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Storing photos while travelling

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BigTam, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Up to now I've taken a netbook and an external hard drive with me to save my SD cards while on the go. I'm looking for something smaller and lighter.

    There seem to be tablets with a USB host function, but they have a micro USB connection. Is there a card reader with a micro USB connection? What about an external hard drive? Does a tablet have enough juice to power an external hard drive?

    Any other ideas welcome ...
  2. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    If you can get wifi are online back-ups an option ?
  3. slith

    slith Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 4, 2012
    Dublin, Ireland
  4. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    That's what I use, extremely fast, can download 32gigs in about 10min's.

    The current tablets aren't up to it. Only the Archos has a 250 gig HD, and copy speeds with any tablet will be slow, over 1/2 hr to copy 32 gigs over USB.
  5. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Assuming you're not worried about losing or damaging your SD cards, the easiest solution is just to buy a bunch of cards. Even shooting RAW, a bunch of 16GB cards will almost certainly be more than enough for your trip.

    The problem with the tablet option is capacity, but I suppose a 64GB tablet should be sufficient for some trips. Most have SD-reader options (e.g. the iPad and Asus Transformer 300). There are also dedicated SD-to-HD photo backup devices, like Epson's P-3000. but they're quite pricey.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    toshiba thrive, full sized usb port, full sized SD card slot, can be found for a shade over $200 on the daily deal sites periodically (got mine, 16gb version for $220). works great with an eye-fi card, direct upload to the device and then later archive on a 64gb sandisk SD card (adorama has them for $55, at least today) also held in the tablet SD slot - enough for me for 4-5 days, or I can take the small hard drive for a longer period.
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    When I spent a month in New York, I took my 64gb iPad and one of these:

    Wolverine PicPac II 250GB Digital Camera and Camcorder 7625 B&H

    After shooting every day, I'd upload shots to the ipad and then back up the card to the hard drive before putting the card back in the camera and reformatting it. I filled up the ipad after about three weeks, so I started culling the obviously useless shots to free up space - if I'd been doing that daily it would have taken me a LOOOOONG time to fill the ipad. I had plenty of room left on the backup hard drive. As it turned out, I didn't end up needing the hard drive, but that was kind of the point - it was a relatively inexpensive insurance policy that I hoped I wouldn't have to use. But all of the files were on there and I uploaded a few just to make sure it had all worked, and it had - its ALL still on there until I erase them before my next trip, whenever that will be...

  9. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    I couldn't imagine traveling without an iPad. You can carry camera manuals, videos, books, have email etc. I would just buy lots of SD cards (they are so cheap now) and check them out on the iPad but don't reuse them until you are home and have them backed up at least 2X.
    I always like to look at my images and edit on the road so I travel with a MacBook air and small external HD but for those that want to go lighter it seems silly at this time to buy one of the storage devices when you could get a tablet for a little more and the iPad is head and shoulders above the rest.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I take my iPad and a Hperdrive for iPad. That gives me two copies. I cull hard on the iPad to save space but delete nothing from the Hyperdrive. I can use the apps on the iPad to upload to web sites and to show the days take to family and friends. Of course the iPad is also my reader, video plater and web surfing device. Sure is a nice light pack compared to the old days with a laptop.

  11. hypervel

    hypervel Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 30, 2011
    Many cards and an iPad. I load the pad only with photos I think I may be more interested in than not. The data on the card stays whole until I get home to double up on storage, then format the card in-camera. I agree, cards are cheap. I typically stay with class 10, because I have no driving need to spend more on the faster standard. I may change my tune when I finally see faster card reading in a home computer. (hint, hint Apple.)
  12. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    I feel your pain. I went over and over this about six months ago. Desperately wanted to rid myself of the laptop (and in particular it's sodding charger) in favour of my iPad.

    In the end the choices were a bunch of SD cards and hit and hope in terms of data integrity, or keeping the laptop.

    The laptop won for longer trips. The tablet + some external hard drive sort of thing became worse than the 1kg of laptop which of course offers the benefit of a complete set of applications etc.
  13. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
  14. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Not sure if you are still looking or not, but I was able to pick up a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet(10.1in+Android) for $300 off ebay for a 16gb mode(also comes in 32gb and 64gb). It comes with a full size SD card slot, and USB port(though NTFS support isn't fully supported due to some licensing issues), raw support(via third party apps), and an active digitizer for editing/note taking.

    I recently was able to use it on a trip to the UK with fair success, as it slid easily into a pocket in my camera bag, without noticeable increase in weight. I would plug in my G2 into the usb port and then have the file transfer to either the device or a small external for back up. Could be an option to think about.

    Those external drives with usb and a screen look interesting, and I think are a bit more convenient, because of their size, and how much space they come with; however, they also seem a bit limited since there is no ability to rename files, and because of screen size previewing/reviewing files isn't much different than viewing it via the camera.
  15. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I was looking into using a phone, Android, and attaching it to some kind of USB card reader and then transferring files from one card to another using that set up. Apparently it is possible depending on the exact phone model but requires a bunch of cables and things. :mad: :confused: 
  16. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    The dedicated image bank devices like the Hyperdrive have some limitations, but the advantages are speed, ease of use, and battery life. My Hyperdrive will transfer about 100gb on a single charge and backup 30gb in about 10min's and it's dead simple, no wires, secondary drives etc, nearly a one handed operation other than inserting the card.

    If you've ever tried to do a USB transfer, you'll realize how slow it is, over 30min's for 30gb, and the battery life of your laptop or tablet goes along with it.

    I don't bother to use my hyperdrive for review, way too slow.
  17. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Ray, how has your experience with that been? I was looking at a couple of different size versions but there were some comments about reliability that left me a little uncertain...
  18. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Didn't realize it was that fast, pretty impressive.
  19. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I have been looking into this too for a while. I simply don't want carry a netbook or laptop with me while traveling. Ideally, I would just have a iPad, and I would want to be able to store my photos on a portable harddrive while traveling.

    Seems like the best solution is the Hyperdrive Colorspace but they pretty damn expensive. I don't even see them selling on their website anymore. I remember the case use to cost like 2xx and I would put my own hd in. So this will roughly cost >300. If I want redundancy it will be >600. I guess another option is just to get one of this and several sd cards (not my ideal solution).

    Another option is possibly the Seagate Goflex wireless hd. Currently it doesn't allow you to write to the wireless hd but seems like future firmware update may allow this. If this works, then it will be a fairly cheap solution. Hopefully this would mean I would be able to connect sd card reader to ipad and write to the wireless hd. They go for around $150 for 500 gb. Dual redundancy will probably be quite feasible.

    The third option is to get the CloudFtp from Hyperdrive. It cost $99, which turns your usb harddrive into a wireless device. I read that it can transfer files to the harddrive but at a pretty slow speed (i.e. 1mb/sec). Not sure if it is true, but that is pretty slow. Say you shoot 10gb per day, that would take like 2.7 hrs. I guess is not bad if you do it when you return to the hotel at the end of the day. Dual redundancy will take too long and doesn't seem feasible unless you find the time to back up during traveling.

    Anyone have a better solution?
  20. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I've been exploring this same topic myself. Ultimately now that I have an iPad I prefer not traveling with a laptop since the iPad does anything I need on the road AND keeps me from working too much while I'm on vacation ;) 

    Unfortunately, my iPad isn't big enough to back up my photos and I have yet to find a satisfactory alternative backup solution. It seems like most systems either have poor reliability, excessive pricing, or poor features (choose any two). I'd be pretty happy if I could even find just a reliable SD card duplicator to make a backup for each memory card. Does such a thing exist? The only one I found doesn't seem to be made anymore. The hard drive backup devices are a great concept but there doesn't seem to be any with consistently positive reviews - especially for reliability - and they're usually expensive. I'd feel a lot better if I could find one or two models that are consistently well reviewed and recommended.

    It's almost tempting to save up and pick up something like an 11" Macbook Air instead and backup to that since at least it'd have many other uses and would allow light editing on the go.
    • Like Like x 1
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