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Storage Devices on extended trips?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jarrell, May 4, 2005.

  1. When you're away from home for an extended amount of time, what do you use to store those large files on? Laptop computer or other such device? Or do you just take extra memory cards?
    Inquiring minds want to know. :?:
  2. Jarrell,

    Looks like you and I posted right around the same time. I just finished a message on a Delkin DVD Burn-Away that backs up a Compact flash card onto a dvd disk. Let me know if you pick one up and try it. I'm very curious about this one.
  3. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    I use a compact drive from http://www.3hdigital.com/en/product.htm

    My laptop doesn't have a big enough hard drive and I don't like burning DVD's as I am not sure that they burn properly. This allows me to verify each file somewhat and put a large hard drive in its chassis. I have used mine for about 4 months now and I love it. The only better solution would be the Epson P2000 with the screen.

  4. I use Compact Drive PD7X w/ 40GB HD as well. Works like a charm.
  5. Hi Jarrell,

    I'm always on the lookout for a good image bank. What I'm using now is the Gmini 400 from Archos:


    So far, this has everything I wanted and more:
    1. Built in CF reader
    2. Automatically detects and copies CF cards into a photo folder
    3. 20GB of storage
    4. #1 reason I love it: It's very small (4"x2").

    1. Plays movies (I can easily watch on any airplane)
    2. Plays music
    3. Stores files (like any other USB storage device)
    4. USB interface (looks like a HD when connected)
    5. Good battery life

    1. CF reader does not handle microdrives
    2. 20GB of storage was great with D2H, don't know about D2X yet
    3. Only reads JPG images, no RAW support (yet).
    4. External button interface is a bit clunky (but you get used to it)

    What it came down to for me was the size of the unit. It's so easy to throw into any bag and with the other applications it supports it gets used for more than just photography.

    Hope this helps,

  6. Used a very old Sony laptop the last time I went on vacation, but that thing really needs to be retired.

    Was looking at buying a 60GB iPod w/ color screen -- no, in my book, it does not deserve the "Photo" moniker -- for the occasional need to offload photos in addition to finally switching to a much more portable music player (than lugging CDs), but Apple's idea of useable photo transfer capability is a joke as 512MB would take at least ~20min to transfer and eat up maybe 1/3-1/2 of a full battery charge. And the color screen is way too low res to be all that useful for viewing photos at ~1/3 the res of most decent in-camera LCDs.

    Had considered the Epson P2000 instead of iPod, but the Epson seems rather lame as a music player, and I don't really need to see the photos as much as I need it to do a good job w/ music (for the kind of $$$ I'm spending). Really wish somebody would offer a truly good photo-viewing, music player already, but looks like I'll probably have to wait another couple years for that. FWIW, the Archos solutions don't really cut it for me either.

    And then, there are solutions like the PD7X compactdrive although I'm not sure I want to trust its lack of voltage regulators from what I can gather. However, I've been reading that they plan to come out w/ a better, new PD70X anyday now that looks like what I'll want to get for photo storage. They claim that it's much faster and adds voltage regulators for better reliability though it sounds like still no photo display, which is ok by me for an inexpensive solution. I've also read some DPR posts yesterday about this Nexto OTG device that sounds very similar to the PD70X w/ similarly impressive performance (if not even better) for a modest price. Someone reported getting 9-10MB/s transfer speed w/ his Sandisk Ultra 2 on many repeated transfers, which basically makes the CF card itself the limiting factor there(!) -- well, at least when reading/writing from/to the faster parts of the HDD.

    So now, I plan to get either the PD70X or that Nexto OTG device and slap on a 2.5" laptop HDD of my choice for photo storage. And use my newly ordered 60GB iPod for music (and maybe as a cheapy photo album for wallet size pics).

    BTW, if you're *really* interested in a device that offers extensive support for RAW files, you should check out Jobo's Giga Vu Pro as well. The display is not as nice as the Epson, but it offers actual RAW conversion as an option, not just display of embedded JPEG. And from what I understand, the Epson isn't that great at displaying embedded JPEGs either as it seems to only pull the thumbnail for display, instead of the largest available embedded JPEG, which is full res (albeit highly compressed) for Nikon NEFs (at least from bodies of relatively recent vintage).

  7. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    I got the Coolwalker along with the D2X. Had it on recent mountain trip and transferred photos to it each night. I had planned on using only for storage but the folks I was staying with and their family all got a kick using it to view the photos. I'm pleased with it.
  8. I use a very small Lacie HD (45gb). I just find a computer (any computer). Plug in my drive and upload my images. Unplug my drive and way I go. It works well as one can always find some type of computer someplace.
    The Lacier drive I use is about 2" x 6" x 1" and does not need any power to run it.
  9. Hi Panos,

    I've seen this before and it's an interesting device. Gotta love the large space it provides!

    Couple questions for you:
    1. Since there is no image preview (not a big deal to me) how do you verify that the copy was successful? Can you view a directory listing or number of image files?

    2. How is the battery life?


  10. Got a cheap 20Gb digibin look alike. Been completely reliable and use it just until I get it to my Laptop (with a 80gb HD)
  11. Each CF copy you make, you get a "copying OK" when complete.

    In a way you can, you see, in every copy of a CF card you get the number of the folder ie. CF0001...CF9999 and when the copy is complete you get the total number of files you copied ie 412 files copied (that's how many NEFs will fill a 4GBs CFC from a D100)

    Well, I have copied 2 4GBs CFCs with one battery charge, so that's a total of 16GBs of photos or some ~1650NEFs!!!

    Wolverine is NOT a state-of-art NOR a HiTec equipment, but it has NEVER let me down, is't very well built and it is VERY cheap compared to other exotic gadgets... :wink:
  12. It really depends on the trip, how long I'll be gone, and what kind of place I'm going to. For my recent trip to Rome I took my laptop (Averatec 3050) which has a built-in CD/DVD burner. But I knew I'd be in just one place, not moving around, and it would be secure. For shorter trips or ones where I wouldn't want to bring a laptop (such as my upcoming trip to Peru this summer), I have the Apacer 200 CD burner, which works great. I like the security of burning CD's as opposed to portable hard drive devices. I know lots of folks swear by the HDs but, HDs can fail, and you are really putting all your eggs in one basket using one. The only downside to a CD burner is that for a big trip, you have to bring a lot of CD's, and it gets to be bulky, especially since I always burn two CD's "just to be safe." Although the Apacer has never failed me and the second set of CD's have never been necessary.

    Another nice advantage of burning CD's on the spot is that when you come home, you have your permenant archive already and don't have to reburn them.

    Now, Apacer makes a DVD burner version and if I were buying today I'd probably go for that. Eventually I may replace the CD version with the DVD one--maybe before my Peru trip; I don't really want to take my laptop there.
  13. I was using a Nixvue Vista, but I sold it and got an Epson P2000. I love it because it is small but has a great screen.
  14. I sure will Dave. Right now I'm lugging a heavy laptop around. Not fun.
  15. Thank you for the many ideas and suggestions, everybody!
  16. mcampos


    Apr 14, 2005
    Norwalk, CA
    I use a Nixvue Vista which has served me well.
  17. I've been using a Nixvue Digital Lite (20GB) for about a year now and love it. It downloads, verifies, and erases a 1 GB card in about 10 minutes, and then downloads to my desktop via USB II in a flash. The only nit is that the Li-Ion battery is a little anemic - it lasts for about 800 files from my D1X, about 1/3 of the HD's capacity. I fixed that by getting a car charger and the AA battery pack for it (I've always got a handful of those charged and with me anyway).

    I researched the portable HDs on the market a couple of months ago and the battery limitation seems pretty much commonplace. Most tests showed you could fill about 1/3 or less of the units' capacity before the battery goes dead. Not a big problem for an afternoon shoot, but really irksome if you're way out in the boonies for a day or two. You could buy extra batteries but those proprietary ones are expensive as gold. I was looking at the Coolwalker, but I couldn't even find any spare batteries for that listed anywhere (and you know they'll want an arm and a leg for them).

    I decided that when I upgrade, I'd look for one that would accept an alternative power source like a cigarette lighter adapter. I know I could rig a AA pack to one of those for long outings. That Epson P2000 looks pretty good. It's internal battery was one of the best in the test results and the screen is one of the largest. It costs about the same as the Coolwalker.
  18. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Laptop & Card Reader

    If I go anywhere for more than day I usually bring my laptop (Dell Inspiron) for email (and spending time at the Nikon Cafe) and a card reader, so transferring is a snap and I have Nikon Capture and other utilities on my laptop.

    I also have an Apricorn USB 40GB hard drive (4½"x3"x½"), and in most hotels and other places I can access a computer to use my card reader with the Apricorn and transfer that way.

    I just tried a device The "i. Perris U2, $24 at Tiger Direct (2"x2"x1") that transfers files between two USB devices, but with 3-AAA batteries it hasn't got enough Mwatts to power the Apricorn hard drive, but would work well between a card reader and any small powered storage device.
  19. Hi,

    Interesting discussion. I´ve just ordered the CompactDrive PD70X (80GB) from Eastgear for the Stockholm Marathon (June 4th) and I expect it to arrive before that date. If anyone is interested I´ll give an opinion on it when it arrives.

    The following made me choose the PD70X over the Nexto:

    - The use of standard AA batteries instead of a built in power system that is difficult to replace

    - Dust covers for the card readers

    - Excellent battery life (50GB/charge)

    Take care!

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