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08-26-2014, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Transferring files to a tablet or HD

On a trip with a lot of photos, I never like to have the SD card be the only place my photos are stored. I've had too many of them break or go bad. I shoot Raw+, so the cloud takes a lot of bandwidth. In the old days (just a few years ago) I carried along an Ebook to back up to its hard drive. These days, I seem to like to travel with the iPad Air, and an underpowered notebook is a bit cumbersome.

My current solution is one of the 5 in 1 WAP/battery/SD card readers. I have tried two of them (EasyAccess and RavPower), and I thought I would share my experiences with them. Both models have a battery backup, a wireless access point (WAP), an SD card reader and a USB port which will accept a USB HD. Both will charge another device through a USB connection and both are charged by micro USB port. Both are about the size of a USB hard drive, but a little narrower. Both are sold on Amazon.

The first I tried was the EasyAcc 5 in 1. The pros to this device are that it has a whopping 8800mah backup battery. It can charge a smartphone 5 times. It also has a wired ethernet connection and can act like a wireless router. However, it has one firmware shortcoming that makes it a problem for shooters of Raw files, especially for the 24mp K3. Its transfers from the SD to the USB HD are over wifi, and must go through the tablet. It takes hours to transfer a day's raw shooting. What is worse is that something always seems to happen to the connection during the hours you leave the iPad (or smartphone) and WAP connected for the transfer, and you end up starting where the transfer stopped. You can't just leave it going all night. I reviewed the device on Amazon and wrote the manufacturer about the firmware, and they just tried to convince me to change my review rather than improving their product.

The next device I tried was the RavPower 5 in 1. It is half as thick as the EasyAcc, but the EasyAcc has almost 3 times the battery power. At first, its wireless seemed a bit buggy, but there had been a number of firmware upgrades to the Ravpower which seem to have fixed the issues. It also has a free iPad app, while EasyAcc asks to you buy FileBrowser (an excellent app, BTW). However, the biggest winning point for the Ravpower is that its SD card transfer is internal. You access its browser interface and tell it to copy from the SD to HD, but all the transfer takes place through the internal, wired connections. A dump of a day's shooting which would take hours on the EasyAcc takes 10-15 minutes on the Ravpower, and your iPad is not monopolized. This device is the clear winner for photographers.

I still use both products. The extra battery alone on the EasyAcc is worth the $40. Either device will do a good job getting your jpegs to your tablet for posting on social media or display. However, for backing up SD cards full of raw files, the Ravpower is the only good choice.


Last edited by GeneV; 08-26-2014 at 07:18 AM.
08-26-2014, 07:21 AM   #2
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The RavPower looks like a very capable solution, thanks for the info. Too bad the product doesn't seem to accommodate CF cards.

M
08-26-2014, 07:26 AM   #3
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I have a Photo Safe, that works similar to your RavPower. Put the card in and it transfers the files. The downside of mine is that you can't select which files to transfer. It will only transfer all of the files, so if you shoot more on the same card it transfers files that were already transferred. Obviously you can avoid this by deleting the files from the card after transfer, but that defeats the purpose as the files then exist on only one media, just as they did before transferring.
08-26-2014, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #4
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My minimal solution is using SDMicro in cameras & dumping to android tablet via its memory slot. This does the job for my needs, but space can fill in a hurry!

08-26-2014, 09:36 AM   #5
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RawPower seems just what I have been looking for. THANK YOU!!!
08-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
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Get an OTG cable and connect your tablet to a normal USB card reader.
08-26-2014, 12:01 PM   #7
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I use a small screen web book

It is cheaper than any integrated direct back up device with the same hd capacity, can Access any USB mini hard disk, and can also run photo editor etc and all for not much more space than a tablet.
08-26-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
Get an OTG cable and connect your tablet to a normal USB card reader.
If I shot jpeg, that might work. Raw files fill up a tablet pretty quickly, especially on the second trip of the summer, where I shot the K3.

---------- Post added 08-26-14 at 02:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
The RavPower looks like a very capable solution, thanks for the info. Too bad the product doesn't seem to accommodate CF cards.

M
Well, this is a Pentax forum, where SD is the norm.

However, you might be able to use it the other way around. Attach a card reader to the USB port and copy the CF to an SD card. If the RavPower will recognize the CF reader as a hard drive, you could back up the CF files or get whichever ones you wanted into the tablet.

08-26-2014, 01:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
My minimal solution is using SDMicro in cameras & dumping to android tablet via its memory slot. This does the job for my needs, but space can fill in a hurry!
QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
Get an OTG cable and connect your tablet to a normal USB card reader.
That's why, when it need it I use a web book. I am not sure about tablet, but my ipad can't act as a USB hub server, so I can import to the pad, and as others have noted fill it up in a hurry, or with a web nook, even if the internal HD runs out of space, I can add as many WD passports, in increments now in the order of TeraBytes of memory, cheaply, with minimum volume,

Perhaps someone with a tablet can advise if between SD slot and USB point, the tablet can copy from one to the other as a hub server, as I can with a web book

That is the key, if you can, then a tablet plus external HD for capacity is the best. Note for this you might need to supply the external had with power from a'separate 5v supply as I doubt the tablet would supply power to spin the HD. Reading and powering flash is one thing, but an HD is another issue all together
08-26-2014, 02:36 PM   #10
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A small $199 netbook with a 250GB hard drive and an in-built card reader meets my travel backup needs. Plus it can run Windows software, connect to 3G wireless and WiFi (if need be) in the field. Battery lasts 8 hours, and I can also use it to charge my phone, RX-100 and NEX all via the same USB-mini plug.
08-26-2014, 02:38 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
That's why, when it need it I use a web book. I am not sure about tablet, but my ipad can't act as a USB hub server, so I can import to the pad, and as others have noted fill it up in a hurry, or with a web nook, even if the internal HD runs out of space, I can add as many WD passports, in increments now in the order of TeraBytes of memory, cheaply, with minimum volume,

Perhaps someone with a tablet can advise if between SD slot and USB point, the tablet can copy from one to the other as a hub server, as I can with a web book

That is the key, if you can, then a tablet plus external HD for capacity is the best. Note for this you might need to supply the external had with power from a'separate 5v supply as I doubt the tablet would supply power to spin the HD. Reading and powering flash is one thing, but an HD is another issue all together
An iPad doesn't seem to be able to power anything more than a flash card. Perhaps other tablets can. Other tablets may have more ports and more power.

A web book would work more like the EE PC I was using before. For international travel, the smaller,lighter iPad seems a more elegant solution, and it functions with cellular data in a pinch. The Ravpower is quite small, and for my next trip, I may use 128 gb USB flash drives instead of a HD. The max for any SD card with the Ravpower is 32 gb, since it requires FAT 32.
08-26-2014, 02:43 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
An iPad doesn't seem to be able to power anything more than a flash card. Perhaps other tablets can. Other tablets may have more ports and more power.

A web book would work more like the EE PC I was using before. For international travel, the smaller,lighter iPad seems a more elegant solution, and it functions with cellular data in a pinch. The Ravpower is quite small, and for my next trip, I may use 128 gb USB flash drives instead of a HD. The max for any SD card with the Ravpower is 32 gb, since it requires FAT 32.
My web book is the same size as a regular IPAD, but requires larger than ipad external charger.

BUT as rawr points out, it can also serve as phone charger etc...... Hence overall it simplifies things by eliminating all other chargers, and can recharge a phone in an emergency if charged and your phone dies. I agree, not as "elegant" as a tablet but a hell of a lot more useful
08-26-2014, 03:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
A small $199 netbook with a 250GB hard drive and an in-built card reader meets my travel backup needs. Plus it can run Windows software, connect to 3G wireless and WiFi (if need be) in the field. Battery lasts 8 hours, and I can also use it to charge my phone, RX-100 and NEX all via the same USB-mini plug.
I'm curious which netbook that is? My $199 netbook (eepc) with a 250 gb HD and a built-in card reader will not charge anything from its USB port. Mine is over 4 years old, and perhaps they have beefed up the power now, but I find the external charger for the iPad, or one of the dual port chargers which are about the same size to be more useful for charging than my netbook. The iPad Air will also do raw conversions much more efficiently, but, again, that may be a matter of vintage.

BTW, the NEX charging system is how all cameras should work.
08-26-2014, 04:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
which netbook that is?
It's an Acer Aspire One netbook I got probably 2 years ago. Charging devices via USB seems to work when the netbook is running off AC power. I haven't tried charging devices via USB just from the netbook battery though.

While USB charging works, it can be very slow via the netbook (compared to the Sony wallplug to USB charger that I can use too). The USB plug on the cameras that I have can be particularly fiddly sometimes, alas. If you don't see the charging LED on the NEX base illuminate, for example, it ain't charging. I wasted a day waiting for the thing to charge once, only to realise that for some reason the plug wasn't connecting right.

Agreed about the usefulness of USB charging, especially when travelling and/or just in the car. One small cable to rule them all! I do wish Pentax would get on board.
08-26-2014, 04:59 PM   #15
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I'm using the HyperDrive iUSBport HD, which is like the RavPower but with a built-in drive. It has an SD slot, can copy files to the internal HD or a tablet (and it only copies new files), works as a wi-fi file server, charger for USB devices, and can even power an additional external drive (which then shows up on the OTG network). Rather pricey in comparison, but with an SSD inside, the battery lasts for an extremely long time!
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