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Old 04-07-2008, 04:17   #1 (permalink)
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Digital Storage Devices

Looking for recommendations on Digital Storage Devises. Can anyone recommend or comment on them. I'm looking at getting one for an upcoming trip to Kenya. Seems the only other solution is lots of cards....ANY comments on experiences or just suggestions.

Or has anyone tried the using an IPod, I've also read these work well...

OR, if I do decide to just buy and bring cards, what would be the affordable option to the Extreme cards, given that I would need to bring about eight 4GB cards ?

And finally, are the Extreme cards all they're cooked up to be

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:59   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

I've a couple of methods of backing up my pics, depending on importance or longevity of storage requirement: laptop, external laptop hard disk, XDrive or Archos. Use my Archos (main use MP3s) and XDrive when 'out and about' (usually on some hill somewhere!) and my laptop/external H/D at the end of the day. Used them all on my Oz/NZ trip a couple of years ago, seeing as I took about 8k pics

iPods? Personally, wouldn't touch them with the proverbial bargepole - underspec'd examples of style over substance. But I believe it will do the job! I hear good things on the Epson Photo Bank

Extreme cards? Biggest bottleneck will be the camera's write speed (which I don't know). But they'll be super quick downloading to a computer!
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:25   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

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Originally Posted by TAZZ View Post
Looking for recommendations on Digital Storage Devises. Can anyone recommend or comment on them. I'm looking at getting one for an upcoming trip to Kenya. Seems the only other solution is lots of cards....ANY comments on experiences or just suggestions.

Or has anyone tried the using an IPod, I've also read these work well...

OR, if I do decide to just buy and bring cards, what would be the affordable option to the Extreme cards, given that I would need to bring about eight 4GB cards ?

And finally, are the Extreme cards all they're cooked up to be
Eight 4GB cards sounds like lot but in Kenya you may find you will use them and still want more. As for digital storage devices there are 2 sorts. One is like the Epson P series these have a viewing screen and let you sort your photos afterwards. Their disadvantage is that they quite a short battery life, the storage is relatively small for a long trip and the transfer speed is not as fast as some of the others. I fairly recently sold my Epson P5000 on here and replaced it with a 200GB Nexto Ultra. I hardly used the screeen of the Epson but the Nexto is much faster in transferring files and has a much longer battery life.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

Thanks Mark, I've ruled out the Ipod thing. I've read some things and spoke to someone today and you really just confirmed it.

My dilemma has been this, a good friend of mine (who is a very good photographer and could be living vicariously through me) recommended this, since I have a canon 40D I should shoot all of my pics in the L Fine format in both JPEG and RAW. Using the EXtreme Cards. His logic is, if ya got it...use it. And I do agree. What that equates to is this. On a recent trip to the Top End (the outback) I had my canon set to M Fine, JPEG only. This allowed my Extreme IV 4GB card to hold about 4000 pics. Great, one card the whole trip. But with this new advice I'll get about 240 pics on that same card.

Now since I am new to this I see it like this. I do understand the value of RAW to a professional. But there's another side, since I lack experience with this type of camera and photography in general (outside of the auto settings) RAW could be away for me to save good pics that I screwed up in manual settings JPEG...does that make sense I figure I can do some pics in Manual Settings and if I'm to nervous with it do some in Auto settings. This would also allow more pics on the card AND give me a little bit of insurance via the RAW.

Anyway, this is how my day ended today...which is why I am glad you posted Vinny. My friend also recommended I buy the $600 plus Epson 5000 Storage unit, but after some research I ended up with the 160GB Nexto Extreme. I stumbled upon it by accident, it's actually not that well known it seems but everyone seems to be happy with it. And it comes with a much better price tag. I also got the external battery holder that holds AA batteries. Figure I won't have to carry another charger. And to this I also added one more Extreme III 4GB card. To sum it up: Two 4GB cards and a 160GB Storage unit.

So what do wonderfully helpful people (that's me sucking up) think about this set up

Last edited by TAZZ; 04-07-2008 at 09:25.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:35   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

I think you have to do things the way that suits you best, and everyone's needs are different.

Personally I would shoot in RAW only. There's no need for RAW+JPEG unless you want to print or transmit the image straight away.

Regarding storage, I have a Smartdisk Flashtrax portable store with LCD screen, and I've used it only once. Prices may be higher where you live, but Sandisk Extreme III 4GB cards cost less than £20 over here, so you can buy plenty of them for the price of a HD storage device. Solid-state cards are also more robust and reliable.

Having said all that, there's nothing wrong with using a portable store, and you could always get more cards as well, so you have a backup of everything.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:37   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

I had much the same problem last year when we were planning to go to Kenya as well but that got cancelled unfortunately.

I looked at the portable storage devices but decided against it not only on cost grounds but I did not like the idea of "all your eggs in not basket" and hard drives do go wrong etc.

If I was you I would just take cards. No bigger than 4 GB - see above. I use a Canon 40d but hardly ever shoot raw. For me the jpg are fine - if the lightling ios not extreme and you get the exposure right I do not see the need for raw. -( I can see I will be corrected by someone soon )

As you say you can get about 250 raw + jpg on a card or 800 + jpg only at the highest quality setting. I would take as many cards as you think you need (and can afford). I would shoot raw only - If you are shoting raw why do you want jpg as well ??. Then if you think you are going to run out of space switch to jpg only. An alternative would be to use raw only when you think it is really necessary - changing is very quick.
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Old 04-07-2008, 13:02   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

I got an Epson P200 40Gb a few years ago as a backup for the then hideously expensive CF cards.

It only makes an appearance for holidays where it it's used as an additional backup for the 25Gb of cards or so that I've got.

I normally shoot raw but also do small jpgs as the Epson displays them more quickly and with their exif info.

These units aren't particularly cheap but then I don't want to lug a laptop around on hols. The camera equipment is heavy enough as it is!
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Old 04-07-2008, 16:57   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

I have an Epson P2000 which I use for holidays and longer photoshoots. I only shoot Raw and the P2000 would store nearly 5,000 of those so fine for me. As a consequence I only take two 1G CF cards which seemed good enough when I bought them 3 years ago but with the P2000, I have never needed more.

It is true that you would need to take the power unit with you and I tend to load my cards to the P2000 daily when away under mains power. I have found this unit very reliable but I am sure that there will be more modern equivalents.

I would say that I consider the item a luxury and it would be cheaper just to buy more cards. However, given the type of trip you are planning, it may pay to take one just as back up.
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Old 05-07-2008, 23:30   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

Thanks Guys, this was VERY helpful. I will pick up a couple of less expensive large cards for back up and I think I'll be right.

Cheers!
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:36   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

I also recommend the Epson P-3000 and P-5000 they hold 40 or 80 GB.
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Old 08-07-2008, 14:07   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Digital Storage Devices

Thanks J.

What I am learning is that photography is like cooking chocolate chip cookies...there are MANY different ways to do it, but hopefully in the end you still come out with a cookie

Well, I think with the storage unit and 2 high end cards and 2 low end cards equaling a total of 16GB I should be right. If I choose to shoot just L Fine JPEG in Auto functions I will have heaps of room. If I choose to keep RAW and JPEG files then I will have to rely on the storage unit. If I choose to go back and forth between RAW & JPEG and JPEG only I will still have lots of room on my cards. I have also experimented with the better cards and with out a doubt on my camera they write the info to file far faster than my cheaper cards. Dam thing fires off like a machine gun. This will give me the ability to shoot more action pics. So I like the idea of both card types...High and Low Quality.

High end cards are very expensive here. $135 for a 4GB. I can get them in the states and have them sent to me for about $60 - $70 for the same card but it still adds up. That's why the storage unit came into it when I was thinking of storing both L Fine JPEG and RAW. I would have needed a lot of cards to do that.

Someone in another forum said I should also bring a couple of discs or so, just incase I have an opportunity to burn some pics. So MANY options

CHEERS
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