What’s the difference between Full Format and Quick Format in the FX6?

The Sony FX6 offers two different ways to format the the SD cards and CFExpress cards. These are Quick Format and Full Format. 

What’s the difference and which should I use?

Full Format erases everything on the card and returns the card to a completely empty state. All footage is removed/deleted from the card and it cannot therefore be recovered later should you perform a Full Format by mistake. Because Full Format returns the card to a completely empty state removing any junk or other clutter it also ensures that the cards performance is maximised. Full Format should be used whenever possible as it ensures maximum performance. However once a card has been Fully Formatted you cannot ever recover lost files from it.

Quick Format erases the cards database about what files are on the card. Quick Format is faster than Full Format, but it does not actually remove your video files. When you then start a new recording on the card the new recording will use any empty space on the card if there is any. If there is no empty space then the new file will overwrite any existing files on the card. This does mean that in some cases if you have accidentally done a quick format you may be able to use data recovery software to rescue any files that have not already been overwritten.  But file recovery is not guaranteed and should not be relied upon. As quick format does not clear all data from the card, over time the performance of the card may be degraded, so a Full Format should be performed periodically to ensure the best card performance.

It’s also worth noting that if you want to load LUT’s into the FX6, the card should be formatted in Slot B so that the correct file structure including the LUT folder is added to the card. Once any LUT’s are placed in the LUT folder the card must be placed back in slot B to so you can load the LUTs into the camera. You cannot load LUTs via slot A.

For more FX6 posts and information click here: https://www.xdcam-user.com/camera-setup/ilme-fx6-sony-fx6/

11 thoughts on “What’s the difference between Full Format and Quick Format in the FX6?”

  1. Does quick format leave LUTs stored on the card in Slot B intact, so that they can be saved on the card for later loading into the FX6?

    Also, can you store “All Files” onto the card, which again are not deleted by Quick format? My Z280 camera stores “All files” onto a separate SD card in the camera so formatting the media A and B cards doesn’t delete them.

    1. Quick format removes the links to all files on the card so All Files and LUT’s previously saved on a card are not available after a Quick Format.

      1. Thanks Alistair. Just another quick question.

        As LUTS and All Files are deleted with quick format and there is no separate SD Card slot to store them on (unlike the Z280), can all your All Files be stored in camera as well as your LUTs so that you don’t need to carry a separate SD card with them on so they won’t be deleted with formatting the cards. I prefer All Files to Scene Files as they keep all your settings like matrix, black level etc.

        1. No. But you can save up to 16 Scene files and 16 LUT’s (Base Looks) in the camera. A scene file remembers all paint settings.

        1. If you use quick format and the realise you made a mistake you might be able to recover the files. I use full format you can never recover the files.

  2. Could Sony do a Firmware update to get around this problem either by one of these options:-
    1) a third format option that just removes the links to the recorded video files so that new video files can be recorded over them but leaving the directories in which the LUTS and ALL FILES in un-erased and still reachable
    2) Allow memory space in the camera to be allocated to store say 16 All Files
    3) When formatting the card a third formatting option would transfer the ALL Files and LUTs stored on the card to be transferred temporarily into the camera and then copied back to the card after formatting
    I find All Files very very useful as it allows much much more than scene files regarding camera settings to be saved and recalled.
    Are you in touch with Sony engineers to discuss these possibilities?

    1. You make it all sound so very easy and I am quite sure they already realise that it would be preferable not to lose the All Files when you format a card.
      I suspect there simply isn’t the space in the cameras memory to save any more data or add the additional code for a more sophisticated formatting processes. The architecture of the camera and the way base looks have to be shared between CineEI and Custom mode, the reduced number of gamma options, only 4 picture profiles compare to the 10 found in the FS5 etc suggest the camera has no spare memory capacity. Possibly a consequence of shoe horning a CineEI mode into the processing of an Alpha. It may be that they are able to optimise the code to free up some space later but I wouldn’t count on it.

  3. Alistair, thank you for your reply. However, I would appreciate when you next see the Sony engineers if you could have a word with them about this. It so useful and easy with my Z280 to swap between All Files ( allowing nearly all the camera’s stored set up to be changed ) stored on the 3rd SD card which I realise the FX6 doesn’t and can never have.

    1. I will mention it again, I know they are already aware of the desire not to have the all files deleted. But you have hit the nail on the head right there. That 3rd card slot in the FX9, Z280 etc, dedicated to scene files etc is what makes the difference, something the FX6 will never have. Probably a cost based decision building the camera down to a target price.

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