reason that I can think of to delete images in-camera.

I have met photographers that will regularly sort and erase images on their cameras whilst still out shooting and I can’t help thinking that it is a really bad idea. Here are my top reasons 5 why you shouldn’t delete your images in-camera…

1. You’re limited to a very small screen for previewing images in-camera (compared to a computer or tablet screen) and it can be much harder to judge and compare images in this small format, especially when looking through a lot of very similar shots.

2. It can be difficult to accurately judge how sharp the focus of an image, especially if you shoot RAWS with jpg preview files. Variations in focal points between images can be easily missed in-camera and this could be the deciding factor between photographs that are useable… or not.

3. If you’re spending your time sorting through the images that you’ve just taken, then you don’t know what you’re missing! This is especially important for photographers of genres like Wildlife and Sports; subjects and circumstances can change in an instant. You need to be prepared to react and shoot, which is something not quite as easy to do if you’ve got your head down sorting through the shots you’ve just taken.

4. The capabilities of editing software are incredible and always improving, which means that shots that may appear imperfect in-camera could be edited and ‘saved’ in post-processing.

5. Every photographer is always evolving, learning new techniques, experimenting and growing as a visual artist - and this means that your style of photography will change and evolve too. It’s very likely that some of the images you sort and delete today, would be seen and perhaps selected differently by a future-you.

Hopefully I’ve given you enough reasons to not delete your images-in-camera, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject too. I’m also hoping this is a gentle reminder for those of us who wouldn’t normally delete in-camera anyway, to always remember enough memory cards when we’re heading out to shoot!

Check out more articles on the Photo Blog and feel free to connect with me on social media using the links at the bottom of the page! You can also find out more about the image that accompanied this article in the 'How Did You Shoot That' section below.

How Did You Shoot That?

I captured the image above early in the morning on the waterfront of Doha, Qatar. The air was already hot and dry, and I wanted nothing more than to jump into the water for a swim! Here's the equipment and settings I used to shoot the tradition Dhow sailing vessels moored alongside the Harbour walls.

The Settings:

Shoot Mode: Manual

Shutter Speed: 1/500

Aperture: f/7.1

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 24mm

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