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08-11-2008, 05:39 AM   #1
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More Memory cards or a portable storage system?

I cant decide if I should get more SDHC cards or a portable storage system (like Amazon.com: Jobo Giga One, 120 GB Portable Memory Card Backup Storage Device with USB 2.0 Interface.: Electronics )

Anyone tryed the portable storage solution.

I know I might miss some photos if I dont get more memory cards for fast shifting. But dont want to spend to much money on memory cards.

08-11-2008, 05:54 AM   #2
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I wouldn't buy it if I were you, because apparently it doesn't support SDHC cards (only plain SD)

It's difficult to see, but apprently there is a more recent model (cf link ) that does support SDHC.

SDHC beeing the most common format for Pentax SLR (Who still use low capacity SD ?) I wouldn't buy a device that doesn't support it.

regards,
08-11-2008, 06:32 AM   #3
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Are you going to be taking 120Gb of photos without visiting a computer? I know I won't be. I have 10Gb in cards. That enough for me since the chances of my shooting more than 1,000 pictures away from a computer are zip. If I were travelling I would carry a card reader and my external hard drive and visit an internet cafe or public library. I bet I could even talk my hotel or youth hostel into letting me use their computer just to download photos. Heck, I bet if I asked, politely, someone with a laptop would help me.
08-11-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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It is a matter of security for me. I back up all my cards on a portable storage device with a 250 GB hd (the ColorSpace O : HyperDrive COLORSPACE O). This device is very fast, makes a verify of all files, has integrated recovery functions and can even the cards for corruption.

I have been filling up to 16 GB a day on my cards and I really prefer the secure feeling, that I have them backed-up. I leave the backups in the portable storage, when I am travelling, even if I make a second backup onto my Macbook. Only after I transfered all files onto my RAID6 system back in the office, do I delete the backups.

Ben

08-12-2008, 01:52 AM   #5
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I will be away on a trip for 2 weeks with little to no contact with computers

And yes, woudnt buy a non sdhc reader, just grabbed the first one on amazon I could find. (Didnt want to link to my swedish site where I found it first (the one with sdhc suport))
08-12-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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You need to decide what you want to carry.

I shoot JPEGs, therefore I get about 400 shots on a 2GBcard.

I have a SansDigital photo vault that can operate without a computer, and back up directly from the cards as it has an integrated reader.

I use this as back up, not primary storage, which is my cards.

As a result, you need to consider any back up as just that back up,


I have one 4 GB SDHC card, and the drive cannot read this card, so it is the last to use always.
08-12-2008, 06:26 AM   #7
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US $200, the price of the unit you posted, would get you about 80Gb in 8Gb SDHC cards, 10 cards at US $20.

I need to convert the storage size into a time scale to get some perspective, otherwise my bigger is better mentality takes over. Rounding RAW PEF files sizes to 10Mb to make the math easy, 100 files per GB, 800 files per card, 10 cards would be 8000 photos. Assuming you are not always shooting continuous, what is the average time it takes for you to compose and set up for a photo? Say it averages 3 minutes per photo, it would take 24,000 minutes, 400 hours of shooting, or 50 eight hour days of shooting, to fill the cards. It seems like you could "get by" with this on a two month vacation.

The downside to a media storage device is that it requires carrying another charger or another battery, and is not likely to read raw files. The upside is the storage device will always have cheaper storage and probably has other media functions as well.

The upside to the cards solution is the cards much lighter and smaller to carry and you'll have the option to mail out the cards, one by one, once filled. The down side is with the numbers, it is easier for a card to be lost when you have a pile, at least for me. 16Gb cards have come down quite a bit and may be cheaper than two 8Gb cards now, so maybe it is better to get five 16Gb cards?

Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 08-12-2008 at 06:27 AM. Reason: grammer
08-12-2008, 09:01 AM   #8
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3 minutes per shot!! I take 10 seconds per shot, shot in raw (25mb per file), and are very trigger happy

And 8gb sdhc cards are not 20 dollars here in sweden, they are the equivalent of 80 dollar (if you want the 10mb/S ones, 20 MB ones are 120dollar). I can get a Jobo with sdhc suport with 80 GB hdd space for 350 Dollar.

So roughly half the price for a hdd backup system. And then I can shot with my extreem III sandisk card all the time.

Think ill get the 80GB version

08-12-2008, 10:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by melander Quote
I take 10 seconds per shot, shot in raw (25mb per file), and are very trigger happy
It would be hard, but not impossible, to average 10 seconds a shot for 8 hours. That would be 2,880 shots in one 8 hour day. I pretty much only get up to the one shot a minute average if I'm in something like a museum where everything is clustered and I'm taking multiple shots of the same scene. That is still only 480 shots in 8 hours and I really don't like to do that either, as I don't want to experience everything through the view finder.

25Mb per file, 327 files per 8Gb disk. Do you shoot more than that in a day now?

You might like the Hyperdrive products as they support PEF file viewing.

Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 08-12-2008 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Added hyperdrive info
08-12-2008, 01:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
The downside to a media storage device is that it requires carrying another charger or another battery, and is not likely to read raw files. The upside is the storage device will always have cheaper storage and probably has other media functions as well.

The upside to the cards solution is the cards much lighter and smaller to carry and you'll have the option to mail out the cards, one by one, once filled. The down side is with the numbers, it is easier for a card to be lost when you have a pile, at least for me. 16Gb cards have come down quite a bit and may be cheaper than two 8Gb cards now, so maybe it is better to get five 16Gb cards?
You are sure correct, that an portable storage needs just another battery and charger.

Nevertheless they DO read RAWs. The file format is of no importance to a storage device. The question is, whether the portable storage can display a PEF file on a built-in screen. The Hyperdrive can do that - others I don't know.

Even assuming, that your calculation is correct and the whole voyage could be covered with memory cards alone, a portable hard disc is a way for secure backups, which the cards don't provide. Especially if using these very large cards, a single serious user mistake or technical fault or simply loosing the card, will cost you days of shooting and memories, that can never be brought back into your photo gallery again. Considering this, the outlay and added inconvenience of another device does not count high on my personal accounting.

In my eyes the real problem with storage devices is: how long does it take to copy a 8GB card and how much energy does that consume. I used to have an older device, which would need nearly an hour for an 8GB card to copy. But even that wouldn't be possible, because the batteries would have drained much earlier. So choosing the right portable device is - at least in my personal opinion - the main problem. The Hyperdrive Space O can copy up to 100GB with one battery charge and it copies at the full speed of current SDHC cards (20 MBits/s), it displays PEFs (even from the K20D), does a full verify if you wish (but that nearly doubles the time for copying and halves battery life), recognizes faulty cards and has a built-in image recovery function for damaged cards. That is basically most of the features a notebook would do for me while travelling, but in a much smaller and more convenient format. I found that to be the perfect solution for my security paranoia…

regards
Ben
08-12-2008, 01:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by melander Quote
3 minutes per shot!! I take 10 seconds per shot, shot in raw (25mb per file), and are very trigger happy

And 8gb sdhc cards are not 20 dollars here in sweden, they are the equivalent of 80 dollar (if you want the 10mb/S ones, 20 MB ones are 120dollar). I can get a Jobo with sdhc suport with 80 GB hdd space for 350 Dollar.

So roughly half the price for a hdd backup system. And then I can shot with my extreem III sandisk card all the time.

Think ill get the 80GB version
melander do you have a local source for the Hyperdrive products? Otherwise a dealer in Germany might be easier (customs etc.), than importing the device from the US for you? The cheapest and friendly shop I found is: klausbua.de - Täglich bis 22 Uhr erreichbar! - Foto-Speicher für unterwegs

They also carry the Nexto storage devices. They don't have a display to show the images, but are very fast, which is a PLUS with big cards.

Ben
08-12-2008, 02:02 PM   #12
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I will shot for 14 days before I can empty the card
08-12-2008, 02:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Even assuming, that your calculation is correct and the whole voyage could be covered with memory cards alone, a portable hard disc is a way for secure backups, which the cards don't provide.
If you are saying you are keeping your files both on the card and one the portable hard drive, then you might have one more layer of protection. The "might" would be in how you carry the portable hard drive. If it is in your bag with your camera, then you only get a half level of protection. One stolen, forgotten, left on the bus when it caught fire, bag with both your cards and you hard drive, is still going to leave you with nothing.

If you are only copying your files to the portable hard drive and then reusing the card, you lose a level of protection. Why? Because spinning magnetic hard drives are less robust than solid state. If you don't agree, there probably isn't anything I can say that will convince you, but please answer the simple question; why do most military forces around the world only use solid state hard drives for the really important stuff? Maybe this is even a better argument, from shoulder height drop your SD card on a concrete floor, now do the same with your hard drive without flinching. I bet you couldn't drop your hard drive on a carpeted surface from that height without flinching!

My thinking is, if you have enough cards to keep a copy of the files on the cards as well as on the portable hard drive, then the portable hard drive is probably not going to provide enough protection to warrant the added cost. Most people, myself included, looked at the portable hard drives as a money saving feature, as in buying less SD cards. Unfortunately it appears that it still makes economic sense in some markets like Sweden.

As to Raw support, you are correct they all copy the files regardless, but if you don't have access to a computer, then maybe having the portable hard drive have enough support to display your photos on a hotel room TV is important to some people?

I think the Hyperdrive also has a geo-coding feature. It would be nice if you are only shooting raw for this to also work. I thought about shooting RAW+ just to have the jpegs needed to work with the ATP Photo Finder. In the end, I just thought the added storage, the transferring the data from the jpeg to raw files once on the computer, and then deleting the jpeg files was more work than just using a tracking GPS and geocoding the raw files in one step.

I'm sorry my original post was written in the ignorance of the cost in Sweden. If I had of known the cost would be so high, I wouldn't have posted. I suppose buying from an on line US vendor like B&H or Adorama would be just as expensive once the shipping and taxes kick in?

Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 08-12-2008 at 02:37 PM. Reason: clarity
08-13-2008, 01:19 AM   #14
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Important characteristic of image tank is how much data it can transfer in one battery charge. AFAIK Jobo can transfer something like 8GB. So, to transfer larger amounts of data you'd have to hook it op to electricitiy network. If you'll be away from computers for two weeks than I guess electricitiy won't be at your disposal.
I once got my self used Hyperdrive HD80 (now out of production) and it could fill up 80GB with a single set of Energizer Lithiums or rechargables (2600mAh). Hyperdrives are known for their speed and battery longevity but are also the most expensive ones.


Last edited by Matjazz; 08-13-2008 at 03:04 AM.
08-13-2008, 02:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
If you are only copying your files to the portable hard drive and then reusing the card, you lose a level of protection. Why? Because spinning magnetic hard drives are less robust than solid state. If you don't agree, there probably isn't anything I can say that will convince you, but please answer the simple question; why do most military forces around the world only use solid state hard drives for the really important stuff? Maybe this is even a better argument, from shoulder height drop your SD card on a concrete floor, now do the same with your hard drive without flinching. I bet you couldn't drop your hard drive on a carpeted surface from that height without flinching!
Russell, the problem with a spinning hd is clealy there. But most of the time it won't. During the card copying process, you need to be a bit careful, otherwise current hds are very, very robust, especially the 2.5-inch variety, which is quite shock-proof now.

And you MAY loose data, in fact all of them, if you let a memory card fall onto concrete floor. They are very lightweight, so the force is not exorbitantly, but if they took an unlucky plunge… The manufacturers warn explicitly off falls.

QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
My thinking is, if you have enough cards to keep a copy of the files on the cards as well as on the portable hard drive, then the portable hard drive is probably not going to provide enough protection to warrant the added cost. Most people, myself included, looked at the portable hard drives as a money saving feature, as in buying less SD cards. Unfortunately it appears that it still makes economic sense in some markets like Sweden.
Data storage and security is very much a personal choice. I always opt for the highest practical level and that means, to use the portable storage always, to backup cards. When travelling I will often have a Macbook back in the hotel room and then make a second backup in the evening. After that I can format my cards.

I have had faulty cards and had to invest quite some time to recover images on these cards. With the Hyperdrive this is all done automatically and that gives me some reassurance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
As to Raw support, you are correct they all copy the files regardless, but if you don't have access to a computer, then maybe having the portable hard drive have enough support to display your photos on a hotel room TV is important to some people?
I don't know, it is not important for me. In the end, one could easily connect the camera to the tv, if one is keen on a slide show... There are now quite a few portable devices on the market with nice screens and RAW support, which you can use for reviewing - a notebook would be better but most of those only support CRW and NEF. I am not sure, but I think the Hyperdrives Space and Space O are the only ones supporting even the latest PEFs.

QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
I think the Hyperdrive also has a geo-coding feature. It would be nice if you are only shooting raw for this to also work. I thought about shooting RAW+ just to have the jpegs needed to work with the ATP Photo Finder. In the end, I just thought the added storage, the transferring the data from the jpeg to raw files once on the computer, and then deleting the jpeg files was more work than just using a tracking GPS and geocoding the raw files in one step.
As far as I know, the Hyperdrive has no geocoding option. But I confess, I haven't read through the manul completely, as I only use it for storage.


QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
I'm sorry my original post was written in the ignorance of the cost in Sweden. If I had of known the cost would be so high, I wouldn't have posted. I suppose buying from an on line US vendor like B&H or Adorama would be just as expensive once the shipping and taxes kick in?
It is basically the same anywhere in Europe, because you have to add VAT and import duties. That varies from country to country and Sweden is worse, because their import duties are exorbitant. (Quite like Norway or Iceland.) For most EU countries the situation with the weak USD and the strong Euro is quite good currently, as this will compensate easily for the import duties and VAT. I just bought the 32mm Limited from Canada and it turned out to be 200 Euros cheaper, than buying domestically, even after all the payments...

regards
Ben
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