Ipad for travel backup?

vandrv

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Jan 27, 2008
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I wasn't sure if this is the right place place to post this, but here goes. I am planning on doing some traveling in the near future and am looking for a good way to backup photos on the road. I am using a Nikon D850 with both XQD and SD card capability. I shoot raw. Previously, I've used an older Macbook Pro to transfer the photos to a portable hard drive. This works well but the laptop is getting pretty long in the tooth and I would like to replace it with something more portable. I was thinking possibly an Ipad Pro but don't know if it would be possible to use one for this purpose. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to accomplish this, or should I be looking for a new Macbook? Thanks for any ideas.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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It can be done, but keep in mind you can only import to Photos, but that app can handle RAW just fine. You can then let iCloud back it up and then you can sync to a Mac or pull it from iCloud directly. I import RAW to my iPad all the time, and I use a Lightning to SDcard adapter. Native iOS apps like Affinity can even pull from your Photos library and it can edit RAW pretty well.
 
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vandrv

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It can be done, but keep in mind you can only import to Photos, but that app can handle RAW just fine. You can then let iCloud back it up and then you can sync to a Mac or pull it from iCloud directly. I import RAW to my iPad all the time, and I use a Lightning to SDcard adapter. Native iOS apps like Affinity can even pull from your Photos library and it can edit RAW pretty well.
Thanks for that. If I did this and used Icloud as my backup, doesn't it take quite a while to upload a bunch of raw files? I was hoping to find a way to move them from an Ipad directly to a hard drive.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The iPad doesn't support transferring to external drives, so I'm not sure you'd be able to accomplish that. Regarding upload times, yes, it can take awhile, but as long as you are on a WiFi connection for a while, this can be worked around. I'd imagine that if you are traveling, you'd do your photo transfer and subsequent iCloud upload at your hotel (or wherever you are staying) and just stay connected to WiFi and it will upload overnight. If not, then you just have to count on not losing or destroying your iPad until you can properly transfer photos. I suppose in that case you could go without iCloud entirely and just do a batch transfer when you connected your iPad to a desktop.

Really, you could accomplish everything we are talking about with an iPhone, too. You'd just need the adapter to transfer the files (and sufficient local storage). It would just be harder to cull your rejects on a smaller screen.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
When I am traveling on just a quick overnight trip I take a small camera (Sony RX100 M6) and take some shots but they remain in the camera on the SD card until I am home again, even though I have an iPad and iPhone with me. I don't want to mess around with images on my iPad. On longer trips or specifically-designated photo trips, I take along my laptop and at least one external SSD for downloading and safekeeping the images from the memory card(s) during the trip, even though I don't clear off the memory cards until home again. I usually don't attempt to do any serious photo editing on the 12" MacBook but at least do review the images and discard any that are definitely not of interest or are goofs, whatever. Once home again, the contents of the memory cards go into my primary machine (2018 15" MBP) and then it is time for serious reviewing/culling and editing prior to sharing.
 

MCAsan

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The wife and I only take iPad Pros (no laptops) to the field. SD cards are dowloaded to the iPads and to a WD Wireless Passport. So that gives us two copies. We then put the SD cards back into the cameras and reformat them. If we wanted a third copy of the images, we could lock the SD cards and put them into a SD wallet. We cull the iPad versions and download them to our iMacs using Image Capture. Then we can import them into Lr.
 

kenoh

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I think something like a WD Wireless passport and an sd adapter for an ipad pro will work fine for you on the move.

Wireless passport for bulk backups, then the SD adapter and ipad pro for editing images on the go - you know for those moments where you nail the shot and cant wait to see it on a big screen. :)

The ipad pro is great but even buying the expensive ones with masses of storage will fill relatively quick by the time you load the raws. - if using LR mobile you have 2 sets of images to faff about with as it has to import all of the photos from your photos app.

I assume you already know that multiple cards and swapping to a fresh one each day is a good idea too.
 

MCAsan

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I calculated that I can put over 30,000 raw images on my iPad Pro 1TB during a road trip. Last trip I brought back over 15,000 without any problem. I shoot m43 system that generates 20MB raw images. Even if you shoot something like D850 or a7rIII, you should still be able to put over 15,000 raw images inside the iPad.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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I calculated that I can put over 30,000 raw images on my iPad Pro 1TB during a road trip. Last trip I brought back over 15,000 without any problem. I shoot m43 system that generates 20MB raw images. Even if you shoot something like D850 or a7rIII, you should still be able to put over 15,000 raw images inside the iPad.
Dang, that’s a lot of pictures for one trip! So do you use iCloud backup as well, or just sync when you get home?
 

vandrv

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Jan 27, 2008
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I think something like a WD Wireless passport and an sd adapter for an ipad pro will work fine for you on the move.

Wireless passport for bulk backups, then the SD adapter and ipad pro for editing images on the go - you know for those moments where you nail the shot and cant wait to see it on a big screen. :)

The ipad pro is great but even buying the expensive ones with masses of storage will fill relatively quick by the time you load the raws. - if using LR mobile you have 2 sets of images to faff about with as it has to import all of the photos from your photos app.

I assume you already know that multiple cards and swapping to a fresh one each day is a good idea too.
I have thought about buying one of the wireless Passport drives. This would probably be the easiest solution for backup on the road. I have an Ipad Air but don't use it for editing. Both my Ipad and Macbook Pro are starting to show their age and I would like to buy one replacement for both. Just not sure which is the best route. I have a desktop Mac with an Adobe subscription to do my actual photo editing.
 

kenoh

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I have thought about buying one of the wireless Passport drives. This would probably be the easiest solution for backup on the road. I have an Ipad Air but don't use it for editing. Both my Ipad and Macbook Pro are starting to show their age and I would like to buy one replacement for both. Just not sure which is the best route. I have a desktop Mac with an Adobe subscription to do my actual photo editing.
Not sure this helps but...

I resisted the Ipad Pro editing option for a long time then I got a 12" ipad Pro - older one. I love it for touch ups on the go. In fact when I travel for work, unless I know I am doing serious excel or PowerBi work (as it needs windows), then I just take my ipad now.

The current 12" ipad pro is as powerful as my desktop editing machine according to Geek bench so it is worth considering as a portable productivity device... remember Photoshop is coming out for the ipad this year too so that is a plus.

Your use cases may vary to mine driving you the full laptop route, but for me, most of my work is in the cloud now. As I tend to work in a server environment I dont need much in the way of local capability anymore so travelling light works well for me. So much so that I keep forgetting to charge my macBook Pro.

We are all different of course, this is just my use case - amateur photographer, IT guy who pretty much lives inside Outlook and a bunch of cloud apps now.
 
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vandrv

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Jan 27, 2008
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Not sure this helps but...

I resisted the Ipad Pro editing option for a long time then I got a 12" ipad Pro - older one. I love it for touch ups on the go. In fact when I travel for work, unless I know I am doing serious excel or PowerBi work (as it needs windows), then I just take my ipad now.

The current 12" ipad pro is as powerful as my desktop editing machine according to Geek bench so it is worth considering as a portable productivity device... remember Photoshop is coming out for the ipad this year too so that is a plus.

Your use cases may vary to mine driving you the full laptop route, but for me, most of my work is in the cloud now. As I tend to work in a server environment I dont need much in the way of local capability anymore so travelling light works well for me. So much so that I keep forgetting to charge my macBook Pro.

We are all different of course, this is just my use case - amateur photographer, IT guy who pretty much lives inside Outlook and a bunch of cloud apps now.
Thanks for this. I tend not to do any editing of my photos while I'm traveling. I might cull some of the obvios duds, but that is about it. I think the obvious solution for backup would be a wireless hard drive. I don't really use the cloud for photo backup as I live in an area with seriously slow internet service.
 

MCAsan

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Dang, that’s a lot of pictures for one trip! So do you use iCloud backup as well, or just sync when you get home?
That was from 3 weeks in Kenya. Images stored in iPad and in WD wireless passport. I never use iCloud for photos. I never synch between iPad and the Adobe servers. The mean reason is that LR CC/moble is so feature poor I never use it. Also synching assumes there is high bandwidth Internet access available. That is not the case on safari in Kenya, South Africa, or shooting bears in Alaska. In such locations you are lucky to be able to read email. ;)

When I got home from Kenya I used Image Capture in the iMac to download all the culled images from the iPad. I had around 14 hours to do the initial cull on the flight back from Doha to the States. Then I have Lr import the images. Lr will sort the images into folders based on shoot date and it will rename the files.
 

vandrv

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Jan 27, 2008
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Not trying to stray this thread or far of subject, but I was looking at the WD wireless drives, and am wondering whether the ssd version is worth the added premium, if I’m strictly looking for a travel backup drive?
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Not trying to stray this thread or far of subject, but I was looking at the WD wireless drives, and am wondering whether the ssd version is worth the added premium, if I’m strictly looking for a travel backup drive?
SSD means no moving parts, so it should be even more durable than one with a spinning drive inside. Should be faster to read/write to as well.
 
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MCAsan

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Without doubt if I were purchasing WD Passports today, they would definitely be SSD based, not HDD based.
 

vandrv

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I understand the difference between an ssd and a spinning drive. My travel backup consists of using two portable drives so I have some redundancy and as these are only temporary backups, I just wonder if maybe ssd drives are overkill.
 

MCAsan

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While the SSDs would have faster read and write speeds, to me the more important issue would be no moving parts to crash a platter. Also for the same capacity the SSD would be lighter. The only negative I can think of about the SSD is the price is higher than a HDD. A 1TB SSD would work fine for all our trips.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I have been using external SSDs since 2015 and over time have been making the shift from external platter/spinner drives to solely external SSDs for backups and "supplemental" drives. I've been spoiled by the speed of external drives, plus the light weight and small dimensions, which are ideal for travel. Now whenever I travel I always take an external SSD along, especially if I will be doing photography on the trip. Yes, they are more expensive than platter/spinner external drives, but to me they are worth it. They save a lot of time, being so much faster than a 5400 rpm or a 7200 rpm spinner drive, and for portability they can't be beat! These days I use my older spinner drives only for archival purposes.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I understand the difference between an ssd and a spinning drive. My travel backup consists of using two portable drives so I have some redundancy and as these are only temporary backups, I just wonder if maybe ssd drives are overkill.
My comment was more about my reasoning than it was to educate. Mobile devices get more abuse, so any time you can reasonably eliminate moving parts, it’s worth considering. Reasonable is the key. If you need TBs of storage, an SSD gets pretty expensive. Drives 1TB or less aren’t so expensive anymore.
 

v3rlon

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S/D cards could go to iPad with the camera kit. The XQD is another matter. You could use Wifi to send it via snap bridge, I *think*. test it first.

I found moving photos from iPad to cloud using hotel Wifi to be a bit slow.

For what its worth, I also tried the Western Digital MyPassport Wireless whatever that reads SD cards and has Wifi, and it was even less effective than the camera kit. If you want to pass on the laptop, that is probably the best solution other than buying lots of cards, and XQD gets expensive.
 

mofunk

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Whenever I'm traveling I have my iPad and D750 with 3x 32GB SD cards. Two inside the camera and one in bag. If I were to fill up those cards, its a lot to edit. So what I do is try to delete the images that I know I don't want or that are duplicates. The most I've travelled was up to two weeks which I filled up about 1 SD card.


Since you have a D850 you can use the Nikon App to transfer to your iPad, add a folder in the folder's App to keep the images organized. Unless you are planning to shoot over 1000 images, then get a wireless external drive. Someone in this thread said it can't be done, but it can. You can look around Youtube for Musicians and Photographers and Graphic artist using iPad Pro and external drive.