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05-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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Digital photo bank for Mac

I'm going on holiday soon and cannot take my laptop with me, I've heard of photo banks to copy files from sd cards, are they any good? can they be used with a Mac? I don't want to spend too much, up to about $100, I use 16gb sd cards and I am worried in case they get damaged or lost whilst travelling.
Thanks for your advise.

05-16-2011, 04:22 PM   #2
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I personally would not trust digital/photo banks, so many things could go wrong and you'd never know it till you got home and started downloading all you precious photos to your laptop. I would just bring extra SD cards (I trust SD cards)... you're kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If you're willing to spend $100, I would bet you can go to your nearest Apple store and they'll hook you up...

Good luck!!!
05-16-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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You would be looking at something like the Photo Safe II? Mac compatibility is not a problem. These devices mount as a mass storage device.

Amazon.com: Digital Foci PST-251 250GB Photo Safe II Digital Picture Storage (Blue/White): Camera & Photo

If you are willing to go to $250 you can get one with a built in viewer.

Amazon.com: Digital Foci Picture Porter 35 PPR-350 250 GB Digital Photo Manager with 3.5-Inch LCD Display: Camera & Photo
05-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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Not sure if you listen to the TWIP podcast, but one of the guys on it was recommendeding the HyperDriver Colorspace UDMA. It's pretty small, and you put your own 2.5" drive in it and when you plug your SD card into it it can drag off the images at 2GB/sec. Some of the cheaper devices are meant to be painfully slow.

The other nifty feeatre is you can hook up another laptop drive to it and it will sync images to that drive as well so you can 2 backup copies.

Problem is it's $250 + drives, but it seems like that is the "gold star" solution. I too would never trust my photos to a single hard drive, so if you get one that doesn't have the capabilities of the device I just mentioned then I'd suggest you take enough SD cards so you don't have to reuse any.

I'm going to buying one before I go to europe, I'm spending a truckload of money to get the family there so in the scheme of things 250 + 2 drives is trivial to ensure pics aren't lost. Maybe I'm just anal though having been working in IT for too long...

05-16-2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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More cards. Smaller capacity each, good quality. If you want safer than that, find a way to beam copies out. One expensive device can fail or be destroyed, too.
05-17-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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All good advice, I think I will get 5-6 2/4GB SD cards and swap them around, maybe using two at each location so if one is lost or damaged, I have at least got some memories.
Twitch when you are in Europe, if you find yourself near Dudley, keep going, it's closed down!
No, seriously have a great vacation.
Thanks all, Best wishes,Gary
05-17-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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I never understand the logic of using lots of smaller SD cards rather than a few larger SD cards. I think these recommendations are coming from the mathematically challenged to be honest.

Lets say the likelyhood of failure for an SD card is 25%. So we can have 4 * 4GB cards, or 1 * 16GB cards. Say you go on 4 trips with this setup. With the 4GB cards one fails on every single trip for a total lose of 16GB. With the 16GB it fails on one trip and you lose 16GB.

So the data lose is exactly the same, it is a myth that small cards will mean less data lose in the event of a card failure.

However, carrying multiple SD cards introduces all sorts of additional risks that you don't get with large cards. The biggest is there is significant risk of SD card lose due to having many small ones and having to swap them in a out a lot more while on the go. This is probably a far great risk than data lose as those SD cards are small and it's easy to misplace them especially if you are swapping them in the field. The other risk is dropping or damaging an SD card while inserting in the camera. The other risk is that multiple card swaps will wear out the SD card reader and mechanism in the camera faster.

That's my 2c, and thats why I only buy 16GB (class 6+) or 32 GB (class 4) cards. I use 32's on holiday + 1 16GB card in case I want to capture video, while I use 16GB cards around home. While on holiday I back up SD cards every day, so even if I do get an SD card failure I only lose that days data.

By the way, I've only ever had 2 SD cards go bad on me and both were small cards. I've never had an 8GB+ card go bad. Maybe later bigger cards are actually more reliable due to new tech? who knows...
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