Ever Used a Portable CF Reader/Hardrive on shoot or ever?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cloud9, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. Cloud9 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    So I have two 1gig cf flash cards and with the upcomming weddings that I am shooting at so I know I am going to want 2 more. I also do not have an external hardrive other then my Ipod . 2 more cards are going to cost me 100 bucks, and transfering the data at home takes for ever anyway, so I am thinking about getting one of those portable CF reader/Hardrives. Does anyone have any experience using them, especially on shoot. My thinking was while I was using one card the other would be loading, and I would just cycle between them and essentially have more space then I'll ever need at a shoot. It might also speed up the transfer time to my computer when I got home, and act as an external backup drive.

    I solicit you for donations in increments of $.02

    Peas n Ques
  2. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Pulling two gigs of photos off my card takes... maybe... 2 minutes, tops? Are you possibly uploading your photos via a USB 1.1 connection? Look into a card reader that has USB 2.0 for father uploads. The transfer onto your computer will probably be the same speed from the card reader as it is the portable drive.

    I'd just invest in a 4 gig card, or the largest that your budget will allow. Easier to keep track of and there's less need for pausing and switching things out.
  3. davegoody macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2003
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    Useful as a backup, also for previewing . . .

    When shooting wedding it is always useful to backup your pictures quickly, I use an Epson device with a CF slot. Because I also shoot "table" shots in the evening (at a charge) the Epson (because it has a large, High Res screen) is great for previewing the shots before I print them on My Dye Sub printer too.
  4. Dafke macrumors 6502


    Mar 24, 2005
    if you have an iPod with colour screen you can buy an iPod Camera Connector to transfer your pics. it is quite slow though, but it works fine.

    check here to see if your camera is compattible.
  5. spider macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2005
    I would suggest buying more cards. Eventually you'll need to get more cards as newer cameras will produce bigger files.

    I've never used a CF drive while shooting, I have a bunch of 4 gig cards instead. Personally I think it would be a hassle to worry about backing up cards in the field.

    Do look into getting a card reader, I have a USB 2.0 compact flash reader. They don't cost much and they transfer data much faster than a camera to usb connection. One last thing, don't get the Ipod thing. I looked into it and found that the battery would die before I could get a 4 gig card transferred and it is SLOW! Good luck!
  6. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Prices on CF cards continue to improve; it might not be $100 for 2GB anymore, especially if you're not going for maximum speed.

    Two thoughts.

    First, I generally think its a good idea to have enough CF Media to get through the shooting session (up to a full day, etc). Basic logic being that this way, you don't have to:

    a) lug around a digital wallet for doing a backup
    b) accidentally drop said digital wallet
    c) spend the time doing the transfer
    d) etc

    To that end, I bought two (for redundency) 60GB Hyperdrive HD80's (link here) last year, in anticipation of a longer vacation where I'd not have a laptop to do nightly backups to.

    At the time, the other digital wallet products that I had heard of were the Epson P-2000 (there's now a P-4000), and the Wolverine. The Epson is expensive, partly because of its nice color screen. The Wolverine gets bad marks because its battery isn't strong enough to last through a single download. I did have some worries initially with my HD80's battery life, but it was apparently due to simply needing to "exercise" the batteries a few times. They did really well on my trip to Tanzania this summer.

    The HD80 does come with a holster that can be put on your belt, and the manual does talk about "one handed operation" for doing backups, but all the same, I'd rather leave doing any backups for later on, when you can monitor the display...preferably have it plugged in to power...and make sure nothing goes wrong / gets accidentally lost.

    FWIW, I also liked that the HD80 uses AA rechargables: its AC cord recharges them, which meant that in conjunctiton with a standard AA charger (for my wife's digi-P&S & our flashlights), we were able to carry redundant AA recharging capability, "just in case".

  7. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    My wife and I use our iPods and the Belkin photo import device (has been replaced by Apple's own camera connection). Although it has been reported to be slow, I find it to be a perfect solution for what we need. We shot with a D70s, highest quality settings, and carry two 512MB CF cards. Once one card is filled I start importing and replace it with the other or fill both and take a break. I don't shot weddings so my subject isn't time sensitive, mostly macro, landscape and portraits, so the speed of the transfer is okay with me.. I forget how long the transfer actually takes. We went to Ireland and came home with about 2000 photos.. heading off to Paris next week will be using the same set up.

    As for other devices, I would check out http://www.dpreviews.com as they would most likely have the best content plus reviews. I had at one point, prior to the iPod being able to import photos, looked at the nikon device but due to a delayed release and then only average reviews I went with the iPod solution. Here is a specific forum on the subject: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1023

    Personally I feel for your situation as a wedding photographer that you should go with more cards. Because I doubt you will want to be dealing with file management while no location.
  8. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    I wouldn't do 4 gig cards, 2gb max and buy a whole lot of them. Smaller batches of photos so in case the card goes corrupt, you loose a smaller portion. This is some couple's wedding. A (should be) once in a lifetime event and if you loose the pictures, not good things will happen. I have enough cards to hold the entire wedding and as soon as I finish with one card, my assistant (girlfriend) transfers the pictures to my laptop and an external hard drive. I immediately have 3 copies of all the pictures and when i get home, they all get burned to a DVD or 2 and then I have 4 copies.
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    What camera are you using and what settings are you using? RAW? Fine? That can somewhat determine the size of memory cards required. In my camera, 1 GB card gets consumed very rapidly because I am shooting in RAW and the camera is a 10mp camera. I usually shoot with 4 GB cards when I am at an event. Will you be the "official" photographer or are you shooting as a friend or relative? In either case you will definitely need more than 2 1 GB cards if you're planning to shoot at weddings and receptions! As has already been suggested, it is better to have a lot of memory available rather than having to stop what you're doing to transfer the images off the card in order to reuse it. I would urge that you purchase at LEAST 6 GB, either 3 2 GB cards or one 4 GB card and a 2 GB...... Three 2 GB cards is probably the best way to approach this, as that way you're not putting all of your digital image eggs in one basket, so to speak.... It is much quicker and easier to swap out CF cards in the midst of everything than it is to fiddle with any sort of backup device.

    I have the Epson P-2000, which is a 40GB external hard drive device with CF card and SD slots and a wonderful screen for previewing. I've used it a couple of times but have found that it can be a bit slow; I also don't like that it changes file names. I much prefer to simply have a bunch of CF cards with me, use those, wait until I'm at a computer and simply upload the cards into the computer through a Lexar USB CF card reader and then immediately put the images on an external HD for extra storage and protection.

    I've heard good things about the Hyperdrive devices, which are significantly smaller and lighter than the Epson P-2000, but I haven't actually seen one in use. That does sound like a very feasible solution, too.

    Really, with the cost of CF cards coming down so nicely, it really would make much more sense in terms of practicality and finances to simply buy several more CF cards and a good CF card reader.....
  10. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    Ok. Heres some more Info....


    The Guy I am acting as a 2nd camera for, (and who does this professionaly), Shoots in Jpeg. Says he doesnt nee to do RAW. I didnt know what to do with raw until couple weeks ago. I've been shooting jpeg and its been fine actually. Especailly cause these files are not going to be blown up. In fact I ve sen some of his Jpegs blown up pretty big and they look pretty good, black and white though.

    Ive got the 2 cards, know I need more, but I'm Piss broke. I'd love to shoot wholly in raw, which means I need a ton more storage, but my computer is so damn slow as it is, that I am thinking of giving up that Idea till I buy a merom imac. I dont know...
  11. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    Shouldn't he be providing you with the cards then. Doesn't seem right that you need to buy them. My friend who does wedding photography always provides her assistants with cards.. she has even been known to inspect their gear, if they insist on using their own.. she is a bit neurotic but she does a good job. And I would agree, RAW isn't needed for this sort of setting, I know a lot of wedding photographers who are still waiting on RAW. I also agree with the other posters who commented on not getting the larger cards go smaller and multiple.

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