Traveling to Europe - Laptop vs External 80 GB Hard drive

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by zxcvbnm2bg, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. zxcvbnm2bg

    zxcvbnm2bg Guest

    Greetings! My family will be traveling to Europe from USA. We shall
    travel to various parts of England, Paris and Rome for five weeks in
    May and June 2006. I am hoping to take about 1500 pictures. I am taking
    enough memory cards to take the pictures. I shall not erase the
    pictures from the card till I come back to USA. For a second backup, I
    can use laptop or an external hard drive. Laptop is convenient but it
    will add extra weight. External hard drive weighs much less. What you
    will use? With thanks.
    zxcvbnm2bg, Mar 17, 2006
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  2. I believe that in the UK they now have thing called writable CDs. You
    may find these are available at Internet cafes..Otherwise, I'd use an Image Tank type device or even an MP3 player that
    acts as a USB host.

    Tony Gartshore, Mar 17, 2006
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  3. zxcvbnm2bg

    Jim Townsend Guest

    I find a laptop is the ultimate travel/storage device.

    Unlike dumb image tanks, you have a laptop.. It's a productive tool.

    You can keep a diary, edit images, burn important ones to CD and mail
    them home or to friends and family.

    If you can find a wifi hot spot, you can connect to the internet and
    email friends and family. (My ISP provides a 1-800 number that lets me
    access the net through any phone in North America).

    You can listen to music or watch movies when you're flying or just
    play freecell or solitaire to pass the time.

    If you rent a car, you can use a cheap GPS unit, a cable and GPS
    software to track your trip through strange neighborhoods.

    I bought a laptop to store photos, and I've found it's one of the best
    investments I've made. They're running under $800 US now and are at
    least 1000 times more versatile than any dumb storage unit.
    Jim Townsend, Mar 17, 2006
  4. zxcvbnm2bg

    Scott W Guest

    We have the same issue coming up, my wife and I will be taking a cruise
    to Alaska this year.

    For sure we are taking an external drive maybe two. The extern drive
    is a no brainer in that it weight 8 oz for 80 GB of storage. What we
    have not decided on is whether to take the laptop, figure at least 7

    Scott W, Mar 17, 2006
  5. zxcvbnm2bg

    optxx Guest

    Greetings to you, too!

    You'll get lots of replies, no doubt. And the answer is: there is no
    answer. It is entirely a matter of personal preference.

    Here's what we do. Wireless is rampant throughout Europe. Therefore, we
    carry on an annual trip to Paris and beyond a laptop that is equipped
    with an 802.11g adaptor. We have found numerous "hotspots" in Paris,
    Rome, Florence, Prague, Vienna, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tuscany,
    Provence, etc. where it is possible to log on for brief excursions on
    the internet. Although there are many that are encrypted and entry is
    blocked, there are many more that are open. There is no high speed
    internet connections in either of the two apartments in Paris (4th Arr.
    and 7th Arr.) where we stay, but, nevertheless, we can choose among two
    or three hotspots without ever venturing out. Many, many hotels are
    networked for wireless and will authorize access by guests. .

    (This will start and argument -- My home network is not encrypted and
    we have no objection to sharing a little bandwidth with someone
    carrying a PDA who needs an email check. Nobody has parked out front
    for lengthy browsing.)

    Last year we left our six-pound Dell laptop home and purchased for $400
    a used 20-gig Nec Versa tablet, weighing in at two pounds just for this
    purpose. We equipped it with Google's free editor/organizer, Picasa
    (, and a few minimal web clients.

    With this kind of setup, when resting tired feet or hiding from bad
    weather you can use the portable to detect the "keepers" and edit out
    from your acculated images the blinks, the shakes, the unders and the
    overs. Employing a couple of free two-gig email accounts (gmail,
    hotmail, etc.) one can backup the most precious shots in addition to
    storing them on the HD or on memory cards. We carry a couple of USB
    flash drives. BTW. Don't check through either a camera or a laptop.
    They're tops on the pilfer list.

    Finally, we carry two Canon digital cameras. One is a tiny 4mp model
    for snapshots that fits in a breast pocket and the other is a G5 for
    serious work. We would not want to lug around an SLR and lenses. That's
    for the pros.

    The G5 was used at Monet's lily pond.
    The little S410 took six frames at Ile St. Louis that were stitched
    optxx, Mar 17, 2006
  6. Personal choice:
    Epson P-2000 (bigger 80GB model P-4000 also available).

    You can use this as a handy way to show your photos along the route,
    should you wish. Enjoy your trip!

    David J Taylor, Mar 17, 2006
  7. zxcvbnm2bg

    Bill Hilton Guest

    zxcvbnm2bg writes ...
    We almost always take a laptop with one or two external drives for
    backup (usually just one but on a long trip we take two since the
    laptop has a small HD). A couple of times when it wasn't feasible to
    take the laptop (camping in Alaska in rain after flying in as an
    example) I just took the externals but I missed having the laptop to
    review images. Now that we have an Epson P-4000 I think it won't be so
    bad since it has a decent screen for review, but whenever possible we
    take the laptop too.
    You clearly know the trade-offs ... so the Q becomes how badly do you
    want to review your images during the trip?

    Bill Hilton, Mar 18, 2006
  8. I would (and have) stopped at internet cafes to download to CD's. Cheap
    and far lighter than a laptop. I might add that it is easy to mail the CD's
    back home as you so you will still have photos if your luggage goes by by.
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 18, 2006
  9. zxcvbnm2bg

    babalooixnay Guest

    If you have a later model iPod there is a thirty dollar adaptor
    available that will do what you need. Download speeds are slow, 1Gig
    about 35 minutes and battery usage is high, for me 2 Gigs will just
    about do in the battery on a 60 gig iPod, but the system works well
    when you're in a hotel every night to recharge. I can get nearly
    four hundred raw shots a day with that system, 260 on the iPod and
    another 130 on the camera's card before recharging. Plus you won't
    have to listen to elevator music on the 7 hours+ flight. Ipod to
    laptop download is full USB 2.0 speed, about 5 minutes/gig. 10 gigs of
    space should give you 1500 raws easy.
    babalooixnay, Mar 18, 2006
  10. zxcvbnm2bg

    Don Guest

    Love the shot

    Don, Mar 18, 2006
  11. zxcvbnm2bg

    Matt Ion Guest

    You can't read your email and surf pr0n on just a hard drive... :)

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    Matt Ion, Mar 18, 2006
  12. zxcvbnm2bg

    James Beck Guest

    If you do decide to take a laptop be certain to place it in your carry
    on luggage. I had a laptop with over 800 pictures stolen out of my
    suitcase at either the airport in Buenos Aires or Dulles.
    James Beck, Mar 18, 2006
  13. zxcvbnm2bg

    Matt Ion Guest

    Probably Dulles - the highest concentration of thieves in the US is in DC.

    avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
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    Matt Ion, Mar 19, 2006
  14. zxcvbnm2bg

    MrB Guest

    Here is my recent experience. We traveled to Austalia from the US. I took my
    large laptop (Dell Inspiron 9300) and my Nikon D70 in a backpack designed
    for them. It was a heavy package. My wife and I enjoyed viewing our photos
    in the hotel at night and it provided a nice backup of the CF cardsl. The
    only trouble I had was on the return trip to the US, Qantas said my carryon
    was too heavy. I removed the camera and a lens to get through the screening.
    I also used the laptop to write a log of our trip. I would not have done
    this had I not had the laptop. I worried a bit about security when we
    arrived too early to check in to our hotel and left the backpack with the
    bell captain, but I got over it. I would probably take the laptop again.
    MrB, Mar 19, 2006
  15. zxcvbnm2bg

    MrB Guest

    I like it better than Monet's painting by a long shot.
    MrB, Mar 19, 2006
  16. zxcvbnm2bg

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Any comments on the durability of the device? I'm a bit
    concerned about crashing the drive due to bumps while

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Mar 19, 2006
  17. zxcvbnm2bg

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Likely would have been stolen even without any pictures on it...


    ----- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Mar 19, 2006
  18. zxcvbnm2bg

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Must be our fantastic airport security at work.

    ----- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Mar 19, 2006
  19. Any comments on the durability of the device? I'm a bit
    concerned about crashing the drive due to bumps while

    At $499?

    I'm headed for Europe in 6 weeks with my 60GB iPod (which has about 30GB
    spare) plus a Belkin Camera connector. The modern equivalent is about
    Dibley Fanshaw, Mar 20, 2006
  20. zxcvbnm2bg

    Bill Hilton Guest

    David J Taylor writes ...
    We took a P-4000 to Tanzania for 15 days and spent most of the trip on
    dusty, bumpy roads near the Serengeti and had zero problems with it.
    The screws on a Wimberley tripod head vibrated out but the Epson was
    Why? There are fewer things to break than on a laptop.
    Bill Hilton, Mar 20, 2006
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