External storage (no, not the shed out back)

wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
edited February 25, 2004 in Accessories
So here's my thing. When I shoot, I shoot a lot. Like way, way too much. And I hate throwing any of it away. You never know, etc.

Take the above as a given. Ain't gonna change. Immutable.

So. I see myself as having four storage options.

First, the hard drive of my computer. Pros are quick access, easy access, one download and done. Cons are drive failure; that I'll eventually fill-up that sucker, then we're back to square one; and I'm not crazy about filling-up that sucker.

Second, a CD burner. Pros are unlimited storage and a proven format. Cons are PIA because each disk holds so little, will have to break shoots into batches, and messy storage - lotsa disks clutter.

Third, external hard drive. Pros are easy storage, easy access, small footprint, huge capacity. Cons are drive failure, and it will get full someday.

Fourth, DVD burner. Pros are large capacity per disk, unlimited storage, format sorta a known quantity. Cons are unknown lifespan of disks, clutter, one more step between me and my shots, delay while writing to disk.

Which option would you choose? Do you even care which I chose?
Sid.
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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Comments

  • toolmantoolman Registered Users Posts: 13 Big grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    Well, it seems like they are so important to you, that you might want to opt for couple.

    My dad is attorney (in Yugoslavia) and he is anal about keeping all the documents, kinda like you and your pictures. So he has same copies, on hard drive, floppy disks, cd's and of cours paper. He is happy with 4 back-ups.

    The question is how many backups does make you happy? :)

    If I had to chose just one I'd go with DVD's. you'll be able to orgainze them well, and there is no storage limir, exept or the size of your basement/garage.

    good luck.
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    Oooh, you're good. But I'm not giving away my secret just yet. beer.gif
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Oooh, you're good. But I'm not giving away my secret just yet. beer.gif

    I just went through this over the past 24 hours. I stuff all my photos on my internal drive, and then I bought an external USB2.0 drive that I use for backup. Easy and fast. Optical disks are slow and cumbersome.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    Are you worried about HD failure? I'm guessing you don't shoot in enough volume to worry about using up the storage space.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Are you worried about HD failure? I'm guessing you don't shoot in enough volume to worry about using up the storage space.

    Sure I'm worried about HD failure, which is why I bough an external drive. I'm using it exclusively for backing up my 60gb internal. When the internal fills up, I'll add another one, and add another external to back it up.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • gusgus Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    Man i must be from another planet.....i pay Baldy to keep 'em nice & safe.
  • dakar92dakar92 Registered Users Posts: 29 Big grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    I've started following Scott Kelby's suggestion in his Photoshop Elements for Digital Photographers book. He suggests, before doing anything to your photos, you copy them to a CD. Then you treat these as your negatives. He then walks you through how to make a contact sheet to slip into the cover of the CD. I've just started doing it, but I think I like it. It only takes a few minutes to copy, the disks cost $0.40 each or less, and you have a stable backup.

    Right now, I'm also saving my better photos in the original form to the internal hard drive and I save the changes (cropping, sharpening, etc.) I make to photos as a separate file.

    I only use a 512 MB compact flash card, so it is no problem filling up the card and dumping the whole card to a CD. If I used a larger card, perhaps this method would be cumbersome.
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 16, 2004
    I like Kelby's suggestion, and I hadn't thought about printing a contact sheet. The thing with a CD or DVD is that using them involves one more step than the ease of a hard drive - you have to organize the disks and insert them to get at your shots. But they're probably the best long term storage solution..
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,694 moderator
    edited February 16, 2004
    dakar92 wrote:
    I've started following Scott Kelby's suggestion in his Photoshop Elements for Digital Photographers book. He suggests, before doing anything to your photos, you copy them to a CD. Then you treat these as your negatives. He then walks you through how to make a contact sheet to slip into the cover of the CD. I've just started doing it, but I think I like it. It only takes a few minutes to copy, the disks cost $0.40 each or less, and you have a stable backup.

    Right now, I'm also saving my better photos in the original form to the internal hard drive and I save the changes (cropping, sharpening, etc.) I make to photos as a separate file.

    I only use a 512 MB compact flash card, so it is no problem filling up the card and dumping the whole card to a CD. If I used a larger card, perhaps this method would be cumbersome.
    I do this too just - like Kelby suggested - but now i am getting a cabinet full of CD-Rs - I thought digital storage would be more compact than film - just bits, right - Wrong - I can see that storage of originals - while important - is going to take up a closet full of space .... And when you go to RAW the problem just gets worse - now 512Mb is not enough - you start to use bigger CF and now it takes 2 CD's Wicked.gif

    Just like I thought digital photography would be cheaper than film - no film or processing to buy - WRONG BIG time - I spend far more on my photo habit now for digital stuff than I ever did for film. But then I never bought many 11 x 14 inch prints and I print my own now.......

    But my images are better and continue to improve - I think - so welcome to the brave new world!!lickout.gif

    As for archival storage - I think it needs to be off site in addition to on CD-R- that is not in your dwelling - like Smugmug - We don't ( most of us anyway) store our cash under a mattress anymore but in a bank - that is where we will ultimately store our data as well - in a digital bank.

    I opened my Smugmug account after a simulatneous double hard disc failure - I saved most of my data - but that convinced me that I needed off site storage also.....
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,898 moderator
    edited February 17, 2004
    Fish, what's with this 60GB thing? I figured you'd be more like me and
    insist on something in the neighborhood of 300G...

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    Well, I know the suspense has been killing you. Here's my solution.

    1/ I bought a reconditioned Sony DVD burner. External, USB2. That's for long term storage. When I'm ready, I'll burn the entire shoot to a disk.

    2/ I got a 40 GB external hard drive, also USB 2. I'll use this as the way station. When the camera comes comes, the card(s) get dumped to the HD immediately. This frees the cards, lets me work on the images for a while, and then burn them to DVD.

    Next up, finding a good DVD album. The B&H catalogue has a couple of options.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    ian408 wrote:
    Fish, what's with this 60GB thing? I figured you'd be more like me and
    insist on something in the neighborhood of 300G...

    Ian
    my box is 18 months old. I'll add another bigger internal one of these days.

    cd's are fine, but a) they aren't all that robust (easy to scratch, easy to break, and they rot); b) they are a frickin' hassle to store and access; c) drives are way way faster than CDs; and d) a 250gb hard drive will hold the equivalent of 350 CDs (or 50 DVDs). Which would you rather have? Instant access or "where the hell did disc #49 go?" Sure hard drives fail. So buy two and rotate backups.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    Why not DVD's for a permanent storage solution?
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Why not DVD's for a permanent storage solution?
    no reason, other than once they're out of your computer, it'll be a hassle to access the images. obviously a lot of people us them. but with the price of fast, durable persistant storage at about a dollar per gig, there's no reason not to use it...in a redundant way. if you want to get slick about it, set up a full RAID strategy. but optical blows for access and speed.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • gusgus Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    Someone is going to have to answer me or i'll chuck a tantrum.....why not use your smugmug account ?
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    Humgussirtoymsd, it's because in a shoot I can easily fill a 256 card, come close to filling a 512 card. That's a ton of shots. Way too much to dump into smugmug.

    Most of it is garbage, but it's my garbage, and I want to keep it. I never know when I might want to go back, make a better version of a shot, or discover a way to rescue something I had thought was unusuable.

    What I post on smugmug is what I'm ready for the world to see: final, processed shots that are the best I can do at the time.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • kometkomet Registered Users Posts: 117 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    fish wrote:
    no reason, other than once they're out of your computer, it'll be a hassle to access the images. obviously a lot of people us them. but with the price of fast, durable persistant storage at about a dollar per gig, there's no reason not to use it...in a redundant way. if you want to get slick about it, set up a full RAID strategy. but optical blows for access and speed.
    Give us some examples of an external HD source. Pretty please?
    komet gives light so that you may find the way.
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    This is the one I was going to buy, before changing my strategy. The pic is a link.


    B00008MOPY.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    This is the one I was going to buy, before changing my strategy. The pic is a link.
    That's a good one, and you can get them from about 40gb up to about 250mb (expect to pay a premium for the big/fast ones).
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • kometkomet Registered Users Posts: 117 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    fish wrote:
    That's a good one, and you can get them from about 40gb up to about 250mb (expect to pay a premium for the big/fast ones).
    Good info...I have a CD Burner and A DVD player on my Sony...had thought about a DVD burner...but the external toy may be the ticket.
    komet gives light so that you may find the way.
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    a nice feature of the USB ext. drives is that you can just unplug it (hot swap) and put it in your safe, replacing it with another one. no discs, no jewel cases, no shoeboxes.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    No shoe box, no jewel cases, and room for contact sheets for easy reference. Up to 30 pages, 120 GB. mwink.gif

    240403.jpg
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • kometkomet Registered Users Posts: 117 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    fish wrote:
    a nice feature of the USB ext. drives is that you can just unplug it (hot swap) and put it in your safe, replacing it with another one. no discs, no jewel cases, no shoeboxes.
    Is it P&P or do you need software? Let's say I had a computer at work/home/friends etc. TIA.
    komet gives light so that you may find the way.
  • fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    komet wrote:
    Is it P&P or do you need software? Let's say I had a computer at work/home/friends etc. TIA.
    as long as the pc is USB 2.0 enabled, it's plug & play (hot-swap, actually). You plug in the cable, computer sees the drive and boom...ready to go.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 17, 2004
    Should just show up as another drive in "My Computer" - D, E, F, whatever, depending upon how many other external devices you have.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited February 17, 2004
    Humungus wrote:
    Man i must be from another planet.....i pay Baldy to keep 'em nice & safe.
    I was just gonna say... Unlimited storage space. Go for it!

    I'd agree with fish too. USB2.0 external hard drives are great. Spend a little more on a good one like a Maxtor and since its not running an OS like your internal drive, likelihood of failure is much much lower.
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


  • patch29patch29 Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 2,928 Major grins
    edited February 20, 2004
    I do several things. The first thing I do before I open or convert any files is to burn them to a DVD. I use the DVD's in the thin cases so they do not take up too much room. I also have about 300GB of external HD space for storage that I keep current jobs on. Quick shots I burn to CD and store them in Tyvek sleeves to cut down on space. If I need archival quality I use Mitsui Gold CD-r's they are supposed to be the most archival. I continue to add HD space as needed. I do not upload all my files to smugmug simply because it would take so long to upload GB's of data, plus most of the files are RAW so they would not be very compatible.
  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 24, 2004
    Kids, if you're thinking about buying an external hard drive, there's a great price to be had on buy.com.

    They have the highly rated Maxtor 120BG drive for sale for $140 after a rebate. That's a great price. I just got the 40GB Maxtor, and it's dead silent, can't hear a thing.


    Link

    10352856.jpg
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited February 24, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Kids, if you're thinking about buying an external hard drive, there's a great price to be had on buy.com.

    They have the highly rated Maxtor 120BG drive for sale for $140 after a rebate. That's a great price. I just got the 40GB Maxtor, and it's dead silent, can't hear a thing.


    Link
    Damn, who needs pricewatch.com when we have waxy! :D

    Now if only waxy would send me some money too, I'd be all set. Why do you tempt me so! I'm barely making ends meet this semester and I this close to buying that hard drive. Damn RAW files!!!
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


  • wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 24, 2004
    Hey, I want it and I don't even need it!
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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