Trip to the Galapagos, storage, archiving help.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by foshizzle, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    My sister is going with a group from her college to the Galapagos Islands in January. She has a Nikon D60, and between her and myself (I have a canon hf10 video camera) we have 4 x 16GB class 6 SDHC cards that she'll be bringing with her. Not sure if she'll be shooting in RAW+JPEG or just RAW or just JPEG, thats her call.

    My question is what about archiving when (if) she runs out of card space? She'll be there for 10 days, living on a boat, and is not sure about power options (I'm sure there'll be some way to charge things). She wont be bringing her laptop, and i was looking at Apple's camera connector for the iPod. Has anyone used this? The reviews look terrible but there arent many from recently. We have a couple video iPods (80 and 60 GB) and this would be a perfect solution, but only if it was going to work.

    Are there any other portable archiving solutions anyone can recommend?

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It's hard to beat a notebook computer. Buy a Pelican case for the notebook and one for the camera gear and another to keep all the CD's she burns and the backup drive. The cases are nearly indestructible (good for both airline travel and while on the boat) and water proof (good for while on a boat)

    The other option is to use many smaller SD cards. Buy a bunch of $10 cards then if you loose one it's only a small percent of the shots.

    You will be much better off it after every shoot you can review the shots on the notebook and burn some CD's and then backup the library to an external drive.
  3. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Wow, imagine how many photos she will took for 10 days without a notebook to organize it all? Yikes, that would be thousands of photos not to mention some of the images need to be deleted. And imagine the amount of hours she need to spend in front of the computer when back at home to organize all the photos taken.

    Good luck on the journey!!!, post some vac. pics if possible (scenery would be nice) :)
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Epson has a digital storage bank. If you want to spend the cash try that. Also look on ebay for cheaper older models. Either all that or buy more cards.
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    The hyperdrive Colorspace is awesome (faster than the Epson, the battery lasts forever, you can throw in your own HD, and it's about half the price).

    For power options, I would actually spend the money on a battery grip with an AA battery adaptor (not sure if Nikon makes this, Canon does).
  6. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    i hear the ipod connector take FOREVVVVER to upload pics to your ipod, so much that your battery runs out sometimes as well, and you cant charge it since the port is being used... never used it myself tho...
  7. foshizzle thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    I was looking at the Hyperdrive and it does not list her camera for raw compatability (Nikon D60). Does that just mean that she will not be able to view them but she'd still be able to store them on there?

    Otherwise, it'd be a perfect solution. Along with a Pelican case for her camera gear.
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Typically yes. The D60 files can be stored but not viewed. Check with them and see if it's nothing more than a delayed software update. This will also let you know whether or not you're buying something they simply abandoned so it will be useless later on due to lack of software updates from the company. This happened with my Delkin.
  9. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I just checked the file size of some pics from my D60, where I shoot RAW+JPG. They were, on average, about 8MB per combo. Even if you took all the higher end ones as an average (let's say 10MB), you could shoot 1600 images on each card. Multiply that by 4 cards, and you've got 6400 images. That's 640 images a day. Yikes.

    I realize the point someone made about processing them all after she gets back...but surely that is a better solution than spending the vacation time processing them. Why on earth would you want to be stuck behind a computer processing images on the Galapagos Islands, when it is likely you'll never get back there?

    I personally wouldn't worry about archiving them...but I do agree that going with higher quantity/lower capacity cards might be a good idea.
  10. osin macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    New Jersey
    I would also recommend one of the hyperdrive products
    Transfer speed is very high and battery life is very impresive. It comes with memory card repair software built in and it offers also file verification while transfering the files.
    I would say it is one of the best backup systems on the market and battery last very long comparing to the other products.

    iPod isn't good solution at all. Transfer speed is horrible (1GB takes about 45 minutes) and battery dies quickly too (about after 2GB of download). It doesn't support (show) RAW files and the most important thing: you can't use your camera when backing up pictures to iPod!

    I've used 60GB iPod and I used to take my laptop too. Now I have this little gadget and can carry it with me all the time :)
  11. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    You can add a third endorsement for Hyperdrive. I have a pair (for redundancy) of the older HD80 versions that I've just gotten back from a trip to Tanzania from, with 30GB of data to sort through.

    FWIW, I would recommend a couple of things:

    a) Redundancy in data backup. Don't rely on just a single HD ... ever. If you don't roll through all your memory cards, let the data still on the memory card be your 3rd copy.

    b) Redundancy in power. Make sure to bring along at least 2 chargers for AA's (the Hyperdrive's AC charger serves as one).

    c) Plan your workflow. This is perhaps more of an issue on my older HD80s which doesn't display any images, but what this comes down to is that you want to have a process by which you keep track of your cards ... which ones have been used, which have been dumped to the wallet, etc.

    d) Document as you dump. You know those thin little pads of paper you find in hotel rooms? Grab one and each time you back up a memory card, write down some details on it. This helps you remember which card has been backed up, becomes particularly useful when you have multiple cards and multiple cameras that you're managing.

    On (d), I have an example that I'll scan in for you (hopefully this week)...and based on my last trip (last 2 weeks), I want to make up a worksheet that I'll carry for myself.

    - - -

    Specific suggestions for the Galapagos:

    - be mindful of your equipment's minimum focus distance, especially telephotos

    - watch exposures on places with black rocks

    - plan how you're going to transport your gear for "Wet Landings" (without it getting wet)

  12. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I don't know... I think for the amount of money the solutions suggested here cost, you could just buy more memory cards. Most of the portable hard drive solutions are designed mainly for on-site backup rather than as a solution to increase your total overall available space (for example, at a wedding you can immediately make a hard drive backup of the cards in case something goes wrong that could land you in court). Just buy more cards.
  13. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    That's also a good observation; more on that in a sec.

    The generalized value of a 2.5" drive based storage device is that for the weight/cube, you can get a lot of GBs worth of storage that's functionally in addition to however many cards you have. For example, my HD-80's have 60GB drives and for my most recent trip, I took along roughly 25GB worth of cards, which meant that I had ~85GB worth of potential storage (the last 25GB worth would stay on the cards and not get dumped to the HD-80's before heading home).

    It is a trade-off, so there are some other factors to consider.

    For example, if you're going for higher I/O performance cards, these aren't as cheap, so it changes the math for where break-even occurs.

    Secondly, don't be surprised if you run into 'Gotchas' on legacy camera equipment. For example, I wanted to take more cards on my trip and I found some 16GB cards at a very good price, so I bought two of them. However, I then found out that in my Canon 20D, the max size that this camera can format is 8GB. As such, I ended up adding only 2 * 8GB worth of additional storage instead of 2 * 16GB. Dang.

    Third, and something that I'm trying to figure out what's going on with these cards: I found that when they started to get more than 4GB filled, the camera started taking longer and longer to write out the images. It became severe enough such that by the time that I got them to around 5.5-6GB filled (250 images remaining), they were so incredibly slow that it was hindering shooting in moderately rapid succession (10-20 frames/minute), so I ended up pulling the cards before they were full and put in a freshly reformatted (empty) one. As such, while I thought that I had 25GB worth of cards with me, my useful capacity was <20GB.

    And FWIW, one final factor worth mentioning: if you're using a pile of cards with more than one camera, you have to watch out for moving cards between cameras and messing up their naming sequence: this is a very easy way to end up with a whole bunch of different image files that have the exact same IMG_xxx.JPG filename sequences. The simple fix here is to not mix your cards between camera bodies, which generally means that you will need more cards than you otherwise may have been expecting.

  14. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Anyone know if this HyperDrive has the ability to upload photos to an internet storage service?

    I had never heard of it, but it do seems like a hell of equipment for trips. I normally don't like taking my laptop in trips, so with this HyperDrive, I could have two copies of my photos without carrying much weight. But, if I could upload photos to MobileMe or somewhere else, it would be even better.
  15. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    For getting images off the device, it plugs in to a PC to become a standard external USB hard drive. As such, you could use an Internet Kiosk (one that has USB access) to plug it in, log into your Internet storage service and upload away.

    However thus said, from a practical standpoint its going to come down to a question of upload speeds and how many MB/GB worth of data you're looking at uploading. As such, I suspect that its more likely that you'll only be patient enough (or willing to pay for) a couple of GB at a time, which means that you may as well skip the Hyperdrive and use the flash cards.

    Although I always make it a point to run my Hyperdrives off of AC power when I'm hooking them up as USB drives, I did just check and found that it will run off of its internal batteries.

    It is indeed the alternative to carrying an entire laptop on extended trips. I just got back from 2 weeks in Tanzania with mine.

    The Hyperdrive is one of the better digital wallets that have been around for a few years...a key factor in my decision-making process was that it has very good (superior) battery life vs. competitors, and also very good transfer speed rates (bane of the iPod)...items to also keep in mind when debating if a laptop will serve your needs.

    Size-wise, I've just taken a ruler to measure mine, and each one is roughly 3.5" x 5.5" x 1.25" thick and around 1lb...the manufacturer's website will of course have all the details.

    Thus said, the creation of digital wallets occurred back in the days when flash cards were extremely expensive. With the continued falls in prices of solid state memory, the decision-making process for when it is cost-effective to buy one has changed dramatically.

    For example, when I bought mine a few years ago, I got two (redundancy) 60GB systems for roughly $500, which would have been compared vs the cost of 60GB worth of flash cards.

    Just two years ago, a 133x speed 2GB CF card was $100, or roughly $50/GB. As such, buying 60GB would have cost you around $3000. But just last month, I bought two 16GB CF cards for $130 (<$10/GB), so the same 60GB today is only $300...a full order of magnitude reduction in expense.

    Since $300 for 60GB in cards is cheaper than the $500 for the HD's that I spent, it would appear that cards are the way to go today...but in the meantime, drive prices have come down too. One can get the Hyperdrive Space (case only; no drive) for $150 and add a 250GB 2.5" PATA drive from NewEgg for $80, so for roughly $250 each / $500 pair, one can put together two (redundant) 250GB wallets today, which again tilts things in favor of the wallet (since 250GB of CF would be $2,500)....although this comparison is a bit of a fake one, since it has to assume that one finds sufficient value in having 250GB worth of portable data storage (as opposed to some lesser amount) so as to use this particular combination in a comparison.

    In other words, its a trade-off.

  16. H2Ockey macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    I think this is all true, however if i were only doing cards I would seriously consider only using 1 or 2 GB cards, maybe 4 GB. For several reasons,
    If something happens to a card, even a 1 gig card is going to have a load of photos on it, a 16 gig card or bigger might have a whole vacation on it.
    When I do get home I would rather DL and catalog 1 or 2 maybe 4 gigs at a time, not 16 let alone 32, although that 32 gig UDMA card is pretty pricey.
    As was mentioned earlier the write speed when the card gets full... never experienced that but i've also only ever filled a 4 gig card but if that is the case with many cameras and cards 8 gigs and over i'd rather have 4 x 2 gig cards than one 8 gig card that slows down.
    With small cards you can write on the back with a ball point pen some kind of note time/place/DL or not.

    All that said i'm also a fan of redundancy and back up, and a HD plus saving the cards, and depending on where you vacation, keep the cards very seprate from other valuables. I had my camera/laptop bag stolen a few weeks ago. I lost the nearly full 4 gig card in the camera, plus the (at least they were empty) 4 gig back up and 1 gig card (that was supposed to be with my P&S. You never know when those things will happen and now a month later what am I most peeved about? pictures from my daughters 3rd B-day plus many other very good ones... gone forever. On a trip to the Galapagos you are going through a couple sketchy airports, equipment can be replaced the photos can't.
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Because if there are problems with the photos you will notice the problem hile you still have the ability to re-shoot. It all depends on way you are there. Is it a vacation or a photography assignment? If the photos are very impotent then you want to review the shots carefully before the next day's shooting.

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