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Using Micro USB with Apple Mac computers (compatibility issues)...

JD2020

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My Mac computers (both an iMac and a Mac Pro) are unable to read the 128GB microSD card from my Mavic 2 Zoom.

I was trying to offload the video I shot with my Zoom, and my Macs would not even recognize/mount the microSD card. When I inserted the card, I a window popped up that said the device (meaning the card) was not recognized. The window had three buttons that said "Initialize", "Ignore" and "Eject". However, if I left the card in my Zoom and connected the Zoom to either of my Macs via the USB C cable, the memory card appeared in Finder as a hard drive and I could access and transfer the video files with no problems.

I don't want to have to connect my Zoom to my Mac every time I want to offload footage from the microSD card, so I called Apple tech support. After an hour with a representative, we solved this problem. It comes down to how and where you format the microSD card.

TWO OPTIONS:

(1) If you want to be able to read your microSD card directly from your Mac (without using your Mavic 2), you must format your card in your Mac. When you format your card in your card in your Mac, you must choose "MS-DOS (FAT)" in the "Format" drop-down list. Then you can put your card back in your Mavic 2 and your Mavic 2 will be able to write videos files to it. When you're ready to offload your video, take your micro SD card out and insert it in your Mac (with some sort of reader or adapter, of course). It will appear as a hard drive in Finder and you will be able to transfer and delete the video files on your microSD card.

(2) If you want to connect your Mavic 2 to your Mac and access the files on your microSD card that way, you must format your microSD card in the Mavic 2 using the option in the in the DJI Go app.

The Apple tech rep said this is likely the case because something about the way the Mavic 2 formats the microSD card is tailored to PCs. So, when formatted in the Mavic 2, the only way to get a Mac to recognize the microSD card is to leave it in the Mavic 2 and connect the Mavic 2 to the Mac using the USB C cable. I find this to be a hassle because you have to remove the gimbal cover, unfold the legs and power on your Mavic 2 to read the card. I'd rather just pull the card out of the Mavic 2 and stick it in my Mac.

This seems very strange to me since many other devices I use to create videos, that people will also presumably use mainly with PCs, aren't like this. I can format the cards in the devices, record video to them, plug the cards into my Mac and offload the videos with no problems. This is true of my Panasonic Lumix cameras, my Canon camcorders, my GoPro, my Blackvue Dash Cam and my Amcrest IP security camera. I don't know why DJI is using some formatting method in the Mavic 2 (and presumably other Mavics) that is not compatible with Mac.

If anyone has any further information about this, please reply in this thread.
 
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JD2020

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idk , mine is working well
Hi @Eugenious99: Could you be more specific?

(1) Which Mavic do you have?
(2) How are you formatting your microSD card (in the Mavic or in a Mac)?
(3) What specific type of computer are you using your microSD card and Mavic with?
(4) How are you reading your microSD card on your computer (how are you physically connecting the card to your computer)?
 
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mcsenerd

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I’ve got a 128GB Samsung Select Micro SD and I use a cheapo Insignia USB 3.0 reader with my MBP 15” without issue.
 

Kilrah

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Yup, was same problem with Air, if formatted in the aircraft the card would be unreadable unless using the cable attached to the aircraft.
 

JD2020

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I’ve got a 128GB Samsung Select Micro SD and I use a cheapo Insignia USB 3.0 reader with my MBP 15” without issue.
@mcsenerd: Are you saying you're formatting your microSD card in your Mavic and then putting that microSD card in a reader attached to your MB Pro, and the MB Pro recognizes it as a hard drive? Which Mavic do you have, and what OS are you using on your MBP?
 
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WWK888

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I have never had to format my card in my iMac in order to read the card. I have reformatted the card in the Mavic to erase all videos and then recorded new footage and again my iMac read it with no problems.
 
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JD2020

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I have never had to format my card in my iMac in order to read the card. I have reformatted the card in the Mavic to erase all videos and then recorded new footage and again my iMac read it with no problems.
@WWK888 Thank you for that information. Which Mavic do you have, and what brand/size card are you using? Also, do you know which Mac OS version you're using. It's very strange that different people are getting these varying results.
 

JD2020

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Mavic 2 Pro, Samsung 64 and 128, Mac High Sierra, whatever the latest update is.
@WWK888: Thanks for that. It's very confusing. I've got the same Mavic (presuming there are no differences in this regard between the Pro and the Zoom) and the same OS. I'm guessing that somehow the brand of card makes a difference. What specific version of the Samsung cards are you using (EVO, etc.)?
 

ac0j

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Odd that the Apple person said it was because of DJI prefering PC over Mac, then tells you to format the card in your mac to "MS DOS FAT" (Microsoft Dos operating system Fat.)
There is also a "FAT 32 version" i think, I dont own a Mac BUT, if it can fomat to MS DOS fat, I would expect that to be what the mavic is formatting it to. Anyone remember what the Mavic reports when formatting the SD card in the aircraft? Does it say what it is formatting to? I dont recall.....
 

JD2020

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Odd that the Apple person said it was because of DJI prefering PC over Mac, then tells you to format the card in your mac to "MS DOS FAT" (Microsoft Dos operating system Fat.)
There is also a "FAT 32 version" i think, I dont own a Mac BUT, if it can fomat to MS DOS fat, I would expect that to be what the mavic is formatting it to. Anyone remember what the Mavic reports when formatting the SD card in the aircraft? Does it say what it is formatting to? I dont recall.....
Normally, I think most Mac users format drives that are for use with their Macs would format to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". I don't know exactly what the rep meant by what he said. I've read in the owner's manuals of many cameras that you should always format the cards you use in the camera they are to be used in, and that formatting them elsewhere can cause problems even though they seem to be working fine. I don't know how true that is, but, rather than take the chance of losing footage, I will format the microSD card in the Mavic and go through the hassle of connecting the Mavic to my Mac with the USB C cable to offload footage.

I don't know what could explain why this is working differently for different users. The only difference between what @WWK888 and I are doing seems to be the brand of his cards. Right now I'm using an extra 128 GB Blackvue microSD card that I have for my dash cam. When formatted in and recorded on my dash cam, my Macs read this card with no problem. I guess I'll try a different reader, too, though that shouldn't be the problem.

I'm not aware that the Mavic does say what its formatting to when it formats a card. I guess I'll check, that, too, in case it makes a difference. But, I'm guessing that whatever the Mavic formats to, it formats the same in all Mavics, so that shouldn't be the difference, I wouldn't think.
 

ac0j

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i agree, just leave it in the Mavic is the best bet. Maybe its a hardware issue between the Mac users, or some sort of driver update?
 

JD2020

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i agree, just leave it in the Mavic is the best bet. Maybe its a hardware issue between the Mac users, or some sort of driver update?
Mac OS updates are universal. I'm not aware of any driver updates that are even possible outside of the Mac OS updates. I don't think that could account for it. The card, formatted in the Mavic Zoom, is not working with either of my Macs. One is running a fully-updated version of Sierra, the other a fully-updated version of High Sierra.
 

DanMan32

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Plain FAT (FAT16) is limited to 2GB. FAT32 limited to 32GB. exFAT can go beyond 32GB.
Therefore when selecting FAT on your MAC, it has to really be formatting exFAT if you're getting the full 128GB capacity.
 

sar104

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Plain FAT (FAT16) is limited to 2GB. FAT32 limited to 32GB. exFAT can go beyond 32GB.
Therefore when selecting FAT on your MAC, it has to really be formatting exFAT if you're getting the full 128GB capacity.

This should all be moot anyway - I've always formatted the cards in the aircraft (3 Phantoms, 2 Mavics, multiple makes and sizes of cards) and have never had any problem reading them on any of my Macs. The only factor potentially not common is these reports is the card reader, so I would check if that is the problem.
 

JD2020

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This should all be moot anyway - I've always formatted the cards in the aircraft (3 Phantoms, 2 Mavics, multiple makes and sizes of cards) and have never had any problem reading them on any of my Macs. The only factor potentially not common is these reports is the card reader, so I would check if that is the problem.
I don't think it could be the reader. I've tried using the built-in SD card slot (with an adapter) on my iMac, as well as a USB stick adapter and another reader that I have. I've also tried the readers on my Mac Pro. No matter how I try, I cannot read a card formatted in my Mavic on either of my Macs. However, these same adapters and readers work with the same card if it is formatted by and has recordings from my dash cam. Given that, it seems to me that the reader could not be the issue. I've purchased another card (a Samsung EVO select). I'll try it and post the results back here.
 

DanMan32

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This should all be moot anyway - I've always formatted the cards in the aircraft (3 Phantoms, 2 Mavics, multiple makes and sizes of cards) and have never had any problem reading them on any of my Macs. The only factor potentially not common is these reports is the card reader, so I would check if that is the problem.
I was just pointing out that the generic FAT format option mentioned for the MAC couldn't be just FAT16/12 so that wouldn't be the compatibility issue.
 
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