Luckily, I've never had a memory card fail on me thus far and since making a backup copy of a memory card never was a real option for me when traveling, I never worried too much about backups.

Today however, some cameras, such as Nikon's D7100, have dual SD card slots. I would like to know if any of these cameras can be used to make off-camera backups of my pictures and if so, how.

The system that I'm thinking of is having memory card A in the camera all the time and use that for the pictures I shoot each day. Then at night, put memory card B in the camera and copy that day's pictures from A to B.

This way, when the camera gets lost/stolen, at least I have the pictures on a card somewhere else.

Does anybody use a system like this? Will the D7100 or other cameras let me make copies in this way?

  • While I don't know if there are any cameras that do this, there are devices made specifically for backing up your data on the go. Some are reasonably cheap and include hard drive based storage.
    – AJ Henderson
    Apr 23, 2014 at 16:45
  • Yes, but why carry such a device if the same thing can be achieved using the camera itself? Hence my question.
    – Rene
    Apr 24, 2014 at 5:32
  • A fair point but it's harder to lose, faster to transfer and far larger amounts of storage. Not that more options is a bad thing.
    – AJ Henderson
    Apr 24, 2014 at 5:34

2 Answers 2


Finally got my hands on a D7100 and tried out the option to copy images from one memory card to another.

The camera will let you select a folder to copy or individual images. You then select a location to copy to. Here you can select a folder on the other memory card.

I took a minute or two to copy 350 raw files using 90MB/s SD cards.

If you then continue to take pictures and repeat the copy process (selecting the entire folder of images, not just the new ones) the camera will recognize the existing files on the destination folder. It will ask to overwrite, to overwrite all or to skip. Unfortunately the option to skip all is not present.

All in all a very simple process to make a full copy that suits my needs.


The dual card feature is to prevent against data loss in the event of a card failure. The practical way to use this is to have two cards in the camera at all times and write to both simultaneously and use one to transfer to your computer.

If you're concerned about theft, you would have two SD cards with images on both and you could physically separate them (leave one in the camera and pocket the other, for example). There may be a feature to backup as you suggested, but I've never heard of it.

  • 3
    While this makes a correct observation about the intended use of the dual SD card slots, it only addresses the original question by saying "I don't know." This is really a comment.
    – AJ Henderson
    Apr 23, 2014 at 16:01
  • 1
    @AJ Yes, although I think the option of using simultaneous writes accomplishes the same goal and is probably better than the planned workflow, although to address the theft/loss concern you'd want to have a new secondary card for every day.
    – mattdm
    Apr 23, 2014 at 16:14
  • @AJ I think it depends on how narrowly you interpret the original question. To me, this question is about using redundancy to prevent against data loss and not just can that specific camera model mirror one full SD card to another blank SD card.
    – tenmiles
    Apr 23, 2014 at 16:14
  • @AJHenderson Does my answer not address the theft issue? What would you do differently to prevent against theft?
    – tenmiles
    Apr 23, 2014 at 19:13
  • 1
    Err, wow, I somehow missed the part about separating the cards, though I don't think that is particularly practical as it then involves having to take the card out after any use and put it in before any use or photos get missed and if you forget to remove it or the camera gets stolen while using it, the card is still lost.
    – AJ Henderson
    Apr 23, 2014 at 19:36

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