Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Light, Low Cost Image Backup Solution

There have been many of these internet posts about how to backup and store your images on the go.

I have quite a few events that I would love to be able to back up my images in the field.  Here are my thoughts and solution.

**NOTE**    Updated 4/11/2018 
As of March 2018, I had to return the Google Pixel C.  While it was an excellent tablet, it had a fatal flaw with the screen.   I returned 5 of them for the same issue, Google finally agreed that a refund was in order.
I have since replaced the Pixel C with a Samsung Chromebook Pro.

The Chromebook Pro can run 90% of the same apps as an Android Phone/Tablet and has 2 USB-C ports.
image © Samsung
Chromebook Pro

Image © Google
Pixel C with Keyboard

I first through that I would just use the free storage on my Android tablet.  This is fine, as I've got a 64GB Pixel C and plenty of space.  The issue is that I might need to store a bunch of other media on the tablet for travel purposes, like movies or music for when there is no streaming connection.

Image © Google
Pixel C side view showing USB-C port

So I started looking around and I found the one thing that I really needed.  A way to interface the memory cards or camera in a common way.

I found it with the Aukey USB-C hub.

Image © Aukey

This hub connects to the Pixel C via its USB-C connector.  The bonus of this adapter is the Ethernet connector on it as well.  So if you wanted to have a wired connection for the Pixel C, you have that option.
As far as I know, you have the option of using this device on anything that accepts USB-C.
Cost:  $24.99

Next, I got a memory card reader. I needed a special one for the Nikon D500, which uses XQD memory cards.  It also comes with a bonus, which is an SD card slot!
I got one on sale for the low price of $20.

Image © Sony
XQD card/SDHC II reader
You can also just use straight up USB cables for transferring directly from the camera as well.

I think you can see the benefit here that you are getting a lot of flexibility.

Now, we get into storage.  At first, I thought of just getting a flash memory stick.  However, looking at the storage sizes, the cost per GB of storage was just not as appealing as a portable hard drive.
As of the writing of this article, a 64GB Sandisk flash drive cost $60.  I was able to score a smaller than a deck of cards Western Digital MyPassport hard drive, size 1TB for $57.

Image © Western Digital
1TB My Passport portable hard drive
While not as small as a flash drive, you cannot deny the better value in amount of storage.

So that is the gear portion of the article.

But how does it perform?

Very quick and honestly faster than I had anticipated.  The WD Hard Drive is 7200 rpm.  I've got SDHC Class 1 and Class 2 cards and the XQD card has a read speed of roughly 132MB/sec.

I had a full 32GB XQD card that dumped onto the hard drive in seconds.  I thought there was a problem, but after inspection the transfer was quick and painless.

Hope this helped some of you.  Not only is this great for my photography needs, but it might be beneficial for you on whatever you may want save or even take with you.

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