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Digital storage vs. Laptop


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#1 travelem

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Posted 27 May 2002 - 02:18 PM

I am trying to decide if I should get a image tank or cheap laptop with usb connection.

I think laptop is better because I can view the uw pics every night, though it is bigger and heavier.

I would like to hear your practicle experience (good or bad) on this subject.

Thanks.

:)

#2 davephdv

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Posted 27 May 2002 - 08:50 PM

A light weight lap top. But don't skimp. You will want a CD burner as everyone will want copies and a DVD player to watch movies during those 5 hour airport lines. My I Book does all this and is less than 5 pounds (weight, not money).
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#3 markprior

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 01:32 AM

I have a fujitsu P2040. These are awesome - ultraportable form factor with a cd burner and DVD built in.

The screen is widescreen so perfect for watching DVD's and with extended battery you can watch two full DVD's

Price is also fairly reasonable at $1500.

Only downside is 800mhz Crusoe processor which isn't that snappy but for travel not a problem.

Only weighs 3.4lbs and 4lbs with extended battery.

Alternative if you are not bothered about CD-RW is P2020 available in Europe which costs around 750.

Mark
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#4 MikeO

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 05:21 AM

I've got a Sima Image Bank and it has worked very well so far. I got the model w/o an installed hard drive and bought a 10GB hard drive online for around $75 (You can probably get them cheaper now). Like you said, the bad news is that you can't edit pictures (or view them) while on holiday. The good news is that for less than $300, you can store your pictures until you get home. Minds@Work also has a new product out (called MindStor, I think) that is very cost effective and has its own internal rechargeable battery -- something the Image Bank doesn't have (though the Image Bank does come with a battery holder that accepts six AA battereis . . .). If you have the room and budget for a laptop, then that gives you the best of all worlds; if not (or if you want something smaller to pack with you on hikes, for example), then a portable storage solution is handy . . .

If you have any questions about the Image Bank, feel free to e-mail me.

Mike

[Edited on 5-29-2002 by MikeO]

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#5 snoack

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 07:51 AM

If you need a laptop anyway, buy one. Go for a Mac if you're living in Mac-world, otherwise any small one that is not too heavy and has a decent processor.
If this is the only use you'd have for it go for an image tank.
I'm traveling with a small Sony Vaio and external CD burner - perfect solution.

Sabine

#6 travelem

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 10:56 AM

I have 3 old and new pcs for myself and I have dvd and burner at home.

I never own a laptop. I can buy a refurnished (30-day warranty) IBM P2 laptop with usb connection and 64-128mb for around $400-500.

I agree expensive laptop with burner and dvd is nice but I can't afford it.

I don't really need a laptop but comparing the $400-500 laptop and $200-300 image tank. It seems laptop is a better bargain.

Is 64-128mb laptop good enough for browsing 2 megapixels digital pics? I only need to review the pics on travel at night to see any improvements can be made.

I can do burning and touching ups at home.

Thanks.

#7 herbko

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 11:00 AM

I use a laptop and an image bank. I considered the choice between
an image bank ($300 with 10GB disc) and an external CD burner ($150)
and decided to go with the image bank.

I download my photos to both the image bank and the laptop;
that way I'm protected against failure in either device.
The CD burner won't do any good if the laptop fails while
you're on a liveaboard diveboat.

Herb

[Edited on 5-29-2002 by herbko]

[Edited on 5-30-2002 by herbko]
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#8 james

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 11:48 AM

How many CF cards can you buy for $600? :)

Let's see...you can buy about 6 x 256meg Viking cards for that much. That's 1.536 gigs.

So how many days of diving will 1.536 gigs hold - assuming you delete your "really effed up" images each night?

Cheers
James
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#9 herbko

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 12:17 PM

It's very helpful to review your shots on a nice display in between
dives, or at least once a day, especially if you have others with you
who can critique your shots. That feedback will help you on your next
set of shots.

On my recent trip we sometimes did multiple dives at the same site.
A couple of times, I sat down with my laptop after the 1st dive and
thought about how the shots came out, decided to shoot the same
subject differently, and went back in the water and did it.

The camera's LCD is really not good enough.

Herb


[Edited on 5-29-2002 by herbko]
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#10 davephdv

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 04:55 PM

Have to agree with the above post. It is really nice to down load your pics and review them on a nice screen. The camera's LCD just dosen't do it in comparrison. As I found on my last trip a CD burner will make you the most popular person on the trip. Everyone with a digital camera will want to use it and everyone else will want copies of your pics. And if you have down time those DVD movies are great.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

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#11 Pelzl

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 05:05 PM

I bought a used mind@work digital wallet for $85 off e-bay. It is the smaller 3Gig model that has been discountinued but it will hold almost 24-128MB smart media cards worth of pictures. You may try that route if you can find a cheap one. It was definetly the most bang for the buck.

#12 james

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 06:08 PM

I agree about how nice it is to have a laptop w/ a nice big LCD screen, 10 gigs of storage, etc.

But if you don't have one of those with you, you can make due w/ a TV. I hooked my Coolpix up to the TV every night and went through my pictures from the day's dives. The TV is pretty low resolution, but I am able to "zoom in" on the pictures and get a pretty good idea if they are a "keeper" or not.

This way I was able to get through a weeks worth of diving using only 288 megs worth of CF cards.

This tip is for those of us that weren't lucky enough to "score" an eighty-five dollar digital wallet on ebay. Way to go!

Cheers
James
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Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#13 sean

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 10:10 AM

I've been eagerly awaiting this new thing from Archos:

http://www.archos.co...oduct_jbmm.html

Seems to be perfect for the travelling digital photographer. MP3 player, MPEG movie player (albeit with a tiny screen), and digital image viewer and backup device. Smaller than a laptop with better battery life, plus firewire support!

Of course, it might suck, but we won't know until it actually ships.

#14 sean

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 10:11 AM

I'm not sure what happened to that link, let me try again:

http://www.archos.co...oduct_jbmm.html

#15 herbko

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 02:02 PM

Just bought an Archos deluxe bundle. $334 include shipping - $30 rebate from harmony computers. Has everything including CP SM modules , camera, and USB 2.0 cable.

http://www.shopharmo...temid=ARCJM20SB
Herb Ko http://herbko.net
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#16 TedJ

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 02:09 PM

You just got a great deal. I paid somewhat more for the same unit. It seems to work much better than the MindStor that I had before. I am a little bit envious of the newly announced SimpleTech unit with the 2.5" screen though. But I needed this one to go to Cayman this week.

Ted Janssen

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#17 underwatercolours

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 06:42 PM

On a trip to Micronesia several years ago I arrived home with a big pile of corrupt and unusable images on my laptop, so I picked up a minds@work 20Gb MindStor (formerly Digital Wallet). Now I don't know how I lived without it. I travel with a G4 laptop with a 60Gb hard disc, but before anything gets dumped onto the laptop, it gets archived onto the digital wallet directly from the Micro Drive. This way I can play around with the images on my laptop and if I mess something up, I have backup. If I did have computer problems, I'd still be able to keep shooting. When I get home, I firewire the device to my desktop G4 and can write the images off to DVD or edit them.

Even if you don't travel with a laptop, this is a great way to archive everything you're doing and free up your Micro Drive or FlashCard space for more use. Its also great if you're going to do a lot shooting in areas where power is unstable or unavailable. The MindStore lasted about a week without recharging.

On the downside, I have heard an unconfirmed report that the earlier version of the Digital Wallet had a tenancy to corrupt files. I haven't had any problems with my MindStore.

Now if someone would come up with a monitor interface to this thing we'd have the best of both.

#18 markh

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 06:31 AM

On the downside, I have heard an unconfirmed report that the earlier version of the Digital Wallet had a tenancy to corrupt files.

My flexible friend was wobbling in anticipation until I got to this bit. Why is there always a BUT to every good piece of kit???

Mark
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#19 Rob Esaw

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 09:59 PM

Lots of interesting comments, but I don't see anyone debating the pitfalls of laptops.

I am fortnate to have a laptop for work, so I have access to one if I choose. The issue, however, is whether I can lug this thing around, what with the airport size/weight limits. I only have so much carry on room, so do I check the laptop (and chargers, cables, etc.), or my camera? Don't even think about your regs or dive computer. Tough choice.

Still, depending on your budget and luggage considerations, a laptop would be the goal.

I use a Toshiba Satellite. Please, get XP if at all possible. It makes life with photos simpler.

Mine has the dvd (not very usefull for me) rather than the CD burner. Does anyone know what I have to do to install a burner? Do I have to get one from Toshiba, or can I go aftermarket?

#20 scottyb

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 04:27 AM

I carry on my laptop in a case with all it's components and my travel documents. I also carry on my camera but check my housing, strobes, batteries, and miscellaneous items. To date, you are allowed 1 personal item (laptop, purse, brief case, etc.) and 1 carry-on. I find it worth the effort to have along and burn RAW images to CD's every day as well as viewing images. It's also nice to play with the images on the plane ride home.