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Stefan Oriold

Best option to backup and view RAW pictures while travelling?

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Hello,

This is my first post on this site, and I hope that your experiences, expertise and suggestions can help me find what I need. I shoot all my pictures in RAW and generally also take some video footage. What I am looking for is the following:

  • Tablet or laptop to backup and view the RAW (i.e., CR2) files
  • Being able to install Lightroom would be great but is not 100% required, as long as I can at least view the images
  • Having a USB port would be great for usign external hard drives, etc.
  • The tablet/laptop should be light
  • The item shouldn't cost more than $400-$500
  • I currently have the Microsoft Surface RT, which I HATE
  • I am open to Chromebooks with an external drive (unless some have larger storage) but I can't seem to find out if they allow to view CR2 files

Thank you very much in advance, I really appreciate your help.

Best regards,

Stefan

 

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Hi Stefan

 

Welcome to Wetpixel! Good to have you with us - I hope you find the forum really helpful.

 

I'm sure members will be able to offer you some good ideas in response - I'm a Mac guy and your post suggests that is ruled out.

 

In the meantime though it would be well worth you searching the forums using the Search facility - if you've not done already. This is an issue that comes up quite often. If you type in, for example, Travel Computer in the Search box and select "Forums" you should get a few hits.

 

Best wishes

 

Tim

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Stefan,

 

Also welcome to WP. There is a wealth of info here.

 

A little off the subject, but I shoot both RAW and a high res jpeg file for each photo. I use the .jpegs to review and find which may be keepers. Jpegs can be viewed on most devices without problem and are much quicker to bring up for viewing. Once I get home, I have my potentially good ones ID and then can go into the RAW files to play with them.

 

If your camera allows this scheme, it might be one way to solve your problem as long as you don't need to edit the RAW files while traveling.

 

Harry

Edited by divengolf

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I travel with an iPad. Rather than trying to back up cards, I just bring a bunch. Normally I have 5x 16GB for 10 days of diving. That means swapping a card every other day or so. In the event of a corruption or a flood, then I don't loose much if anything. I also then shoot raw plus jpg. I have a Kingston mobilite which allows you to pull pictures from a card to the iPad. Mobile photoshop or Lightroom lets you read and upload. I don't know about cr2 support. The iPad doesn't do Olympus raw files natively, but I haven't tried photoshop mobile.

 

If you use the lightning to usb connection then you can have the hard drive attached. Not sure which has the most friendly app for what you want though.

 

Rick

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Microsoft Surface Pro and a few USB 3.0 external drives should do. Surface Pro also has Micro SD card reader so that is an option to store backups(may need a few cards) if you want to travel lite. You can probably pick up a Surface Pro 2 or 3 for under $500 now. I have the original Surface Pro and it works fine with Lightroom and Windows 10

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Laptop is my choice, lets me do real editing (haven't tried the surface pro) on the fly, macbook air is light and relatively fast, my wife uses it for video editing (Final Cut Pro X) as well.

Bill

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Forget the Chromebook. It's a browser more than a computer, and it will have issues with CR2 files unless you have a plugin in Chrome to read them.

 

My problem with Ipads is that 16gb of storage won't even hold the contents of one of my DSLR cards. If they can hook up to an external storage device, it would be fine.

 

I'd just find a 15 inch laptop running Windows at Costco and stick Lightroom or DPP on it. You should be able to get something with at least a 250GB drive for under $500.

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As mentioned, I bring a card for each day of shooting. I download to my iPad so I can review in the field.

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I have an 11" Macbook Air that I own solely for travelling with on holidays. Weighs next to nothing, and lets me do whatever photo and video editing I want, as well as acting as an approriate backup system, and means of communication. Not within your budget though by the sounds of it, but it is my perfect holiday travel system.

Edited by WetPup

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Have you considered one of the "converitbles" like the ASUS Transformer Book? They are not very fast and don't have an extremely high res display, but should be in your price range (even combined with a external hard drive, some come with a 500GB hard drive internally but probably a version with SSD and an external drive will be better) and have a very good battery life. LR should work ok-ish on the most recent models.

 

Don't know about other brands, but I am very happy personally with ASUS.

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Macbook Air 11" Does everything I want while I'm travelling, unsure if its above your budget.

 

I've never figured out using RAW files with my iPAD - I presume these days they accept them via the SD card reader. Only thing with the iPAD route would be its slow, as its USB2.0 on the lighting port.

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I bring a MacBook Pro 15" along with an external USB3 drive. I also have plenty of CF cards (and SD cards if needed) so that I don't have to re-use cards.

 

Process is simple: Import the day's shots, run through Lightroom CC to see which are even keepers and rate them 3 stars. Anything not rated gets deleted. Copy rated shots to external drive. That gives me three copies of each raw file (Mac, USB HDD, and CF card). I usually don't edit much past that while I am on a trip.

 

I don't do RAW + Jpeg. I don't think the jpeg is all that useful to me and is wasted space as I never use them. The only time I shoot jpeg is if I am shooting an event and they need the files quick with no or very minimal editing to get on the web/social media and such quickly, for example.

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Previously I have traveled with my old laptop which was a beast to carry. Last trip I invested in a 2TB Western Digital MyPassport Wireless Pro.This is a wireless portable HD that has a built in SD card reader as well as wireless connectivity. The idea being that at the end of the day I insert my card, it automatically backs up to the HD. I can then check everything is there with my phone and then delete everything from the card and start fresh the next morning.

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I bring a new card for each day. I see you do video. My friend brings a portable hard drive for each trip and backs up to that from his laptop.

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I carry enough cards to never need deleting during the trip.

I copy the photos of each day to a laptop and to a portable hard drive.

This leaves me with 3 copies of each picture.

The laptop has lightroom though I rarely use it during the trip. I can open and view RAW images without it.

 

My setup does not meet your under $500 criteria but as most u/w photogs discover, nothing in this endeavor fits a reasonable budget.

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photographylife.com just did a review on the WD wireless backup unit discussed above. I cannot post a link to it for some reason, but it's available on their web site.

 

But if you delete your files from the SD chip after using the WD unit, that only give you one copy. I always either bring enough chips to avoid the need to delete any files after BU, or use a laptop with an external HD to do multiple BUs. Plus my camera will write to two SD chips as pics are being taken given me an automatic BU in case the worst happens. My goal at the end of a trip is to have three complete sets of files all traveling in different places, on person, in carry on and in checked luggage. Fortunately I've never lost any pics to bad chips, etc., but my time will come. It always does.

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Just read diver dave1 post. There is a app "Fast Raw Viewer" that makes culling images prior to import into LR very easy. On photographylife.com, there are a couple good reviews of this app. Saves a lot of time vs importing everything into LR. I only import those few pics that I want to work.

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Just noticed that photographylife.com just posted a new review on Gnarbox 2.0 SSD. Appears that it's a better BU option than the WD device I discussed above.

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I have a Surfacepro and are very happy with it.
But to be honest, for the price of a fast Surfacepro you may get a faster laptop/MacBook having a better keyboard.
However, the SurfacePro is a awesome machine, expensive but high quality and flawless working.

One 2GB disk and another identic one as backup will store all of your photos.
SSD Disks are expensive but sturdy, better for travelling purposes.
Chris

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I use my Macbook 12 for Lightroom and Backup during travel....not the fastest way, but small and sufficient.

 

Sascha

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We import onto a small lap top with a small outboard hard drive as secondary back up.

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I've been using a Surface Pro 4 for the last year and I gotta admit I've been happy with it.


Althought, as going from cruise to cruise, I'm not really using it to have a quick look at pictures/videos but just to unload the RAW.

I'm now considering switching to the Gnarbox or something similar.

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I'm cheap, I bought off ebay a reconditioned ASUS Vivobook E203NA for £130, it has Olympus Viewer and Open Office loaded, not the quickest device but coupled with a USB 3 hub, SD card and ext SSD drive it previews/stores images/videos fine... plus its battery life is excellent for the flight. LR will run but its painfully slow but Oly viewer is fine as is VLC.

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Like others such as WetPup, I use a 14" MACbook I bought cheap from Apple. I have LR installed and simply import my stills and videos into it's catalog. I also keep the contents of SD so I have 2 copies. I have enough SD's that I switch daily,

 

The MACbook also lets me keep up with the rest of the world since I don't normally travel with my cell phone.

 

When I get back home, I take the SD's and bring them into my normal workflow on my PC.

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I agree with above opinions. MacBook Air 13 is a good partner for me in the travel. If you are not on a tight budget, it can be your top choices. As for browsing RAW images, I prefer the RAW photo viewer on Mac. Maybe you can try this,

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