Storing photos and backups while traveling

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by JohnKendrick, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Scotland this summer, most likely a week and a half. We plan to take a great many photos since we have two micro 4/3rds cameras--a Panasonic GH! and a GF1. And are just a bit beyond the beginning stages but with the enthusiasm of the newly converted.

    Our problem is getting back home with all the photos. We'll each have iPads, so that should help. But I would like to have backups for all the photos, just in case.

    So I'm considering buying enough memory cards to keep the photos on them and then use the iPads as backups. Not certain what to do if we run out of space. Oh, yes, I should remark that I'm shooting with both raw and jpg.

    Any thoughts about this? Or other suggestions?

    John Kendrick
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    There are many options for backing up images. You could get an image tank, like the Epson P7000 or Hyperdrive. You could get a netbook. You could carry a portable hard drive and card reader and "borrow a computer " to copy the images.

    But I'd suggest you use what you have. The iPads are a bit slow to copy to but great for showing off your images. If you keep all your images on the cards and have enough to cover the trip, I would copy to the ipad and then cull hard on the iPad, so you just have your keepers. That should be enough for a short trip.

    Gordon
     
  3. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    For my honey moon in 2008, I packed an Asus 900A (9" netbook with 8 Gb ssd) and a portable USB HDD (120 Gb). Wasn't :43: yet, shot circa 1400 pictures (RAW+Jpeg) in a week with 2 cameras (a pentax DSLR and a Lumix Lx2).

    Great setup. I have no opinion on the iPad, but from a connectivity standpoint, it's difficult to beat the tiny Asus : SDHC card reader (you can keep shooting while the computer works, from a 2nd SD card), 3 USB ports (bring your own RAID !). And it's a real computer : linux + digikam works OK from it; I always find it great to feel home even on a boat up north from the polar circle.

    Cheers,
     
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    ipads dont have enought space. I personally think they dont work well for photographers on the run.

    Use an image tank or netbook.

    Image tanks are simple, large enough, small packaged, and battery efficient. Netbooks can do more. In my opinion its not necessary to get an image tank that has a display.
     
  5. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I'm a Mac person and use a MacBook Air for traveling with backup portable hard drives (at least 2). But if I didn't want to spend close to $1000 to get the best solution I would get a sub $300 netbook and copy files onto that. SD cards are so cheap now don't erase them until you have files in at least 2 other places. I have a hyperdrive and the drive failed during my last trip. I had the photos on the original cards and was okay but don't trust just one copy of anything.

    I have an iPad and I love it I just got the iPad 2 to replace the original and don't use it for travel photos, it's too slow copying, I can take over 100 GB when traveling so not enough room. It's a great photo viewer but not really a good photo processor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Depends on whether you want something you can copy the files to directly (Epson P7000, Canon M80, netbook, iPad), or just a storage device that requires a computer to transfer the files.
     
  7. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Words of wisdom, LisaO. And I shall add SD cards aren't immune from sudden death either.

    Cheers,
     
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I've used my iPad as a backup device on more than one short trip doing exactly what I described above. I kept all the shots on the cards and only the "keepers" on my 64GB iPad. It worked really well for me. Now, I do have an Epson image tank, a netbook, laptops, hard drives and in some circumstances I use them all. But I was able to travel very lightly with just the iPad (which shares a charger with my phone). I found that the 40GB I had available was plenty for the keepers (well over 500 files). I uploaded incrementally each morning and night so upload speeds weren't an issue. I just did it while I was eating dinner or something. With 10 hours of real world battery life waiting a little while for a few photos to load isn't a problem.

    The iPad also has a few other advantages. It has a solid state drive. Far more robust for travel than a spinning drive. Instant on. Long batty life. And the OP already owns it so there's no additional expense. Of course if they only have the 16gb version it won't work. But they have two. And if they're both 64gb then they have heaps of space for a 2 week trip. The iPad is not an ideal processor (although I'm beta testing Photosmith which changes everything for Lightroom users). But it's still good for uploading some photos to Facebook or flickr if they want. The iPad is also awesome as a viewer, so if you want to show off the days shots, there's no better way.

    I'm doing a 5 week trip to Norway in June/July and I'll only be taking the iPad at this stage. For my uses I have proven it does what I need it to. I'm doing it for the same reason I'm not taking my DSLR and doing the whole trip on m43. And that's to save weight and give myself the freedom of traveling light. If I feel the need for more space I'll just jailbreak the iPad and take a small portable drive or my Epson.

    Gordon
     
  9. Danny_Two

    Danny_Two Mu-43 Regular

    182
    Oct 30, 2010
    London
    ipads, laptops, seriously? Buy a load of memory cards, they're tiny, weightless and cheap.
    Incidently you can get a usb/sdhc card reader for the ipad.
     
  10. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
  11. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Since travel photography contributes a large part of my income I tend to take great care of the images I take. However I use very similar methods to everybody else.

    I always make sure I have enough cards and never erase them until I return. I copy everything on to a laptop and to a small 500GB additional drive. So 3 copies of everything.

    I've used image tank type devices but have found them unreliable and so have friends of mine. Maybe just bad luck, but once bitten etc...
     
  12. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks to everyone for the comments. I see I should have said more about our iPads. Each is/will be 64 gb. We have one now, and have an iPad2 on order. The only problem I have with that being enough storage space for the trip is the amount of space required for a combined raw/jpeg on each shot. But I like the idea of trying to find time to only keep the keepers on the iPads and keep the full shoot on the memory cards.

    We are trying to travel light, given size limits on airline baggage and weight limits on our backs.

    Thanks again for all the advice. And, should anyone else have something that's been missed, please add it.

    John Kendrick
     
  13. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Does anyone have any suggestions for carrying memory cards on trips? In the past, I've simply kept the new ones in a Hefty cellophane storage bag, along with extra batteries, and other small stuff. But if I'm going to be concerned about storing photos on the cards, I'm beginning to think I need some sort of small container.

    Any suggestions?

    John Kendrick
     
  14. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I like Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket. I've got several. I like colorful ones so they don't get lost in the bottom of a camera bag.
    Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket
     
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Don't put all your backups in the same bag - what if it gets stolen or dunked in a river?

    I also post good shots online when I can just in case...
     
  16. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Dec 18, 2010
    NC
    There are some great ideas here. My two cents are, your images are always safer if they are in two places, be it you memory card and ipad or your memory card, ipad and some remote file uploading service. As John put it above, just don't keep both in the same bag.

    Memory cards are good, but I would not trust them alone for saving once in a lifetime photos.
     
  17. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    My used memory cards go with my passport and wallet. I put number labels on them so I know what order they are in.

    Also, since there are two of you, swap around who carries what, so that your wife carries your cards and her iPad with her backup and you, the opposite. That way you each carry one complete set, rather than each carrying both copies of your own shots.

    Gordon
     
  18. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks. Just ordered one. Looks like it's exactly what I'm looking for.

    John

     
  19. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Love the online idea. I have a SmugMug account and could post a few. We'll have online capabilities at our hotel.

    John
     
  20. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Both terrific ideas. The larger set of which these are subsets is to simply try to imagine everything that could possibly go wrong and then put in place a Plan B.