Source: bhphotovideo.com

One of the things that trav­el pho­tog­ra­phers some­times have to think about more than oth­ers is pho­to stor­age. Even if you just shoot a lot on vaca­tion (espe­cial­ly video), your mem­o­ry card may not be enough, as well as the mem­o­ry of your lap­top (if you are going to take a lap­top with you at all, and in gen­er­al, clog­ging your lap­top mem­o­ry with moun­tains of pho­tos is not the most ratio­nal thing to do) . This is where portable hard dri­ves and SSDs come into play.

In this review, we pro­ceed­ed, first of all, from the needs of trav­el pho­tog­ra­phers — we hope that this mate­r­i­al will help you choose a reli­able option that is most suit­able for your tasks.

Interfaces, speed and volume

Before we move on to trav­el-spe­cif­ic fea­tures, we need to address an impor­tant and often over­looked selec­tion cri­te­ri­on: make sure the dri­ve works with your com­put­er.

Some dri­ves or their soft­ware only work with cer­tain oper­at­ing sys­tems, so some­times they need to be for­mat­ted before you get full func­tion­al­i­ty. Also make sure that the inter­face on the disk is sup­port­ed by the com­put­er and that this is the fastest option avail­able. For exam­ple, if you’re work­ing with a new Mac, you might want to choose a dri­ve that sup­ports Thun­der­bolt 3. Or, if you’ve got a time-test­ed lap­top, the same old-school FireWire 800 might be your best bet. If you just need some­thing uni­ver­sal, you can choose USB (of course, USB Type‑C is best).

Next, you need a bus-pow­ered device. What does it mean? Basi­cal­ly, the dri­ve will be pow­ered through the con­nec­tion to the com­put­er and not from the net­work. This elim­i­nates the has­sle of find­ing a pow­er out­let to back up your pho­tos and can be a real life­saver if you need to upload some­thing to your lap­top in a taxi or on a plane.

Exter­nal hard dri­ve Sea­gate 2TB Back­up Plus Slim USB 3.0

The next step is to deter­mine the required speed and capac­i­ty. A more expen­sive, but very con­ve­nient option for trav­el­ers would be sol­id-state dri­ves, or SSDs. Mod­els such as the Sam­sung T5 are much faster than HDDs and have no mov­ing parts, mak­ing them less like­ly to fail from being hit or dropped. On the oth­er hand, much larg­er HDDs are much cheap­er. For dai­ly pho­to back­ups, slow­er 5400 rpm HDDs will prob­a­bly work for you, but if you plan to shoot and watch 4K video, you’ll prob­a­bly need a large SSD dri­ve.

Advanced features and functions

One of the most obvi­ous ben­e­fits for trav­el pho­tog­ra­phers would be weath­er­proof­ing. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers have devel­oped spe­cial ranges or sep­a­rate acces­sories to pro­vide pro­tec­tion against bumps and drops that can occur while rid­ing. Typ­i­cal­ly, secure dri­ves use a rub­ber­ized design. A good exam­ple is LaC­ie Rugged minia­ture portable dri­ves.

Exter­nal hard dri­ve LaC­ie 1TB LaC­ie Rugged Mini USB‑C

If you’re look­ing for extra speed or pro­tec­tion, con­sid­er RAID tech­nol­o­gy. RAID arrays are a com­mon desk­top back­up solu­tion, but there are sev­er­al portable options if you need extra secu­ri­ty. Many portable RAID options, such as the LaC­ie Rugged RAID Pro 4TB, use RAID 1 tech­nol­o­gy to mir­ror data on two dif­fer­ent inter­nal dri­ves. This way, if one dri­ve fails, you will still have access to all the infor­ma­tion. If you’re just look­ing for extra speed, RAID 0 is the way to go, which stripes data across two dri­ves, effec­tive­ly dou­bling the speed by read­ing both dri­ves at the same time.

LaC­ie 4TB Rugged RAID Thun­der­bolt & USB 3.0 Exter­nal Hard Dri­ve

Some­times you may need to back up your mem­o­ry cards when you don’t have access to your com­put­er. This is where devices like the WD My Pass­port Wire­less Pro come in handy. This dri­ve has many fea­tures that make it espe­cial­ly con­ve­nient for trav­el­ers. Most impor­tant for pho­tog­ra­phers is the built-in SD card slot, which elim­i­nates the need for a com­put­er to trans­fer pho­tos. It also fea­tures a USB 3.0 port (back­wards com­pat­i­ble with USB 2.0) that can be used to charge your phone and oth­er devices from the dri­ve’s inter­nal bat­tery, or as a method to quick­ly trans­fer pic­tures from a con­nect­ed cam­era. Final­ly, the icing on the cake is built-in Wi-Fi, which gives you the abil­i­ty to view files and set up your dri­ve via your smart­phone while you’re on the go.

WD My Pass­port Wire­less Pro

Final­ly, devices like the GNARBOX 2.0 with built-in Wi-Fi allow you to work direct­ly with the files on the disk through the appli­ca­tion, sort­ing and edit­ing footage on the go.

Alternatives and Final Tips

Source: digitalcameraworld.com

Just because hard dri­ves are the most com­mon and obvi­ous file back­up solu­tion does­n’t mean they are the only option. There are var­i­ous spe­cial mem­o­ry card back­up devices that allow you to quick­ly and eas­i­ly trans­fer files from them. Many of them are also equipped with a screen and a set of con­trols for oper­a­tion with­out the need to con­nect to a com­put­er.

Stor­age Devices San­ho Hyper­Drive Col­or­Space UDMA 3 Wire­less Stor­age Device. Source: Amazon.com

There are times when a sep­a­rate hard dri­ve or back­up device is already overkill in your trav­el kit. In this case, sev­er­al mem­o­ry cards can help you out. This is espe­cial­ly handy if your cam­era has a dual slot, allow­ing you to shoot while back­ing up images and then swap them out as they fill up. Plus, many lap­tops these days come with built-in mem­o­ry card slots, so you don’t need to car­ry a sep­a­rate card read­er with you when you have one.

Source: d750.org

Today, pho­tog­ra­phers have sev­er­al options for stor­ing and back­ing up their shots while trav­el­ing. We hope this arti­cle will help you decide which solu­tion is best for you. If you shoot a lot while trav­el­ing, we’d love to hear about your expe­ri­ence in the com­ments.

* the arti­cle was pre­pared based on the mate­ri­als of bhphotovideo.com and onfoto.ru resources.