I'm still not sure that I'm getting the D800--meaning whether I'll buy one one or not, AND whether I totally understand the camera or not. Aside from better movies or the capability to make HUGE prints (both trivial features to me), the other improvements over the D700 are pretty minor, and not worth the money to many.
Let's say that I have an epiphany and the D800 seems like the way to go. How does one manage thousands of 75MB files? (Correct me if that’s not the size of the NEFs.) I’m picturing myself shooting an event where I anticipate about 1000-1200 shots per day for two days, and thinking that a lot of new storage cards are going to be needed. And how about a faster computer, or one with a HUGE hard disk? And how long will it take for an online service to receive all of my backup files?
I have never backed up online, but after a bad computer experience two days ago I realized that I need to start doing that. Thinking about the complications with the backup is what got me wondering about all of this.
#1. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 0
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but here is my workflow.
I typically go through 500-1500 frames per game, depending on the subject and how many cameras I am using. Those cards are dumped to my working external HD when I get home, and my rolling backup copies them onto my second backup drive. No card is erased until contents are verified and stored in at least two other places.
I process my photos in Lightroom edit metadata, and prep for upload and for delivery. If I am working on same-day deadline, I deliver electronically that evening. Upon completion, I write export that shoot as a catalog from LR which taks the RAWs, my delivered JPGs, and all metadata and changes I've made to the files and puts it on the drive. This is then compressed, written to BluRay, and stored off-site.
Currently I use two 2TB external drives. These are rotated once every 6 months, but I anticipate changing them once per quarter with the D800. I currently use 16GB cards and will move to 64GB cards for the D800.
Since I am coming from the video world, these files are small to me. I am used to going through 16GB cards every 10-15 minutes of shooting, and my video setup is closer to 12TB of working space.
There are many ways to deal with workflow. This is mine and it works for me. Might not work for the next person.
#2. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 1
Wow, thanks for the detailed answer, Perrone!
It looks like the D800 is going to be a lot of file management. I have to say it's making me question even more if it's a good camera for me. My current computer drags a little when I arrow through the images within Lightroom, so I may need to buy a new computer and external disks along with the bigger cards, extra battery, vertical grip ...
Geez, maybe that D3S isn't so expensive after all! (It won't require new cards, an extra battery, etc.)
#3. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 2
>Wow, thanks for the detailed answer, Perrone! > >It looks like the D800 is going to be a lot of file >management.
The D800 doesn't represent any more file management for me than any other camera I own. Workflow is supposed to be camera independent. And on any given shoot I may have any combination of D800, D3s, D2x, D2H, D7000, or D200. The workflow and file management does not change one bit.
>I have to say it's making me question even more >if it's a good camera for me. My current computer drags a >little when I arrow through the images within Lightroom, so I >may need to buy a new computer and external disks along with >the bigger cards, extra battery, vertical grip ...
If you are living on the edge with your current setup, then yes, the D800 might be the proverbial straw.... I made the decision to upgrade all gear last fall. New iMac, new MBP, cameras, studio gear, the works. I'm set for the next 5-10 years. I may upgrade camera bodies, but I'm set for computing, glass, lights, etc.
>Geez, maybe that D3S isn't so expensive after all! (It won't >require new cards, an extra battery, etc.)
You can't just upgrade one piece of the puzzle if everything is maxed out. So you're at a tipping point. I needed a system that would allow me to edit 1500 RAW photos at a time without breathing hard. That decision is now paying dividends.
#4. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 0
Yes that depends on what file size you want to shoot at. You have a lot of choices of shooting in RAW and picking 12 or 14 bit compressed or uncompressed file size that run from 29MB to about 75MB. I am sure you don’t want to shoot in TIFF format at 108MB large or 62MB medium but small is only 28MB. And in JPEG you can shoot from 1.5 to 17MB the choice is yours as you have a lot of options with this camera. Here is the chart so you can look at it and make that decision.
#5. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 4
What is the benefit of shooting in RAW Uncompressed vs Lossless Compressed? It was my understanding that (on the D7000) lossless compressed files were 100% reversible with 0 data lost, which comes at the cost of some slight processing time which potentially effects the FPS. On a camera that's only 4 FPS and not intended to be a rapid fire action camera, this doesn't sound like a big deal to me to save lots of $$$ on super high capacity CF cards as well as save some HDD space on my computer.
#9. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 07-Mar-12 02:48 PM by jim thomas
Most of your images will fit on one 32GB card. The others will fit on a smaller card. This assumes that you shoot in RAW, making the largest file possible.
Disk space is inexpensive. I scan film and each scanned photo is about 120MB, much smaller than the D800 files. 1TB and 2TB hard drives are mainstream now. I use a drive tray system that allows me to put drives in and remove them easily. It works really well. I have a pretty fast computer with 12GB of ram but it is nothing extraordinary. It runs the 120MB scanned files without any difficulty.
I do not know about online backup services; however, I assume that they are capable of receiving the files or they would not be in that business. The files produced by the D800 are certainly not the biggest files made, even though they are bigger than we are used to seeing produced by a DSLR. I back up my files with duplicate hard drives in drive trays, like the other drives.
Edited on March 7 to change 1GB and 2GB to 1TB and 2TB.
#10. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 9
Are you at all concerned with having your backups on hardware in your home or business? If your place is broken into or burns it's all gone. That's why the online backup idea appeals to me. I'm thinking of going with Carbonite.
#11. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 10
An online or cloud-backup scheme has many real benefits, especially if -
(1) your data can be safely encrypted before you upload it, and
(2) if your backup servers are in your own country rather than on some "overseas" servers.
(If your business depends on you having access to your files under all circumstances, then that last point is an extra big comfort. I leave you to consider the complications over any disputes or backup-company take-overs etc., if you're working across national borders.)
But in my own real-life experience, the biggest flaw with large online backups is when the time comes to retrieve your data. It's lovely to watch our files pour slowly "up" onto safe and sound off-site servers each day, but any restore operation will take literally days of download time before we recover an entire multi-gigabyte backup. Not to mention the hands-on time needed to select files to recover, and to oversee the downloads, and then (if we're wise), to run some verification process afterwards ...
Some online backup schemes (such a Amazon S3) can send our full "recovery" backups to us overnight (or almost overnight) when necessary, in courier-delivered physical hard drives, which solves most of those recovery-delay problems - but at extra cost of course.
I admit I'm repeating stuff that's been aired in these forums many times before ... but - depending on the absolute "value" we'd place on our images if they should ever be lost en mass - perhaps an ideal backup scheme would be a combination of all of the following -
(a) cloud-based backups - for assured-but-slow recovery of any file or small sub-sets of files, and
(b) a pair or ideally three "local" hard drives, rotated as frequently as is feasible to somewhere off-site, and
(c) a quick and roomy ON-site server or a networked storage 'box', to which we can make rapid initial backups, and to give us speedy access to (possibly) our entire library.
You'll hear many people say that having just two copies of our data is to have "one copy too few", and I strongly agree with that! I've watched a grown man weep when his "second backup" turned out to be not quite what he thought it was ...
#14. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 10
Hi Mike, Yes, I am concerned but not concerned enough to put up with the hassle and expense of making other arrangements. I am an amateur and do not rely on my photos for my living so the photos are less critical to me. Of course they are important to me. You are probably wise to consider putting your backup in another location. Obviously that is safer. Although I don't like the idea of entrusting that to a third party, it is, on balance, probably the safer thing to do. Putting backup drives in a safe deposit box is another possiblility for photos to which one does not need regular access.
I don't think you will have any problem managing the larger files produced by the D800.
#15. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 14
St Petersburg, RU
There are a couple of good points in this thread. Workflow really does not need to change depending on file size, it is barely working now, it will not with ANY newer camera because files are not getting smaller. Drive space is dirt cheap now, and more reliable than ever. I just bought an external hard drive for my laptop for $137, 2Tb. My first hard drive to run my 50+employee business was a Corvus 10megabit($4200) and never could figure I would need more. But that was before the IBM XT came out so there was no alternative to the 360kb floppies. Our needs and expectations change and the value is all relative. We have learned that we get more and more for less and less, and appreciate it less as technology increases the options. Think of a computer as an expendable commodity, not an investment in hardware. External factors will make its functionality obsolete very quickly, such as camera res, video watching and multimedia.
The need to have lots of storage is also directly related to workflow and business needs or personal needs. In the film days, we shot a lot less and could always find another album or shoe box for prints from a few rolls of film. Now, we use the same storage criteria as before but shoot 20 times as much. As Beck suggested, do you REALLY need all those non-keepers? Be more critical. Think whether a shot is worth printing or posting to your gallery. If not, really, why are you keeping it? I have gone through several whittling down attempts to purge old images and each time have spent a lot of time and become more selective in what is kept. It a file is 2 years old and no one asked for a print or you have not submitted it for publication, stock or it is not hanging on your walls, what possible use of it to you in another 2 years? Keeping it can only serve as a bad example of how you did not quite get it right in the first place. Learn from it the first time it was downloaded and delete it if it is not going to be viewed with interest again. Backing up your keeper files will be longer, more expensive and done less often if you keep too many toss worthy files.
There are lots of backup options. A hard drive is cheap, put a few hundred gig on a HD and store it in a convenient place that is weather and fire proof. Cloud systems are fine for storage of working data that you need access to from various places. It works great, I have my own dedicated server in a secure high end data center in New York and all my current business data is kept there. I can access it via mobile, laptop, tablet, office, anywhere. I can't imagine storing terabytes of image photos, it would take way too long via even the fastest 4G network to access it. Get a VPS, Virtual Private Server if a dedicated is too expensive. A VPS can be had for as little as $20/month and allows much more flexibility and security than any of the cloud services. A high performance dedicated server can be as little as $85/month. You do not need much however, main memory can be much lower than is suitable for your laptop or phone, 256meg will run a non-desktop style OS just fine and be faster for file manipulation than any desktop workstation because most processing power is used for the visual interface, not raw data or file manipulation. My server is a 8 core machine with 1gig of ram and not once has the CPU usage or memory gotten close to 20% capacity while having 28 computers desktop in another country banging on it, plus 500-1000 web site visitors a day and some heavy duty background sales and financial processing, 6 MySQL databases, going on. So for data storage, even the cheapest VPS would be overkill and cheaper than cloud networks.
By a combination of fine tuning your computer system, workflow, keeper criteria, and off line storage, everything dealing with digital photography will be better with your current image files, plus no excuse not to get a D800. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#16. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 15
Lets see. Film cartridges gave me 36 shots per roll. Two rolls, 72, three rolls 108. An 8 gig card shooting tiff gives you 71 shots, uncompressed NEF 103. We have gone full circle. The D800 will make you think about each and every shot, which is not such a bad thing. Spray and pray will be a very expensive proposition with the D800.
#17. "RE: D800 File Management" In response to Reply # 16
Monterey Bay, US
I really see no problems with file size. The only time I will shoot RAW is on the second card as backup for Weddings and possibly when taking a few special Landscape photos. For most Events where I take thousands of images, I expect to shoot 5-9 MB JPEGs. The background will determine the size which averages 6MB with a D7000. The Video files will probably be the same size as the D7000, D5100, and V1.
I already have three storage hard drives in my main computer + one Widows 7 drive. They are 2 TeriBytes each. Plus I have an external USB3 raid with five one TeriByte drives one of which is a backup, and 3 more computers. The primary computer has an 8 core AMD Processor + 16GB RAM which is pleanty.