portable storage device

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by african_wanderer, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. I have seen this question asked before but nothing recently...
    I need a portable storage device as a back up for SD cards. This is a back up - my camera can only take one card and I have no way of copying the photos onto a storage device without carrying a laptop. Most people seem to be suggesting a netbook but this is still bigger and heavier than I would like - I am often walking/hiking in far flung areas for weeks on end.
    Can anyone suggest the most economical way to ensure that I can copy the photos without having to lug around more heavy equipment? Thanks
  2. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    What about an ipad mini?

    The ipod touch would've been a great solution if it could utilize apple's sd card reader but I don't think it can.
  3. Then how do you transfer the data as ipad has no usb?
  4. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    Apple sell an SD card reader called the ipad Camera Connection Kit.

  5. The question then becomes does an iPad itself have enough memory? Most models don't offer more memory than an SD card. Although Sarah didn't say how much she needed, would even the most generous of models (128GB; $700-930[!]) be enough for "weeks on end" of walking in remote areas? Probably not, at least if she is shooting raw. The greatest weakness, in my opinion, of iPads is that they can't be connected to "just any" external HD.
    But this discussion might help regarding that end of the issue:
    External storage for iPad?: https://discussions.apple.com/message/21795863#21795863
    I hope you find a solution right for your situation, Sarah.
  6. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    I agree the ipad solution is not ideal but it does offer a reasonable amount of storage in a small form factor.
    I don't know if the following is available where you live but they seem good value for money - 500GB
    storage for £125

  7. The Ex-Pro Picture 2 Drive (which Norman links to, and I think there are other devices like it) might indeed be your best bet. However, I--as an Apple user--wonder if non-Apple tablets offer more flexibility regarding external storage devices. They might be worth checking out.
    One thing that I do recommend: whatever storage device you decide upon, have a second (or something else), so that you can make duplicate backups in the field, especially if you are reusing the SD cards.
  8. Hi,
    After i broke a CF Card in Nepal, i bought a Sanyo Hyperdrive and i don't regret it! The best is that you can also put a SSD Drive into your Hyperdrive, making photo transfer reasonably fast. The device is not to big and very light, which is very good if you want to travel lightly.
    best regards,
  9. cjk


    I just came across this:
  10. Some (not all) Android phones and tablets have USB OTG (On The Go) support. With a $2 cable you can connect any USB device including a USB hub with multiple USB hard drives, keyboards, mice, card readers. You can use a file manager app to copy from the card to any device.

    I have done this and it works but you end up with so many extra cables and power cords that it is just easier to take a small laptop with large hard drive. Now that I think about it if I shot directly to microSD I could put that in the phone and copy to an external USB drive with just a single cable.
  11. There are several specific backup devices similar to the one Cesar mentioned. However, if you are in remote areas this would be just another battery to worry about recharging. Plus weight and potential fragility of the hard drive. If you could find a worthwhile additional use for a small pad such as maps or journals, then that may make sense. The iPad is rather expensive for such usage.
    The ideal product for me would be a device that could incrementally copy from one card to another. Extra cards are cheap while the battery requirements and device size would be minimal. I have a faint recollection that Sony? had such a product years ago. Does anyone know of such a device?
  12. +1 for the HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA2 in Cesar's link above. I used the earlier version without a hitch for about 6 years, and just upgraded to this version because the user interface is better, and it offers OTG USB although I have not tested this part yet. If battery life is a concern, and it is somewhat limited, you can carry extras. They are easy enough to swap out. These are like mini-computers dedicated to one purpose, although I also use it as a 2nd backup hard drive for my laptop on long trips. You can save money by purchasing just the 'shell' and adding a hard drive separately. This takes all of about two minutes. Just get the most rugged one you can find, like the HGST Travelstar 7K series.
  13. I think just getting extra SD cards (+ waterproof container) would cover your journeys. Less is more IMO.
  14. Sarah, here's my take on this.
    With a back up device you have some small amount of weight, battery considerations, cost, etc. to deal with. Granted it seems a good option to many. I seldom am away from a PC/laptop for > 1 week (vacations w/ camera), so my perspective may be off for your needs.
    Looking at Amazon the going price for Transcend or Sandisk Ultra 16 GB class 10 cards is $12 each .
    If I bought 6 cards -
    total cost = $ 72
    storage space = 96 GB
    Let say I use my Nikon D7000 (16.2 MPxl) as the camera for illustration -
    On those 6 cards I could store -
    6600 Large Fine Jpegs or
    2700 Raws (14bit) or
    1932 Raws + Large Fine Jpegs.
    They all fit in a card wallet, take up little space, give me 6 discrete "storage units" (all eggs not in one basket), can be viewed in the camera at any time, need no batteries, and so on. At my leisure I can transfer them to a PC at home. Is another piece of equipment really neccessary? Only you can answer that for yourself. For me, I prefer this method, but then that's my simple needs.
  15. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I'd want a back-up ( a second copy) not just a cheap route to keep my first copy. I'd want a screen to give me visual confirmation that the images were correctly copied; and I'd want a capacity to comfortably hold what I shoot on my longer trips- so 70GB minimum. I'd want something that avoided the slightest chance of running me into trouble converting from PC to Mac and back again . So for a number of reasons an iPad Mini- albeit myself and my wife both carry one- won't do for backup.
    I'd also like something that would allow me to email , and access the internet, given that even the meanest motel or b&b often seems to have some connectivity. I'd also like something that allows me to download stuff/play DVD movies or tv series on a bad day.
    For me a netbook meets all those needs by itself
    A HDD with a screen ( referenced above) and an iPad Mini will also meet these needs and likes.
    Or if you really don't care about email/internet /watching downloaded stuff the the HDD with a screen would meet your needs.
    Or if you really don't care about visual confirmation , any tough hard drive will do.
  16. I think just getting extra SD cards (+ waterproof container) would cover your journeys.​
    How does one back up SD cards to other SD cards without a device to do so?
  17. John -
    I think what was meant was to get more SD cards and defer any backup until one arrived back home where they could be off loaded onto a computer. With SD/CF cards so dirt cheap, it might be another work around to backing up on a hiking trail, i.e. merely keep the originals until later.
    The OP must also have some way to recharge her camera, so access to power is assumed. Therefore, a device to copy over to in the field can be done, weight and size being the determing factors ... or to wait until the trip is over and carry more "picture buckets". I guess how many GB she'll fill up in a trip is an unknown as of yet.
  18. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I think what was meant was to get more SD cards and defer any backup​

    That's not what the OP wants. It's the opposite of what the OP wants.
    to wait until the trip is over and carry more "picture buckets".​

    That has nothing to do with what the OP asked about. The OP did not say she did not have enough cards. She said she wants backup in the field.

    The iPad and many other tablets have the problem that the storage amount is fixed. Probably the easiest and cheapest way to back up is with a tablet with a microSD slot. You can use microSD cards in your camera with an adapter. Tablets with this capability can be bought for around $150.
    Still not an optimal solution, but cheaper than something like the Sanho, which might be your best solution if cost is not an issue.
  19. Thanks for all the advice. It seems the opinion is probably to get a tablet. I'm stalling a little because I wouldn't use it for anything other than a storage device - most of the places I go do not have internet, I don't watch movies and I carry a kindle and a pen and paper for everything else. I need something purely as a backup so more cards is not the issue. I perhaps need around 100GB of storage space before I would be able to access a computer to backup in another way. I have a small solar charger that I use to recharge camera batteries so would hopefully be able to recharge a storage device also (I don't think it has the capacity to charge a tablet).
    The other factor is; what would be the best option in terms of durability? African travel can be dusty, hot, wet, bumpy... in fact everything that electronic equipment tends to hate! This also means that expensive equipment is not preferable. Thanks for the help...
  20. The problem with the iPad is the Camera Connection Kit is a one way street. You can copy from camera/SD to iPad but cannot copy back to a USB drive.

    I have attached a pic of one of my Android phones with a USB On The Go cable connected to a USB card reader. Using ES File Explorer I can easily copy a directory from one place to another. If you get a card reader with USB hub built in then I would suggest a few $50 128GB USB thumb drives and copy from SD to those. Most portable hard drives require multiple USB ports because they need more power to spin the drive. I doubt those would work because the cellphone is supplying all of the power over the USB cable. The phone I used is an old Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate. It's $130 on amazon, no need to activate the service, just use it as a small tablet.
    This phone also has a microSD slot so if you shot directly to those with an SD -> microSD adapter in the camera then you could copy to a USB thumb drive without a hub.
  21. Sarah, would investing in a DSLR that is weather-resistant and has two card slots be out of your price range? Consider that all the alternatives discussed require a device that apparently would be extraneous to your life back home, is extra weight, potentially fragile and may be problematic to keep charged. An issue would be whether your solar charger could handle the higher voltage of the DSLR battery.
    If you need or want to stay with simpler (and much lighter) cameras, then a dedicated card backup device may be the best of the not-very-good solutions out there. See what is available from B&H or other reputable dealer. An issue is whether the device can do incremental backups (add new images from the same card) vs. just copying a card once.

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