Before you can use an SD or microSD card, it has to be formatted (many come pre-formatted out of the box). To keep it compliant with SD Association specs, which minimizes the risk of your camera having problems with it, it’s important to choose the correct filesystem to format it with. So here’s a guide on how to format SD and microSD cards on Mac. First is the quick version; after that is a more detailed step-by-step guide. And I’ve also included an alternative approach using the SD Association’s SD card formatting app.
- Connect your SD card to your Mac using a card reader
- Open Disk Utility app
- Select your SD card
- Choose Erase function
- Enter SD card name (optional)
- Choose filesystem format. If 64GB or larger, choose exFAT. If 32GB or smaller, choose FAT32.
That was the quick version. Here’s the more detailed version. The good news is that you don’t have to download some expensive app to do it—everything you need is already there as part of the Mac operating system.
First, though, I should point out that if you’re using your SD card in a camera, it’s best practice to format the card in the camera itself. That way, the camera can set it up how it wants and expects it to be, and it reduces the risk of filesystem issues interrupting your shooting. All cameras have a “format card” function (sometimes it’s called something similar). Some even have a low-level formatting option, which is a more thorough (but also slower) process.
But if you want to go ahead and use format your SD card on your Mac, here’s how to do it. Before starting, make sure you’ve saved any data you want to keep from the card, because formatting the card will delete all of the data on it.
Connect your SD card to your Mac
There are different ways to do this. Some Macs come with a built-in SD slot. If you have one of those, you can insert the SD card directly into that. If you’re using a microSD card, put the microSD card into an SD adapter cartridge (it probably came with one) first, and then put that into the SD slot on your computer. You can also use a USB SD card reader.
Open Disk Utility App
Disk Utility is part of the macOS operating system, so you don’t need to download or install it. You can find it in your Applications folder under the Utilities subfolder (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility). Or you can use Spotlight (the magnifying glass icon at the top right of your screen) to search for it by clicking on the icon and then typing “disk utility”.
Identify Your SD Card
On the left side of Disk Utility’s screen is a list of the various drives in your Mac and connected to it. So it will show your Mac’s internal drive as well as external drives. The SD card should show up in the External section. If it hasn’t been formatted before, it might have a name like “NO NAME” or “UNTITLED”. If you click on it, you’ll see how much storage it is. Make sure that it matches what you expect—that is, if you’re inserting a 64GB SD card, make sure the capacity is showing as 64GB or close to it. If you see something like 1TB instead, you’ve selected the wrong drive from the list.
Choose Erase Function
From the list of functions at the top, choose Erase. You’ll get a popup warning you that you’re about to delete everything on the card.
Enter SD Card Name
In the Name field, you can assign a name to the card. This is an optional step—it will work just fine if you leave it as NO NAME or UNTITLED—it’s just a convenience issue to display a friendly name when you’re viewing it in Finder or making sure you’re importing from the correct card when ingesting images into Lightroom, for example. Keep the name short and simple—any long names or special characters will get rejected. Perhaps something like SDCARD1 or GOPRO, for example.
Choose the Filesystem Format
Under the Format drop-down menu, you have several options. The only ones we’re interested in here are MS-DOS (FAT32) and ExFAT. Which to choose depends on what size storage cards you’re using. If your SD card is 64GB or larger, choose ExFAT. If your SD card is 32GB or smaller, choose MS-DOS (FAT32).1
It will say it’s unmounting it, and then, after a few moments (or perhaps a little longer), you should get a message that the process is complete.
And with that, you’re done, and the card is ready to use.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s best practice to format memory cards in the camera, but if you want to format your SD card on your Mac, this is how you do it.
Things to Know
Older versions of macOS don’t support exFAT. Specifically, exFAT support was added to macOS in version 10.6.6, which was Snow Leopard released in 2009. If you have any of the newer versions—Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, or Mojave—those all have native exFAT support baked in.
It’s a good idea to be extra careful when selecting your SD card from the list. You don’t want to accidentally format another drive.
When you format a memory card, you should be prepared for everything to be deleted from the file. But in reality, it might still be possible to recover files from the card even after formatting. If you find yourself needing to try, take a look at my post on how to recover files from SD cards.
Alternative Method: SD Card Formatter
There’s an alternative method to formatting an SD card on your Mac that involves downloading a free SD card formatter provided by the SD Association. It’s very simple to use, with just a single screen that looks like this:
It does have some small benefits over using Disk Utility. One is that it automatically detects what is and isn’t an SD card, and it won’t make non-SD cards (or non-microSD cards) available. This means there’s less chance of accidentally erasing the wrong drive. Another is that it will automatically detect the size of the card and choose the appropriate filesystem. If you insert a 64GB card, it will only allow you to format it to SDXC specifications using exFAT. So it takes out any risk of selecting the wrong option. And they do provide this warning:
It is strongly recommended to use the SD Memory Card Formatter to format SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards rather than using formatting tools provided with individual operating systems. In general, formatting tools provided with operating systems can format various storage media, including SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards, but it may not be optimized for SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards, and it may result in lower performance.
It’s free, and you can find it here. There are versions for Mac and Windows.
- It is technically possible to format the SD card with the other filesystem (e.g., a 32GB card with exFAT or a 128GB with FAT32), but it can be risky to do that with some cameras. Some cameras will throw an error if the card isn’t formatted with the system it expects as defined in the SD Association’s specs. So if you do want to go against the specs, it’s worth making sure that your camera will accept it before heading off to shoot. ↩
Ricoh GR III Accessories & Replacement Parts
Here are the model numbers of some of the core accessories and replacement parts for the Ricoh GR III.
- Ring Cap: GN-1
The ring cap is the small plastic ring that attaches around the lens. Chances are, it's fallen off. While you do have to remove it to attach the lens adapter, it's a poor design that tends to fall off and get lost far too often. I've lost a couple of them now.
The camera will work just fine without it. But that will leave some contacts exposed around the lens barrel, which isn't ideal.
The official replacement part is overpriced. But you can also pick up much less expensive aftermarket versions. They're also available in different colors, so you can bling up your camera with a personal touch--or make it look like the Street Edition.
- 【Compatibility】: Designed for Ricoh GRIII (only).This decoration ring is made of high quality...
- 【Easy to use & Protector】:Easy installation and removal and Protects lens barrel exterior.
The GR III has a USB Type-C connector port. When you get a cable, you can get them with another USB Type-C connector on the other end or a more traditional USB Type-A connector. Which you choose depends entirely on what you're plugging into. For example, some newer laptops only have USB-C, while most other computers have USB-A.
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Enhanced Durability: Improved construction techniques and materials make a cable that lasts 12× longer.
Battery & Charger
- Battery: DB-110
It's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rated at 3.6V 1350mAh 4.9Wh.
There are some other cameras that also use the same battery--notably, some Olympus cameras (the Olympus model number for the same battery is LI-90B). So they're quite widely available. You can get the official Ricoh version. There are also aftermarket versions that can be much better value but work just as well.
- This Wasabi Power kit includes 2 batteries and 1 charger for the Ricoh DB-110
- Each Wasabi Power battery features Premium Grade A cells, 3.7V, 1300mAh
- Charger: BJ-11
You can charge the battery in the camera (using a USB-C cable). There are also external battery chargers available. They're especially useful if you're using spare batteries, so you can charge and shoot simultaneously.
- AC Adapter: K-AC166
This is used to power the camera for longer shoots, such as time-lapse, or if you happen to be using the camera for live streaming as a webcam. It connects via the camera's USB-C port.
Wide-Angle Conversion Lens
- Wide-Angle Lens: GW-4
- Lens Adapter: GA-1
- Wired Shutter Release: CA-3
- Easy to operate, Half-press to focus, Full-press to shoot
- Fits macro photography well, eliminates camera shake
- Standard External Viewfinder: GV-1
- Mini External Viewfinder: GB-2
- ✪LCD Screen Protector perfectly fit for Ricoh GR 3 DSLR Camera . Not for other model. Easy to install...
- ✪9H Hardness - Longer tempering time, which made the screen protector has a higher hardness. Prevents...
- Soft Case: GC-9
- Neck Strap: GS-3
- Hand Strap: GS-2
Ricoh has produced a wide-angle conversion lens that takes the standard 28mm view down to a 21mm (in 35mm equivalent). While it does add some extra bulk to an otherwise small camera, it works well and adds a more dramatic, wider view. I have an [in-depth review of it separately](https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/ricoh-gw-4-wide-angle-conversion-lens/).
Something to be aware of, though, is that you will also need to pick up the lens adapter separately. For reasons I really don't understand, the wide-angle conversion lens doesn't come with the adapter, and both are required to make it work. So make sure you pick up one of those at the same time.
Remote Shutter Releases
This is the official Ricoh remote shutter. It connects to the camera via a USB cable, and it's a simple shutter release (i.e., there's no timer or intervalometer).
You can also find aftermarket shutter releases for the GR III.
The Ricoh GR III doesn't have a built-in viewfinder. But they make two versions of an external viewfinder that slides into the camera's hot shoe. It covers both the standard 28mm view as well as the 21mm view if you're using the wide-angle conversion lens. There's also a mini viewfinder; that model seems to be hard to find.
The back screen of the GR III is quite exposed, and if you lie the camera on its back, the screen comes in contact with the surface. Even if you're putting the camera in your pocket, there's a risk of keys or coins scratching the screen.
There's no official screen protector, but there are good aftermarket versions. The one I use is this one. It's essentially a consumable that protects the screen. If you scratch the protector, you can quickly and easily replace it with another from the pack.
You can, of course, use the GR III with just about any camera case or bag. But Ricoh does make a dedicated soft-case that fits snugly around the camera and offers some protection even if you're toting the camera around in your pocket. I've been using one for a couple of years, and it's held up very well, and it keeps my camera safer from bumps and scratches.
Again, there's no particular reason you have to use the official GR neck strap, but there is one. The main part is leather, and it even has a discreet, embossed "GR".
If you do use a different strap, be aware that the strap loops on the camera are very small and won't take thicker (i.e., stronger) attachment loops. So you might need to use some D-rings as well.
There's even an official "GR" leather hand strap! But, again, aside from the branding, there's no special reason to use the official strap. If you do use a different one, you might need D-rings if the thread doesn't go through the camera's small attachment loops.
The GR III doesn't have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.Pentax External Flashes: