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Rudy Winston
Rudy Winston

Rudy Winston has over 17 years experience with Canon USA's Pro Products team, and has been responsible during that time for training Canon's staff on new products, creating presentations for customers and dealers, numerous writing projects, and providing technical assistance to professional and amateur photographers.

Creating Folders on the Memory Card

March 28, 2011

EOS Quick Tip: Creating Folders on the Memory Card
… when copying files to the computer, it’s simple to keep images organized.

The EOS 50D, quickly followed by the EOS 5D Mark II, are the first mid-price/mid-range Canon digital SLRs to offer this feature, although it’s been available in Canon’s flagship EOS-1D pro series for some time. With this feature, a user can create additional folders on the memory card to store and organize their images while shooting.

Organizational Tool

This feature makes it easy to separate your images as you shoot them. For example, a wedding photographer can easily place all his or her photos taken before the wedding in one folder; all the shots taken at the ceremony can be in a separate folder; group photos can be in their own folder; and candids at the reception could be separated into yet another folder. This way, when copying files to the computer, it’s simple to keep images organized.

The camera always automatically creates one numbered folder on the memory card to record images into. Now, with this added feature EOS photographers can freely create additional folders on the memory card. Each folder is sequentially numbered by the camera (100CANON, 101CANON, etc). Please note that it is not possible to re-name these folders in-camera.

Simplify Navigation During Playback or Transfer

However, one very cool new feature is if you go to the Select Folder menu setting and highlight any folder (such as 100CANON), you can see the number of images in the folder at present, and you also see thumbnails of the first and last images currently in the folder. Thus, it’s easy to identify the contents of a folder, right in-camera.

Quick and Easy to Do

To create a new folder or examine the contents of any folder, activate the menu and go to the first set-up menu (yellow-colored tab) and scroll to SELECT FOLDER. Press the SET button to enter this menu setting. Scroll down to CREATE FOLDER using the Quick Control Dial, and press SET again. The camera will ask you if you want to create a new folder; use the Quick Control Dial to highlight OK, and press SET again. You’ve just created a new folder.

By default, if you do nothing else, this new folder is selected, and any images you take moving forward will be placed in this folder. If you want images you’re about to take to be put into a different existing folder, call up the SELECT FOLDER menu item, scroll to a different folder on the list, and press SET. Images you take from this point onward will now be placed into this folder. In this way, you can freely not only create new folders, but go back and forth from one to another for storing images you’re about to take.

There are a few things you can’t do with this feature: Once an image is taken, you can’t move it in-camera from one folder to another (changing folders only applies to images you’re about to take). And, as mentioned, you can’t change the name of the numbered folders, or any of the images inside them in-camera -- however, either can be changed using software once you’ve copied images to the computer.


This feature was strongly requested by serious enthusiasts using previous cameras such as the EOS 30D and 40D models. With it, the use of only one or two large memory cards becomes practical, even for photographers who shoot heavily. A commercial or news photographer working multiple events during the day could put shots taken at a morning event into one folder, create a second folder for shots at an afternoon event, and another folder for photos from an evening event. This way, using one large memory card (such as an 8GB or 16GB CF card), it’s simple to organize and copy images once back at the computer. Even if you’re more of a casual shooter, you may appreciate the organizational assistance of this new EOS feature.

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