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Photo backup solutions?

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I'm agonizing over which way to for digital photo back-up solutions while traveling and was wondering which way many of you folks have gone.

 

One option at the top of my list is the Hyperspace Drive. This thing looks like a decent, relatively inexpensive interface and harddrive for downloading flash cards without the need of a laptop. One nice thing is that this one uses user exchangable 2.5" laptop harddrives. So I could get two hardrives and have double redundancy for back-ups while on trips (rather than buying two expensive PSD). I definately would not trust a single harddrive with all my shots. It's also comparatively small, as I sometimes worry about airline weight and carry-on limits.... dive gear, regs, cameras, lenses, housing, ports, etc, etc... you all know that struggle.

 

The second option is a small laptop. I've really taken a liking to the Macbook Pro 15" laptop. I'm been a PC user forever, but have played with the MBP at the Apple store and it's quite slick, although pricey. It might be nice to download pics every day to a laptop, and browse through the better ones, check lighting, etc., in the evenings, in preparation for the next day. I'd still want an external drive though to keep a back-up copy of the laptop drive. I could also burn DVD's with the best shots as a tripple back-up. The 15" MBP is pretty small, but of course not as small or light as the Hyperspace drive. It's about 5.5 lbs. Some flights have a 44 lb limit.

 

So what do you guys do?

 

Thanks!

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From working on a liveaboard, I can say that the most popular method seems to be a laptop with an external harddrive. It's hard to put value on being able to review your images on a large screen, especially when you'll be shooting for several days, because it gives you the ability to make adjustments in your shooting techniques. Also, you'd be amazed what you will learn from other photographers about editing and archiving images when you can edit side by side with them.

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Yes, as much as travelling with a laptop is a hassle, the feedback is really important. I picked up a Western Digital Passport external harddrive at Costco for under $100 (Cdn.), and it worked like a charm on my recent trip. You don't want to be checking your laptop, so the weight issue will be with your other gear. I had no hassles until I hit Brisbane, where I ended up having to check some rather delicate equipment, but not the laptop.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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Hey

 

I just recently came back from a trip to the galapagos Islands where I was shooting some topside photo's in the realm of backing up stuff. I bought an Epson P-5000 it is an 80gig photo viewer/HDD It is a little expensive but I was VERY satisfied with my results. I was able to off load pics onto it and easily view them on the 4in screen much better then the 2in on my camera. If you dont quite need 80gig and the 5000 is a little pricy for you look at the 3000 its 40 gig but everything else is the same....any Q's let me know ill be glad to answer?

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I have traveled several places, not for diving though, and have found that taking my 13" Powerbook G4 and a Western Digital 160G external HD ($140) work great until I get back home to back them up to DVDs and a WD 1TB external HD ($360). The G4 (120G) and 160G HD are not only light, but provide more than enough space for pix and video. Just to give you an idea the 160G is rated at holding 45,000 photos.

 

The 160G HD is about the literally about the size of one hand, very light, and so durable I actually have two....just in case. (160G x 2 = potentially 90,000 pix)

 

Why all the back-up redundancy? HDs fail over time and this will also ensure that your work is covered on more than one medium. Also, removing this space from the HD of my laptop will keep it happy, thus, allowing it to run better, faster, and live longer.

 

Reminder: If DVD/CDs are used as your back-up source, ensure that you are using DVD/CD approved markers. Normal permanent marker will eventually seep through and ruin your saved information.

 

The G4 and WD 160G are light enough to both be carried on in a backpack during travel.

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After lots of other ideas my most recent solution is to carry a 15" MacBook Pro on trips and back-up files with a collection of 2Gb USB memory sticks as I download from the cameras. It means I have 3Gb of RAM and CS3 with me. When I get back home I download the contents on to LaCie Porsche external hard drives and work on the pictures on a 30'' high definition Mac Cinema Display. It would be a perfect system if the MacBook Pro recognised Fuji Photodiscs but I have to archive my RAW files on to these via an older desktop Mac. It works for me!

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I carry my 12" iBook, 15" Powerbook or 17" MacBook Pro depending on the length of my trip, the amount of movement (packing and unpacking I anticipate) and what I intend to do. If I think I am going to try to download and edit video to some degree I will bring the 17", less editing of video 15", just capture (prior to HDV) the iBook. All work well to organize and look at photos, usually do final work once trip is over. Lately it really has been the 17", really like that machine.

 

Travel with a few portable HDs (usually the OWC/MacSales). Have a complete system backup on one the HDs and duplicate all downloads/captures to each drive.

 

FWIW to MacBook Pro users- Apple redesigned the Power Adapter on the MacBook Pro so it is not as much of a wall wart and is more to the size of the older PowerBook Adapters. When travelling with the MacBook Pro I found the old adapter a pain (minor) its design and how it takes up space in the computer bag, the smaller adapter should help so a bit more room for cables, chargers, etc. Ordered mine and waiting for it to show up

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I travel with 5 external 120GB harddisks. One packed with movies, one for my images, one for backup, and another 2 for julie. In addition to a laptop. The harddisks only weigh 120 grams each though.

 

Cor

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FWIW, I would ook for portable harddrives that can be powered off USB alone - it's one less power cord to worry about. I got 3 120GB USB powered drives at Staples for $80 each. Look around and you can find a good deal.

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FWIW, I would ook for portable harddrives that can be powered off USB alone - it's one less power cord to worry about. I got 3 120GB USB powered drives at Staples for $80 each. Look around and you can find a good deal.

 

There are also bus Powered Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 Drives available (all portable Macs have FW 400 and the Pros also have FW 800 ports, though they also have USB 2.0, the FW are good is doing video)

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I go with the Laptop + Hyperdrive option. The hyperdrive is like an external hardrive and connects to my laptop via USB 2.0. It also can directly read cards, can be powered with a power cable or with 4 AA cells, and can recharge them. It's a bit more expensive than a regular hardrive, but less than $100 so.

 

Another option is to have more CF cards than you need an thus they can be a redundant storage until you get home.

 

Take care,

John

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The La Cie Rugged drive is nice; I have a 100GB 7200RPM version. USB and Firewire powered. I have the Epson P-2000 as well, but leave it at home if the laptop is going with me which it usually does. The Epson is a little slow if it's just being used for backup, and not as a viewer.

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If it's a short trip w/ no deadline, or if I'll be taking REALLY small planes then I take the Jobo Giga VU Pro Evo.

 

Otherwise, I use my laptop with a Cardbus adapter to download photos quickly.

 

I too make a redundant backup when I travel, any brand of HD will do really but I have a bus powered (needs 2 USB ports) Seagate - it's rugged and has a high airflow design.

 

Cheers

James

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I always take a laptop unless it is a one day trip for the ability to review images as I go, as has already been mentioned.

 

For my last trip I had a lot of redundancy built in. My laptop can take a second hard drive in the CD bay. I put a second drive in the bay and made a clone of the primary drive. That way if the primary drive crashed, I could switch drives and still have a working laptop. I also had an external USB drive. After each dive, I would download the images to the primary drive and then copy them to the second internal drive. I did this before I would format the card. (I also had two cards so I could swap them between drives reducing the time to get the camera ready for the next drive and the card wouldn't be formatted until after the next dive.) I would also copy from the primary drive to the external drive.

 

This way I always had at least 2 copies of the photos but a 3rd copy most of the time. If my hard disk crashed I would still have a working laptop. If the laptop died altogether, I'd still be able to use the USB drive in another computer.

 

Of course, nothing went wrong, but I still like to be prepared.

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15" MacBook Pro running Aperture. That way I can throw away the crap really quickly :)

I create a Project for each day and burn that project onto DVD at the end of the day.

Even at 13MP per photo I'm hard pressed to keep more than 4.7Gb per day.

I've always been a fan of non-magnetic media for short term backup when travelling since it is relatively immune to most environmental issues.

 

The plan this year is to add a Firewire or USB disk as a backup of the backup

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I purchased a Fujitsu P7010D laptop two years ago. With a 10" screen, 60 GB 7200 RPM HD, built in multi card reader and extra bay battery. With the extra bay battery I can run almost 8 hrs between charges, it weighs under 4 lbs. I bought it mainly for air travel and giving presentations on the road. I recently added more memory to 1.5 GB now and loaded on Lightroom and intend to use it for photo viewing and editing on my next trip in October to the Solomons. I will probably pick up an external drive which will most likely be 2.5" USB powered 100GB or so. The nice thing about the Fujitsu is that you can hot swap in a DVD/CD burner instead of the extra battery so I could also backup to DVDs if I want in the evenings. I do like the idea of a HD with the built in card reader (e.g. Wolverine, Epson, Gogo), which is nice to have to offload images between dives instead of having to fire-up a laptop.

 

Here is a good overview of some of the latest portable storage options out there:

 

http://www.shutterbug.com/equipmentreviews...es/0707storage/

 

 

Aloha!

JCD

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Finally getting to the Solomons that's awesome Charles. Have a great trip.

 

Cheers

James

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