Data storage while traveling?

Dive Reports, Destinations Questions, and Travel Issues

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Postby Zig » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:55 pm

I'll be taking a 10-day trip abroad and will surely max out the storage capacity of my SD cards. I have been researching data storage options, and I'm leaning towards dual Portable Storage Devices (PSDs). They are essentially card readers, so that at the end of the shooting day, and I upload my memory cards and reuse them the next day.

Does anyone have any experience with them, and could you suggest brands or thoughts of other options? I would like to travel as light as possible, so I hesitate to bring my laptop and external hard drive.

Thanks!
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Postby scottg » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:30 pm

Zig, I'm putting up an article this week about data storage. I highly recommend the Asus EEE PC, they are a netbook, really small, they weight less than 2.5lbs, 9 hour battery life. It's basically just a smaller laptop. I've used them on several trips. There are different models, they start at $250.

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo http://www.uwphotographyguide.com http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com

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Postby Zig » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:06 pm

Very cool, Scott! I'm assuming I'd need to install software in order to see my pictures since I'm shooting in RAW, unless, of course, I shoot in RAW+jpg. Just curious about any additional software requirements for our needs. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the article.

Thanks,
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Postby scottg » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:03 pm

I always shoot in raw + jpeg (fine, small) which doesn't take up that much more room than Raw only.

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Postby cyberon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:03 am

Netbook is definitely the way to go. More bang for your buck. After researching several options, I bought myself the Toshiba N300. Plus in today's day and age where lots of people fly budget, it doubles as my on board flight entertainment system! :D
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Postby smb2 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:01 am

I'm pretty paranoid about keeping anything on Flash cards for to long. They are to easily misplaced etc. I usually travel with a 13" laptop (5 lbs) and download to a photo program at the end of the day. Keepers are also backed up to a Lacie ($150) portable HD. That way the images are stored in two separate places while on the road.
So when I get home most of the sorting and some processing is already done.

http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11495
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Postby Zig » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:05 am

Are there any known issues of transferring the files from the netbook to a mac OS? I can't imagine there would be, but I don't want any surprises. Also, can the netbook be used right out of the box for transferring and viewing photos?

Thanks!
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Postby CompuDude » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:58 pm

Zig wrote:Are there any known issues of transferring the files from the netbook to a mac OS? I can't imagine there would be, but I don't want any surprises. Also, can the netbook be used right out of the box for transferring and viewing photos?

Thanks!
Zig :?:

A netbook is just a nickname for a very small, low powered laptop computer. Most netbook laptops run Windows XP or Windows 7 Starter edition. Neither has any issues transferring files to the Mac. Either can view PDFs out of the box, and there are many programs you can choose from (free and otherwise) to view Raw files as well. (I'd start with IrfanView and Google's Picasa) Personally, I use ACDSee to manage photos on my PCs (including my netbook), and iPhoto on my Macs.

If you want to be extra paranoid about your photos, invest $40 in a portable DVD burner, bring it and a stack of blank DVDs, and you can dump your photos to both the netbook's hard drive and burn a disc at the end of each day, which gives excellent insurance against loss of data. I know of a few photographers that go so far as to burn two discs, and mail one set home every couple of days while on a trip!

Personally, though, I shoot JPG so storage is not an issue. I picked up a 16gb USB drive, and dumped my photos to both the netbook hard drive and the USB key. On my last trip I was able to fit the 5,000 images I shot on the little USB flash drive (plus the hard drive), backing up my entire week-long trip to Bali in two places.
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Postby bvanant » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:23 pm

I guess I am the contrarian here. Netbooks just don't have the power to run either lightroom or photoshop well enough so that you won't pull out your hair. A reasonable laptop is my choice with downloading and cataloging software.

My workflow is to go for a dive (jump in, swim around and come back :lol: ) and then go for a second dive. Change camera and strobe batteries and if I am shooting an 8gb card then download. If i am shooting a 32 gb card I will only download at night.
I use a firewire card reader and download the entire day's (or half day's) data into a folder on an external 1TB drive. I then break the dives down to individual dives and upload the dives directly to lightroom I upload them named as something like Bonaire House Reef 1 of x) and now have folders in lightroom with the dives named. After I get that done, I do a cursory edit to get rid of the obvious bad ones (fish butts etc) and close lightroom, I then copy the lighroom library and the raw pics to a second external 1tb hard drive. THat way going home I have two copies of each "keeper" photo and a single copy of all photos. The keepers are already named appropriately and keyworded (if I didn't drink too much wine with dinner) and ready for editing in LR.

Having a laptop instead of a netbook lets me edit in LR and also work on video stuff with my wife. If I were going to only look at pics, I would probably get an Ipad but I can't figure out what it replaces, not the phone, not the laptop but it sure looks like fun.

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Postby Zig » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:42 pm

Thank you all very much for your input. We ended up purchasing a 160GB Wolverine Pic-Pac card reader, and it worked wonderfully. At the end of the shooting day, we would upload our photos to the hard drive and then format the cards in camera. Before doing so, we would/could review our photos on the TV in the room via the A/V cable supplied with our camera. Although, we rarely had time to do so. Next time we'll take two hard drives for back-up.

Once we got home, we simply plugged the Wolverine into our iMac and downloaded the files into Lightroom. It really couldn't have been any easier. As a bonus, the hard drive was no bigger than an index card, and no thicker than a deck of cards.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003QP49MQ/ref=oss_product

Safe travels,
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