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Best hard disk storage device?


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#1 markhardy

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:51 AM

Further to recent discussion on this topic, here is a short post to say I think the Jobo Giga Vu Pro Evolution may just have been knocked off its perch by the new Epson P-5000.

DSC_0034.jpg

I got my hands (very temporarily) on both of these babies today and, after just an hour fiddling with them after dinner, I have made the following few basic observations.

The Epson generally does everything as fast, if not faster than the Jobo:

- The Epson takes 5 seconds to start up, whilst the Jobo takes just under 25 seconds.

- Press buttons, insert memory cards and connect cables… the Epson generally reacts faster.

- Every time you look at a photo on the Jobo, you have to wait about 10 seconds for the device to “apply colour profile” before you can then zoom in and out. There is no such delay on the Epson.


- JPEG data transfer speed from camera to the Epson is same as to the Jobo (but much quicker if transfer is direct from the compact flash card (2GB Ridata Pro-2 80x) inserted into the device):

..D200 to Epson: 55 seconds to transfer 60 jpegs (138MB)
..CF Card to Epson: 32 seconds to transfer 60 jpegs (138MB)

..D200 to Jobo: 55 seconds to transfer 60 jpegs (138MB)
..CF Card to Jobo: 1 minute 25 seconds to transfer 60 jpegs (138MB)

- RAW data transfer from camera to the Epson is much quicker than to the Jobo:

..D200 to Epson: 2 minutes 45 seconds to transfer 60 RAW files (484MB)
..CF Card to Epson: 1 minute 30 seconds to transfer 60 RAW files (484MB)

..D200 to Jobo: the screen went black and the device froze…
(I didn’t have time to figure out what went wrong and try again)
..CF Card to Jobo: 4 minutes 40 seconds to transfer 60 RAW files (484MB)

- Data transfer to Mac PowerBook G4 was faster from the Epson:

..Epson to computer: 1 minute 20 seconds for 60 jpegs (138MB)
2 minutes for 60 RAW files (484MB) PLUS 60 jpegs (138MB)
(that was unintended, but it transferred all 120 files a lot faster than I expected!)

..Jobo to computer: 1 minute 20 seconds for 60 jpegs (138MB)
6 minutes for 60 RAW files (484MB)

DSC_0045.jpg

The Jobo’s 3.8” screen is great but I think the Epson’s looks just as good and is slightly larger at 4”.

Whilst the Jobo was pretty intuitive to use when I first picked it up, I found the Epson even more so (to the extent that its instruction manual is shorter and clearer).

You can't easily find the file size of photos in the Jobo.

The Epson controls and buttons are just where your fingers expect them to be, whilst the Jobo handles more clumsily. The Jobo’s slightly recessed soft keys are a bit difficult to press, and one has to sometimes change one’s grip of the device to get at the required soft key button. I found that basic tasks like zooming required an extra key stroke (press of the button or joystick) on the Jobo, thus making it more fiddly.

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I thought I'd like the rubbery finish of the Jobo but am convinced the Epson has a better build quility and finish.

I also like that the Epson has both a standard size USB port as well as the smaller type, thus allowing the same one cable to be used for transferring data from camera to device and (turned around) from device to computer. The Jobo just has two small USB ports.

DSC_0044.jpg

Finally, I had no problem getting the Epson to communicate with the camera and with my Mac, straight out of the box. The Jobo wasn’t quite as well behaved. I didn’t have time to figure out why it wouldn’t transfer RAW files to my Mac…

Not to worry, as I am absolutely sold on the Epson. The Jobo is (was) a cute piece of kit, but is without any doubt in my mind the slower and less user-friendly of these two devices. From what I could see, the Epson now has the same functionality that the Jobo has (and which earlier Epsons did not). Both units have an 80GB drive and cost virtually the same here in Hong Kong. I have to return the Jobo during my lunch break tomorrow.... I will not be returning the Epson! :unsure:

Whilst this post was not a detailed or comprehensive review, I hope some of you may have found it useful. ;)

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#2 james

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 07:31 AM

Mark,

Thank you very much for this timely comparison. I need a laptop-free solution for an upcoming trip and I was having a look at these two devices last night at the camera shop. Unfortunately, I'm not as lucky as you as to be able to take both of them home!

From previous posts here, I heard that the operating system for the Epson P series was on the hard drive - making it non user serviceable. Do you know if that's still true? Can you change the hard drive yourself if it fails or you want to upgrade?

I doubt any of us here will use it (but you never know) but the Jobo has a wireless feature which is pretty cool if you're shooting w/ a wireless camera.

In either case, the price of these two is pretty crazy. Nowadays you can buy a decent laptop for the same price!

Cheers
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#3 bmyates

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:01 AM

Good report, Mark! I have an Epson P-4000, and love the picture quality, but it looks like the P-5000 is almost worth upgrading!

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#4 loftus

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:32 AM

Yes thanks Mark, it's the comparison we needed.
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#5 Mobula

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 01:04 PM

Hi Folks,

I have just returned from my first laptop-free trip (looking for feeding whalesharks off Djibouti), using the Epson P-5000 as primary storage device. I found it reliable and both simple and fast to use. I backed it up to an 80 Gb Freecom pocketdrive so that I would have two copies of everything. This routine works well, though you will need an a/c adapter for a bus-powered pocketdrive.

You are tied to its OS and slightly quirky sync software, but it works fine – just a bit of batch renaming and shuffling around of folders when you get back to base.

Given the sheer hassle of travelling as an underwater photographer nowadays, leaving out the powerbook was great.

John Collins, Kinsale, Ireland.
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#6 eyu

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:55 PM

Hi Folks,

I have just returned from my first laptop-free trip (looking for feeding whalesharks off Djibouti), using the Epson P-5000 as primary storage device. I found it reliable and both simple and fast to use. I backed it up to an 80 Gb Freecom pocketdrive so that I would have two copies of everything. This routine works well, though you will need an a/c adapter for a bus-powered pocketdrive.

You are tied to its OS and slightly quirky sync software, but it works fine – just a bit of batch renaming and shuffling around of folders when you get back to base.

Given the sheer hassle of travelling as an underwater photographer nowadays, leaving out the powerbook was great.

John Collins, Kinsale, Ireland.
www.JohnCollinsKinsale.com


Hi All,

Last year I did a week long raft trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and needed a stand alone storage device for my D200s raw files. I looked at the Epson and others but settled on a Wolverine MVP. It reads 7 different cards, is 120 GB and can be powered by an external power pack of AA batteries. I continue to use it with my laptop as a back up and I am very pleased.

Elmer

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#7 davephdv

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 07:25 PM

Took a look at the 5000. Seemed to correct most of the flaws of the 2000. Owning a jobo though I can say the controls on the jobo are better and if fits in your hand much nicer. also the rubber top is great.

Does the 5000 have color calibration? Does it show the actual RAW photos? (unlike the 2000) Or just the imbedded Jpegs.

Most important as James asked. Is the OS still on the hard drive? I have a dead 2000 I'm using as a paper weight. It died after the 1 year warrantee ran out and repair cost was a significant percentage of a new unit.
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#8 markhardy

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:01 PM

Yeah, I heard that previous Epsons fell a bit short of what prosumers wanted in such a device and, whilst the P-5000 has apparently improved a lot in this respect, I believe the points raised by James and Dave are still a feature of the P-5000 and, whilst they are valid for some users, they may be less important for others.

The online spec says that supported media includes RAW, below which the footnote reads: "Thumbnail images in the RAW file is used for display" (whatever that means!). Furthermore, the Epson technical support fellow told me on the phone just now that "the RAW file itself is displayed". So, it sounds like good news, but I wouldn't believe it.

As for colour calibration, I see no reference to this in the manual so assume there is none. The Epson fellow said there is no need to calibrate - which may be true for me and my purposes, but may not be good enough for other more professional users.

And finally, I suspect the firmware is still installed on the hard drive. Touch wood, if the HD dies on me, I will get the sort of after-sales support that I have come to expect in HK, but I appreciate that some users would want to be able to service/replace the HD themselves. Not me... I'm all thumbs, as they say.

These three issues didn't impact much on my own decision making, but speed and functionality and user-friendliness and ergonomics (the latter two being a bit more subjective) swayed ME to jump on the P-5000.
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#9 TisTam

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 01:25 AM

Here's another alternative: For the last 2 years I have been using a Smartdisk Flashtrax, then upgraded to the Flashtrax XT when I wanted to go for a larger storage capacity. Sadly there is no support for upgrading an individual machine's capacity. I've had no problems with either one in this time (and I hope this statement isn't the kiss of death!) The buttons are a bit quirky to use, in terms of getting used to which button does what, and in this respect the original Flashtrax was better. Both are a bit plasticky, but generally feel well made, and I particularly like the fold-down screens, which protect them from being scratched. The use of them in playback is a bit tedius, scrolling through menus to access stored images, but response times are prompt and they take about 5s to start up. Both devices are designed primarily for CF cards, with a built-in slot for direct card plug-in, and to download it's just the press of a button. I believe image playback is the original RAW, although you can't zoom in more than 4 stops. I haven't figured out how to delete images on the XT without plugging it in to the laptop yet, as I'm one of those people who doesn't read the manual, but that hasn't bothered me. In fact, since I managed to accidentally delete a whole folder of images on the old Flashtrax, I've found the aparent lack of a delete button quite reassuring! Image sets are stored in folders labelled with the date they were downloaded onto the machine. I haven't tried the Epson, so I can't compare; I'm happy enough with what I have that I haven't felt the need to look at alternatives.

#10 Falsa-Orca

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 04:14 AM

I am using some Hard Drives / ToughDrive Pro 2.5" 160GB from freecom http://www.freecom.c...ts/00007916.pdf
Jens Kuhfs

#11 andydives

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:40 AM

I used the Flashtrax for a while... until it froze on me with about 8 gigs of my raw files stuck inside while on a liveaboard. I was fortunate that one of the other guests was a computer genius (literally) and after 2 hours, somehow pulled the files out using another computer. Since then I have been taking my laptop along, and am quite shy about searching out another back-up device.

#12 Matti

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 03:23 PM

Hi There,

I bought the P5000 just before Christmas as a present for myself to use while on a trip to Vanuatu (President Coolidge) for New Years and I didn't want to carry a laptop as my camera gear which I carry on the plane is well over the limits already. I have found it easy to use (I do have another portable storage device but no viewing capabilities with that one) and good on smaller planes as you can download movies and view them and also listen to music. It views RAW files (though it won't zoom in the same extent as with JPEGs 100% vs 400%) and lists all the exif information so that you can confirm the setting used so the next time you can experiment with different camera/flash settings. So overall happy with the purchase (a definitely lighter than a laptop).

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Edited by Matti, 25 January 2007 - 03:24 PM.


#13 jugglematt

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 09:02 PM

hi

ive had a few trys with various portable storage devices one being the vosonic vp6210 and another brand i cant remember now .

both models worked fine for a while and looked reliable,,, but then later on froze up during a holiday . after many reformats and playing with different card types and power issues i have given up on them ,

i just wont trust them with my photos on a trip .

we now have a laptop and take extra memory if needed in external hard drives.

regards

matt

#14 tdpriest

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 02:49 AM

I've used the older Jobo GigaVu Pro for two years, and had no problems with reliability or speed. I use the recharging battery pack, which seems to give about 6-8 hours of continuous use.

The plastic case isn't too elegant, but it seems to be tough.

I have no reason to be unhappy, so I won't change until something really spectacular and as tough as old boots appears.

Tim

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#15 Michel Braunstein

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:05 PM

I had the chance to compare the Epson P4000 and P5000. I couldn't believe the speed difference! It was really amazing! The Epson is really comfortable, fast and easy to use, I hope to buy it once (I hope the price will get down untill then).
Did someone already tried Archos 504 to keep files. It's only possible to view jpg files and not RAW on it but is it fast enough with large files and is the screen bright enough? Any opinion?

Michel

#16 jsmorrison55

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:25 PM

i am currently using Seagate storage 320gb worth of space, and somehow i really need something that i can view the files inside without using a laptop, since i am always on the go. This Epson storage is not bad, i will definitely have it this year if budget permits. thanks for comparing the 2 gadgets, it really helped me motivate myself to buy a new one. maybe a newer model perhaps.

#17 Weiry

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

How long does the battery last in the P-5000?

#18 Steve Douglas

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:35 AM

Would love to be able to travel with just a drive and not have to lug around the laptop. Didn't know this type of product has been around. It is now the Epson P 7000.
Steve

Edited by Steve Douglas, 15 September 2011 - 11:51 AM.

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#19 ATJ

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 03:44 PM

I bought a cheap netbook for this purpose. It was less than $300, weighs about the same, has a bigger screen. It is just a bit larger (to accomodate the larger screen). It came with 1GB of memory and 250GB HDD. I have already upgraded it to 2GB and could add a larger HDD if I wanted.

Not only can I use it for storage, but I have Lightroom installed so I can already start my cataloging. I can also do emails, surf, etc.

#20 dhphoto

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:55 AM

Just a quick not to say I swear by hyperdrive (google them). I dunno if any of the other manufacturers have caught up to them in terms of transfer speeds but a few years back when I got mine, they hadn't at all. Not only is it great to have faster transfers - it also means less battery drain. I think the Hyperdrives can get 200-250 gigs of transfers on a charge.
The one I have is an old one w.o. an LCD, but I have heard nothing but good things about the newer ones. Except, I don't think they can play videos(?).
I trusted mine so much I went on a three week reportage trip ONLY with that, my camera and a few lenses, and no laptop. It worked flawlessly.
I am a pro photo journalist on land (a total newbie UW;-)) but finally I could chip in with something where I actually have some real experience;-)

All best,
David