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How do you back up images "on location"

Discussion in 'Wanderlust and Travel' started by Butlerkid, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    I will be traveling to India (photo tour :biggrin:)  for almost 4 weeks later this year. We will be changing locations frequently and rarely will we be in big cities where I could buy a backup device if one I take fails. The tour leader strongly recommends I NOT take my laptop! :eek: :eek: 

    I plan to shoot Raw and download cards every night and create 2 independent backups. I have an older FlashTrax. It has always worked just fine but I certainly don't want it to be my primary backup. I could use it as a secondary back up. (Of course, I COULD ignore the trip leaders advice and take my laptop and avoid another major expense!)

    So what back up equipment do you use, what software do use, and what advice can you give me?

  2. Will you be staying in the types of places where you can expect some degree of security, as in a major hotel? Or, will you be staying in primitive settings? You may have to keep your camputer, along with camera gear, on your person at all times. BTDT, frequently, though not in India.

    I have 40g SmartDisk Photobank. I filled it in two weeks in Italy and Spain. But, I had my laptop, as well, so all was double backed up.

    OTOH, can you take enough cards to satisfy your needs?

    Will your camera shoot to two cards at once? That way, you can shoot your backup.
  3. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Thanks for the comments!

    We will be traveling all over Rajasthan, even taking in the Camel Fair. I believe that we will be staying in local places. Power SHOULD be available but am told to expect times when electrical power is not working. I think we will be changing hotels often enough that a laptop would have to be safe locked in the trunk of our car during the days. I'll have to ask more questions about that.

    Given that I'll be gone almost 4 weeks, I don't think I want to try to buy enough cards to hold everything. And then I would still not have a backup. I don't shoot a lot, but then, I'll probably never get back to India again!

    My 40 gb FlashTrax was adequate years ago, but I wasn't shooting a D300 either! I'll take it empty and hope it holds everything and a secondary backup.
  4. Dr A

    Dr A

    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    This probably doesn't fit your plans, but it's something to think about if you decided to take your laptop. What I do is take some CD Mailers, and when I get a DVD full of images, I mail them home to myself. But, DVD's take up a lot of weight and space, then there is postage, etc. Not sure it's a good idea for you in this case.
  5. I strongly recommend taking a small laptop, I have a 12" one which I take on all my trips, including two to India. If you do take a laptop make sure you get a small external hardrive with you as well, then you can have 2 copies of all of your pictures just in case one drive fails.

    A laptop will allow you to take a look at your pictures at the end of the day, sometimes I realize the mistakes I made while shooting only at the end of the day when I look at them on a laptop screen.

    I have a Lowepro Computrekker which holds all my gear and my laptop, so I always have it with me. It gets heavy fully loaded, but if you can handle the weight it works very well.
  6. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Well, my preference is surely to take my laptop! The money to buy it is already spent and it is the best tool. Yes, I already have a separate external HD I could use the secondary backup. And I think I could use s/w to back up images to 2 places at once! That would be a nice time saver. Then my FlashTrax could stay at home.

    However, the tour leader's strong encouragement to NOT take a laptop is giving me trouble! :frown:

    So - you took a laptop to India? Did this result in a real hassle going through customs? Or ???

    I really don't want to carry around about 6-8 lbs of additional weight every day. The D300, 24-70, 12-24, 70-300 (assuming I leave the 70-200/2.8 at home), D100 IR, and D200 back camera body plus tripod are already on the list wanting to go to India with me!

    Guess I just am thinking about what I'll do if she becomes insistent on not taking the laptop.
  7. Copy CF cards to Epson P5000, copy P5000 to PC HD, copy PC HD external HD
  8. I didn't have any problems with customs at all in India and South Asia. I flew in and out of India a few times and customs x-rayed my backpack with the photo gear and the laptop but never wanted to take a closer look at it. You should not have any problems at all with what you are taking.

    If you are ok with having the extra weight, I would ignore what the tour leader says and take it anyway. I take mine with me on all my trips as I mentioned, but that's just my personal preference.

    On another note, I always take my 70-200 VR and would recommend you take it with you instead of the the 70-300. Take a TC if you have one. You will be able to get shots with that lens that you would be very hard to get with the 70-300. The f2.8 is simply awesome in certain situations.

    Here is an example at night
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Here is my (always under construction) page from my South Asia trip in December/January if you are interested where I went. I went to Rajasthan in 2005, those photos are not online though.
  9. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    Thanks for the advice! Any particular reason for this sequence?

    I generally use CF card to save to FlashTrax, then use a card reader to save CF to PC - then PC to external drive. Guess I am using the CF card more than necessary!

    Any by using your sequence I don't need to take a card reader?
  10. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    I back up nightly with Olympus portable hard drive / CF card reader model # P4000.
  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
  12. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Thanks! I've read about them. Wonder if anyone here has used it?

    Good information. I'll check it out.

    This may be the ticket! Thanks for sharing!
  13. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Oops! :redface:

    trying to do too many things at once!

    Epson P-4000 is correct, replaced by the newer P-5000.
  14. jdhdiggs


    Mar 25, 2008
    I use my laptop and I have four portable hard drives (two for business, two for photos and movies) and if something is terribly important, I load full res pics to Picassa. I also have the ability to transfer files directly back to my companies main server network if neccessary. That's all of my ideas...
  15. Perreault


    Nov 24, 2006


    When I travel, I usually bring my MacBook to backup and sort my images. I also bring a small FW external disk.

    I am soon going to Italy and Croatia with my wife and two sons for three weeks. We want to limit the size and weight of our packs so I just bought a Hyperdrive Colorspace O with a 160Gb drive. I bought it from FilmPlus in Toronto for $369.00. Great service on the phone, by the way.

    I chose the hyperdrive over the Epson for the smaller size, the lower cost and most importantly the 160Gb drive.

    I plan to backup to the hyperdrive, review my photos on it and keep the good ones on the CF card. This way, if the hard disk in the hyperdrive fails, I have a backup of the best ones on the CF card.

    I plan to bring my D300, 17-55 2.8, 18-200 VR Nikkor, 50 1.8 and Sigma 10-20 and a Manfrotto CF tripod. I will leave my 70-200 2.8 at home, too heavy to carry and not that useful European City. Hope I will not regret it.

    Hope this helps.

  16. Karen...
    I know lots of folks use the hyperdrive, but...
    we had one, the Space...
    and maybe this was just us, but I felt like I was not certain if the pics were
    really in this thing.
    I really did not trust it with my pics, not really knowing if they had
    downloaded or not...
    I guess if you use it a lot, and really are trusting, then...
    but I never really used it except to try it with a few downloads,
    couldn't get the hang of it I guess...
    then we sold it.
    We carry our small laptop with external HD's...
    But, the Foci Picture Portal that Sonya linked looked nice...
    You could view your pictures before erasing your "card".

    A question for Sonya...
    Can this be used without electricity?
    I noticed it has a battery...
    In case Karen is where they don't have electricity for a bit of time...
  17. Thanks so much for the information! Did you keep the laptop with you during the day?

    I travel on the super cheap, in India I normaly stay in hotel rooms around 100-200 rupies ($2.50-$5 a night), in those places I never leave anything valueble. So I had my laptop in my backpack with all my equipment with me all the time.

    Did you take and use a tripod?

    Yes I did take a cheap travel tripod with me, but I did not use it much. I normally take a really small tripod, I'm very careful on weight since whatever I take I have to carry on my back almost every day for 1-2+ months at a time

    Where are you going in India? If you want some advice on specific locations send me a pm
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
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