Back-up from CF cards whilst away.

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by david_henderson, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    For a few years I've taken a netbook on each trip. Initially that helped with a lot of things like email/storing trip info and so on that are now done on an iPad. So the only reason I take the netbook along is to back up my images most nights. I don't edit whilst on trips, but the netbook gives me visual confirmation that the files are on there properly. I keep all images on the CF cards till they are safely on my desktop/external HDD at home.
    But with chargers etc its not a lightweight solution and I'm looking to save a bit of weight. What other routes can I consider. Has to be simple and accommodate holding up to say 70GB of data on a long-ish trip?
    • My camera (5D Mk 111) has 2 card slots so I imagine I could buy 70GB worth of SD cards and record my photos in raw on both cards.
    • I could I presume buy a portable and rugged HDD (eg LaCie?) and load images via a card reader/USB though I suspect that rules out visual confirmation.
    • I thought I'd be able to use a tablet with a large hard drive which I could dedicate to that purpose but I'm struggling a bit to understand how to link the card to the tablet. A couple of tablet "experts" in retail have told me this isn't possible with CF cards.
    Any views on these or other options please?
     
  2. I take along a Chromebook and a 1TB USB3 external drive. ChromeOS won't let you view raws, although it will copy them to the external drive just fine. I shoot raw+JPEG so I have something to look at. When checking bags or leaving anything in my hotel, I keep the drive and the original (unerased) cards in separate places. The Chromebook is very handy for a lot more than just backup, of course.
     
  3. The cheapest and lightest option is writing to multiple cards. You can get a 64GB SD card for about $20.
     
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    ChromeOS won't let you view raws​

    This is changing. If you run in the Dev channel, you can view raws. Should be in the stable channel (on all Chromebooks running current updates) soon. Also, there are photo apps for Chrome that let you view and modify raw files.
     
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I could I presume buy a portable and rugged HDD (eg LaCie?) and load images via a card reader/USB though I suspect that rules out visual confirmation.​
    How are you planning to write to the drive? The drive doesn't have the capability to do that on its own.
     
  6. There are countless Windows-based options including many laptops with detachable screens (if you prefer the tablet option). Get yourself a simple USB card reader that will allow you to download images from your CF card to the laptop. Then, use any number of simple programs that read RAW files. My favorite is EXIFPro (http://www.exifpro.com/index.html). It's free to check out and only $20 if you want the full version. It doesn't do everything but is very handy and fast. It certainly will allow the "visual" confirmation you seek. (I use it to review my photos on a larger screen.) Finally, if you have Internet access while traveling, you might also consider "cloud" backup. Several free options including Google Drive are available. Hope this helps.
     
  7. I use the rav power and a small external drive hard drive to back up large sd cards.
    http://www.ravpower.com/ravpower-rp-wd01-filehub-3000mah-power-bank.html
     
  8. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Sorry, I just need to say that I'm already quite happily loading my photographs onto a windows netbook which is set up to read raw files via an old copy of zoombrowser. So while I don't need advice on how to do that- I would appreciate advice on whether it might be possible to lose the computer in favour of a lighter solution if I can.
    In that, Jeff' s second comment is valuable if disappointing! And Mike's suggestion is very helpful.
     
  9. Photos fill an hard drive pretty quickly. Portable USB3 drives are relatively inexpensive, and run from USB power on most laptops (and probably, netbooks). I copy photos from CF or SD cards to a portable 2TB hard drive via a laptop. I follow up by copying them to a Blu-Ray disc. USB=powered BD writers are also relatively inexpensive. In a pinch, I'll save them to the laptop drive, but move them to a portable drive when convenient.
    Backing up is a nightly task. It's not necessary to carry a computer during the day. At one time there were stand-alone backup devices, but I haven't seen one lately. I can link my camera to an iPad via WiFi or BT, but the iPad won't talk to an external hard drive (yet). My iPad is 64G, the same size as my SD cards, so that's not really a viable option.
    It never hurts to have more memory cards than you think you'll ever need. Twice as much is good for starters.
     
  10. This might be a solution:
    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/accessory-review-wd-my-passport-wireless
    It is suppose to copy from SD card to HDD without a computer. I believe I have seen others from other manufacturers
    It all depends upon your comfort level. Me, I would feel much more comfortable using a laptop and backing up to one or more USB drives, preferably solid state drives if I am on the move. You may save a few pound, but it does you no good if you lose all your pictures of that expensive trip trip.
     
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/accessory-review-wd-my-passport-wireless​
    This is an excellent product, I was unaware that these were available.
     
  12. Why not just confirm it on your camera LCD (w/o downloading), store each card in a small waterproof container and the weight and space is minimal. Just have enough cards with you. No need to have all the electronics/chargers or card readers.
    Les
     
  13. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Why not just confirm it on your camera LCD (w/o downloading), store each card in a small waterproof container and the weight and space is minimal. Just have enough cards with you.​
    The problem with just saving the images on cards is that there is no backup, which the original post asked for. If you lose or damage the cards while traveling, there's nothing. That's why a portable disk or small laptop makes sense. At a minimum, you have two copies that way, and with nightly uploads to a cloud storage location, three.
     
  14. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I do confirm that I want to make back-ups while away. One set of cards clearly won't provide that though I believe that using a dual CF/SD card facility to make two sets of raws would effectively achieve the same thing - provided that the two sets of cards were kept separately. That and the Passport above are strong runners for me at the moment. And of course given sizes and weights and relatively low cost , there's little reason not to do both.
     
  15. I'm not that versed with a tablet and I'm not going to pretend. From my pov, taking a small laptop makes most sense (+ external HD or two), but if you place/secure those two sets of RAW images from the camera (one with you and one with your wife)....one bound to make it home without issues.
    Additionally, one could copy (additional replication) a card to reader/writer, but that's another can of worms...never tried this on the road.
    Les
     

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