A while back I had mentioned to a friend about how dangerous I thought it was that Nikon and Canon were selling cameras with the ability to shoot images without any memory card in the camera. Not only that, but the cameras will display a picture on the LCD because the image is actually stored in the buffer. I realize that one of the reasons they do this is for people to test the camera and demonstrate the cameras functionality. What I really don’t understand is why the cameras are set this was as a default.
Canon is actually much better at alerting you to the No Card status by showing a large banner across the LCD when there has been a photo taken without a card.
Nikon, on the other hand, just puts a little Demo icon in the upper left-hand corner of the LCD which is easily missed if you are shooting up a storm.
The other difference is that Nikon allows you to go back and look at previous images as well as changing the display properties to see the histogram, highlight warnings, and other usual information that you might review when out shooting. This can further fool you into thinking that you are looking at images that are stored on a card, not in the camera buffer. Canon does not allow you to review more than the image that was just taken. Also, once it is gone from the LCD, there is no calling it back up by pressing the Image Display button.
Turning off this little annoying feature can be easy or challenging, depending on which camera system you are using. For you Canon users out there, just turn on your menu and look to the first Menu screen to the left. Look for the Shoot w/o memory card option and set it to Off.
For Nikon D3 and D300 users, it’s a little bit harder to find the setting. First, open the menu and the scroll to the Custom Settings menu (it is the one that has the pencil icon). Then scroll to F menu labeled Controls.
Then choose the No memory card? setting.
Then select LOCK Release locked and press the OK button.
This will keep the camera from firing without a memory card.
I know this sounds like a silly little thing but there is no worse feeling than discovering that you wasted a day of shooting and came home with nothing. Much like my friend that returned from a shoot and asked me how to turn off that stupid function. It seems as though she had spent the day shooting without her card.