Traveling light and looking for digital media backup ideas

Discussion in 'Travel' started by marta_evry, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. We'll be taking an extended trip to Paris, Amsterdam and Norway this May/June and I'd like to find a way to easily back up my CF cards. It's not uncommon for me to go through a 16Gb card in an afternoon.
    In the past, I've gone the laptop/external hard drive route, but on this trip I'm planning to take only my iPad. Is it possible to daisy-chain to an external drive from the camera/CF card, using the iPad as an intermediary?
    I'm also open to other ideas.
  2. iPad was not built that way. There may be workarounds but they will not be straightforward and/or slow, for instance using wireless for transer. For this amount of data I'd consider a netbook. These are very cheap nowadays, with a decent harddisk. Also very straightforward in use.
  3. Netbook. I replaced the internal drive with a 1TB version. That should be enough for you.
  4. I agree with Jos that the iPad is not yet there as a backup device - it is great for many other purposes ( I am typing this
    response on my iPad) but too small and slow for the kind of backup you need. The idea of a notebook works especially if
    you add the 1TB drive as Walt suggests.

    Another level of security we followed in the past was to burn DVDs and mail them home regularly. That way everything
    can disappear through loss of cards and computer but you still have your photos up to that event. But with the advent of
    the big cards like the 16gb that is no longer very practical.
  5. Netbook (not notebook) as described, with an external drive of at least the same size for backup. That way you have two copies that should be kept completely separate. An alternative for the external drive is something like the HyperDrive ColorSpace drives that can not only act as external drives but can also function as cardreaders by themselves in case the netbook fails.
  6. A netbook is the way to go I think, as others have said. The external drive idea is also good. But make sure the drive you use does not require two USB connections. I went to Cambodia in 2009 and found that my LaCie drive needed two USB connections, and my CF reader required another 1, but the netbook only had two USB sockets :) That meant I had to transfer everything twice, which was annoying.
  7. My Asus netbook has 3 USB ports so I was able to copy from CF card and backup to external hard drive that needed 2 USB ports. Also many netbooks have built in SD card slots although you say you're using CF.
  8. I am assuming that your trip is a personal holiday rather than a photo assignment. If your need to "backup" your CF cards is to allow you to shoot new photos on them, a netbook is definitely the answer (much cheaper than buying additional CF Cards). However if your main concern is to have duplicates on file somewhere in addition to the CF card files, when was the last time that you lost a CF card? You could wait and make your backups once you returned home. Based upon your experience you could then make a "Risk-Cost" decision on buying a netbook.
  9. I believe in tripple backup and use a Hperdrive as one (or two) of the backups. It has saved me more than once when a file folder got deleted somehow from my laptop or external hard drive.
    By the biggest hard drive you can afford. Works off of battery or power.
    Joe Smith
  10. if you have any access at all to a PC with internet during that time, then why not do a 'cloud' backup and you wan't have to carry anything except the memory cards.
  11. It would be interesting to test that, Chris. I'm not sure how long it would take to do a 16GB backup from an internet cafe, for instance. I know that takes a long time from my home, where I'm supposed to have a fast connection. But if it worked, it would be a great idea.
  12. Check out the HyperDrive Colorspace for the iPad. It has its own storage, its own CF reader and its own battery. You can buy one of theirs already fitted with a drive, or get an empty one and add your own drive (likely much cheaper).
    Another thing to consider is what mode you're shooting in. If your camera has the ability to quickly change (as in press one button) from JPEG to RAW (or from one to both) that would alleviate a LOT of issues. Last August, I took my Canon 7D to Scandinavia with 3 16 GB and one 8 GB card, shot almost all JPEG (high quality, full resolution), and barely filled one of the 16 GB CF cards. I switched to RAW when warranted, but for the vast majority of my shots (typical tourist-y shots), I used JPEG, and it was perfectly fine for me. BTW - if you shoot mostly JPEG, then a 64 GB iPad can handle a LOT of photos!
  13. If you want the smallest maybe one of those Hyperdrives which runs on AA batteries I think. Maybe those without a LCD screen so smaller again. No bulky charger etc ... Some SLRs also have dual memory cards so you get two copies when you shoot .... if 2 copies are enough you may not need to have any backup devices .........

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