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Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 07:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am looking For portable digital photo storage.Taking pictures and putting them on scan disc cards is ok but I would like to store large amounts of digital pictures in a safe place. I understand there are some new products out there, I just need help in finding them.
Chuck Lyman
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 10:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You might want to take a look at some external hard drives. I don't remember whom in particular, but there are some tech geniuses on here that are willing to steer you in the right direction.
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I use 60 and 80 gig USB external hard drives. They are about the size of a IPOD and work great...plug and play. I have 2 of them now along with my 120gig drive on my PC. I keep my downloaded images on my PC until Post processing is complete. Upon completion, I MOVE the folders to the external hard drive to free up PC disk space. I only keep the low res web image folder on my PC. Once moved to the other drive, I then create a folder in that drive to store and keep an index on my PC to try and remember certain images...ie, Red Dress, Blonde hair, Red hair, Gothic, blue swimsuit etc. I can then easily find the pic I am looking for at a later date.

The drives I use are made by Firelite I believe and run about $180 to $200 for an 80 gig...
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use the external hard drives that attach to the computer using usb 2 or firewire. These drives have dropped in price greatly in the last year. You can also build your own very easily in about 5 minutes. I bought a usb/firewire case for $40 and a 250gb drive for $90 after rebate and thus was able to build a 250gb external dual drive for $130. Fry's often has all sorts of sales on these drives, cases, etc., so check them out. I currently have 5 of the external drives.
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I am looking for portable digital photo storage.Taking pictures and putting them on scan disc cards is ok but I would like to store large amounts of digital pictures in a safe place. I understand there are some new products out there, I just need help in finding them.
Chuck Lyman

[/ QUOTE ]

I need you to be more specific.

If you are looking for long-term storage, the words portable and safe are mutually exclusive. You really can't have a large capacity portable system that is safe. And you can't have a large capacity storate system that is safe and really portable.

Ideally, for long-term safe storage you'd want to set up a system with a least two HD's in RAID-1 (mirroring) configuration, and have at least one of them removable. At the end of the day, when you are done working on your images, you'd shut down your system, remove one of the HD's, and lock it away in a fire safe (preferably off-site). This way even if your whole house/studio goes down in flames you'll have a backup copy of your images. Obviously though, this setup isn't really portable.

Although *TECHNICALLY* you can create a portable system that has data redundancy built-in, it's really not a safe system. A portable system is more prone to shocks (i.e. being dropped), being lost or stolen. So while the data itself may have a measure of safety in that if one of the HD's fails your data is safe, the device as a whole is not really safe from external forces.

If all you want is something you can hook up to your laptop to save images while on a shoot, then I'd recommend getting a portable 2.5" external HD. DO NOT GET AN EXTERNAL 3.5" HD. Here's why: As 2.5" HD's are usually meant to be installed in a laptop, they are engineered to withstand rougher treatment. Most 3.5" HD's aren't made to take the rough and tumble environment of a laptop bag. The other reason is that a 2.5" HD enclosure will usually power the HD with nothing more than the power from the USB or Firewire bus. Most 3.5" external units require a separate power source.
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I recently picked up a 400gb Seagate external for $300 at Fry's. You might also consider DVDs, and eventually the new "blue" DVDs that will hold something like 50gb I think. The problem is that as technolgy changes, will your media still be readable? Aside from whether the files will still be there (will the DVD fade? Will the HD still function?) there's the question of will there still be DVD readers? For example, where would you be if everything you had was backed up on SyQuest drives? Plan on having to transfer your data to new media every few years I suppose. Unless of course you shoot film. I have film sitting in boxes that's 30 years old, and still looks the same, and I still have the technology to use it as is.

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Andy Pearlman
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-18-2005, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Plan on having to transfer your data to new media every few years I suppose.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thats the key, migration. If you do it, you're fine, and it isn't all that often nor that hard. Just stick with industry standards and migrate when the standards change. If you don't, well, its no different than storing your negatives in a damp dark corner of the basement and letting them sit there to rot. Each has a archival process that must be followed to ensure longivity. They are just different.

For all we know, 50 years from now people might be scratching their heads about how to print negatives. Who would have thought 7 years ago digital would be putting the major players in film out to pasture? What will the next 25 years bring?

In the mean time, migration works, and will continue to.
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-19-2005, 10:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Film isn't perfect. I've lost many slides over the years, maybe a thousand, due to fungus. I do live in high humidity, and occasionally a hurricane will pass through. Then again maybe fungus likes DVDs also?
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Re: Photo storage
Old 08-20-2005, 03:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Chuck, if you are looking for a way to back up a large number of images and don't want to worry about buying more equipment down the road, I recommend checking out at compusa's website and taking a look at the 1 terabyte and larger external hard drives. The reason I say this large is for a couple of reasons. The first, is that you don't have to worry about running out of space any time soon, which saves you money down the road, and not to mention the time it takes to transfer files to sucsessively larger hard drives in the future. I know they run over a thousand dollars each, but it'll save you money down the road. If that's too much, then just get the biggest hd you can get.

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