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Back-up Storage While Travelling LIght

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BaldEgo, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. BaldEgo

    BaldEgo Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Aug 14, 2013
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    My wife and I will be heading to Myanmar in early December for five weeks of trekking and cycling. Needless to say, we'll be traveling quite light. Normally, I travel with a laptop and a back-up hard drive and do a nightly transfer of photos to both the laptop and the back-up drive. On this trip I don't have that luxury. I will be carrying an iPad but I am resisting using it as part of the back-up solution because (1) I don't want to consume a lot of space on my iPad for photo files and (2) even if I use it as a through-put to iCloud storage, our online connections will be quite tenuous and probably non-existent in many of the places we'll be traveling. Besides carrying a ton of memory cards, it seems like I have two other options: (1) carrying around a hard drive that reads memory cards directly; and (2) taking my stash of memory cards into a photo place in one of the bigger cities when we're traveling through them and having them put onto a CD-ROM (shades of 2003!). These solutions are not necessarily mutually-exclusive.

    Anyway, have I missed other options that others have found workable? Has anyone had experience with #1 above and, if so, would you recommend it? If so, what makes/models have you found reliable?
     
  2. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Well I can certainly confirm that internet connections are largely non-existent and even the internet connections they have are largely non-existant. I will be there in February - Rakhine State, Mrauk U.

    This is always a problem and I dont think an ideal solution exists. My current preferred option is the....

    http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Canvio-AeroMobile-Wireless-HDTQ112XCWF1/dp/B00JNBVK4M

    It is a 128GB SSD with...
    1) usb 3
    2) built in SD card reader
    3) battery (battery life 8 hours)
    4) built in wifi

    The built in wifi allows you to either transfer jpegs to your ipad or to stream jpegs to your wifi. The big plus of the wifi is that it is very fast making streaming not too irritating.

    In theory, it has automatic back up (put in SD card it automatically backs it up). Incremental back up ie it doesnt create unneccessary copies of existing photos.

    Unfortunately it suffers from a couple of problems that are typical of wifi hard drives
    1) It doesnt transfer raws to your ipad, so you have to shoot raw + jpegs to transfer jpegs
    2) Automatic backup and incremental back up doesnt recognize raw so it will only back up jpegs 'automatically'. But what you can easily do is use your ipad to copy and paste your DCIM file from the SD card to the hard disk
     
  3. BaldEgo

    BaldEgo Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Aug 14, 2013
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Thanks. This is very helpful information about the Toshiba SSD - I like the various options for transferring and connecting. Much appreciated.
     
  4. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    158
    Oct 16, 2012
    My solution has always been simple - instead of an iPad, take a small laptop. Some laptops are actually not much bigger than an iPad and will allow you to do far more than an iPad will, including copying pictures to backup USB sticks, making it easy to sort through some pictures during those long evenings and possibly post-processing a picture or two (I always have some exciting shots that I can't wait to get home for). I have an 11.6" Sony Vaio and its about 400 grams more than an iPad Air. I usually carry several 64GB USB sticks (now I'd switch to 128GB) that I make several backups on and spread them around my stuff, so in case a bag of mine gets stolen I always have another backup.
     
  5. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Western digital has a similar device but with 1 or 2 tb space. Don't know if it handles raw.

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1330
     
  6. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Derrick Story reviewed the WD and says:

    "The WD My Cloud app can display the Jpegs, but not the RAW files. However, the RAW files are there for when you return from your trip. The simplest method is to shoot RAW+Jpeg, use the Jpegs while on the road, and tap the RAWs at home."

    http://thedigitalstory.com/2014/09/wd-my-passport-wireless-hd-review.html
     
  7. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    From what I gather it has the same problem as the Toshiba. You can force feed it raw in other words copy image folders/files to it BUT it doesnt recognize RAW as a default/automatic back up option.
     
  8. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    A useful thread. Thanks for the info.

    I might also suggest an Android tablet, since you can easily buy these with a standard USB port and dedicated card slots, so you can up the internal memory to something quite substantial. Combine this with an SD card reader and 128GB memory stick. Smaller and lighter than a laptop, fewer moving parts so more reliable, and more cost effective than a dedicated drive.

    The Olympus app even lets me transfer files wirelessly from my E-P5 (JPG only, I think), which has been handy in a pinch.

    Whatever you do, you need two copies of all important files. I would not offload everything to a dedicated drive and rely exclusively on that.
     
  9. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    If you are happy to only have one copy then I certainly think SD cards are the way to go. They are so cheap that having a bunch of them isnt really an issue. I like to have a 'back up' though but I keep my SD cards rather than reformat them just in case of an emergency. The SSD I mentioned is superfast, so when I come to load photos from travels into my computer it only takes a minute or two.
     
  10. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    I have an old net book not much bigger than an iPad but it has a hard drive runs windows XP so I can see raw files, it is a few mill thicker than an iPad. If I had to replace it I would be tempted to go with a Windows tablet but one with an intel cpu as I can run things like light room on it, my wife has one with a detachable keyboard with a USB 3 socket and its small and light but limited on storage. But until the net book dies Ill keep using it, its lasted 6 years so I can't complain and as others have said SD cards are so low priced now I always carry far more than I think I will use. Now if some one made a tablet with a decent sized hard drive without it being a rip off price I would be over it like a shot, must be a market for one.
     
  11. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 30, 2014
    Mike
    I think I have mostly cured this problem...at least for my needs. I take a two pronged approach so I have some redundancy;

    Enough memory cards so I don't have to reformat/erase/whatever, plus a portable storage system. The one I use is a Nexto. I've also been known to also carry an Epson fileviewer like the P5000 but then the weight starts adding up. The Nexto is about the size of 2 decks of cards. Combined with a small card case its been ideal for me.

    I don't recall the model number of the Nexto I have but can look when I get home. Looking at their website it seems that they only have models now that also have a small LCD for image review. Mine does not have the LCD and I prefer it that way to maximize battery life.
     
  12. MikeWhitten

    MikeWhitten Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Dec 29, 2012
    Hey - I'm planning to buy one of these for portable storage so this worried me. I can find reviews talking about it successfully and automatically backing up raw files; none mentioning that the backup works only with jpgs. True, it cannot preview raws but that's different. Got any pointers on where to find a discussion of a possible issue with raw files?

    FWIW, early units had a firmware problem that made SD backups sketchy. WD has released an updated firmware load that seems to have fixed the issue.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  13. MikeWhitten

    MikeWhitten Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Dec 29, 2012
    As an alternative on my most recent trip I used my Nexus 7 to manage backups between SD cards and a WD My Passport, non-wireless version. It was a bit of trouble to get working at first, but once understood worked just fine. The trick was finding exactly the right hub/reader to make the process work. I can find and post a link if anyone's interested.
     
  14. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I've used all manner of backup solutions - extra SD cards, netbooks, iPads, Kingston MobiLite Wireless with a external HD controlled via smartphone (buggy but useful), Dropbox (nice but painfully slow when uploading 300+ RAW files) - while on the road. I haven't found the perfect solution yet. As others have mentioned, there are problems with devices recognizing RAW files. And any solution requiring an SD card reader fails as soon as the SD card reader is lost, which I've done. They're so small!

    No matter what I've backed up to, I've also gotten into the habit of picking the 2-4 best photos each day to upload to the cloud (Flickr, Dropbox, etc...) so that in a worst case scenario (i.e., lost everything in a flood), I've still got good shots on the cloud. I also use those shots to share on Instagram and Facebook while traveling.
     
  15. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Currently using a Netbook (256GB internal HDD); it has an SD slot that can handle my 64GB cards..

    Wife's iPad is only 32GB, so not very useful, not to mention lack of SD slot and lack of decent file manager.

    Work might get me a Windows tablet (e.g. Surface Pro 3), but they're microSD only, so would have to get a USB SD reader, or buy microSD cards (they're typically slower).

    Barry
     
  16. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    Hyperdrive, it's designed for this. Lightning fast downloads, the battery life is good, and let's you review files. RAW support is good. I've travelled with different models for about 10 years.
     
  17. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I agree that streaming raws is a whole different attribute that you wouldnt expect the drive to have. The Canvio can also manually back up RAWs on an SD card using the controls from a smart device..

    I dont think there are any reviews specifically stating it can automatically back up RAWs on an SD card. There are plenty of reviews stating it 'will automatically back up your photos off your SD card' I agree but those reviews should have added 'as long as they are jpegs'.

    I posted a review of the product on Amazon mentioning the lack of decent raw support in the software. Toshiba have replied to lots of the reviews and if what I said was wrong I am sure someone would have said 'update the software' 'get in touch with support'.
     
  18. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    There really is nothing 'lightening fast' about a Hyperdrive - they are limited to usb 2.0 for a start - unless that has changed recently.
     
  19. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 30, 2014
    Mike
    Well, the Nexto units are indeed very fast. At least the model I has is. I cannot speak to the more recent models. This and similar devices are NOT designed for viewing images. They are designed to grab a backup of al the files and they do it quite well under battery power.
     
  20. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    ++1 to this. I got one a couple of months ago to solve exactly this problem. I bought the drive-less version, and then got an approved 1TB disk for about $65. I've used it a couple of time already. I shoot Raw+JPEG L/F. The Colorspace won't display Raws from either my EM1 or GX7.

    I also like like to pick a couple of winners each day and edit them on my iPad while on the road. They are then posted somewhere - Flickr, my blog, iCloud, email, etc. - depending on the circumstances. This is where the JPEGs come in handy.