Photo Sarfari: Which portable hard drive?

Old Nov 28th, 2007, 01:06 PM
  #1  
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Photo Sarfari: Which portable hard drive?

OK all you photogs out there!
What's your personal choice for a portable hard drive?
And why?
I'm leaving in January.
Thanks.


mydogspud is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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I really liked the Epson P-3000. I could organize stuff into different folders, backing up cards was easy as could be, and the screen was very very bright.
mistadobalina is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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O.K. mydog, you have asked a question that is as sensitive as one dealing with religon or politics. There is no one correct answer or one fits all solution. First, if you want absolute reliability you will need two backups. You can take two PSD's (personal storage devices) or a computer and one PSD. Also, you can take one PSD (with or without a screen to view images and enough flash memory so that you will not have to erase anything from your cards. This latest option has become practical as memory prices have fallen. All PSD's are hard drive based and so failure is possible. Small computers and DVD or CD backup is also a possibility but the weight of any but the smallest computers makes them unattractive for safari. If I were choosing a new PSD I would go with the Epson P5000. It is faster than the older PS2000 and has 80GB of storage capacity and a very nice screen. It is however expensive. Hyperdrive, Nexto, and Wolverine make PSD's that are used by many and seem to work well however the models with viewing screens by each of these is of lesser quality than the Epson. If this is your first safari and bullet proof storage at a reasonable price is your aim, then I think I would go with adequate flash memory so that I would not have to reuse my cards and back them up on a PSD (Hyperdrive or similar). Just be certain to checl and be certain that whatever you choose can read the type of memory card your camera uses.
Regards-Chuck
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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OK. I am puzzled about why you need a backup drive. You can just carry several memory cards and since you can get up to 8GB on card I don't think you would need very many of them. Portable hard drives are more prone to failure than a solid state memory card. What am I missing?
lbodem is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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I think Epson is the most popular, from what I've seen people using on safaris, with a nice bright screen for viewing. We have a P-4000, which is now somewhat outdated (can't view RAW files from some of our cameras) but has 80 GB of storage and lets us bring slide shows etc. We also take a 100 GB Wolverine without a view screen so we have backup.

I think some people are now using the Jobo and like it but Epson got there first so it's more popular, but probably either would work fine.

And why?

Backup in case something is lost or breaks.

OK. I am puzzled about why you need a backup drive. You can just carry several memory cards

Ibodem, now that memory card prices have dropped this is actually a good idea ... high quality 8 GB cards are about $150 now, and not too long ago I recall paying $500 for 2 GB. So for about the cost of the Epson P-5000 you can get 64 GB of SanDisk cards, which is enough for most of us.

But it's still nice to have a backup plan in case the cards are lost or stolen and the portable HDs are relatively cheap if you get one without a viewing screen (120 GB Wolverine for $99 locally, for example).

Bill

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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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I can see the value as far as getting lost or stolen. BTW, You can get a 16GB CF card for $190.
lbodem is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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We use the Hyperdrive Space -- one 80GB and one 120GB version. Here is why I chose it:

-- Very fast: will copy a full 4GB Extreme III card in 4 minutes
-- Long battery life: the battery will last for 100GB worth of downloads
-- Adaptability to different recharging methods: you can recharge it with wall current, a car cigarette lighter, or through the USB port of a computer
-- Downloads directly from memory cards, any type
-- Not too expensive

For more information, you can go to www.hyperdrive.com.

Why carry one (or two)? Because of the sheer volume of storage space you need, especially when you shoot in RAW format (which we do, exclusively). On our most recent trip to Mongolia and China, we used over 150GB of storage space for our pictures. That is too many cards to carry around!

Chris
www.pbase.com/cwillis
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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An 8 gb card here in Ontario is $249 ...
For that money, I may as well get the portable storage unit ...
mydogspud is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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I've been looking at the Hyperdrive.
Epson is too expensive for me.
Anyone have personal experience with Wolverine?
mydogspud is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Sorry -- one other thing about the Hyperdrive. In the past there have been issues with the units being incompatible with certain Lexar memory cards. This issue may have been fixed, but I did not follow it, since I exclusively use Sandisk Extreme IIIs.

Chris
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Anyone have personal experience with Wolverine?

I have an older 100 GB Wolverine (vintage 2004), one with no view screen ... slower to write to from the laptop or to download cards than the Epson but the battery lasts longer than the Epson's. Good value for the money, I saw one locally recently for $99 with 120 GB storage.
Bill_H is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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Chris wrote We use the Hyperdrive Space ...

-- Very fast: will copy a full 4GB Extreme III card in 4 minutes
-- Long battery life: the battery will last for 100GB worth of downloads


These are really good numbers, much faster and with longer battery life than the Epson P-4000 we have ...

Bill
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Hi,

I use an Epson P-3000. I have used it in many countries and many climatic conditions. It has proven to be robust and reliable and very easy to use. I have also have about 20 gb of memory cards in case I cannot download every night. I also shoot in RAW and fine JPEG but use the PSD to review and delete unwanted photos.
Good battery life on the Epson helps too.
Cheers
Peter
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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I would dissent and vote to buy a lighter laptop with plenty of memory. My HP Centrino Duo is a godsend during my safaris even if it is not as compact as a portable hard drive...at least I use it while not on safari or other travel, which is about a good 330 days per year.
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Regarding using only memory cards: on our trip to Tanzania in June, one of our travelers had FOUR memory cards go bad on her! She was not able to recover most of the photos on those cards. I always back up my cards into my Epson each evening...so far, so good!
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Shay, what a horrible story! What brand of cards failed in such large numbers?!

Chris
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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That is very unusual. How tragic. Memory cards are typically very dependable. Four cards going bad on one trip sounds unreal. I guess it was either a bad batch of cards or the user did something tragically wrong to them.
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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I bought 2 wolverines for my recent trip, they are 40gb each and at the time they were $90ea, I think you can get more gb for that price now, but I did not need it. They work great, not the fastest things around, but that did not really matter to me as 3 minutes per card download vs. 8 minutes per card download made no difference to me while I was showering, or on a game drive or having drinks and the wolverine was doing it's thing. if you don't have access to recharging it that might be more of a problem. I shot 1 to 2gb a day, if I were shooting a lot more it might have been a bigger problem waiting for the downloads, but I was very happy with them and did not have to spend a lot of money, I brought them and already had (2)1gb cards and 1(2)gb card and I was more than set. They are well built, very easy to use, and very basic....no frills, but cheap!!
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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Another plug for Wolverine - I have the 80G ESP, the one with the nice view screen. I also had 20G worth of CF cards so I didn't really *need* the wolverine, it was backup in case of card problems/loss. But in reality it worked out great to be able to show all our various guides the pictures I had already taken.

Nancy (trip report in work!)
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Wildcat! You are back already, wow (that month sure flew by fast)! Can't wait to hear about your trip.
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