Backing up pix while away

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by diane143, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    2 years ago I took a trip that I'm lucky enough to be able to duplicate this year. I brought a camera with (4) 8gb cards and my 64gb iPad. Cellular connection there wasn't very good and the place I was staying didn't have wireless, though I may have access this year.

    I used my cards one after another and stashed the used ones until I got back home. I was able to go to a library once to download what I had taken by then onto a USB stick.

    Since then I've since upgraded my iCloud storage to 25gb and I do have Google drive storage (15gb) IF I can get to wireless for long enough.

    Are there other alternatives I can use for backups? I've looked at some of the wireless wifi devices that can take SD cards/USB sticks and also thinking about a wireless hard drive. I have the third party camera connection kit but it's gotten a little flakey lately so I may have to find another way to get pix on the iPad for backups and redundancy is a good thing in my book.

    Also I'm in the market for a new MacBook and matching my current hard drive will be unaffordable in SSD, so a small wireless external may come in handy.

    In a nutshell, I want to backup my pix to the iPad and one other device while away from my computer. I may have to replace my Camera Connection kit as it's not working 100%. My camera is not wireless.

    Thanks for any ideas!
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I'd go for an external with an SD card reader. Much easier to carry than an iPad or laptop.
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I use a laptop, so the images are in two places. I take my pictures during the day, and when I return back to the hotel/resort, I upload them to my computer.
  5. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    There's something called a Nexto​ DI which I have been thinking about getting. It is basically a hard drive (or housing for one) with a built in CF/SD card reader, battery and a small screen for viewing images. I have no experience of using them but it looks perfect for travel backups.
  6. tgara, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    tgara macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    The iPad is not the ideal backup device. Believe me, I've tried to use it like that since my old iPad 2 in 2011, and it just didn't work very well. There was no CF card adapter, and the memory just wasn't big enough. Ultimately, I got a laptop because I often need to do work (email, documents, etc.) while travelling or on vacation, and it doubles as convenient backup station.

    Since you will be getting a MacBook, I would consider a portable HDD. You can get them in a variety of sizes, and they are not too expensive. This is what I am doing now. I use a G-Drive 1TB drive, and an Anker card reader that accepts both SD and CF cards. It makes a great travelling backup station when connected to my MacBook Air.®-Multi-4-Slots-High-Speed-Support/dp/B0062EUE54

    All that said, I do like the Western Digital HDD that AppleFanBoy mentioned above. That's a real nice unit, not expensive, easy to use, and may be ideal for your situation.
  7. equilibrium17 macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2007
    You can use an iPad for backup. It has advantages but as noted also some limitations.

    I used a 64GB iPad Air as my photo backup device on my last two big trips, to Indonesia and Africa; just used the lightning-->SD card adapter to transfer files. Advantages over a laptop like a MB Air are that it's even smaller and lighter, and also gets more battery life, which can be important when you're going multiple days in the bush without access to electrical power.

    Unlike a hard drive with a card reader, the iPad Air also lets you view the photos on a nice, high quality screen for culling. I find it very hard to cull efficiently on the tiny screen on the back of the camera.

    You definitely want at least 64GB iPad if you're shooting RAW. But as long as I was religious about culling photos at the end of the day, I found I was able to get by with 64GB. I took most of the other stuff off of it, so I had over 40GB available for photo storage.

    This said, while the iPad backup system has worked passably well for me, I'm probably going to upgrade to some other backup system before my next big trip; my keepers/day count has gone up as I've become a better photographer, and I've also started to shoot a little video now and then, which fills up memory space fast. So next trip I don't think just the iPad is going to cut it. I'll probably switch to something like that WD drive with a card reader. When I'm off visting cool places, I'd rather spend my evening enjoying the sights and sounds than staring at an iPad screen sorting photos anyway.
  8. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Wow, what great responses! Thanks all!

    I will check out the hard drives with the SD reader - that hadn't even crossed my radar. I do love dpreview btw :)

    The iPad is coming with me no matter what as I read on it and I find it easier than the phone for emails and browsing. As someone else said, it's much easier to do culling/review on the bigger screen too.

    I do have a laptop currently (and a tower and traditional externals for backups) but I just bring the iPad when I'm away. It was one of the reasons I got it and it did work well last time. I am currently only dabbling in RAW so I probably won't shoot the entire trip that way, if any. Last time I took almost 2500 pix and got most of the backed up on the iPad with no issues using the 3rd party connection kit.

    I will have access to power daily. Consistent wifi is the question right now.

    It's an iPad 3 so no lightning adapter, but it is a 64gb so I have plenty of room.

    First thing I do when I get back home is download onto the laptop and backup again.

    Thank you again for the info on the SD drives, that is a great feature!! :cool:

  9. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Why only dabble in RAW? I'd not considered j-peg since I saw what was possible with editing RAW files.
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I gave up on my iPad for this and now use a Galaxy Tab Pro instead; with USB and a card slot it's super easy to just copy for backups.

    But I've seen a couple of lightning connected storage solutions that work through an app recently, although I don't know if they're any good. Look for the iXpand from Sandisk, for example.
  11. diane143 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I just haven't had the time to give it a good go. I should turn it on and play again.

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10 March 8, 2015