I have a Canon PowerShot A510 using a Kingston 2GB microSD card with an SD adapter. The SD card worked perfectly until I formatted the card in my Mac. I formatted it with MS-DOS Fat file system. Now, when I turn the camera on with this card, it doesn't recognize it, doesn't specify how many pictures it can take with the current settings, and doesn't respond to any button, mode change, the shutter or even the turn off button.

The only way to turn the camera off is taking the batteries out. When I try my older SD cards of 16 and 256 MB, it works fine. If I format the card, the Mac reads it perfectly; when I put it in the camera, it encounters the problem above; after which when I put it back in the Mac it doesn't recognize it anymore. It seems like the camera tried to format it, but left it in an inconsistent format or state. I then have to format it again on the Mac to use it.

PS: As this is almost unrelated to the art of taking pictures, excuse me if it's off-topic.

2 Answers 2


You've got a combination of less-than-ideal practices going on here. In general, anytime you bring a card adapter into the situation you're risking potential trouble. Furthermore, it's always recommended to format memory cards in the camera (rather than on a computer) since although in theory a formatted card is a formatted card, there's always a risk that something might go awry.

Given that the A510 is a 6-year old camera and SD cards are pretty cheap, the easiest solution is likely to just purchase a 2GB SD card.

  • +1 for the formatting on camera. -1 for the get-a-new-card advice. Apparently, the OP managed to solve the problem with the current card.
    – ysap
    Jun 10, 2011 at 0:35

I actually solved this, it was silly. See, MacOS Disk Utility only formats disks in FAT32 filesystem, but my camera requires FAT16. So I did it on a Windows machine and formatted the card to FAT16 and everything worked perfect.

  • I guess that makes it on-topic. :)
    – mattdm
    Jun 10, 2011 at 1:17
  • Ironic? yes, itturned out not a lot photo-related, sorry. It's ok if you want to delete this Q
    – Petruza
    Jun 10, 2011 at 17:39
  • Nah, I really do think it's on-topic, in that it's one of the first concrete and simple examples of the oft-repeated "format-in-camera" advice. So I'd rather it not be deleted.
    – mattdm
    Jun 10, 2011 at 18:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.