How many memory cards for photography should I have?

I recommend Transcend memory cards. I have used them exclusively in my DSLRs for over 4 years.HOW MANY MEMORY CARDS SHOULD I HAVE FOR MY DSLR CAMERA?

The answer to this question is simple, but it requires a bit of counting.  This is my formula for the minimum number of memory cards you should have: 

  • # of cameras + # of camera bags = total number of memory cards

I have two DSLRs and two camera bags.  Therefore, if I followed my own rule, I should have at least four memory cards.  I do, I have five.  Why match the number of memory cards to both the number of cameras you have and the number of bags?  This is to avoid ever being stuck without a memory card.  For example, you took the memory card out of your camera and left it on your desk.  You put your camera back in your bag and go out to shoot the next day, but the memory card is still at home on your desk!  If you had a memory card stashed in your bag, you are saved.  

Why do I recommend this?  Well, because it has happened to me!  I left a memory card on my desk, went out to shoot, boom, no memory card.  That feeling is a rather terrible one let me tell you!  So I then made sure I always had a spare memory card in each camera bag so if I ever forgot to put a memory card back in my camera, I am not out in the field stuck not being able to make photographs.  

Memory cards are extremely cheap, so there is no excuse not to follow my memory card formula!  If you think memory cards are not cheap today, then let me tell you that in 2001 when I got my first digital camera, a beloved Olympus 2040 (2 megapixel camera!), I paid over $250 for a 500mb (yes, megabyte) card.  All of my photos from the greatest trip of my life, 10 days in Cambodia, all but four of those photos are at 640x480 because I had to converve space on my memory card!