Should I use an external hard drive or NAS for my photo storage and back ups?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mac1civ, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. mac1civ macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2007
    St Helens, England
    I have a canon 5d and a MBP

    I want to store most of my library on an external device and just access if needed. (my current projects I intend to keep on the mbp)

    Would the Time Capsule work ok for me or, given the size of my RAW files, do I need a faster connection to my external hard drive?

    It is worth saying that the NAS option would be attractive as a way of keeping our 2 family macs backed up anyway, although the key thing for me right now is to get the right external hard drive.

    I did search for any previous questions relating to this so apologies if I have missed these.

    Thanks in advance.:)
  2. Piarco macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2004
    I'd avoid the NAS for photo storage if you're going to be using it as the main resource - if it's backup only it'd be fine. RAW files are just too big to be using over a NAS IMHO - I only used mine for iTunes & backups.

    I've just bought a Western Digital My Book Studio Edition (500GB) to run as my main photo storage - the FW800 makes it useful. My NAS will be used (if at all) as backup only.
  3. MikeDTyke macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005
    You've got 2 requirements here and for the moment i'd say the answer is mutually exclusive. Home based NAS solutions are to slow for raw files. I'd invest in a firewire 400 drive, ideally a housing with 2 physical drives within and configure it for mirrored operation. Do NOT take chances with your backups. If you've only got a single copy somewhere, at somepoint you'll lose it. Hard drives can go just like that, Bang.

    Something like this iomega with dual 500GB drives:
    or this massive Western Digital drive with dual 1TB drives:

    If your other Mac isn't close to where you work on your MBP then either setup your external drive as a share on your MBP and only backup when it's at home, plugged in. Or alternatively buy another cheaper NAS or drive for backing it up.

    Hope you find something suitable. I'll just sign off by saying i've lost two 500GB drives in the last month, i'm extremely glad i had the data backed up elsewhere.

    M. :D
  4. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    Loving the 'tar. I take it you are waiting until Thursday too. It's going to be awesome!
  5. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I have my Aperture library on three drives, on my Time Machine drive (not via Time Machine, though), on another external harddrive and on my Mac's harddrive.

    NAS are usually too slow for this type of task, I'd definitely get an external harddrive.
  6. Eauboy macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Washington, DC
    You say you will keep your current projects on your MBP. If that's the case no need to worry about whether or not you can work with them over the NAS.

    If that's the case then I think a NAS is a great solution. I have a Buffalo Linkstation which I uses for iTunes and for backups. External drives are great, but the ease of use of a NAS -especially for multiple machines- is hard to beat.
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    If you're using GigE, a NAS device is good, assuming it's the right one (and your switch doesn't suck-) plus you can keep it in a different room giving you a *little* better physical disaster protection. If you're doing wireless, then it's a toss-up as to if it's going to be fast enough, with 802.11n it may be, with g, it'll be slow.
  8. mac1civ thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2007
    St Helens, England
    Thanks guys, great response.

    I think I am going to go with the Iomega, the spec looks good and the price isn't bad either.

    I will hold off for a while with the NAS and continue to use .mac for my backups in addition to a new external hard drive.

    When my Airport Express gives up I will replace with Time Capsule, which would then obviously become a more prudent and economical buy.

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