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Hard Drive / Photo Storage while on a tour?

Old 03-16-16, 07:22 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
Look man, I don't have an agenda either. I'm open to lots of options -- I agree with the folks that said SSDs are a good solution, and I've been googling around looking for deals that fit my budget.... but you repeatedly have tried to argue for a one-format solution. I don't want a one-format solution. For some reason, you're not okay with that. From your perspective, I'm somehow trying to fight you because "I've already decided," which isn't true. From my perspective? You seem like a guy who is upset that someone doesn't agree with him that an SD-card only trip is the only possible solution anybody could take... to the extent that you're dismissing valid counterpoints. Yes, a larger drive, say an SSD or a platter drive CAN get crushed or lost, but not as easily as a smaller, more physical fragile (plastic vs metal) SD card. EVERY format has its advantages and disadvantages. I'm looking for perspective on people that have used different things. I don't know why you're offended that your solution isn't perfect for me and that I wish to have an additional redundancy on top of it.

My ride partner and I are discussing lots of solutions -- we have a shortlist of possible ruggadizzed HDD portables, a few SDD options and waterproof enclosures. We've eliminated most thumbsticks and SD-card only configurations largely because they're not cost effective per dollar.

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And I agreed with you repeatedly and explained that I wanted additional redundancy on top of that. From my perspective, you're the one picking a fight here, and are seemingly offended that I want to back up my data on more than one format. Yes. SD cards are good and reliable and I like them and I am literally going to use them a lot on the trip in almost exactly the way you described -- but I also want to back up that data another way just in case. I don't know why you have a problem with that.
SD cards get lost when people lose them. I, myself, have a little place to put them so they don't get lost. They don't jumble around in my pocket the whole tour. Kind of a theoretical problem more than an actual one, unless you're looking for a heavier drive just so you can't pocket it and lose it?

I have not heard of anyone breaking an SD card under normal use. If you have it in a little plastic case in your camera bag, it's pretty safe. Since it's smaller, there's no inertia to throw itself from a pannier, and there's nothing stopping you from tucking it away in a padded, zippered case where nothing bad can happen to them. It's also completely waterproof, unlike any storage device that has a built-in USB and power input.

The only thing you gain with a traditional drive is weight and vulnerability. I fail to think of a single other benefit. The failures you're listing here are theoretical, and equally subject to EVERY physical storage option. You think that redundancy comes from a diversity of storage options, but all your other storage options are still flash storage. AND, the fact that SD cards are smaller means you can keep 10+ of them and have a redundancy overkill far beyond your ability to destroy storage. More flash drives in smaller packages is the definition of redundancy.

Let me know if that makes sense. I think there must me a miscommunication on my part, since all the storage options we're discussing are in the same format. It's all flash, SD is just the ideal flash when damage is a possibility.

As for the cost effectiveness per dollar, it depends on your budget. Durable, large storage, cheap price- pick two. A reliably branded, ruggedized HDD can easily reach $200+ so that's going to be hard on your budget.




It sounds to me like the system you really want hasn't been invented yet.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:27 PM
  #27  
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Are you familiar with this This is a 2X2TB (raid) SSD. Probably the most reliable solution you could think of.

I've travelled extensively with computers equipped with SSD drive and never had issues. I've travelled, many years ago, with spinning disks and lost files. So yes, I'd stick to flash or SSD media.

I don't see a clear cut argument for or against ssd vs sd vs thumb drives. For example, copying sd onto another sd provides redundancy. You can snail mail sd in regular envelope. Sd cards take virtually no space and are rugged. SSD offer more capacity and can be configured in raid, which provides an additional layer of security.

Depends on what you are looking for
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Old 03-16-16, 07:31 PM
  #28  
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You're asking for advice and not happy with the answers. It sounds like you are set on using SD cards and a hard drive as back up.

What else do you want everyone to say?

I suggest you solve this on your own.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:53 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
SD cards get lost when people lose them. I, myself, have a little place to put them so they don't get lost. They don't jumble around in my pocket the whole tour. Kind of a theoretical problem more than an actual on unless you're looking for a heavier drive just so you can't pocket it and lose it?
No that's not it. I get pretty paranoid with my SD cards, to be honest, and will tend to stow them away in a specific case in a specific pouch of a bag.

I have not heard of anyone breaking an SD card under normal use.
My favorite card (an eye-fi transfer card) just broke the other day, actually I'm super bummed about it. The lock switch broke and it's stuck in "lock" mode. I've been trying to get in there with a needle and try and switch it back, and leave it "unlocked" but I've had no success. Everything has failure points of some sort, even if they're rare.

The only thing you gain with a traditional drive is weight and vulnerability. I fail to think of a single other benefit.
I think most of this comes down to personal opinion, but this is a point I can legitimately argue. Cost and convince are two large benefits other storage can have over SD cards. A 512GB SSD can be had for about half the cost of a 512GB SD card, for instance -- in fact, a 1TB SSD can be had for just a little more than a 512GB SD card. Yes, 1TB is definitely overkill for this trip, even if we're shooting tons of videos and every photo in RAW, but there's definitely a cost gap there. Moreover, transferring data from an SD card to a SSD or HDD is easier than transferring from SD to SD, given that I only have the one card reader. I'd have to store the files to back up to the secondary SD card somewhere as I swap out the cards.

Organization can be a thing too, particularly when dealing with video -- if you're dealing with lots of lower capacity SD cards, you're storing that data on folders within potential large collection of removable media pieces. That gets harder to keep track of than having it on one larger storage device.

As for the cost effectiveness per dollar, it depends on your budget. Durable, large storage, cheap price- pick two. A reliably branded, ruggedized HDD can easily reach $200+ so that's going to be hard on your budget.
I mean, that's the crux of it. If I had unlimited money, maybe buying several high capacity SD cards and a spare card reader for the transfer issue would be more efficient (and certainly would weigh less), but that's not option for me.


I think there must me a miscommunication on my part, since all the storage options we're discussing are in the same format. It's all flash, SD is just the ideal flash when damage is a possibility.
You've said something along this lines a couple times now, and it's got me wondering if we're both a little confused. It sounds like you're saying you don't believe non-flash-based storage exists anymore? That's definitely not true -- there are tons of non flash drives available on the market still (the price of a 1TB SDD will buy you a 3TB portable HDD, for instance... not that that's something i'm considering for the road), though, as I said, I'm cautious to go for them because they're more susceptible to shock damage than flash solutions. My riding buddy has a LaCie that he's thinking of buying, but, like I said, i'm hesitant about it, which is why I started this thread. Maybe they're more resilient than I think, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to risk it without more data. I'm probably reading that statement wrong, though? I think you excluded those options for the same reasons I just listed.

Originally Posted by hokie cycler View Post
You're asking for advice and not happy with the answers. It sounds like you are set on using SD cards and a hard drive as back up.

What else do you want everyone to say?

I suggest you solve this on your own.
I haven't said I've been planning to use HDDs. I've only said I don't want to use just SD cards.

Speaking of, though..

Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
I've travelled extensively with computers equipped with SSD drive and never had issues. I've travelled, many years ago, with spinning disks and lost files. So yes, I'd stick to flash or SSD media.
This is the answer I was looking for. Thanks! That's exactly what I'm concerned about, but didn't know how likely it was.

Last edited by seaniccus; 03-16-16 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 03-16-16, 08:14 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
No that's not it. I get pretty paranoid with my SD cards, to be honest, and will tend to stow them away in a specific case in a specific pouch of a bag.


My favorite card (an eye-fi transfer card) just broke the other day, actually I'm super bummed about it. The lock switch broke and it's stuck in "lock" mode. I've been trying to get in there with a needle and try and switch it back, and leave it "unlocked" but I've had no success. Everything has failure points of some sort, even if they're rare.


I think most of this comes down to personal opinion, but this is a point I can legitimately argue. Cost and convince are two large benefits other storage can have over SD cards. A 512GB SSD can be had for about half the cost of a 512GB SD card, for instance -- in fact, a 1TB SSD can be had for just a little more than a 512GB SD card. Yes, 1TB is definitely overkill for this trip, even if we're shooting tons of videos and every photo in RAW, but there's definitely a cost gap there. Moreover, transferring data from an SD card to a SSD or HDD is easier than transferring from SD to SD, given that I only have the one card reader. I'd have to store the files to back up to the secondary SD card somewhere as I swap out the cards.

Organization can be a thing too, particularly when dealing with video -- if you're dealing with lots of lower capacity SD cards, you're storing that data on folders within potential large collection of removable media pieces. That gets harder to keep track of than having it on one larger storage device.



I mean, that's the crux of it. If I had unlimited money, maybe buying several high capacity SD cards and a spare card reader for the transfer issue would be more efficient (and certainly would weigh less), but that's not option for me.




You've said something along this lines a couple times now, and it's got me wondering if we're both a little confused. It sounds like you're saying you don't believe non-flash-based storage exists anymore? That's definitely not true -- there are tons of non flash drives available on the market still (the price of a 1TB SDD will buy you a 3TB portable HDD, for instance... not that that's something i'm considering for the road), though, as I said, I'm cautious to go for them because they're more susceptible to shock damage than flash solutions. My riding buddy has a LaCie that he's thinking of buying, but, like I said, i'm hesitant about it, which is why I started this thread. Maybe they're more resilient than I think, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to risk it without more data. I'm probably reading that statement wrong, though? I think you excluded those options for the same reasons I just listed.



I haven't said I've been planning to use HDDs. I've only said I don't want to use just SD cards.

Speaking of, though..



This is the answer I was looking for. Thanks! That's exactly what I'm concerned about, but didn't know how likely it was.
Yes, you guessed correctly. I wouldn't consider a traditional drive at all for this. Same reason I switched to mirrorless cameras. Vibration just kills the physical mechanisms much faster.

The problem with flash drives is the vast majority of utter garbage on the market. DO seek a confluence of opinions if you insist on going with a bigger drive to reduce costs, as a lot of those bigger drives are just USB drives glued into a plastic case with some scrap metal for weight.

My storage solution is to tote around my Macbook Air with flash storage. I filled it (500 GB)... so I need more storage soon.

After something close to 7-8,000 miles of time on the bike, this laptop (using it now, as always) is still perfect. None of my regular laptops survived 3+ years of this kind of abuse. It looks a little war-torn, but it works!
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Old 03-16-16, 08:29 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I think it's worth noting by the way, that an SSD card is a flash storage drive. Just because it's a smaller size does not mean it's inherently different.



Bigger is not always better. Here's a made-in-china 500GB flash drive opened up:

Man, that sloppy gluing job would really piss me off.
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Old 03-16-16, 09:03 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
Same reason I switched to mirrorless cameras. Vibration just kills the physical mechanisms much faster.
Just quoting this because I'm jealous of a good mirrorless camera. Next camera upgrade.

The problem with flash drives is the vast majority of utter garbage on the market.
Yeah, I typically only buy from sellers and brands I already know and trust when it comes to storage. I've seen enough scam drives to be cautious.

My storage solution is to tote around my Macbook Air with flash storage. I filled it (500 GB)... so I need more storage soon.

After something close to 7-8,000 miles of time on the bike, this laptop (using it now, as always) is still perfect. None of my regular laptops survived 3+ years of this kind of abuse. It looks a little war-torn, but it works!
I miss the MacBook Air my old job provided. I prefer Windows / Android in terms of operating systems, but despite (or probably, because of) the Air's underwhelming resolution, itt kills in battery life. Great machine for anyone away from a desk, and I'm not surprised to hear it works great on a tour. My riding partner is probably bringing one, but I can't afford an upgrade, so I'll be using my funky tablet instead (and probably his air as often as he'll let me)
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Old 03-16-16, 09:04 PM
  #33  
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Yeah, my macbook air 11-inch is the bomb. When it dies, I'll buy another one just like it. I have a big monitor I plug it into when using it at home, but it's my only computer. I really love it.
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Old 03-16-16, 09:12 PM
  #34  
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5 MB Hard Drive, circa 1956:


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Old 03-17-16, 08:15 AM
  #35  
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When I suggested SD cards above, I did not mean that the card had to stay in the camera. I meant that you could put the data on other SD cards. I even back up my home computer onto SD cards, my HDD backups are now history.

Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
...
As I said before, a SD-card only trip is not happening. That's a bad choice for redundancy. Everything will remain on the SD card its shot on in addition to being transferred to some sort of backup, with the exception of the gopro which will produce far more footage than I have MicroSD cards for. I appreciate the opinion, but I'm not willing to limit myself to one media.
Ok, you are going to use a HDD and you only asked because, ... ... ... not sure why you asked. Sorry I tried to help, I thought you were serious about asking for other options.
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Old 03-17-16, 10:19 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

Ok, you are going to use a HDD and....
Please read the thread. HDD are not the only option on the table, and I never once in this thread said "I'm going to use a HDD." In fact, I've said the opposite several times, and asked folks if they ever had any success with them or, if they are as I suspect, too vulnerable to vibration and shock damage. We've all pretty much universally agreed here that moving-part hard discs are the least reliable choice available.

If you're going to repaint history to make me a strawman, I don't think we can have a conversation. Please go back and read the thread for more information -- I've agreed that HDDs are a bad solution multiple times, I've agreed that SD cards are great multiple times -- but I've also explained that the per-gig cost of high capacity SD cards is double that of buying a SSD and a waterproof enclosure, and that's not something I can afford. I've even admitted in a best case scenerio with unlimited funds, SD-only would be the most lightweight solution by far -- but that's not an option for me. I can't afford that.

Please don't be offended that I can't simply take your suggestion and run with it. It won't work for me -- both because I can't afford it (SD cards are expensive by byte yo) and because I prefer to have redundancy in different formats anyway. That's nothing to fight over.
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Old 03-17-16, 10:32 AM
  #37  
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What I am getting from this thread is that no one has toured recently with a HDD. My advice would be buy a couple of high capacity HDD's, since they are fairly inexpensive, and back up your files to both of them. If you pack them in foam, like when you receive them NIB, they should survive your trip. The likelihood of both failing (or either for that matter) would be negligible, in my opinion.
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Old 03-17-16, 10:36 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mantelclock View Post
What I am getting from this thread is that no one has toured recently with a HDD. My advice would be buy a couple of high capacity HDD's, since they are fairly inexpensive, and back up your files to both of them. If you pack them in foam, like when you receive them NIB, they should survive your trip. The likelihood of both failing (or either for that matter) would be negligible, in my opinion.
I thought about doing that, and it sounds solid in theory, but again, I've been hesitant to try it. Is that what you've done, or are you working on theory as well? (If you have, what kind of drives did you use? I'm assuming smaller and lighter laptop size drives).
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Old 03-17-16, 10:46 AM
  #39  
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As I said no one has toured recently with a HDD, myself included. I'm sure some have toured with a laptop that had a HDD, but that is not the same. So, yes, I am basing my opinion on theory, based on the rarity of DOA's from HDD's shipped. Given your constraints, which you have made clear, are there any other options?
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Old 03-17-16, 10:52 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by mantelclock View Post
As I said no one has toured recently with a HDD, myself included. I'm sure some have toured with a laptop that had a HDD, but that is not the same. So, yes, I am basing my opinion on theory, based on the rarity of DOA's from HDD's shipped. Given your constraints, which you have made clear, are there any other options?
SSDs might be an option. They're definitely more expensive by byte than a hard disc, but there's less risk factor there. SD-cards only are where things get too expensive. My riding partner has more funds available than I do, and he might buy something we can share, but... we also live on different ends of the country, so I might want my own local backup so I don't have to wait for him to upload / send my files after he gets home.
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Old 03-17-16, 11:26 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
SSDs might be an option. They're definitely more expensive by byte than a hard disc
Yes, about twice the price.

I looked up prices on Amazon. Quick and dirty ball park figure gets me, for 256G, 80$ for SD vs 76$ for SSD. Keep in mind that the SSD must be inserted inside a computer or some USB enclosure (20$) vs under $!0 for an SD USB reader. As noted earlier, SD cards have a smaller footprint. They may also fit your camera directly, such that if you fill an SD, you can swap a fresh one and wait until a more appropriate time to do your backup.

SSD and SD (or micro SD @35$ for 128G) are more or less a toss. I'd be inclined to watch prices on microSD, if your camera uses them. If you are lucky enough, you can pop a micro SD in your phone/tablet and use a USB OTG and a card reader to make copies.
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Old 03-17-16, 12:13 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
256G, 80$ for SD vs 76$ for SSD. Keep in mind that the SSD must be inserted inside a computer or some USB enclosure (20$) vs under $!0 for an SD USB reader. As noted earlier, SD cards have a smaller footprint. They may also fit your camera directly, such that if you fill an SD, you can swap a fresh one and wait until a more appropriate time to do your backup.
.
That's weird. I've been comparing 512s (270 for a SD card about 150 for SSD). 256 must have really gone down in price recently.

The $30 MicroSDs i'm seeing are from Patriot, and while that's a brand i've trust, there's more than a few fakes for Patriots floating around Amazon that aren't really at that capacity. Doesn't mean they aren't still a good option, but something to be cautious and aware of while buying. Gotta make sure you have a trustworthy seller, mostly.
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Old 03-17-16, 12:22 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I think it's worth noting by the way, that an SSD card is a flash storage drive. Just because it's a smaller size does not mean it's inherently different.



Bigger is not always better. Here's a made-in-china 500GB flash drive opened up:

That looks like something my boss would have done! He loves hot glue guns sometimes in situations that hot glue guns won't actually work for!
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Old 03-17-16, 01:08 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
256 must have really gone down in price recently.
they have. 256 seems to be the sweet spot for SD. (and nothing larger that 128 for microSD)

Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
[T]here's more than a few fakes
true. but fakes usually have lots of 1 star reviews. this one (256G @ 80$ on sale) is 77% 5 stars vs 9% 1 star. several other SD are priced at under 100$ and have even better reviews.
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Old 03-17-16, 02:08 PM
  #45  
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1st off I know nothing about digital photography or storage. Several people here seem to know quire a bit. You don't like their opinion. Just maybe you are in the wrong forum. I would think there's a photography forum, particularly an outdoor adventure photography forum. What have they told you?
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Old 03-17-16, 02:34 PM
  #46  
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Another question for you folks. I bought a Nikon coolpix aw120, along with some SD cards. I'll spend some time with it and the owners manual. Any opinions or suggestions?
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Old 03-17-16, 03:40 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by seaniccus View Post
Hey 'yall -- I'm leaving soon on a 6-8 week tour, and I'm worried about photo storage -- i take a lot of pictures and want to shoot raw for this trip if possible, and between the large photos and the gopro video, I'm a little worried about storage.

What are your experiences with HDD and photo storage on long bike tours? Does the bumpy road tend to damage disc drives (my biggest concern)? What kind of recommendations do you have?

Edit: I'm not asking to be talked out of a hard drive here. SD cards alone will be insufficient for my purposes.
I am not going to talk you out of a HDD here. Pack a laptop. Get a second HDD with USB for redundancy. Hell... it's your photos!

If you want confirmation, go to the Fred Miranda forum and ask there.

Post some pictures of you after they tear you to shreds.
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Old 03-17-16, 07:22 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out what the issue is here. Digital storage is easy and cheap. If you don't want to use SD cards, use something else. I have a Seagate 1TB hard drive that cost $35 or so. I would have no worries about it while touring as long as it stayed dry. You would need a computer to use it.
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