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04-14-2016, 07:04 AM   #1
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Backing up in the field with dual slots

Can anyone tell me if my logic here makes sense.

I am unsure if the K3 supports this but the manual for the K1 mentions that you can copy images from one sd card to another using the dual slots. I have no problem purchasing higher end cards that exceed the write speed of the camera to ensure the best performance. The problem is when I am away for weeks at a time I can fill up a 64 gb card in a matter of 2 or 3 days. Purchasing enough cards for this heavy usage gets expensive fast and is more to keep track of.

Could I purchase a single 64gb high performance card to shoot with then at the end of the day use the camera to back up the card to a slower 256/512gb card in the second slot and then wipe the quicker card clean to use again for the next couple days of shooting? Essentially the second slot is not being used simultaneously because it will be of lower performance but it will be used periodically to make a back up of the quicker card.


I have yet to find a surefire method of backing up a memory card in the field. I am often away from my computer for long periods of time and a backup is often crucial to ensure I do not lose any work. I am an avid camper so bringing a computer along is out of the question. I could purchase 2 x 256 gb slower cards for less than the price of 4 x 64 gb faster cards. This seems like a viable back up method but I want to be sure that this sounds feasible.

04-14-2016, 07:28 AM   #2
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I will be watching the answer with interest, as it would be one more driver towards the purchase of a K-1 (not that I won't buy one eventually anyway; this would merely be one more feature that would hasten the day).
04-14-2016, 07:37 AM   #3
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On the K-3 you can select to copy individual images or a folder. So this should be no problem. If you are saving in folders by day then I would think the folder name would be carried through but I have not tested that.

Another possibility is getting an external backup device with integral card reader.
04-14-2016, 07:43 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by turff Quote
Can anyone tell me if my logic here makes sense.

I am unsure if the K3 supports this but the manual for the K1 mentions that you can copy images from one sd card to another using the dual slots. I have no problem purchasing higher end cards that exceed the write speed of the camera to ensure the best performance. The problem is when I am away for weeks at a time I can fill up a 64 gb card in a matter of 2 or 3 days. Purchasing enough cards for this heavy usage gets expensive fast and is more to keep track of.

Could I purchase a single 64gb high performance card to shoot with then at the end of the day use the camera to back up the card to a slower 256/512gb card in the second slot and then wipe the quicker card clean to use again for the next couple days of shooting? Essentially the second slot is not being used simultaneously because it will be of lower performance but it will be used periodically to make a back up of the quicker card.


I have yet to find a surefire method of backing up a memory card in the field. I am often away from my computer for long periods of time and a backup is often crucial to ensure I do not lose any work. I am an avid camper so bringing a computer along is out of the question. I could purchase 2 x 256 gb slower cards for less than the price of 4 x 64 gb faster cards. This seems like a viable back up method but I want to be sure that this sounds feasible.
Copying it to a larger slower card and wiping the faster one is not a backup. That would be the only copy of it. If the 256/512 card goes bad or gets corrupt, you've lost a lot of images.

04-14-2016, 07:53 AM   #5
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If you copy to two separate slow cards before wiping then you have backup.
04-14-2016, 08:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
If you copy to two separate slow cards before wiping then you have backup.

Sorry, that was actually what I had intended to say but looking back I didn't make that clear.

Thanks for the help though everyone, it looks like this may be a decent option for me!
04-14-2016, 09:18 AM   #7
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Neat solution!
04-14-2016, 09:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by turff Quote
Sorry, that was actually what I had intended to say but looking back I didn't make that clear. Thanks for the help though everyone, it looks like this may be a decent option for me!
I think this is an elegant solution but I would question the economics. K-3 maxes out somewhere between 36mb/s and maybe 60mb/s depending on which set of tests you look at. So getting even 95mb/s cards is already overkill. Is the difference in price between a slow (but usable) card and the fastest card the K-3 can effectively use all that much?

04-14-2016, 09:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I think this is an elegant solution but I would question the economics. K-3 maxes out somewhere between 36mb/s and maybe 60mb/s depending on which set of tests you look at. So getting even 95mb/s cards is already overkill. Is the difference in price between a slow (but usable) card and the fastest card the K-3 can effectively use all that much?
In theory definitely. However in my experience things are a little different. I have a sandisk that writes at 95 and another that writes at 45. Although both are above the supposed k5 write speed the 95 is significantly quicker at clearing the cameras buffer. There are cheaper cards that hover around 60mb/s or more and are much cheaper than the sandisk but I have only had two cards ever fail on me, one being a PNY and the other a Lexar. After those incidents I have been using Sandisk for a few years without a hiccup. I know others have had different experiences but for me I will only use Sandisk as a primary card. For a backup I am willing to be more flexible.

I know I know, I being cheap but I am saving to buy the K1 and two lenses and my wallet could use every bit of help it could get. In a perfect world I would just buy multiple of the Sandisk Extreme Pros and call it a day but my budget just won't allow it.
04-14-2016, 09:47 AM   #10
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I use only Sandisk Extreme Pro cards so I understand. And I'm not up on SD card prices lately so I was just saying to make sure of your numbers. I did a quick look on Amazon and it seems the best price I could find for 45mb/s cards was about 50cents per GB. Extreme Pro cards are about 80 - 90 cents per GB. So if you have to buy two slower cards for the backup you might be at the same price as just buying 1 fast card and keeping it out after use. Just speculating.

Anyway, this does look like it might work I just wanted to be sure you had the numbers right. Best of luck on your trip!
04-14-2016, 11:34 AM   #11
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Personally I recently took a 4 week vacation with a camera without dual slots. Rather than buy 64GB cards - I bought 4 16GB cards. I rotated cards every day and had two sets for two locations - this provided no redundancy (I did upload to Flickr most nights) but provided loss mitigation. I would argue that using more cards is lower risk and l personally would add a couple of larger slow cards for an extra layer of backup. So fast 16GB in the camera - one in each slot - dual write. Then 64GB backup card A and B to write two copies to and then wipe the 16GB cards and use again once they get too full.
04-14-2016, 11:44 AM   #12
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The fast cards may not always show benefit when writing from an older camera (K-5 in my case), but if you have a lot of files - especially a lot of large .DNG's - it might make a difference getting them off onto the computer at the end, especially if you have a USB3 slot and matching reader (or inbuilt reader on the USB3 bus). It also future-proofs you if you move up to something bigger and better.
04-14-2016, 11:52 AM   #13
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As inexpensive as these cards are - I'm not sure one should buy the fastest (most costly) when the prices fall so rapidly as new speedier options come out. The "future proofing" option seems pretty expensive.
04-14-2016, 12:10 PM   #14
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My backup process

I used to bring a laptop along to back up all my images.
I rotated cards and would not use it again unless I ran out of memory cards.
Problem is the laptop was large, heavy, and a single point of failure.

I've switched to using the Kingston MLWG2 (http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Companion-Storage-Charger-MLWG2/dp/B00KU2E9IW).

At the end of a shoot I place the SD in the Kingston and hook a 256GB external SSD to the USB slot.
I use the Kingston app (IOS and Android) to transfer files from the memory card to the SSD.
I put in another SSD and repeat the process.
I now have my original images on the SD card and backed up to two Solid State Disks.
The memory card gets rotated out and will only be used again if I run out of memory cards; but my data is backed up on 2 separate disks kept in 2 different locations.
I use SSD instead of spinning platters because fewer moving parts means less chance of disk damage.

The MLWG2 also acts as a battery charger and wireless device.

With the Kingston app or ES File Explorer I play movies off of a SD card or disk for up to 4 people, or I can review my images.

Chris
04-14-2016, 12:59 PM   #15
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No. Back up to the casino before loading the slots. Then when you drive away, you will be able to spot any gulleys, gopher holes and rocks that might cause the slots to bounce out or worse, you get stuck or break an axle. Try explaining to the police why you took off across a field with 2 slots!
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