Digital photo storage devices

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Dec 11th, 2005, 11:58 AM
  #21
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arborwood:
Thanks for the update. We are at the point where we have to decide so your report was very helpful.
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Dec 11th, 2005, 07:42 PM
  #22
 
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Redundancy is the name of the game when it comes to image storage in the field.

I always take a laptop, and after post processing my keepers each evening, I burned the keepers on to CDs. Starting with my next trip to Africa, coming up in two weeks, I will be burning them to DVDs instead, which allow me much greater space for storage (4GB per DVD vs 700 MB per CD). I will also be downloading those keepers to a tiny Lacie 50GB portable hard-drive as a backup to the backups. All of which means my images will be stored in three different places: on my laptop's harddrive, on my portable harddrive, and burned on to DVDs. Only then can I feel comfortable re-formating my memory card each evening, and starting out with a clean card each morning.

The easiest form of storage is just to bring along a lot of memory cards and use a new one each time one is filled. This, however, can get expensive for prolific shooters using cameras that produce large sized image files, and memory cards can become corrupted, making difficult if not impossible to retrieve your images. I've never had a hard drive crash in the field, but I've had several memory cards go bad on me.

Ultimately, the kind of the storage media you choose to use is not as important as backing up your backups. The Epson 2000 (and the new 4000) are wonderful in that they confirm each download visually, just as I can do with my laptop. But any electronic device can fail at any time, particularly in transit. That's why I always urge my students to back up images redundantly. Hope this helps,

Phil

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Dec 12th, 2005, 05:54 AM
  #23
 
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Hi Phil,
Good info. as always - thank you.
I will be bringing my Fz30 and a backup coolpix 3mp with many cards and a couple cds - all done to save $$$ on safari and then to the Seychelles/catamaran.

2 questions if you will:
What's the advantage of bringing dvd's rather than cd's - is it just pref. for viewing or is it a better format? I will only be staying at 1 (not high end) lodge during my safari, so I'm not sure of the download capibilitys on their PC - I'm guessing I can burn a cd. After safari I will be staying at a few modern hotels.

What do you consider to be a lg. file size? How can one try, if at all, to keep their cards from being corrupted and will I know while shooting if there's a problem with the card?

Thanks for you help;
Sherry
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Dec 12th, 2005, 06:53 AM
  #24
 
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My gameplan is this:

Shooting with a D70s on JPEG fine, I have:
1 x 2GB Ultra2
2 x 256MB CF card
1 x 128MB CF card
1 x 128MB DataKey
1 x 256MB DataKey

And if I am really in a crunch, the 2 MP3 players were are bringing will each store 1GB of information each, so the music will go, but BA has good inflight entertainment so on the way out we should be fine.

That will give me 4.75+ GB of storage ... should be enough I hope ...
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Dec 12th, 2005, 10:15 AM
  #25
 
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Arborwood:
We are also happy with our Wolverine FlashPac but had problems when we first got it because it was not programmed for Type M xD cards. Don't know if it's different with yours but you might check because it is easy to fix with a simple download.
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Dec 12th, 2005, 05:08 PM
  #26
 
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Sherry,

To answer your questions:

1. DVDs hold 4 gigs worth of files. CDs hold 700 MB. I usually fill 12 CDs with my keepers on a three week trip. That's about eight Gigs worth of files. I can now store the same amount of files on just two DVDs. A block of ten CDs in jewel cases can weigh a lot. As far as I know, there is no "viewing advantage." This will be my first trip burning DVDs, since I just upgraded my Mac G4 PowerBook to one with a super drive, that both reads and writes DVDs.

A large file size is one made by an eight megapixel camera. Like our FZ-30s. A 8MB best quality, least compressed jpeg file runs about 3MB.
I also enhance all of my keepers while I am traveling, and save the enhanced version as an uncompressed TIFF file. The Tiffs can run more than 20MB in size. It doesn't take many of those to fill a CD rather quickly. Why do I save as TIFF? Because a jpeg is compressed to save space on your card. Every time you open a jpeg and make a change on it and then re-save it, you lose some of its detail. A jpeg is like our brain. The cells die off gradually. A TIFF file, on the other hand, is not compressed. You can re open a TIFF and edit at will, and then re-save it, and it loses nothing.

Probably more than you wanted to know, Sherry, but since you asked about file size, I thought you might find it of value.

How does one try to keep their cards from being corrupted? You can keep them in a sealed cases, or zip lock bags to keep the dust out of them. But external causes are not the only cause of corruption.Corruption can occur in the normal process of writing, reading, and storing image files to them. If your card becomes corrupted, you will get a message saying "file or card unreadable" or something to that effect. No warning. That's why I download every evening. I have seen that warning several times already. Each time, the manufacturer has replaced the card at no cost for me, but I have lost the images that were on those cards forever. I want to limit such potential losses. That's why I empty and reformat the card every day and prefer to store images on CDs, DVDs, my laptop, and on an external portable hard drive.

Phil

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Dec 13th, 2005, 04:49 AM
  #27
 
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Hello Phil,
Thanks for the insightful info. layed out in understandable terms. It's never more than I want to hear.

It's interesting about tiff/jpeg files. Sounds like I may have to go out and buy more cards as I was mostly thinking about shooting in jpeg. This lead to 2 more questions:

Does using tiff limit the zoom cap. on our cameras?

Is the card "unreadable" message on the camera or when downloading?

Many thanks;
Sherry



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Dec 13th, 2005, 09:16 AM
  #28
 
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Hi, Sherry,

Glad to help.

To answer your question about TIFFs, no you do not need to shoot the picture as a Tiff file. It takes up much too much space on your card. Always shoot as jpegs. You only need to make a Tiff file of the pictures you are enhancing in your computer afterwards. Once you enhance them, just "save as" a TIFF file, which will forever protect that shot from degrading.

It should have nothing at all to do with you how you shoot. The process of making a Tiff file takes place entirely in the computer, not in the camera.

(I know your FZ30 gives you the option of shooting in TIFF. Always disregard that.)

As for the "corruption" message, you will probably see it on the LCD screen of your camera just after you either take a picture or try to review an image.

Phil
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Dec 13th, 2005, 09:45 AM
  #29
 
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Thanks for all your great advice Phil.

I might add one thing regarding saving as a TIFF file. Once you decide that you are going to be working on a JPG I would *immediately* save it as TIFF first, and then start doing your work.

This way you still have the original JPG at all times. This saves you if you accidentally hit the "Save" icon of your editing software. If you do that (an easy mistake, at least for this writer!) then you could lose the original JPG.

So, save as TIFF first, then start your editing.
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Dec 13th, 2005, 11:56 AM
  #30
 
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Thanks, Nelson, for the suggestion. I have always saved my finished version at the end of my workflow process, by giving it a title, reformatting it as a TIFF file, and clicking "Save As" But I can see the wisdom of working on a file saved as a TIFF from the beginning -- it does indeed safeguard the original jpeg file from being forever altered by accidentally hitting "save" instead of "save as. "

I just tested your suggestion, however, and wound up with three files of the same image instead of two: the original jpeg file, a copy of that same original file saved as a TIFF, and my enhanced version, also saved as a TIFF. Did I miss something here? Or do you store all three copies?

Phil
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Dec 13th, 2005, 12:42 PM
  #31
 
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Phil,

Sorry for the lack of clarity. What I do is first "Save As" the TIFF file. From then on, as I edit I just use "Save" and I rewrite that TIFF. So I wind up with two files: the original JPG and the edited TIFF.

If that edited image is going to be posted on the web it gets saved one more time as a JPG of the proper size, and different name from the original. Only at that point there will be three files.

Wow, I feel odd giving advice to you. I have looked at your work on pbase.com and am awestruck by it!
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Dec 13th, 2005, 02:05 PM
  #32
 
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Thanks for the clarification, Nelson. And thanks, too, for the comment on my images. I have been a photographer for 55 years now, and I have been a teacher of visual expression since the 70s. The arrival of digital photography has made a profound difference in my vision. I am no different than you, Nelson -- those of us who have left film behind forever must gradually learn this new technology together. I try to learn something new everyday, and pass what I learn on to my students. This board offers all of us a wonderful learning experience. Thank you for your tip -- it is very useful.

Phil
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Dec 14th, 2005, 06:59 AM
  #33
 
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You are welcome Phil.

Just in case someone does not know Phil's pbase site, and you are interested in either improving your photography, or just looking at great pictures, then I heartily recommend bookmarking and visiting it often!

http://www.pbase.com/pnd1

(Phil does not know me, and he did not pay me anything to say this! )
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Dec 14th, 2005, 01:34 PM
  #34
 
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Thanks, Nelson, for those kind words. I welcome new visitors to my "pbase cyberbook on expressive travel photography" every day, and hope that these teaching examples will be useful to members of this discussion board as well.

I am leaving for Zambia in two weeks, and I plan to post a new gallery on expressive wildlife photography when I return in January. I hope it will prove to be a worthwhile learning resource for Fodorites.

Phil
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Dec 16th, 2005, 06:51 AM
  #35
 
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We used one of the new 60GB video iPods for photo storage and as a backup we got a Wolverine. Very happy with both. (Dlemma -- yes, apple sells a little connector cord that goes from the camera to the iPod; not expensive -- and we got a car charger too so we could charge in the vehicle during game drives).
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Feb 20th, 2006, 10:12 AM
  #36
 
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OK...leaving Sunday and more confused as to what to bring with me. I have my
D2X and D70 cameras, lenses, etc. and have (7) 2 gig sandisk III cards and (2)1 gig sandisk III cards for a total of 16 gigs.

I am leaning towards getting a portable hard drive just because of all the "stuff" I am carrying and I don't want to lug my laptop to Rwanda in addition to everything else. Since I will be mostly shooting in RAW mode, and I take about a gazillion pics, should I chance the portable hard drive?

After reading everyone's comments I don't want anything to crash or cards to corrupt so what to do?? Help...I'm panicking!
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Feb 20th, 2006, 11:01 AM
  #37
 
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Hi Divewop,

During my trip last year, I had invested in a 40GB Wolverine hard drive. I am extremely happy with it and highly recommend it. You can fill up your CF card(s) and download it to the drive at the end of the day. Check out these options at B and H --

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=FlashPac+7000

If you are prepared to invest more money, I recommend the epson P2000 in which you can browse the pictures.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

More options at -- http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...rch&Q=&ci=3369
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Feb 20th, 2006, 11:39 AM
  #38
 
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Most of the photographers on the trip I took to Botswana copied all their images to two places. Either two different Epson P2000's or a laptop and an Epson P2000. One guy did have a different device - I don't remember which one he had. (2 Nikon shooters, 4 Canon)

The Epson P2000 is expensive. But you can view RAW files immediately and I was amazed at the image size/quality. It is so easy to use that I never even read the directions (I am not gadget savvy either). There is a $50 rebate on them now. I haven't read anywhere about any of them failing. This link is to the "conclusion" of a 6 page review at dpreview.com http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/epsonp2000/page6.asp
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Feb 20th, 2006, 01:20 PM
  #39
 
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Sundowner-
I had been considering the p-2000 but have heard it's VERY slow in downloading images from the cards. I think someone mentioned it takes about 30 minutes for a 1 or 2 gig CF card of RAW or NEF images.

And that it also doesn't take long to fill up the 40 gigs or 33 gigs which what is left after getting the software downloaded.

I was also looking at the hyperdrive
HD80, and the compact drive PD70x. Neither have viewing screens but apparently are very fast in downloading and have gotten rave reviews from photographers.

Unfortunately both are on are backorder with their respective vendors so I may have to go with an Epson until I can get my hands on either one of those.
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Feb 20th, 2006, 01:54 PM
  #40
 
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divewop - I never timed downloads but it didn't seem that slow. I found 2 places where other people have tested download times,

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=16606913
The test was for battery life but 1 GB RAW Nikon files took 6:54 minutes.

And this test, http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=11286452
2GB Sandisk Ultra II
221 RAW images Transfer speed 2.34MB/s (13m 18s)

1GB Sandisk Ultra II
98 RAW+S images Transfer speed 2.28MB/s (6m 52s)

And I've also read there is between 36 & 37 GB space (certainly less than 40 but not as bad as 33).

I have no interest in Epson and you need to get what is best for you, but don't base your decision on misleading info.
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