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dlmD70 Basic MemberSun 18-Dec-05 04:37 PM
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"Portable Storage Device?"


Lincoln, US
          

I'm planning a trip to backpack in Europe this summer after I graduate college. I currently have a 512MB and 2GB card for my D70. We're probably going to be there around 4 weeks. I was thinking that a portable hard drive device such as:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817145165

would be much more economical that purchasing enough flash memory. My biggest concern with a device like this is that there is no positive confirmation that everything copied correctly. I would be devastated if I got home and connected the drive to my computer and could not retrieve my images. Has anyone who has much experience with these types of devices had any issues with reliability? Also, any comments on the device I've linked? I'm not really concerned about the ability to view pictures, just store them. That device will be about $50 from New Egg and Best Buy has a 60GB 2.5" HDD for $80 this week, so $130 for a 60GB portable storage device seems like a great deal. Just wanted to get some opinions before proceed.

Thanks so much!
-D.L.

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Portable Storage Device?
roni333
18th Dec 2005
1
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mauiglide
18th Dec 2005
2
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Ned_L Moderator
19th Dec 2005
3
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dlmD70
19th Dec 2005
4
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Ned_L Moderator
19th Dec 2005
6
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roni333
19th Dec 2005
7
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19th Dec 2005
8
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jku
19th Dec 2005
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Ned_L Moderator
19th Dec 2005
10
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DoubleUeyePee
29th Dec 2005
39
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30th Dec 2005
40
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srk
19th Dec 2005
5
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m1abrams
19th Dec 2005
11
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19th Dec 2005
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kdsmithjr
19th Dec 2005
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kuku
19th Dec 2005
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DRWedge
22nd Dec 2005
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22nd Dec 2005
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kensington
22nd Dec 2005
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leebaylin Silver Member
22nd Dec 2005
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23rd Dec 2005
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leebaylin Silver Member
24th Dec 2005
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26th Dec 2005
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26th Dec 2005
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DRWedge
30th Dec 2005
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Ned_L Moderator
30th Dec 2005
42
Reply message I use my iPod and it's great!
cquebral
22nd Dec 2005
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I_ZULU
22nd Dec 2005
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22nd Dec 2005
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23rd Dec 2005
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23rd Dec 2005
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24th Dec 2005
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24th Dec 2005
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roni333 Registered since 17th Dec 2005Sun 18-Dec-05 05:44 PM
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#1. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


IL
          

I recommend this Pretec DigiBank, i installed inside a 2.5" HDD 80 GB
It works fine.

http://www.pbase.com/manors/image/44575828

The Site:
http://www.jjmehta.com/products/pretec_digi-bank.html






  

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mauiglide Registered since 01st Nov 2005Sun 18-Dec-05 08:33 PM
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#2. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 1


Maui, US
          

I've got the Nikon Coolwalker. It has 30gb of storage and a LCD viewer. Accessories include a cool soft carrying case and shoulder strap. Good enough for my needs.

Carpe Diem!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Dec-05 02:02 AM
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#3. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

The product you've put a link to is merely an enclosure for a hard drive from what I read. It's a box to which you can install a hard drive. That's why it's so cheap.

I use CompactDrive PD70X Portable Storage Device 80GB. I've had it for about 9 months now. It's worked flawlessly. It does confirm the file transfer to the device. It's fast and you can transfer almost 50GB on a single charge. I highly recommend the device.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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dlmD70 Basic MemberMon 19-Dec-05 02:12 AM
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#4. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 3


Lincoln, US
          

I realize that the linked device is just the enclosure. Combined with an $80, 60GB drive; I would have a comparable device for $130. I was just wondering if there were any shortcomings that I was overlooking with this setup. What important features does the one you own have that this one does not?

Thanks,
D.L.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Dec-05 02:32 AM
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#6. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 4


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

Beyond the specifications which are below, this is a product that I didn't have to piece together, that I could be certain about the compatibility with my computers and cards, that I would have an overall complete guarantee from one company and a place to go for service if needed, etc. To me that was worth the price differential. The old adage rare fails to be true, I've found, "You get what you pay for." As far as the difference between the products, you be the judge for yourself.

Here are its specifications:

* World's fastest 16MB/s transfer speed
(Backup 1GB memory card in under 2 mins!)
* World's longest battery performance
(Transfer 50GB of data on a single battery charge)
* Advanced 24-bit hardware based ECC copy verification
* Uses 4 pcs of AA size battery (NiMH rechargeable, alkaline, lithium)
* Intelligent fast battery charger
(Charge 4 pcs 2500mAh NiMH AA in 3 hours approx.)
* Dedicated power supply (max 800mA) for unsurpassed compatibility with high current draw memory cards like MicroDrive (currently requiring 400mA)
* Dual power regulators ensures regulated voltage to HDD and internal circuitry
* 8-in-1 card reader (accepts CF Type I/II, MD, SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD without need for additional adaptors)
* Supports miniSD, RS-MMC, MS Duo, MS Pro Duo, TransFlash via additional adaptors
* Supports FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 memory cards
* In-built HDD format function (no need for computers)
* Firmware upgrades via memory card (no need for computers)

Rugged Construction

* Aluminium casing
* Button-less exterior, all slots & controls concealed by protective dust covers, prevents dust, hard knocks and accidental usage
* Metal hinged dust covers
* Reinforced battery slot cover
* Strong LCD window made of 0.5mm Polyester Carbon
* New multi-function jog dial button now handles all the necessary operations of the unit

Good luck with any device you purchase.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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roni333 Registered since 17th Dec 2005Mon 19-Dec-05 02:48 AM
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#7. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 3


IL
          

This is not external enclosure, but it is:
1. card reader USB 2.0
2. external HDD for your computers (also for tranfer data)
3. device for upload your pics at the field.
4. built-in rechargeable Lithium battery.

It is very usefull device.

I tryed it,one full 1GB CF card transfered in 20 mins.

FROM THE PRETEC WEB SITE:

Pretec Digi-Bank is a low cost , high capacity storage device . A user can download all the data from its Memory Card into the DigiBank and then reuse the Memory Cards . Users dont have to worry about running out of memory anymore .

Back-up your Digital Camera Memory Card and store your images and files securely to the PicturePAD's high capacity hard disk drive. The rechargeable Lithium Ion battery can power the unit for over 20 file transfers on 512MB CF Card.. User can see the progress of the transfer on the monochorme screen of the Digi-Bank.

This product is highly recommended for users of DSLR and high megapixel digital cameras . Also photographers travelling outdoors often , this product is essential

Pretec Digi-Bank accepts all the commonly used memory cards today

CompactFlash - Type I , Type II & Micro Drive
SmartMedia
SD - Secure Digital Card
MMC - MultiMedia Card , also RS-MMC with Adapter
MemoryStick - Memory Stick , Memory Stick Pro & Memory Stick Duo with Adapter

Features / Specifications :

USB2.0 HDD enclosure equipped with two card slots
Supports hot swapping for card reader.
Supports multiple partitioning on HDD.
Automatic data copying from card(s) to HDD.
Large scale Monochrome LCD (64x40mm) showing operating stats.
Built in rechargeable battery.
Rechargeable through either USB port or AC/DC adapter.
Driverless using following operating system: WinME/2000/XP or MAC 9.0 or later.

LCD: 64x40mm. seven-segment FSTN.
Size: 135x83x32mm.
Weight: 400grams
Power: Rechargeable 1400mA-hr Lithium battery.
DC: 5V, 2A.
Data transfer interface: USB2.0 (HDD) USB1.1 (card(s)).
Storage media: 2.5" HDD and cards (SM, SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, CF and MicroDrive). We have supplied Pretec Digi-Bank with High performance HITACHI 2.5" HDD
Supports: Win98/SE/ME/2000/XP or MAC OS 9.0 or later.

SO, THIS IS NOT JUST AN EXTERNAL ENCLOSURE

All the best
Roni


  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Dec-05 03:39 AM
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#8. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 7


Philadelphia, US
          

>This is not external enclosure, but it is:
>1. card reader USB 2.0
>2. external HDD for your computers (also for tranfer data)
>3. device for upload your pics at the field.
>4. built-in rechargeable Lithium battery.
>
>It is very usefull device.
>
>I tryed it,one full 1GB CF card transfered in 20 mins.
>
>SO, THIS IS NOT JUST AN EXTERNAL ENCLOSURE
>
>All the best
>Roni

Roni, sorry, I guess I didn't read the specification deep enough, however, from your statement, above, I wouldn't consider the device useful at all. You stated that it took about 20 minutes to transfer the photos from a 1GB CF card. Frankly, that's just way too much time for a hard drive device to be useful for me. The CompactDrive PD70X transfers the files of a full 1GB CF card in less than 2 minutes. Now that's a useful device.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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jku Registered since 28th Oct 2005Mon 19-Dec-05 11:08 AM
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#9. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 7


GB
          

Roni,
I think in message #3 Ned_L was refering to the original post.

john

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Dec-05 12:00 PM
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#10. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 9


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks John, I was refering to the original post and I goofed and thought Roni was too.

Not to fan the fires too brightly, I still think the Pretec Digi-Bank is not a particularly useful device mostly because it's transfer time is way too slow. I don't know about other Nikonians, but when I'm out shooting on vacation, or otherwise, I'll often fill up several 1GB cards each day, or more. I'm not willing to wait for an hour or more to transfer the files to a portable hard drive from 3 - 1GB CF cards. I want a unit which can do the job under 10 minutes for all 3 cards.

Thanks again John.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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DoubleUeyePee Registered since 17th Dec 2005Thu 29-Dec-05 11:15 PM
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#39. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 3


Norfolk, US
          

I've also been thinking of getting a portable storage device also...weighing the benefits and drawbacks of different devices. I came across the HyperDrive (www.hyperdrive). It looks exactly like the compactdrive (probably the same company) but maybe a little bit more updated? It claims to be able to transfer 80GB in one battery charge compared to the compactdrive's 50GB. Another benefit I think this device has is the ability to swap out hard drives (with a 2.5" notebook hard drive) just in case the original fails.

I've also been looking at other devices, such as the Archos AV500, which, for a few hundred more dollars, you would be able to preview photos, record videos, etc... Anyone have any experience with these?

wil..

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 30-Dec-05 12:52 AM
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#40. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 39


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

According to the HyperDrive web site the HyperDrive and the CompactDrive are made by SANHO Digital Electronics Co, Ltd., a Chinese company. EastGear is the US distributor of the CompactDrive which I have. SANHO LLC is the US distributor of the HyperDrive. You're right, the HyperDrive looks exactly like the CompactDrive. This is the first I've heard of HyperDrive. If these models are as good and reliable as CompactDrive they're good units.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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srk Registered since 13th Nov 2005Mon 19-Dec-05 02:29 AM
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#5. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


St. Simons Island, US
          

i bought a 40gb Seagate external drive that has a metal case and works great. Took it on a recent trip and had no issues. Seagate seems to make very good HD's.

  

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m1abrams Registered since 14th Dec 2005Mon 19-Dec-05 12:47 PM
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#11. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 5


Manassas, US
          

If you already own a photo iPod you could give the camera connector a try on it. I have this setup and it works, not the best but cheap IF you already own the iPod.

Things that are bad with this setup.
1. Very slow transfer, very slow.
2. Can NOT display RAW images, will transfer and store just fine but no display.
3. Chews up the iPods battery something fierce, a full 1GB card transfer will pretty much kill the battery, so you will need to have a way to charge your ipod and keep it charged.

However if you own an iPod, you probably already will be carrying it with you so this solution adds about a $20 cost and the device is about the size of CF card.

I would NOT recommend anyone going this route if you do not own or care to own an iPod. I also would not recommend it for anyone who needs quick transfer, and good preview display.

  

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Smat Registered since 14th May 2004Mon 19-Dec-05 05:23 PM
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#14. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 11


Montreal, CA
          

If you already have an iPod, another option would be to buy the Belkin Media Reader for iPod w/ Dock Connector F8E461

It's good to transfer pictures from your Compactflash card directly to the iPod.

This option is much better than the camera connector because it doesn't drag the camery batteries.


Sm@t

  

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kdsmithjr Basic MemberMon 19-Dec-05 03:38 PM
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#12. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Ithaca, US
          

I've seen 512 MB CF cards going for $40 (after rebate) this week. Most of the devices recommended here run $250 (if you steal one) to over $400. At $40 a pop, you could by 8 half gig cards for 320 dollars. At 88 RAW shots per 512 mb, you'd have slightly over 700 shot capacity. If you shoot jpegs (i only shoot raw), you'd be swimming in images.

>I'm planning a trip to backpack in Europe this summer after
>I graduate college. I currently have a 512MB and 2GB card
>for my D70. We're probably going to be there around 4 weeks.
>I was thinking that a portable hard drive device such as:
>
>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817145165
>
>would be much more economical that purchasing enough flash
>memory. My biggest concern with a device like this is that
>there is no positive confirmation that everything copied
>correctly. I would be devastated if I got home and connected
>the drive to my computer and could not retrieve my images.
>Has anyone who has much experience with these types of
>devices had any issues with reliability? Also, any comments
>on the device I've linked? I'm not really concerned about
>the ability to view pictures, just store them. That device
>will be about $50 from New Egg and Best Buy has a 60GB 2.5"
>HDD for $80 this week, so $130 for a 60GB portable storage
>device seems like a great deal. Just wanted to get some
>opinions before proceed.
>
>Thanks so much!
>-D.L.

K. D. Smith, Jr.
My gallery: http://www.nikonians-images.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1334

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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kuku Basic MemberMon 19-Dec-05 03:49 PM
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#13. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Jeddah, SA
          

Google for kanguru harddrives. They offer big harddrives that are battery powered.

My Nikonians Gallery
www.kukuphoto.com

  

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DRWedge Registered since 14th Oct 2002Thu 22-Dec-05 02:10 AM
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#15. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 13


Bristol, US
          

The EastGear CompactDrive PD70X has me intrigued but I have a concern about how it will take bumps. I'm going on a three week trip through the Middle East in March and will be in and out of a bus most every day. That means the unit in my luggage will be bumped around unless I carry it with me all the time. I'm wondering which is more likely to loose my photos: a CF card (I'd be bringing about 3.5 GIG worth of cards in 1 Gig and 512 Meg denominations) in which I would loose only the photos on the card that would go bad on me or a portable HDD where if there are problemms there would be a good chance I could loose everything. How durable are the portable HDD drives? How much bounce do they take? I'm not talking about dragging them behind the bus, but do they require gentle handling? If I was taking a cruise or staying in a motel I would take my laptop. But carring my laptop every day on a bus is really not an option.

Photography is both an art and a science. I am neither an artist nor a scientist. I simply enjoy taking pictures

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 22-Dec-05 02:54 AM
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#16. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 15


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

The unit is only 5.5"x3.5"x1.5" in its case. It weighs about 1.25lbs. During my 2 weeks in Alaska, for example, it was in my camera/computer backpack the entire time unless in use. It's still working fine today. When we were in a train, bus or plane the backpack was with me as "carry-on".

It seems to me to be pretty rugged, but I can't really tell you how much it can take. I took care of it as if it was "camera equipment". I would think it's at least as rugged as a laptop. I must say that I don't try to push it, to find out how rugged my equipment is.

I will say this. For me, (I take RAW so its about 5.3MB per photo) 3.5GBs of photo capacity for a 3 week middle east trip would be at least 8-9GBs short of what I would need. To me, it's just inadequate!

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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kensington Registered since 15th Aug 2004Thu 22-Dec-05 04:14 PM
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#17. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Live in Clarkston work in Deee, US
          

I am pretty happy with the Epson P-2000. 40GB of space and u can review the pictures after transferring them over. Not the fastest, about 10 minutes to transfer 1GB but I rarely fill up a 1GB card that fast so no worries there. I've been on day trips with family (zoos, picnics, festivals, etc.) and usually carry it in my pants pocket while it is tranferring and i have not had any problems. I've had it for about 8 months and probably transferred 80GB worth of pics to and from it. Don't recall how many transfers I can get on a fully charged battery but I think it's at least 4.

Arnold
My pictures
Gear list
Follow me
LinkedIN

  

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leebaylin Silver Member Charter MemberThu 22-Dec-05 06:09 PM
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#18. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Baltimore, US
          

I've raised the same concern every time this subject of portable HDs comes up. HDs fail. When they fail (not if) data is not always recoverble. If loss of images would devistate you, you need more than one place to keep them. In the days of film, my wife and I carried alternate rolls while traveling, or we mailed them to different labs, so we didn't loose everything with the loss of one bag or one package. With digital, I take a laptop and burn multiple CDs or DVDs. There are countless posts on this board recommending 2 1gb cards over 1 2gb, so you don't lose a day's shooting in case of failure. That also goes for and entire vacation's images on a single HD device. This is a case where you need belt and suspenders (or braces). No matter what you use, over four weeks, you will need to recharge batteries regularly, so some access to wall power is necessary. Since you are a college student, you might look for one of those 13-inch I-books a few years old on the used market. Apple had made them obsolete for running any Apple software, but they have CD burners and usb ports. Might be the perfect sollution. Trandfer the images to the I-Book HD and then burn a CD. One more tip: Don't erease the CF card until you confirm the download. Programs that do both at the same time are an invitation to disaster.

Lee Baylin

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 23-Dec-05 05:37 PM
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#25. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 18


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi Lee,

Your analysis makes sense to me, except about the laptop for someone backpacking.

Generally, while I'm on a trip (I might do a day hike, but I don't backpack anymore. I'm into more comfort than camping out these days, and am willing to sacrifice some sights for some comfort now.) I'm downloading the CF cards into my portable hard drive as necessary, or certainly at night, so all CF cards are empty for the next day. Every night, as long as I have enough time, I'm burning a pair of CDs containing my files. I take one cd in my carry-on luggage and my wife takes the other in her carry-on luggage.

I only buy 1GB cards for my D70. I've had a CF card fail, but fortunately I was able to recover almost all the photos. Lexar has replaced the card. I would hate to have 300 photos on a 2GB CF card vs. 150 or so on a 1GB card and loose them, so for the D70 I'm sticking with the 1GB card. I'm getting a D200 and I think due to the larger file size I'll move to 2GB cards for it.

With backpacking there is a serious weight consideration and a limit on volume too, and there may be serious power limitations. If I were backpacking I'd take a portable hard drive. Many can transfer many GIGs without needing to be recharged. If you're using a laptop it's more weight and more volume. You'll need a spot in your pack for blank and filled cds and you're going to have to find a power outlet more often than with a portable hard drive because they run out of juice more quickly and generally take longer to recharge for the most part too.

The one thing you said that every must listen to is, "Don't erease the CF card until you confirm the download. Programs that do both at the same time are an invitation to disaster." Put a big exclamation point after that one!!!

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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leebaylin Silver Member Charter MemberSat 24-Dec-05 02:15 PM
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#30. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 25


Baltimore, US
          

You are absolutely right about backpack/camping. As the father of a college senior, I was assuming post graduation backpacking around Europe meant youth hostles with electricity and running water, not the woods. The laptop I was referring to is the little 13" G3 I-book. My daughter has one bought four years ago. Apple had made it obsolete for most of its software (can barely drive an new IPod), but it still runs well and has a long life battery,a tiny power supply that accomodates a Europe plug and a 40gb hard drive. They are half the weight and half the bulk of a typical Windows based 15" model. I though it might provide the right, cheap sollution for such a trip and they should be pleantiful in the used marker on a campus around graduation time.

Lee Baylin

  

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mclarke99 Registered since 02nd Nov 2005Mon 26-Dec-05 11:28 PM
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#37. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 18


DFW, US
          

Hard drives do fail, it's a fact. An average drive will give you at least 400,000 hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) a better drive should go about 1.2 Million hours. At 20 hours per day, your lower end drives should average about 20,000 days of use. Barring abuse or manufacturing defects, a hard drive should last for many years.


Regards,

mclarke


"HE began before the beginning had begun to begin."

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 26-Dec-05 11:58 PM
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#38. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 37


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

I certainly agree with you about the hard drive's statistical life, however, as a computer consultant I will tell you that many hard drives fail long before 400,000 hours of life. I've had hard drives shipped in computers that were DOA. I've had hard drives fail during initial installs. I've had hard drives fail within weeks of purchase. I've had hard drives last for years and years. When it comes down to it, "You never know." ahead of time, that is.

For portable hard drives, what I see is failure not of the hard drive itself, but of the electronics running and controlling the drive. In my opinion they won't generally last your 400,000 hours, or anything close to it.

What is far more important is that when you're traveling on a lengthly excursion, unless you're ready to make an obscene investment in CF cards, you're going to need to take some kind of alternate storage with you. My first choice is a portable hard drive because it's small and light, and pretty reliable, and therefore ideal for travel. Furthermore, good ones can transfer many gigs of files on a single charge. If the device fails, most of the time, you can still get the images from it through recovery services. They're not cheap, but they work for data files almost all the time.

If I can, I'm also going to bring my laptop on my trip, though for some it's not possible, and even for me, it's not possible everytime. It's actually rare, for me anyway, to not have my laptop with me to remain in communication with the office, etc. via the web. With my laptop, I'm going to back up the portable hard drive files either on the laptop's hard drive or on to CDs.

Portable stand-alone CD writers are another possibility, but I don't like them as much as the portable hard drive. If you're making CDs, that means you have to bring plenty of blanks, or be forced to buy them enroute. You need frequent access to power too, with these units. You also have to store them and protect them when filled with data.

There's more to the portable storage issue than is obvious, in my opinion.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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DRWedge Registered since 14th Oct 2002Fri 30-Dec-05 01:09 AM
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#41. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 38


Bristol, US
          

Ned -
I'm the person going to Egypt, Jordan and Israel. I've pretty much made up my mind to pack my laptop in the backpack (it has a padded laptop sleeve) and bring the blank CDs. Even with a portable HDD, after you've copied the files from the CF cards to the portable unit, you still have all your photos in one location assuming you reformat the CF for reuse. If it fails, you've lost all your pictures and will probably spend a significant sum on replacement CF cards. With the laptop I can still copy the files from the CF cards to the laptop and again to back-up CDs. Power will not be an issue as we will be in hotels at night. Besides, my wonderful wife agreed that by not spending the money on the portable back-up system, I could add a few bucks and get the new 18-200 VR lens!

David

Photography is both an art and a science. I am neither an artist nor a scientist. I simply enjoy taking pictures

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 30-Dec-05 02:17 AM
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#42. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 41


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi David,

My laptop only has about 6GBs available. I take all photos in RAW+jpg. I don't have enough room to store all that many photos on my laptop. I can easily fill 3-4 1GB CF cards in a day.

The primary reason I have my laptop on a trip is communication with my office, clients and family. I even have my cellphone on 24x7 on a trip. It's a GSM phone so people can and do call me all over the world (I do remind them about the time zone differential before I leave). As I was about to enter a castle in Scotland last year, for example, I got a call from my father. He's 89 and was having computer problems and wanted to get some help. My clients are easier on me when I'm away than he is. Running my own small consulting company doesn't allow me to totally get away from it all.

What I did on my trip to Alaska this summer was to use the portable hard drive and put a copy of the photos on CDs as well.

I have a suggestion for you. Take your blank cds with you in a padded cd case, the kind people take their music cds in. You know, the ones shaped like a cd. That way the cds will be protected, and they'll take the minimum amount of space in your carry-on. Any photos that can't downloaded on to your hard drive, make 2 cds of these photos. Give the copy cds, if any, to your wife to put in her carry-on, so you might need a second cd case.

Enjoy the trip.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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cquebral Registered since 17th Dec 2005Thu 22-Dec-05 07:10 PM
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#19. "I use my iPod and it's great!"
In response to Reply # 0


Los Angeles, US
          

Just buy yourself the USB cable that attaches from the iPod to your camera and you can upload you files to your iPod. Assuming you have one.

http://gallery.mac.com/cquebral/

  

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I_ZULU Registered since 05th Apr 2004Thu 22-Dec-05 11:33 PM
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#20. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Los Angeles, US
          

I've been using a MindStore 10 Gig(no longer made) since summer 2002 almost every weekend, sometimes more and it is still going strong. It does provide you with confirmation of download and how much free space is left. It is sensitive to movement when it is downloading so I put it down somewhere where it won't be disturbed but it is otherwise ok.

A few considerations, regardless of which brand you get, you should carry it on on your carry-on bag, not just for the value of the pictures but as we've all seen the baggage handlers at airports are not exactly gentle with bags. Just treat it like a lap top, they are not blown-glass delicate but should be treated with care. Make sure you have a power converter along to charge the batteries and if possible get one that accepts regular batteries since you might not know exactly when you'll be needing to use it. Do not wait until you have both cards are full before downloading, download as soon as practical after one card fills up. Remember your cards themselves could fail too. If that happens you want to have at least one card empty to keep going.

  

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dlmD70 Basic MemberThu 22-Dec-05 11:46 PM
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#21. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Lincoln, US
          

Thanks for all the replies, although I see no clear solution for my situation. I have a laptop, but it is fairly large and heavy and I'm trying to keep weight down since we'll be backpacking. I do like the redundancy that provides though. I've seen portable cd/dvd burners that can burn directly from a flash card, but these are a bit expensive for my purposes. I generally don't take trips like these, usually my 2GB is plenty, and I usually bring my laptop with me when I do travel. I have awhile before my trip so I'm in no rush to buy. If anyone comes across and new, innovative and affordable solutions please share with me.

Thanks again!
-D.L.

  

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jku Registered since 28th Oct 2005Fri 23-Dec-05 08:38 AM
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#22. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 21


GB
          

Here is a very reasonably priced storage solution from Allcam http://www.allcam.biz/products/camera_storage_otg.htm It's nothing fancy but might be what you are looking for.

john

  

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statdoc Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Apr 2004Fri 23-Dec-05 04:42 PM
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#23. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 22


Monterey, US
          

I strongly recommend the CompactDrive PD70X. No display, but it works well and has the longest battery life of any unit I've seen.

One major advantage of this setup over most others is that it can operate on regular AA batteries or on rechargable batteries. Some of the other solutions that have been discussed here use an internal rechargable battery, which can be problematic if you're away from convenient power sources for any length of time.



Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 23-Dec-05 05:39 PM
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#26. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 23


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks for bringing that up about the CompactDrive. I forgot about just using AA batteries if you can't get to a power outlet to recharge.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Bracer Registered since 11th Apr 2004Fri 23-Dec-05 05:13 PM
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#24. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Markham, CA
          

I have been using an Apacer Disk Steno http://www.apacer.com/en/products/Disc_Steno_CP200.htm
It is a portable CD writer with card reader. I put my card in, burn a CD-RW and the unit verifies the transfer. You can also check to make sure the card was read properly before formating the card by connecting it to a TV to look at jpegs). It is easy to buy more CD's wherever I am so there is no chance of running out of "space". So far I've used it on 4 trips and it has worked well every time. You can even connect it to a TV to watch a DVD movie.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 23-Dec-05 05:43 PM
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#27. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 24


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

The Apacer you mentioned is a nice unit and reliable according to a friend that has it. His only complaint is that it chews up its battery power quickly and needs frequent recharging, something not necessarily always available while backpacking.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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YoungAndDangerous Registered since 11th Sep 2004Sat 24-Dec-05 10:36 AM
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#28. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Sydney, AU
          

When I go travelling, I also like to carry my music with me. I have tested several devices, including the cheaper generic storage devices (and the some of the ones listed below). But I have found the iAudio X5 (www.iaudio.com) offers the best solution. Firstly, it is a superb (and mind you one of the best) audio player in the market, but it also provides great storage (capable of viewing low resolution JPG, and viewable file names for none supported formats) and long battery life. The X5 may not be everyone's cut of tea, but I normally carry several gigs of cards with me, and then upload teh images onto the X5 when in the hotel. It's a bit slower using the USB 1.1 (with a CF adapter), however the D70 will also talk directly to the unit.

There are alternative units, but most are multimedia players as well.

Iriver H340 (the Asia/Europe version)
Epsons P-2000 (a bit big but can view, JPEG and NEF as other RAW)
Creative Zen Vision (has a inbuilt CF card reader, and views JPEG)
Cowon (iAudio) A2 (liek X5 but also plays video)
Apple iPod (with the Camera adapter)


Cheers
Tom


  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 24-Dec-05 12:14 PM
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#29. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 28


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi Tom,

It would appear that the X5 is a really good unit. The X5 is only MAC or Linux compatible. Windows users are left out by this product.

As far as file transfers, I can't speak to its actual speed, however, it is a USB 2.0 unit according to the X5 specs on the COWON web site. I also can't speak to its actual battery life, however, a lot of that has to do with how much you use it for music. Potential storage capacity for photos has to do with your music as well.

I don't know about you Tom, but my MP3 device (20GB) has about 14GB of music on it which leaves far too little room on it to be useful for me as a photo storage device. If I had the 60GB X5 that might be different. During my recent Alaska trip I used 24GBs in my CompactDrive for photos. My player also has long battery life (14-16 hours) for playing music like the X5, however, I listen to enough music that I'm always plugging it in to charge it. With the CompactDrive I can transfer almost 50GBs on a single charge. That's important, because there are times, especially for backpackers, that getting power to recharge is not possible, and when you need to transfer your files because your CF cards are full, you need to do it.

For many, a primary music combo unit may suffice, however, when making one's choice, a variety of factors must be considered to ensure they'll work for you for the primary purpose here, photographic storage.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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YoungAndDangerous Registered since 11th Sep 2004Sat 24-Dec-05 09:45 PM
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#33. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 29


Sydney, AU
          

>Hi Tom,
>
>It would appear that the X5 is a really good unit. The X5
>is only MAC or Linux compatible. Windows users are left
>out by this product.


Ned,

The iAudio X5 was originally designed for Windows. If you have 2000 or XP, it does not even require software installation (driverless, as we refer it)- so its a true plug and play unit. Its also Mac and Linux compatible (also driverless). Making also very handy as a removeable storage device.

>As far as file transfers, I can't speak to its actual speed,
>however, it is a USB 2.0 unit according to the X5 specs on
>the COWON web site. I also can't speak to its actual
>battery life, however, a lot of that has to do with how much
>you use it for music. Potential storage capacity for photos
>has to do with your music as well.

What makes the X5 (and iRiver H340) unique is that it has a "HostUSB" which will also take to other third party devices, like digital cameras, pda, card readers. However the HostUSB is only USB 1.1. The X5 does have an additional USB 2.0 port for PC connectivity only.

Battery unit on this device provides about 12-14 of use for music. There is also an extended battery version of this model, the X5L which gives about 30 hours of life. But the unit is thicker.

>I don't know about you Tom, but my MP3 device (20GB) has
>about 14GB of music on it which leaves far too little room
>on it to be useful for me as a photo storage device. If I
>had the 60GB X5 that might be different. During my recent
>Alaska trip I used 24GBs in my CompactDrive for photos. My
>player also has long battery life (14-16 hours) for playing
>music like the X5, however, I listen to enough music that
>I'm always plugging it in to charge it. With the
>CompactDrive I can transfer almost 50GBs on a single charge.
> That's important, because there are times, especially for
>backpackers, that getting power to recharge is not possible,
>and when you need to transfer your files because your CF
>cards are full, you need to do it.

The X5 does come in a 60GB model as well. Depending on your music collection, but I have a 30GB model, which I carry about 10GB of music (more then enough for couple months of back packing) and have more then 20GB of photo storage left. I also usually carry about 10GB of CF cards when I do my travelling, and use the X5 as mostly backup, but if do run out of cards, the X5 does come into play.

The USB 1.1 is a really slower transfer, and its is not ideal to transfer on the spot if the files/images are large, but becuase I carry a lot of CF cards I dont require to transfer the images on the spot.

I have played around with the newer Creative Zen Vision which has a CF slot for the transfer, its much quicker then the X5 but it was not the solution for me becuase the unit was so much larger, and thou it would be ideal to transfer data on the spot with the CF card, but not a requirement for me.

>For many, a primary music combo unit may suffice, however,
>when making one's choice, a variety of factors must be
>considered to ensure they'll work for you for the primary
>purpose here, photographic storage.

Yes, there are numerous factors. And each one's needs are different. Hence there are so many different devices in the market. But I found the iAudio X5 was my best companion for travelling, mainly for reason it is a good size and offer great entertainment (when I'm bored), it is also a good all rounder device. I've looked for the perfect all-in-one device, and happy to pay the dollars but frankly they don't exist.

Enjoy.
Tom

  

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spa100 Registered since 17th Dec 2005Sat 24-Dec-05 03:02 PM
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#31. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Tucson, US
          

I had the same dilemma. I went to China for 2 months last summer. These were going to be photos I could not repeat, and I was going to take a lot of them with my D70. I also took my pocket Canon SD300 with me for those days/nights I didn't want to carry the bag.

I did quite a bit of investigation. I did not want to spend hundreds of dollars for a device I would not use much after I got back, so I ruled out the $400 plus color LCD back-up drives. I settled on a 40GB photo card-hard drive by Wolverine. I have no regrets. It worked perfectly (and still works great as a back-up USB2 backup drive for me).

I, too, was worried about the lack of visual confirmation (other than the lcd saying everything copied well). I tested it at home for a few weeks before I left to be sure it was 'stable' and working well. Once in China, I was fortunate I could check on friends' computers. I also went to photo print shops where I printed photos from the drive. They were color corrected and sharpened by young women at the stores with amazing speed and skill, all for about 8 cents for a 4x6! But that's another story. I'm sure you can go to internet cafes and plug-in your hard drive in most cities in Europe to be sure it is working. After checking on a computer once or twice I became confident the drive was working well and didn't worry again about it.

The Wolvering batteries lasted a long time between charge, butno matter, as you can charge them overnight as you sleep. It came with a universal 120/220 power plug (at least, for China) and it never failed to work. It will work with almost any camera card. It works on both PC and Mac. I can't speak for anyone else's experience with the Wolverine, but I recommend it based on my experience.

Scott

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 24-Dec-05 05:20 PM
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#32. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 31


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

I looked carefully at the Wolverine FlashPac and was going to buy it until I found the CompactDrive. The pricing is similar, but the CompactDrive's battery life is considerbly longer.

I'm glad the Wolverine worked out so well for you.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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YoungAndDangerous Registered since 11th Sep 2004Sat 24-Dec-05 10:00 PM
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#34. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 31


Sydney, AU
          

I'm glad the Wolverine worked well for you. I've havent tried the Wolverine, but I have tried several other generic brands (basically the DIY ones), and I have found that information was lacking, hence once I had transfer the data I was unable to confirm if the everything was copied into the device. The display on most of these devices are static, so it there is no way of knowing. The other problem most of the generic DIY kits suffers are the battery life, averaging about 2 hours. A couple of card transfer, and it needs a 3 hour recharge.

Cheers
Tom


  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 24-Dec-05 11:34 PM
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#35. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 34


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi,

Tom, I agree with you about generic DIYs and especially the kits. That's why I went with a well known product, the EastGear CompactDrive. The CompactDrive won the 2005 DIMA Innovative Digital Product Award. The company spells out the specs carefully and fully. I can tell you it meets the specs which exceed most other units by quite a bit. The display on this unit isn't static by the way. The display tells you what's going on and when data has been transferred you can see whether or not it's been successful as per the new storage data which you can display. I've gotten more than 40GBs of transfers @ about 0.5GB/min, on one charge of the unit.

Have a happy and healthy new year.

Ned
-----------------------------
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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dcheckpete Registered since 13th Nov 2005Mon 26-Dec-05 03:23 AM
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#36. "RE: Portable Storage Device?"
In response to Reply # 0


Kannapolis, US
          

I have the Wolverine device and used it this past summer on my European trip. The unit performed flawlessly - I used it everyday of the trip mostly while on the train or bus. Uploads of CF and SD cards were always successful. I even backed up files from a friend's xD card (he didn't come prepared) and sent them to him when I got back. I would highly recommend it. Economical and dependable - hard to beat - especially with different memory cards!
FYI...I took over 15 GB of photos in 2 weeks!

  

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