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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Travel? - handling massive amount of photos?
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09/10/2021 03:23:15 PM · #1
So I'm planning a trip in November, and with the new camera, I'll only have 2 of my fast cards (the regular SD cards can't handle the speed very well, and the 160gb cards are $400 a piece. So I'll only have two cards for the whole trip.

So I'll need to download every night and possibly in the middle of the day. It's not always possible to hookup the laptop and an external drive and do the download.

I've seen some people talking about drives where you don't need a laptop (or tablet, etc) that can just copy directly.

Has anyone played with these? Some have their own SD slot -- but the fast cards are cfexpress type a cards, so that wouldn't work. But do they have USB or USB-c connections to work? How do you know that the backup was successful?

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
09/10/2021 04:07:28 PM · #2
When you say "massive amount," how many GB per day are we talking?
09/10/2021 04:57:13 PM · #3
I usually I have 6 128GB SD Cards and I have them numbered so that I don't use it once it is filled up. Yes in my case each RAW file is 61GB so I will have about 2000 photographs per SD cards so I am good to have 12000 photographs.
09/10/2021 05:43:02 PM · #4
Originally posted by pgirish007:

I usually I have 6 128GB SD Cards and I have them numbered so that I don't use it once it is filled up. Yes in my case each RAW file is 61GB so I will have about 2000 photographs per SD cards so I am good to have 12000 photographs.


That's what I used to do -- but the 128 gb cards don't work well with the new camera (too slow). Buying 6 of the new cards would cost $1200 which is not feasible.

So I really need to download it on to something.
09/10/2021 05:45:01 PM · #5
Originally posted by kirbic:

When you say "massive amount," how many GB per day are we talking?


I'm shooting wildlife, and my camera is 50mp, so I'm guessing that I'll shoot at least 500mb/day?
09/10/2021 05:49:40 PM · #6
I am using this and the performance is really good, I have not seen any latency even if I am going in multi-shot mode.

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by pgirish007:

I usually I have 6 128GB SD Cards and I have them numbered so that I don't use it once it is filled up. Yes in my case each RAW file is 61GB so I will have about 2000 photographs per SD cards so I am good to have 12000 photographs.


That's what I used to do -- but the 128 gb cards don't work well with the new camera (too slow). Buying 6 of the new cards would cost $1200 which is not feasible.

So I really need to download it on to something.
09/10/2021 06:06:42 PM · #7
At 50 MPx, your file size likely runs above 50 MB per RAW image, so you will be getting only about 20 images per GB. It does add up fast. If you are only shooting a couple hundred images per day, you are talking north of 10 GB per day. You really want to be transferring that much data over USB 3.X, not 2.X, and the most convenient process would be to use a USB card reader, transfer to a laptop hard drive, then back up to an external in a separate operation.
There is one problem with this workflow, and that is this: once you reformat your card for re-use, your images will be in one place (the laptop hard drive) until you transfer/backup to an external. That is a risk that you may have to incur unless you are willing to invest in enough card storage to avoid immediate reformatting.
09/10/2021 06:12:54 PM · #8
Originally posted by pgirish007:

I am using this and the performance is really good, I have not seen any latency even if I am going in multi-shot mode.

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by pgirish007:

I usually I have 6 128GB SD Cards and I have them numbered so that I don't use it once it is filled up. Yes in my case each RAW file is 61GB so I will have about 2000 photographs per SD cards so I am good to have 12000 photographs.


That's what I used to do -- but the 128 gb cards don't work well with the new camera (too slow). Buying 6 of the new cards would cost $1200 which is not feasible.

So I really need to download it on to something.


That's the type of card I used to use. But the Sony A1 now does 30fps, so my old cards end up buffering really quickly. The CFexpress type a are 800mbs for a speed, so it's really really nice, no buffering for a long time.

09/10/2021 06:17:13 PM · #9
Originally posted by kirbic:

At 50 MPx, your file size likely runs above 50 MB per RAW image, so you will be getting only about 20 images per GB. It does add up fast. If you are only shooting a couple hundred images per day, you are talking north of 10 GB per day. You really want to be transferring that much data over USB 3.X, not 2.X, and the most convenient process would be to use a USB card reader, transfer to a laptop hard drive, then back up to an external in a separate operation.
There is one problem with this workflow, and that is this: once you reformat your card for re-use, your images will be in one place (the laptop hard drive) until you transfer/backup to an external. That is a risk that you may have to incur unless you are willing to invest in enough card storage to avoid immediate reformatting.


I don't have a laptop that has hard drive space, so I have to copy it directly on to the portable drive. So since the computer was only used to get the files from the card to an external drive, I was intrigued with the idea of these drives that didn't need a laptop.

The other difficulty was that the only laptop to which I have access is a Mac and the files will end up on my PC. The external harddrive that I have that can run both is large (in size). So I'm bringing a lot of big/heavy equipment just to clean off my cards.

It just seemed like there had to be an easier way.

The only other thing I could think of was to copy the fast card on to a slow card each night. But the fast card is 160gb and the slow is 128mp and I'd be afraid that I'd copy it the wrong way and lose what I shot that day. But the camera's dual slots can copy from one card to another.

Hmmm... Looking at ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' pgirish007's card link -- they have a 256 gb, so I could copy the 160gb fast card on to that. It might be worth exploring to see if it can do the copy from different types of cards. That way I wouldn't need the computer or the extra drive.



Message edited by author 2021-09-10 18:21:53.
09/10/2021 06:26:06 PM · #10
I found some earlier threads on "digital wallets" (what you're looking for) but they are over fifteen years old so the items mentioned are probably no longer available.
09/10/2021 06:58:08 PM · #11
Check this out Amazon has 20% off on the card. you will save money :)
09/11/2021 11:41:06 AM · #12
It might be worth asking the question on the Sony Alpha Wildlife Shooters Facebook page. There are a lot of A1 users on there.
09/11/2021 04:30:27 PM · #13
Gnarbox has ruggedized hard drives with SD reader and software built in to backup photos without a laptop. Similar to earlier digital wallets, I suppose, but with pricing demanding a large wallet indeed (link).
09/11/2021 07:20:21 PM · #14
Originally posted by SaraR:

It might be worth asking the question on the Sony Alpha Wildlife Shooters Facebook page. There are a lot of A1 users on there.


I was thinking the same thing.

And gnarbox is the type of thing for which I'm looking, but man it's pricey! (And backordered)
09/14/2021 11:52:22 AM · #15
I recently backed this unit on kickstarter, and works pretty well (so far). It's a high speed .m2 drive and usb hub with fast transfer rates. You can plug the SD card directly into the hub, but it still requires use of a laptop to transfer the files. You can load it with any size .m2 drive you want, so it can have tons of capacity. I assume it's available for general sale now, or you could find something similar.
09/16/2021 01:18:26 PM · #16
Originally posted by EstimatedEyes:

I recently backed this unit on kickstarter, and works pretty well (so far). It's a high speed .m2 drive and usb hub with fast transfer rates. You can plug the SD card directly into the hub, but it still requires use of a laptop to transfer the files. You can load it with any size .m2 drive you want, so it can have tons of capacity. I assume it's available for general sale now, or you could find something similar.


thanks, I'll look into it.
09/16/2021 02:37:11 PM · #17
So Wendy, are you going to tell us what your trip is? Iím intrigued.
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