External Photo Storage

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Billster, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Billster macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2013
    My fellow photo takers I would like to store my 23000 photos on an external drive. I would like to access the drive (or photos) from my MBP and MacMini. I would be grateful for recommendations on equipment, software, and sources to accomplish this task. Price under $800. Smallest package for limited desk space please. I use Aperture/Iphoto currently. I am not a photographer but a picture taker, I love what I take pictures of, not taking photographs. Keep it simple for old guy. Really grateful for assistance.
  2. twitch31 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2013
    By far the simplest would be a managed library stored on any USB3 or thunderbolt external drive, and then use sneaker net to share the library between the 2 computers.
  3. thejoshhoward macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    If you're planning to keep your photos on the external drive only, I would strongly suggest a RAID 1 setup. If you're not familiar with RAID, RAID 1 is just two drives in the same enclosure with each drive being an exact copy of the other. A setup like this allows one of those drives to fail without losing your data.

    For myself, I use a Pegasus R6 as my primary storage. But this Lacie drive (linked below) is less complex and in your price range. Hope it helps!

  4. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    RAID 1 is not a substitute for a backup.
  5. Mr.Noisy, Apr 27, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013

    Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    That is correct, but no-one has mentioned back up, just external storage, and for photo's a raid 01 system is best, I use 2 for my business needs, all my lightroom catalogues and Raw files are in the systems plus I use crashplan, so everything is stored safely and securely adding to this my 2 websites hosting work and DVD's with copies on, it may seem over the top but its backed up and stored securely.

    thejoshhoward linked the Lacie which is a good bit of Kit also check out Western Digital, they do a firewire or thunderbolt version of basically a very similar product in 4 and 6tb form, I use these and ive never had any issues.

  6. ChrisA, Apr 27, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You are talking about networked storage. The low end usints are dead slow but with an $800 budget you are able to go for something that is pretty good. One of the smaller NAS system made by Synthology woud be good.

    One of these....

    One thing. You ail want to use gigabit LAN. That is a very fast wired connection. WiFi is not nearly fast enough for storage. It will work but it is not as fast as a local disk.
  7. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    He's not backing up, it would serve as the DAS or San pending how he set it up.
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Just go with a big 2-3 Tb external drive. 25000 of my D700 pictures ,raw+jpeg, would fill 750Gb, so a standard 2 or 3 Tb drive is plenty. Connect it to the computer with the fastest interface, and use OSX to share the volume to the other mac (use gigabit cable for connection of the 2 since that improves network access quite a bit).
    Even in case it is on USB2, it won't be a big deal as long as you have a good folder structure. Only filling the disk takes a few hours then, but that is a one-time issue.
    I would buy 2 disks and fill them with the same content, and use Synkron or something like that to keep both disks the same. One disk should be stored elsewhere as backup.
    Only costing 200-300 bucks, and your backup is taken care off as well.
  9. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    I completely agree with blanka above. NAS can be useful, but if all you're looking for is external storage then save the money on a NAS and just buy 3 external drives (one working drive, one for onsite backup, one for offsite backup). You can either plug in the working drive to whichever computer you're using, or leave it plugged into the mini and set up shared folders. I use SuperDuper! to clone my disks and do incremental backups. 3 HDDs and an app like that should come in way under your $800 budget.
  10. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
  11. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2009
    Is there a good way to keep the photos synced between 2 computers I use to work on them? I use a desktop mac mini at home and a mpb when I'm out and like to edit my pictures on both.

    At the moment, I use a USB stick for my "working" folder for my current project which goes back and forth and when I'm done, I archive it (multiple external hard drives with an offsite rotation). Using sneakernet seems clunky for my working project, the USB is a single point of failure to lose all my work (I do back up the RAW files several places before I start work, so losing the actual images that way is not an issue).

    My way also makes future edits difficult, if I change an image from an archived project, copying the new version throughout my backups is quite time consuming.

    For what it's worth, I'm using Photoshop CS5, and also have to do some editing on the windows version.
  12. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    Your best bet is to either use smugmug or dropbox.
  13. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    +1 for dropbox. Replacing your USB stick with a cloud solution will remove your single failure point (unless you accidentally delete the file from dropbox).

    Probably not an issue if USB stick currently provides enough space, but worth bearing in mind the free option only offers limited storage so you may not fit many PSDs up there at once.

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