With high-end DSLRs producing 15-25MP images and storage-eating HD videos, those 16GB memory cards that seemed like overkill are filling up fast. What to do? Get portable storage! (Updated for 2009 Holiday Buying Season)
The advent of what seems to be digital everywhere has caused an ever-increasing need for storage—especially portable storage—and the storage industry in all of its incarnations has been happy to meet the challenge. It does not matter if you are using a high-end digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, a helmet cam, or just have a 500GB music collection. You need somewhere to store the data, and hopefully one that is easy to use, reliable and convenient. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of products to meet your storage needs in the Adorama Portable Storage and Data Devices department. Let's take a look at the options currently available.
Storage can come in a variety of removable formats and speeds and there are a few issues that a user should know so that they do not find out too late that the product that they purchased does not meet their needs, or work with the piece of equipment that they bought it to use with.
Portable Photo Storage
There is a class of storage devices that are specifically designed for photo storage. They are distinct in that they have the ability to also display the images, something that a more simple storage device traditionally lacks. They generally support a wide range of photo formats.
A good example of this type of device is the Digital Foci Picture Porter 35 (above; Adorama price: $336.58) a portable image storage and viewing device that has 500GB of storage capacity as well as a 3.5-inch LCD color screen for viewing the images.
The Digital Foci Picture Porter 35 comes with a built-in memory card slot that can accept camera memory cards to transfer the data onto its internal hard drive and supports multiple formats.
The $457.95 Adorama-priced Sanho HyperDrive ColorSpace "O" is another offering in this space. With its 500GB storage capacity it can meet most users portable image needs. You can view your stored images via its 3.2-inch LCD display and it provides up to the second information about the copy process so that you have confidence when it is disconnected.
It has a maximum backup speed of 25MB/s and it supports a total of 11 different card types and a wider variety of image formats from JPEG and RAW to Sony ARW and Samsung DNG.
The $137.95 Wolverine PicPac II 250GB 11-in-1 provides flexibility with a low cost as the 250GB storage device is both Mac and PC compatible and also supports 11 different memory card formats. The device is so light at 8 ounces that it is almost unnoticeable.
At the entry level for removable and portable storage are the flash drives. Sometimes called thumb drives or USB drives these small, low cost devices offer a fair amount of capacity at a nice price and are very easy to use. They attach to a devices’ USB port and can quickly transfer data. A good example of such a device is the 64GB RhinoDrive USB 2.0 Flash Drive (see above) from Delkin. At an Adorama price of only $29.95 it has 64GB of storage capoacity and can transfer data at speeds that reach 34MB/s. It is compatible with Macintosh, Windows and Linux operating systems so it can be shared among devices. There are a range of options in this space that are based on type of USB they support (the higher the number the faster the data transfer), and their capacity being the two most prominent. Other examples include the $16.95 Kingston DataTraveler® Elite 3.0 USB Flash drive and the SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB flash drive, available at Adorama for $9.95.
Pocket drives are just what they sound like, small, portable devices that can fit into a pocket or a compartment in a briefcase, making them a good alternative to taking your entire computer on a trp, when just the data will do. Like all storage devices they come in a wide range of capacities, connectivity options and platforms.
For the Apple fan there is the G-Technology G-Drive slim 500GB hard drive, a 500GB portable storage device that features 500GB of capacity with only a $88.00 price tag at Adorama. It is designed to be used as a portable, removable storage option for Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro users and connects to the notebook computers via a USB 2.0 connection.
However, a good deal of the world uses multiple platforms including PCs and as well as the Apple operating system, and for those users a very solid offering is the LaCie 1TB Rugged Safe Pocket Hard Drive, which has support for multiple platforms.
The LaCie Rugged Safe drive has a 1TB capacity at $229.00. The drive has multiple levels of security so that a user has confidence about the security of their data. It supports both USB 2.0 and FireWire 800/400 for data transfer.
Solid state is the technology that is used in flash drives, as mentioned above, as well as in tablets and many of the netbooks and entry level notebooks. Rather than a spinning storage drive that is the most common in desktop and many notebook computers it uses circuitry to store data. The advantage to this technology is that it is very tough and resistant to damages. This makes it ideal for users that are headed into the wild and may experience a jarring trip for themselves and their equipment. The slight downside to Solid State Drives (SSD) is that their capacities do not come close to matching that of spinning storage media.
The Iomega SSD Flash Drive! Iomega 256GB SSD, at the Adorama price of $419.95, is a great example of a SSD. With its 256GB capacity it comes with USB 3.0 that provides fast transfer data transfer speeds that are ideal for moving HD video, graphics and music into storage.
As with all SSDs, it requires less power than a traditional drive and Iomega says that it can withstand a 10 foot drop, in part due to its lack of any moving parts that can be jarred out of place.
An emerging area of storage is that of cloud storage. The term “cloud” is increasingly used for a variety of computer and storage topics. Pared down to its most basic form it simply means remote. A wide variety of companies offer cloud storage, ranging from Apple’s iCloud, Google Cloud Storage to Amazon’s Cloud Drive. They often include a set amount of free space, and then additional storage for a set price. Amazon’s starts at 5GB and then additional space is available starting at $10 a year. Business users often see cloud storage offered as Storage as a service (STaaS)
You are connected to the storage via a network connection, often Wi-Fi and the storage provider usually includes some level of security. You can store virtually anything that you can on your computer’s hard drive, images, video, contacts, calendars or financial records. The term has now evolved into covering devices that might be located in a home or business and allow remote storage. We are starting to see a few storage devices that have built-in Wi-Fi that enables them to send data to the cloud when they are full or at preset times.