Portable HD to unload compact flash cards

EI
Posted By
Enrique_Ivern
Aug 24, 2004
Views
1072
Replies
28
Status
Closed
I’m looking for a way to unload compact flash cards unto a portable HD so I can survive a photo trip without having to buy a lot of cards.
Anybody familiar with the "MediaGear Flash HD to go" or similar equipment? Reliability, ease of use, speed…
Thanks a lot.
RH
r_harvey
Aug 24, 2004
See also How to travel without too many memory cards…. <http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?14@@.3bb59a71>.
Aug 24, 2004
Hmmm…do they make card readers to hook up to iPods?

That would be a GREAT solution.
Aug 24, 2004
Hmm…Curiously enough, the feature article posted today at CreativePro.com addresses just this situation:

<http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/21810.html>
EI
Enrique_Ivern
Aug 24, 2004
Thanks Phosphor for the link…one of my problems is that there is no standard denomination for this type of device, so searching is a slow and cumbersome process…
Y
YrbkMgr
Aug 24, 2004
I presume we’re talking about a situation where you won’t have a laptop ‘eh?
EI
Enrique_Ivern
Aug 24, 2004
Yes, no laptop.
I would like to find a rugged, portable, battery operated HD with a slot to read CF cards and USB or Firewire connection…there are a couple of models in the $200 range with 20GB capacity, but I have been unable to find critical reviews for them.
P
pboone
Aug 24, 2004
Good point Tony, and one that I’ve been considering.

The $400 to $500 that a portable storage tank costs would go a long way towards a laptop which could then be used for processing images as well as internet connectivity and finding one’s way around through road mapping programs while traveling.

I bought an Image Tank that failed at the worst possible time. I guess it could have been worse if I had been shooting someone’s wedding, but all the same, a once in a lifetime trip wound up NOT having pics taken, and taking photos was the purpose of the trip.

Paz
P
pboone
Aug 24, 2004
Enrique bump.

I believe the Image Tankยฎ brand has a 20 gig model…BUT I realized after I bought it that the battery in the one I bought could be recharged in the device, but could not be taken out and replaced, which means a built in lifetime.

I bought mine from B&H and had no problems returning it when I described the failure to them, but I was able to report it within the 14 day time limit.

Pity I couldn’t get a replacement during my trip. The largest CF card I could find in the Bahamas was a 256 Meg card that cost around $90. and it filled much too quickly.
Y
YrbkMgr
Aug 24, 2004
I would like to find a rugged, portable, battery operated HD with a slot to read CF cards and USB or Firewire connection.

I wouldn’t want to sound challenging, but I wouldn’t do that. You’re data is far safer with 10 cards or 20 cards, or 50 cards than with that setup.

I would contend that today, the setup your looking for is not all that common, thus available technologies aren’t all that reliable. Sure, they have external hard drives, but you still have to be careful with them. And ones with card slots, well, <shrug> I wouldn’t count on them, frankly, as Paz kind of alludes to.

In sum, IMO, the setup you’re asking for might be nice, but in the end, today, your data is really at risk. I think you can carry a whole lot of cards, a whole lot more safely.

<shrug>

Peace,
Tony
EI
Enrique_Ivern
Aug 24, 2004
You are not challenging, Tony, different opinions is what we’re looking for. From a statistical viewpoint, it will always be better to have your data spread among different cards than all together in one HD…even if it was a space-travel-quality thing, it could always be stolen or lost!
But I wonder…if a microdrive can work, then this kind of gadget should be more reliable.
Y
YrbkMgr
Aug 24, 2004
if a microdrive can work

Interesting thought. They ARE pretty reliable – at least IBM’s are. I had thought of some alternatives during my previous post but always ended up at the same place: you need software and a display to transfer files. Some kind of status indicator: "transfer in progress, transfer done, you can remove the card now" kind of thing.

Because I was thinking, Targus makes "gadget-o-rama" where USB, hubs, adapters, etc. are concerned. But without a display/status indicator, you’re kind of blind, if you catch my meaning.

So as far as I can tell, that leaves you with a dedicated, niche-type device.

Interesting subject though…

Peace,
Tony
DP
Daryl_Pritchard
Aug 24, 2004
Having just recently bought a new digital SLR which I hope ultimately to house for underwater photography, this same topic crossed my mind…promtped as well by browing a B&H Photo Digital Catalog that showed several such devices. Darn if the price on all of them wasn’t shown as "CALL"…Grrrr! Regardless, having taken a large, expensive laptop with me on dive trips before, not to mention a slide scanner, I decided that the best route I should plan for would be the purchase of a new, smaller laptop with a sizable hard drive. It would be pricier than a storage tank but offer far more versatility, not the least of which would be a convenient way for viewing my images. No color edits of course, given laptop LCD color limitations, but some basic compositional and sharpening edits might still be accomplished on it. That plus the DSLR would be a much more travel-friendly package than a 35mm SLR, 35mm u/w camera, laptop, and scanner.

Oh yeah, one more thing…if the small laptop still provided a CD-RW drive, there’s always the peace of mind that comes in knowing you can burn images onto the CD and have a backup to those on the hard drive or flash card…depending upon your level of concern for data loss.

Regards,

Daryl
JJ
John Joslin
Aug 24, 2004
I haven’t even read it yet but this turned up in my Creative Pro daily newsletter.

Cheers – John
Y
YrbkMgr
Aug 24, 2004
Bad link John. Should be this On the Road with Digital Storage Devices < http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/21810.html?cprose=d aily>

And what a perfectly timely article. A lot of options are exlpored. Good job John!

Peace,
Tony
JJ
John Joslin
Aug 24, 2004
I know, I know.

As a non-coder I’m still struggling with posting links.

I did get it right once!

Thanks for the help. ๐Ÿ™‚
Aug 24, 2004
" I haven’t even read it yet but this turned up in my Creative Pro daily newsletter."

Nobody ever reads the third reply!

๐Ÿ™‚
Y
YrbkMgr
Aug 24, 2004
Yikes! Sorry Phos.
J
johnkissane3
Aug 24, 2004
Daryl, I’ll bite, why do you carry a slide scanner on trips. Seriously. ๐Ÿ™‚
DP
Daryl_Pritchard
Aug 24, 2004
John,

I’ve only done that once…back in 2000 I went to an underwater photo competition where all the shooting was done on slide film. But, there was a digital manipulation category, hence scanning the slides was desirable. Gross overkill though…nearly making a working vacation of the vacation. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was concerned a bit about how well the scanner would travel, but Nikon told me it should be fine so long as I secured the tranportation screws. Sure enough, no problems…it was packed with all my u/w photo gear in a Pelikan case, so pretty good protection overall.

Daryl

P.S. – Here’s my best overall…still not Bob Talbot though! <http://jazzdiver.com/travelogue/akr/dolphin1.jpg>
HK
Harron_K._Appleman
Aug 24, 2004
Cool shot, Daryl!

You’ve got to admit what you’ve described is an unusual situation. Most photographers I know who shoot slides would not risk having their film developed at an unknown lab without some really good reason. Consequently, the scanner stays home.

=-= Harron =-=
Y
YrbkMgr
Aug 24, 2004
I’ve seen you post that image before Daryl. I absolutely love it.
J
johnkissane3
Aug 24, 2004
Great photo, will show it to the kids. They are dolphin crazy.

Just curious on the scanner and thought it would turn a vacation into work, as you stated. Not to mention the travel problems. Regards
T
Terrat
Aug 24, 2004
There’s a lot out there, so I waited for my camera club to go through all the "shoot while enroute pain" with various devices now in stock…whether from India, Europe or S. America or your local rodeo. And I did my online review of the different devices offered.

If you are photographing, then a notebook is usually getting ripped off, mid-download, while you cover the event. so unless you have an assistant, leave the techno-wealth at home. You’ll lose your CF card and notebook as soon as you set it down.

I needed portable storage, light and hidden at the bottom of the camera bag, so I can switch cards while continueing to cover an event. So I still have multipe CF cards, but can shoot RAW and download at USB speed…all depending on the speed of your CF cards.

Most club members reported their devices with LCD screen images, are thumbnail-size, and a waste of time and battery juice. No one used them…useless overkill. All use histograms and delete incamera when needed. –BUT reliable image document copy confirmation was a necessity.

So after much deliberation, on everyone else’s trials and tribulations, and having a tight Canadian budget, I just bought into Xdrive Pro from Vosonic and adding 40GB HD to fit. The price is going down on these notebook hard drives as we speak.

The 1.5 hour battery life can be overcome in various ways and the batteries (good for 500) can be replaced.

I have to admit though, the Xdrive pro is bare bones and does not look flashy like the MP3 players with LCD screens etc…just the ticket where I am concerned.

DPReview.com and google searches showed quite a bit on different portable storage devices as well.
DP
Daryl_Pritchard
Aug 24, 2004
Harron,

Indeed that was a unique situation. Even after posting my reply earlier, I kept thinking there was more reason to my decision than just the competition category but couldn’t think what it was. Finally I remembered…details were sketchy on how images would be handled by Skin Diver magazine…mainly in that I didn’t know if winning images would be retained for publication. For that matter, I didn’t even know that slides would be the required format took a 50/50 split of negative and slide film. Regardless, the other reason for the slide scanner had to do with maintaining a copy of my images in the event that the originals were turned in. But, the competition included many who’d done this before and had some much better images than I, so I returned home with everything…including some of my best work yet, but with much room to improve as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Daryl
HK
Harron_K._Appleman
Aug 24, 2004
Daryl,

Well… if that dolphin photo is any indication, I hope you keep at it and let us have a peek at your future work.

=-= Harron =-=
DP
Daryl_Pritchard
Aug 24, 2004
Thanks Harron…it’s been 2 years since my last dive trip, for that competition, and I’m soooooo ready to get wet again. Buying a new Nikon D70 and a couple lenses may have set me back a while longer though.
FN
Fred_Nirque
Aug 25, 2004
There’s been a bit of skirting around the edges of the obvious, safe, time-proven solution to the OP.

Film.

Fred.
DP
Daryl_Pritchard
Aug 25, 2004
Puzzled??? Film? You mean, take a picture of the flash cards Fred? Ha!

Yeah, I didn’t mean to steer the topic off track. The author of the Creative Pro article seems to give a thumbs up to an image tank type of device. Even if I were to use my existing laptop with its smaller drives, I did give thought to how I could at least transfer some data off it and onto my 30GB MP3 player. I just wish the MP3 player could directly read CF cards in the manner of the image tanks, although they too serve the purpose of an MP3 player in some cases.

Daryl

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