Monday, June 22, 2009

Manage the gigabytes

I believed few would disagree for today's digital photography, it is measured in gigabyte. Especially when you yake on a trip to place such as Xinjiang, and tempted by endless beautiful landscapes, managing the storage is a challenge.
Me for example, for this 12-days trip, I took the following CF cards:
4 X SanDisk Extreme IV 8G = 32G
3 X SanDisk Extreme III 16G = 48G
4 X SanDisk Extreme III 8G = 32G
4 X SanDisk Extreme III 4G = 16G
2 X SanDisk Extreme III 2G = 4G
1 X Lexar 80X 4G = 4G
Total 136G on CF cards, I put the Extreme IV 8G for my Phase One P45+, only in the afternoon on May 28 at Bayanbulak 巴音布魯克草原 did I almost run out single 8G CF card, this does not say I shoot little, just that I shoot a lot on the Nikons, and more on this later. With the Nikon D3X, I place one Extreme IV 8G on one slot, and Extreme III 16G on another. With Nikon D3, I place Extreme III 8G for both slots. On few occasions, I ran out of memory of the CF cards installed in the camera and have to replace. But overall, I never use more than 1/2 of the gigabytes on CF cards I took for this trip in a single day shoot.
For my Canon G10 and Sigma DP-1, I brought along few SD cards;
2 X SanDisk Extreme III 8G = 16G
3 X Kingston 8G = 24G
1 X SanDisk Ultra II 2G = 2G
I put the Extreme III 8G each in the Canon G10 and Sigma DP-1, never a day I run short of the memory. So overall this gives you idea what's safe if one wants to prepare for their trip.
No, I did not use a common back up device, I use my Apple Macbook Pro as hub and main storage, and always back up to another remote hard-drive thru a Firewire 800.
I have a Sonnet ExpressCard installed on my Macbook Pro to read the SD card, also a moshi card reader for both CF/SD cards. I did it because I can simultaneously off-load 2 SD cards at the same time to save time. Likewise, as my Macbook Pro has both Firewire 400 and 800 ports, I also brought along 2 extra card readers - a 800 speed SanDisk CF card reader (faster means more efficient in portable power to me), and a 400 speed Lexar CF reader, also to simultaneous off-load. After archive all the data of the day, I then back up all the data to a remote hard drive of 500G capacity, thru Firewire 800 port. Then I format the cards to refresh all the useful memory.
My Macbook Pro was installed with a 500G Hitachi hard-drive, I have about 380G free space available before the trip, and when I return home, I off-load all the data to my home drive, a faster and larger archive hard-drive. I like to keep my Macbook Pro with as many free space as possible so I can run my applications more efficiently.
My computer battery power did allow me to do all these task, but not for the processing, all the processing of raw files were post trip.
During the 12-days trip, only when we overnight at a better hotel does allow me to run thru shots made during the trip and further charged up my computer. Most of the night, I can only do simple back up.
A side note for wireless mouse, do it - do not hesitate. Why? It is convenient, and it does not take away precious mobile notebook computer power, also, it frees up USB port.


Anonymous said...

Please tell me where to buy this silver firewire 800 harddisk, I love them.

K said...

It is just the case and the HDD inside is of your own option. I have a couple of these, can't remember the brand, but I have been using the similar case for many years, recommended. And yes, the one I am using now, it got the Firewire 800, and 2 Firewire 400, and 1 USB.