traveling - image backup techniques

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by THO, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. THO

    THO Guest

    I'll be traveling for several weeks and I'm trying to carry as little as
    possible due to some backpacking during part of the trip. During other
    parts of the trip, I'll never have a home base at a single hotel. I'm
    concerned about the possibility of damage or theft of the equipment and
    want to protect my images. I'm curious about two techniques:

    - devices with CD burners and SD slots for transferring images from SD
    cards to CD. I would then mail the CDs home.
    - uploading RAW and JPEG images from an Internet cafe with high-speed
    Internet connections to an online file storage service.

    Does anyone have any recommendations about specific CD burners?

    Can anyone recommend a reliable photo storage service for uploading RAW
    images to?

    Any other suggestions about image backup during travel?

    THO, Feb 19, 2007
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  2. THO

    simon Guest

    For two weeks in peru - I used a Vosonic XS
    Quote from the manufacturer...
    "The VP2260 XS-Drive 2 XL is a portable palm-sized device which allows users
    to transfer photos and digital data from their memory cards to its internal
    Hard disk.
    It contains a high capacity storage 2.5" HDD, internal rechargeable
    batteries, and provides slots to insert any type of memory card in.

    Digital camera users can also save the photos to the built-in card reader
    without PC

    The XS Drive 2 XL is small enough to slip into a shirt pocket but large
    enough to backup. It has a blue backlight LCD panel indicating the
    percentage of transfer done, the capacity on the HD, the type of card
    inserted and capacity used."

    Did everything the blurb said, and it served me well.
    I'd recommend it.
    simon, Feb 19, 2007
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  3. THO

    Nervous Nick Guest

    He is concerned about damage to the equipment/cards and wants to get
    the photos on CD or DVD while on the go, and ship them home as he
    travels. Thus, a portable HD probably isn't what he's looking for,
    but you can easily find something like this:

    If you are thinking about uploading RAW images to a server somewhere,
    you have to consider the immense amount of bandwidth (not to mention
    storage space) that would be required, so I am unsure of whether this
    is really feasible.

    Nervous Nick, Feb 19, 2007
  4. You are a brave man.

    No matter how solid and reliable that device is, it can always be
    stolen, dropped in a river or just plain lost during travel.

    As to the original question, then I'm sorry that I don't have
    experiences with dedicated devices. I tend to bring a laptop.

    Regarding uploading images, I don't consider that feasible. First of
    all, internet cafe with high upstream bandwidth aren't something one
    can rely on finding (this could of course be checked beforehand). But
    even if we're optimistic and assume a solid 2MBit upstream, then a few
    gigabytes of images will still take a couple of hours.

    However, given the cheapness of DVD-burners today, I think it would be
    fairly safe to assume that it would be possible to find internet cafe's
    where DVD's can be burned (in duplicates or triplicates of course), so
    maybe that's the easy solution?
    Toke Eskildsen, Feb 19, 2007
  5. THO

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Personally, I carry a laptop with a CD burner. I have 40 gigs
    of hard drive space to store images and I can burn CDs. I can
    also view and edit all my photos on the road. They do make
    very light, small thin laptops now...

    For the absolute ease, I'd just buy a bunch of 2 Gig SD cards
    and use those. They're cheap now. If you find after you get
    back that you have more SD cards than you need, just sell them.
    You'll take a bit of a loss, but it will save you dragging burners
    and other equipment around with you.

    Depending on which country you are in, many places offer memory
    card to CD burning services. I had no trouble finding places to
    do this when I was in New Zealand.

    You can then take the CD's to internet cafe's and send the images
    where ever you want.
    Jim Townsend, Feb 19, 2007
  6. THO

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, THO exclaimed (20-Feb-07 2:43 AM):
    I carry an ultraportable notebook that has built in CF and SD slots
    (Fujitsu 1510D). The laptop itself weighs around a kilo, and is smaller
    than a piece of paper when closed. Only disadvantage is no CD drive,
    but Fujitsu does sell slightly larger versions that have optical drives.
    I recommend the brand ( - I've two here, and
    they've done me great service.

    With my setup, if I wanted to mail stuff home, I'd buy a bunch of CF
    cards (I think they're still cheaper than SD cards) and copy the data to
    them for shipping. They take up less room than CDs, and once you get
    home you can wipe 'em and use them again for the next trip.

    jmc, Feb 19, 2007
  7. THO

    Paul Rubin Guest

    I don't see how to back them up without a computer, though a palmtop
    might be eough of a computer. It would be great if more cameras were
    made with two card slots and the ability to record each image on both
    cards simultaneously, in RAID-like fashion. Then you'd just mail home
    a backup card every week or two. They are small and easy to mail.
    Paul Rubin, Feb 19, 2007
  8. He is not talking about "back-up". Take the picts, remove any picts you
    do not want using the cameras software. When the card is full, put in
    another and start over again. That way all you are carrying is several
    SD cards and you can mail them home if you are in a country with
    dependable postal service or use one of the delivery companies like Fed
    Ockham's Razor, Feb 19, 2007
  9. THO

    AustinMN Guest

    Ockham's Razor accidentally blurted out:
    I see. That's why the subject includes "image backup techniques"

    AustinMN, Feb 19, 2007
  10. THO

    Alfred Molon Guest

    As others have suggested, the only feasible option, especially if you
    are planning to shoot RAW (and therefore generate huge amounts of data),
    is a small notebook computer with a CD or (better) DVD burner. Forget
    about uploading gigabytes of images through Internet cafes and portable
    HDD devices are not safe enough (HDD might crash or the device might be
    stolen or break).
    Alfred Molon, Feb 19, 2007
  11. THO

    Jim Townsend Guest

    If you look back, you'll see I also said in my reply to look for places
    that will burn SD cards onto CD. (DVD would be better). That will
    provide a backup. He'll then have the images on CDs and SD cards.

    It's a bit more work finding places to burn the cards to CD, but
    it's less 'stuff' to carry. He wanted to travel light.
    Jim Townsend, Feb 20, 2007
  12. THO

    ray Guest

    With the decreasing price of flash memory cards, I'd strongly suggest you
    look at purchasing enough cards to store all your images on. Full the
    cards and either mail them home or store them in a safe place in your
    luggage. Do you have an estimate of number of photos and storage size
    ray, Feb 20, 2007
  13. THO

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, Jim Townsend exclaimed (20-Feb-07 12:27 PM):
    I don't know where he's traveling to, but in the places around the world
    I've been (mostly civilized), most photo stores have the ability to burn
    photos to CD or DVD from most common flash card types.

    jmc, Feb 20, 2007
  14. THO

    Bob Willard Guest

    If you are mailing CD/DVDs, you should assume that one may get mangled
    in transit. I do some domestic mailings, with CD/DVDs in (slim or fat)
    jewel cases packed in padded mailers, and I sometimes need to re-burn
    and re-mail because the CD/DVD was cracked, or the jewel case cracked
    enough to score the CD/DVD. Not a frequent problem, certainly <10%, but
    I would not count on the USPS for my one-and-only copy; and, I'd never
    count on international mail.
    Bob Willard, Feb 20, 2007
  15. THO

    Nervous Nick Guest

    That's a *really* good point about damage in transit, expecially vis-a-
    vis the jewel cases.. I have worked for many years in medical
    research, and from the word go (i.e., when we "went digital"), when I
    had to send out CDs of various data (before it was feasible to
    transmit electronically), I have refused to ship the CDs in jewel
    cases. A few of my colleagues considered it tacky to ship CDs in
    plain paper CD window envelopes rather than plastic cases, but when I
    explained to them that a CD itself is much less likely to get damaged
    in shipping than the actual jewel case, they all agreed. If the jewel
    case shatters it will inevitably scratch the CD. In short, then, I
    would advise that, if you must ship your CDs/DVDs via mail, NEVER ship
    them in plastic containers. So this is a factor you might consider
    when shipping your image media back home.

    <kind of off-topic, so maybe ignore>

    Regarding shipping via international mail:

    In 1990 I spent several months as a photojournalist freelancer in
    Northern Ireland, and before I left Chicago for Belfast I had bought
    about fifty rolls of discounted, backdated foreign Kodachrome
    Professional film (25, 64, and 200) with prepaid processing mailers
    (yes, the film performed fine). As I used up the rolls I sent them
    back to the Kodak processing facility in Findlay, Ohio, with my return
    address in the States. My concern was that I knew I was being
    monitored by various parties there, and was afraid of my film being
    confiscated (i.e., by the RUC, customs, British Army, etc.).
    Fortunately I needn't have worried, but I was going by the Boy Scout

    I think 111 E. Main Cross was the Findlay, Ohio address for the Kodak
    processing facility; I used it so much that I still remember it now,
    seventeen years later! Anyway, I had no problems with the shipping,
    and received every developed roll at my home when I returned, despite
    the atrocious reputation of the USPS at the time. But, and this is a
    big but (pardon the expression): I WAS VERY LUCKY. I will trust the
    USPS as far as I can throw it, and although I am in good enough shape,
    that is not very far.

    Nervous Nick, Feb 20, 2007
  16. THO

    Paul Rubin Guest

    I've been using cardboard self-sealing envelopes made specifically for
    cd's. They're cheap and very convenient (you can get them from or on ebay), and you can cram up to three cd's in them.
    They seem to me to protect the cd pretty well. I do put the cd's in
    paper cd envelopes inside the mailer.
    The USPS doesn't flat-out lose stuff all that often, though it can
    sometimes be slow.
    Paul Rubin, Feb 20, 2007
  17. THO

    THO Guest

    No, I wish I could estimate. The last time I did a trip like this it was
    with film.
    THO, Feb 20, 2007
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