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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Wanted: Portable storage that reads CF cards
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05/10/2006 03:52:10 PM · #1
can you all save me hours and hours of research please!

What is out there that is battery powered, can read a CF card onto it's HD and has 20Gb of space (more is better but costs more).

I want to see if it's worth if over buying more CF cards. I have heard of something called an XDrive? what's that?
05/10/2006 03:57:33 PM · #2
I have the 20Gb X-drive....but if I were buying it today (2 years later) I'd buy the 40Gb or higher since memory is cheaper now. It is handy on long trips. Downloads fairly slowly but "sleeps" on its own if you forget to turn it off. It has no image preview--so you have to trust it. :-) So much has changed with portable storage since I bought mine I think I'd look into something that was a bit faster and had image preview....otherwise, it's a fine workhorse.
05/10/2006 04:05:00 PM · #3
Epson has these little buggers, i have seen alot of photojournelists using these on my recent events that i have shot.
there a little expensive though

//www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=49164278

//www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=61555441

Message edited by author 2006-05-10 16:05:07.
05/10/2006 04:05:44 PM · #4
I've been looking for the same thing and noticed quite a few out there. Ended up buying a laptop. I know it's bigger, but for the $100-150 more I spent I had a DVD, CD burner and a 14" screen to view the images on (plus play movies, etc... on vacation). ;^)

Dell just ran a special a couple weeks ago for a B120 at $399 after rebate.
05/10/2006 05:00:55 PM · #5
I like the Epson P-2000 that TroyMosley linked to.

At a sporting event, I just hang it on my belt. When a card fills up, I put it into the P-2000 and copy it to the hard drive. I can shoot all day long with just two cards (and one extra battery for the P-2000). In fact, one day I shot 12 soccer games, averaging 600 pictures per game, for a total of just over 7200 pictures. This, I think, would have been impossible with the P-2000. The time to leave the field and download to a laptop would have reduced the number of images taken. And the cost to buy enough cards to hold that many images wouldn't have been much different from buying the P-2000!

Plus, the images copy from the P-2000 to the laptop a *lot* faster than they do from the CF cards, so I save time when I get to the computer.
05/10/2006 05:43:22 PM · #6
I bought the Epson P-2000 about a month ago and am pretty happy with it. I can foresee putting it to good use this summer on vacation by allowing me to free up CF cards easily. I have been a bit dissappointed about the slowness in reviewing photos on it, however. It's noticeably slower than reviewing my CF card from within the camera. Still all things considered, I'd buy it again.
05/10/2006 05:47:17 PM · #7
I have a Flashtrax and absolutely love it. If you have two cards (one snapping and one downloading)and one of these, you don't need anything else. Used it on a 10 day trip in New Mexico and anytime I think I will need more than 200 snaps (often). It also connects to a system using USB and downloads faster than a card. You can hook it to your TV and view a slideshow (great with the 46" I have). Holds music too...
05/10/2006 06:45:48 PM · #8
For the sake of review, I'm linking the recent threads here:

Portable Storage
Portable Storage Device
Storage out in the field
Ordering Portable Storage

I'm in the market for one of these myself, but I'm undecided about image review. It would be nice to have, but I shoot RAW (which some support, I question the speed) and it also doubles the price.

The one good thing about most of these is that you can upgrade the HD yourself if need be.
05/10/2006 07:45:09 PM · #9
From the reading i've done on these so far battery life is gonna be an issue. The Flashtrax can transfer 3-6Gb on a charge...2 or 3 2Gb cards in my case. about 20 mins for a 2gb card it says so that is not too bad.

I generally don't have an assistant so this would run unattended in/on the camera bag. in the car is a possibility (solves the batter life issue), but i can't get to the car in a lot of cases but once or twice (wedding to location for shots and then to reception). My big wedding this fall i'll be on the minibus they rented...no chance to plug in.

Hmmm..ones that seem interesting:
Wolverine Flashpac - i like the price, 6Gb on a battery charge though.

PD70x (also here) 2Gb in 4 minutes, 50Gb backup on a charge and uses AA batts so changeing them is easy.

Now to decide what to do...and do it now or wait...
05/10/2006 08:14:19 PM · #10
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

From the reading i've done on these so far battery life is gonna be an issue. The Flashtrax can transfer 3-6Gb on a charge...2 or 3 2Gb cards in my case. about 20 mins for a 2gb card it says so that is not too bad.

[snip...]

Now to decide what to do...and do it now or wait...

Most of these work off 12v to be charged from a car adapter. Simply buy a smaller motorcycle battery and run the adapter off that. Charge the MC battery when you get home with a standard AC to car jumper box.
05/11/2006 12:11:53 AM · #11
I have the Epson P-2000. A few comments:

The screen is PHENOMINAL. Nice if you care about that.

The download speed from CF is HORRIBLE. I counted 15 minutes to download, verify, and erase a full 1GB card.

As Nova said, reviewing photos on it is a bit slow. It doesn't precache the RAW thumbnails, so if you're reviewing in thumbnail mode (9 shots to a screen) it takes 3-4 seconds to load the thumbnails when you switch from one screen to the next. Not horrible, but annoying.

Battery life is not awesome. I can transfer 3-4 1GB cards before the 'low battery' warning kicks off.

All in all, if I knew then what I know now it would be 50/50 if I would buy it again. The incredible screen is the only thing that saves this little box. Perfect for proofing on the sidelines with parents.
05/11/2006 01:07:15 AM · #12
Originally posted by livitup:

The download speed from CF is HORRIBLE. I counted 15 minutes to download, verify, and erase a full 1GB card.


I copy a 1G card in about 5 minutes and a 2G card in about 10.

Maybe the difference is that I don't do a verify? I have never lost anything and hadn't even considered doing a verify (I've easily copied well over 15,000 pictures since I bought it). I also do my formatting in camera rather than via the Epson.

The first time you view images, it is a little slow. But it apparently caches them after first read because flipping back and forth is quicker than loading the next image.

The only real complaint I have is the battery life. I'm getting more like about 6-8G transferred - but again, I'm not doing a verify so I'm not eating up the battery after the copy. I also have a spare battery so I've not really had to worry about battery life.

I would definitely buy again - even at th price I paid (it was $499 when I got it). I don't think I need the newer 80G version though, so I'd stick with the 40G version.
05/11/2006 09:44:07 AM · #13
i have a 40GB ImageTank III thats coming up to being 2 years old now and the battery is in need of replacing..
05/11/2006 09:46:17 AM · #14
You simply can't beat one of these if you have an iPod:

Belkin Reader

Message edited by author 2006-05-11 09:46:51.
05/11/2006 11:35:31 PM · #15
Quick question for those with the Epson... How often do you really use the screen? I'm trying to decide if it's worth the price when I take a vacation later this year. The (much cheaper) Wolverine FlashPac looks like it will do it all, other than view images. Thoughts?
05/11/2006 11:38:48 PM · #16
I'm paranoid about actually losing images so being able to view them after dumping them to the hard drive is great.

Without actually seeing the image I wouldn't trust that it actually downloaded properly.
05/11/2006 11:46:45 PM · #17
I have this one: Giga Vu Pro

Honestly, I haven't used it much yet. I purchased it for when I am doing shoots that fill up my cards and I need to dump them. It is much easier than carting a laptop around.
05/11/2006 11:56:42 PM · #18
i work at an electronics store and we carry this one:

Photo Bank

it is pretty simple. it has a CF/MicroDrive reader that will work for you (as well as SM/xD/SD/MMC) it is cheap b/c there is no viewing screen. there are two buttons ON and COPY i can fill up my memory card and see what transfer times are like and confirm that it works with RAW if you want.
05/12/2006 12:06:57 AM · #19
Originally posted by sacker:

Quick question for those with the Epson... How often do you really use the screen? I'm trying to decide if it's worth the price when I take a vacation later this year. The (much cheaper) Wolverine FlashPac looks like it will do it all, other than view images. Thoughts?


I'll tell you this much ... it's a LOT more fun to "review" your images with friends on a big 640x480 screen than it is to try to show them on your camera's LCD. (and that's still true even with the Canon 5D's big LCD on the back)

We were shooting in Moab last weekened and I would dump my cards to the Epson as we went along. Then, on the drive home, I'd get out the Epson and start looking thru my images right then. I didn't have to wait to get back to the hotel to seem them "up close". :-)

So... do you need it? Definitely not. Is it a luxury that you'll fall in love with? I certainly did.
05/12/2006 12:14:35 AM · #20
What i would like to see is a bluetooth connection from my rebel to my 30gig ipod it dosnt need to be fast just constant and uses flash card as a buffer to hold the images till they can be transfered to my ipod
05/12/2006 12:14:56 AM · #21
I broke down and bought 2 2Gb CF cards. the sandisk ultra 2s are a shade quicker than the Kingston Elite Pros (5mb/s vs 3.5) but at only $64 a piece vs 88 i think i'll live. I have 1 of each and speed tests don't show any significant speed difference in real world usage.

This will bring me up to 9Gb in CF cards - 900 RAW shots. that should be enough. for awhile.
05/12/2006 12:16:37 AM · #22
Originally posted by the3beers:

What i would like to see is a bluetooth connection from my rebel to my 30gig ipod it dosnt need to be fast just constant and uses flash card as a buffer to hold the images till they can be transfered to my ipod


canon has a wirelss adapter - G rated network speed i beleve, but you need a 20D or better to us it. and then the cost...$1000. No clue why it would need to be that much, as their is a USB connector on the camera - ehy not just a $40 USB wireless NIC? Works on my TIVO box like that.
05/12/2006 12:21:39 AM · #23
yes you would think with all the wireless tech out there now adays expecially with the bluetooth cell phone and ect.... they would be less expensive. I have a NIC for my IPAC in flash format and i think that was less than $50 about 2 years ago
05/12/2006 12:24:01 AM · #24
Originally posted by the3beers:

yes you would think with all the wireless tech out there now adays expecially with the bluetooth cell phone and ect.... they would be less expensive. I have a NIC for my IPAC in flash format and i think that was less than $50 about 2 years ago


would that fit inside the cam with the cf cover closed? Hmm...
05/12/2006 12:27:40 AM · #25
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Originally posted by the3beers:

yes you would think with all the wireless tech out there now adays expecially with the bluetooth cell phone and ect.... they would be less expensive. I have a NIC for my IPAC in flash format and i think that was less than $50 about 2 years ago


would that fit inside the cam with the cf cover closed? Hmm...


Close but not quite and then it would just be a bump added to the door but then you need massive firm wear up date to the camera if it could even handle it. im just dreaming but i see it happing and beeing fairly cheap in the next 5 or so years
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