Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm going travelling around the world for a year in September and am already panicking about how best to send my photos home while in various countries.

Requirements:

  • I only need to backup JPEG files (I don't shoot RAW but that's another thread ;) )
  • I need to be able to upload in a web-based manner (I will be using Internet cafes and so can't assume I can use FTP etc)
  • I need plenty of space, preferably unlimited (I racked up about 200GB last year)
  • I need to store the full image (no lossy compression is acceptable!)

Options I can think of:

  • Burning and posting DVDs (can I trust these in the post and not to get corrupt? It may be better than waiting for upload speed though...)
  • Flickr (I have a pro account but not sure how hard it'll be to get the photos back down again. Will I even be able to get the original snaps?)
  • Setting up a server at a friend's house and hosting some kind of file server with a web-app front end

What have other people done? Or does anyone else have a better idea?

share|improve this question
    
There are lots of tools for grabbing your full images off of Flickr such as: malarkeysoftware.com/projects_PhotoGrabbr.html –  3rdparty Oct 30 '10 at 20:09
1  
See also photo.stackexchange.com/questions/924 for the same question but without internet access. –  mattdm Jan 21 '11 at 4:27
3  
You shot 200GB of JPEG files in one year? That is quite amazing. That would be somewhere around 65,000 images assuming you have a current DSLR. Is that really accurate? –  dpollitt Jun 18 '11 at 13:44
add comment

16 Answers 16

up vote 26 down vote accepted

Depends on how much you value your shots. Last year my wife and I took a 5 month photographic trip and we took:

  • 1 Laptop: We had Lightroom to download and do a basic selection every night (out of focus pictures don't need to take any disk space!). Photoshop to do some basic retouches if we wanted to publish them on Flickr, etc. And a large enough HD to store the whole trip.

  • 6 4GB memory cards: we numbered them and made sure to rotate them correctly so we kept the pictures in there the longest possible time as backup. We rather use more cards with less GB to diversify risk. If you are in the middle of nowhere and your only 16 GB card breaks you are SOL.

  • 2 300GB USB HD: once the pictures were classified on the laptop we backed them up to one drive and mirrored on the other.

Online storage is not practical when you are travelling because of the time it takes to upload the amount of data you will generate. This way we felt very confident that we weren't going to lose any data, at any given time pictures were stored in up to 4 different places at the same time.

And to send home, select up to 5 pictures of each escapade and post them on Flickr. Selection is key.

share|improve this answer
    
You earned my upvote pretty quick, but if there was any doubt, "And to send home, select up to 5 pictures of each escapade and post them on Flickr. Selection is key." won it. –  BBischof Oct 30 '10 at 20:07
    
This suggestion is almost exactly how I travel as well - multiple SD/CF cards (you need multiple cards because they may fail or become corrupted), a computer to help manage things, and two hard drives - I use one for backup, and the other for another backup plus editing. The backup only drive can by physically very small where I like the editing drive to be a little larger with a faster interface. I also wanted to add the comment about uploading is spot on, even very expensive hotels may have poor uplink speeds. –  Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Jun 18 '11 at 3:54
2  
I think that this is a good technique, but I would rather skip the weight, cost, hassle of mirroring to a second drive, and burn the images to DVD and them them home to someone you trust. I know burning to a disc is probably a pain too, but what happens if you lose all of your luggage at some point, or your room gets raided some night while at dinner? You would lose everything but 5 shots per event as you said. –  dpollitt Jun 19 '11 at 2:47
    
The room being raided or losing luggage, is why one of my backup drives is a USB drive small enough that it is ALWAYS with me in a pocket, or in my camera bag (if that is with me). Burning a DVD and sending it off is theoretically better, but it's quite bulky (burner + blank DVD's) compared to the smallest external USB drives. Perfect for such a backup drive would be a device built around the newer half-size SSD form factor as used in the Macbook Air, a drive built around that could be just about pack of gum sized. 120GB should suffice for most people for a backup drive. –  Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Jun 20 '11 at 7:18
add comment

Burning DVD is your best option and even if you use another means, you should still burn DVDs. The main advantages are:

  • Burned DVDs have no value, they won't gets stollen by themselves.
  • It is easy to replicate and distribute. Meaning you don't have to keep all copies in the same place.

When I travel for photography I always burn everything twice. One copy stays with me and the other is mailed to myself. Never lost one this way. Mailing something like this is really safe just because it has no value but to yourself.

Internet access generally won't cut it because of speed issues. Depending on how much you shoot, it may take more time than you have to upload all those files. Watch out also as some services PicasaWeb don't store your full-resolution image... They scale it or compress it to save space.

There are 3 options to burn DVDs on the road:

  • Laptop with a burner, either integrated or not. This is the bulky and costly option but it is reliable.
  • Stand-alone burning device. I use an Addonics MFR. Put the card a blank disk in. Press the backup button, wait 7 minutes. This one runs on AC or batteries. From battery, you can burn about 10 disks.
  • Internet cafes: Many of them will burn a DVD for you for a small fee. Bring your own disks if you want to use quality ones. It may not be always available, so look each time you see an Internet Cafe or Business center, don't wait until you're out of space.
share|improve this answer
1  
+1 for burning twice and mailing. Did that from Italy a few years ago when a 512Mb card was extravagant -- but one card's worth of pictures fit conveniently onto one CD. The Apacer CP300 worked well for that. And to be paranoid, I also copied the card onto an Archos mp3 player. Then compared all three versions on return and didn't lose a single byte. :p –  Rodney Gitzel Dec 16 '10 at 1:01
    
How do you suggest keeping the DVDs you carry on you safe? There are many options for keeping DVDs safe from scratching or breaking, but what's the best/smallest/lightest weight option when traveling? –  Flimzy Apr 20 '12 at 5:03
    
What I use are DVD/CD cases which are very light and almost exactly the shape of a pile of 20 or DVDs. I have an aluminum one I bought in South America and some neoprene ones from the dollar store. The criteria was compactness first. As long as nothing rubs on the DVD surface, they will almost never get damaged. –  Itai Apr 21 '12 at 4:09
add comment

Fast internet access can be a problem in many remote locations (esp. Africa, Asia and South America). I'd suggest buying a bunch of 16 GB SD cards and copying each file on two cards. Then you keep one copy with you and send another home via mail.

share|improve this answer
    
How do you copy the file onto two cards? With a netbook? –  Jared Updike Jul 20 '10 at 20:18
    
For example. If you're travelling computer-free than this can be a problem. How do you send your file over internet? In a iCafe? Then maybe you can copy your cards there too. –  gabr Jul 21 '10 at 7:18
    
+1 for mail. You just have to find SD cards on the road. –  mouviciel Oct 30 '10 at 17:33
2  
I wish someone made a card-copying device! For now, the easiest is to buy 2 cheap readers (they go for less than $10) or 1 such reader and your camera's cable. In most internet cafes, machines have USB and you can do a card-to-card copy using your own devices or between the camera and the reader. –  Itai Oct 30 '10 at 17:44
2  
There already is at least one card-copying device: engadget.com/2005/09/14/panasonics-pocket-sd-card-copier I don't know if that one's still available or if there is a more recent product because that one's from 2005. –  Thardas Jan 5 '11 at 7:15
add comment

It all depends on the risks that you're backing up against but one option you'd missed is the dedicated devices for backing up memory cards (Jobo and the like) - we had one of these circulating at our wedding, so that all the guests didn't have to worry about memory card space.

share|improve this answer
    
Would love to know why this attracted an anonymous downvote, as it is a solution that has worked for me in the past. –  Rowland Shaw Oct 30 '10 at 14:46
add comment

I use Epson P-5000 Multimedia Storage Viewer - it has 80 GB Hard Drive.

share|improve this answer
    
this is great ! –  Jean-Philippe Caruana Jul 20 '10 at 15:02
2  
While this device is good, I do not recommend using these things as a reliable backup while travelling. I know some people who use 2 or 3 to improve their odds though. The issue is that any such hard-drive-based device is prone to failure and any fall or impact can make the data inaccessible. Small hard drives have problems working at altitude as well, above 10,000' you're outside of the operating spec for small hard drives. –  Itai Oct 30 '10 at 17:41
1  
But the hard drives are OK as long as you make sure you always have two copies of an image. Even if one fails you still have another copy, and most hard drive failures will let you recover most of the data... only theft or accidents are an issue (since you are traveling with both hard drives). –  Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Jun 18 '11 at 3:52
    
Warning: While many hard drives allow a degree of data recovery after a crash, some use servo tracks on the disk which, if damaged, make the disk essentially beyond recovery by mere mortals. If you care you may wish to inquire of data recovery centres re which HDD models work best for recovery . –  Russell McMahon Apr 19 '12 at 11:47
add comment

Google Picasaweb. It has a web-based interface and a "Private albums" feature. For 200GB of storage it's $50/year, which isn't too bad. (You can purchase more, up to 16TB, should you need it.) You can also bulk upload from it's desktop client.

share|improve this answer
    
Excellent suggestion. I just looked at it and it's a good offering. I trust Google not to go bust for example! However, I just tried the web based upload page and annoyingly you can't select multiple images to upload in one go, you have to upload batches of 5 photos. I know it wasn't in my original requirements list (typical user!) but it would be a deal breaker. Flickr (and even gmail) have a much friendlier drag-and-drop interface for multiple files (must be flash or html 5 I suppose). –  matt burns Jul 16 '10 at 12:32
    
Supposedly if you use Internet Explorer you can bulk upload from the web interface. (Google has an ActiveX control for bulk uploading: picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=48363) Does that work for you? –  snostorm Jul 16 '10 at 12:47
    
Nope, I'm currently using Google Chrome on Ubuntu (Linux). Thanks though. –  matt burns Jul 16 '10 at 13:47
    
So am I. :) Oh well. –  snostorm Jul 16 '10 at 14:10
2  
If you are going to go with an option like that, Smugmug has unlimited storage of full resolution original JPEGs for 5$/month or 40$/year, and you get many more features then Picasaweb. –  dpollitt Jun 18 '11 at 13:29
show 2 more comments

Some cameras, like the Nikon D7000, allow copying from memory card to memory card. That would allow backups in the field without further equipment.

share|improve this answer
    
I knew there were dual slots, didn't realise you could transfer/copy from one to the other, good tip. –  MikeW Mar 3 '12 at 23:36
add comment

You could use dropbox but it's a bit expensive
You could also take a Virtual Private Servers, some providers provide low performance server but with very big storage capacity for a cheap price (around 5$ by month). It will be cheaper than dropbox but it's your work to manage a web front end to upload files

If you have money, taking an SSD drive to keep with you a copy of photo is also a good idea.
Posting DVDs/SSD can be a solution but depending of country you visit I would not trust this solution but you can use more reliable service like UPS in some countries.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the suggestion of a virtual server. I'm a software engineer so this doesn't scare me too much. Does dropbox require client-side software to be running? –  matt burns Jul 16 '10 at 10:34
    
@Matt. No, dropbox has a web front end (and an optional client sync app). Free space is limited to 2gb (with a bit more available via a referrals scheme), paid for accounts come in at 50Gb @ $9.99 per month and 100gb @ $19.99 per month. (discounts at $99 and $199 per year respectively). There doesn't seem to be a minimum term, so you could just pay for the account while you are on holiday, then download and close the account afterwards. –  Simon P Stevens Jul 16 '10 at 10:45
    
@Radius: Where are you finding a VPS with significant storage for $5 per month? I can't find anything better than 10gb at the bottom and and those prices start at $20 per month. –  Simon P Stevens Jul 16 '10 at 10:51
1  
quote from the question "Online storage is not practical when you are travelling" : I don't think this answer is helpfull –  Jean-Philippe Caruana Jul 20 '10 at 15:03
    
@Simon: Here for example: site5.com/hosting/web . –  Carles Nov 27 '10 at 7:06
show 2 more comments

You picked a very good answer by @Rezlaj but I'd like to add one point. KEEP YOUR STORAGE MEDIA ON YOUR PERSON IF YOU FLY!!! I've had lots of friends lose their photos because their cameras get stolen. DO NOT put your media cards or external hard drive backups in checked bagage. If a bagage screener steals your gear, you can get the airline to replace it, but you can never get your photos back.

I've also heard of people backing up to DVDs and mailing them home. Since international shipping is so expensive, you can leave burned DVDs with the hotel and if you end up needing them [a reasonable time] later have the hotel ship them to you, otherwise discard them.

share|improve this answer
3  
International shipping of small things like DVD is quite cheap, unless you register the mail or ask for a tracking number. I've sent DVDs halfway across the globe (Asia to Canada) for less than $2 per bunch. –  Itai Nov 27 '10 at 14:09
    
depends on the country, Itai. As does the reliability of mail service. –  jwenting Jun 20 '11 at 5:16
add comment

Have you looked into using Microsoft Live Sync? Live Sync is a PC-to-PC sync system that allows you to sync files between multiple computers over the internet. You can sync hundreds of thousands of files, and they can be up to 40Gb each in size. It also supports up to 2Gb of online storage in Microsoft SkyDrive.

The nice thing about Live Sync is that you are syncing your data to your own computers. You could, for example, set up a NAS device at home, map the drive to our main computer, and install Live Sync on that computer. Set up a shared folder on the mapped NAS drive, and you can sync files from a laptop in the field to your home NAS over the internet via a secured channel.

Its my favorite way to keep data protected when I am abroad, and the beauty of it all is that I don't have to copy any of it again when I get home...its already there. The one drawback, as with any online service, is the performance of syncing large volumes of data. Gigs of data don't sync quickly, so either you have to just spend the time doing it, or involve a third form of backup as an intermediary (i.e. get a 500Gb portable drive, and sync at night while you sleep.)

share|improve this answer
1  
Whats with the down vote? –  jrista Oct 30 '10 at 18:02
add comment

Since you are a software engineer I would recommend . Amazon Simple Storage Service S3
Their pricing structure is probably the most reasonable one available.
It is intended to work with front end clients that you write. However Amazon provide numerous, fully functional examples. See the developer site for some good examples you could use.

It occurred to me that you really have two requirements in mind
1) backup - the Amazon S3 service would fulfill this requirement admirably
2) sharing selected photos with family and friends during your travels - here I would recommend Picasa on a netbook uploading to Picasaweb on the Internet. This is a good way to perform multiple or batch uploads. Ubuntu runs rather well on a netbook.

share|improve this answer
    
I hear there are firefox extensions to upload easily. –  acidzombie24 Sep 29 '10 at 2:03
add comment

On my last major trip I picked up a small spindle of DVDs for photo backups, keeping one copy there and another on my laptop hard drive. The 25 disc ones seem a bit more stable than the large ones, the space available fit the trip, they're write-once (no worry about erasing/overwrite) and reasonably durable. I had my own computer along, but you may also be able to find internet cafes or other computers with DVD burners. Compared with a hard drive it's less dense, but the discs can handle more shock and you wouldn't have to worry about some other system corrupting any more than your current batch.

If you think you can get reasonably fast Internet access, Smugmug allows unlimited photos and they have an API that would allow bulk downloading them when you return home. You mention you have Flickr, and while I'm not familiar with their API I'd be surprised if they didn't have something similar.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Depending on where you're going, and what you have access to (netbooks, internet cafes, or secure computers), whatever solution you settle on, PLEASE be careful not to get viruses. I actually got viruses on my compact flash cards, and it ruined a large part of my experience (as well as actually hardware). I might actually suggest buying many large memory cards and not backing up at all, given my experiences.

Where I got these infections varied, though I think it started in a most random and unlikely place--a mountain tribal village with only 5 computers and rare internet. Because I was on a friend's computer, I never thought a virus would be able to attach itself to a compact flash card and damage related material. While uploading photos, I then accidentally brought the viruses to another country and messed up two more computers, four thumb drives, an iPod, and one hard drive. In the end, after months of shooting photos in remote locations, I only ended up with about 1,700 photos out of at least 5,000. The viruses (from Asia) rendered so many machines out of wack and dangerous to future users that it still upsets me to this day. I lost precious memories, cost everyone a lot of money, and don't have some of my favorite photos.

I used what I thought were secure computers to upload photos to an online server (I mostly used Photoshop Express at the time, which ended up condensing large files), but only some of those photos made it through in full size, and it was awfully hard to find internet that was strong enough to upload hundreds of photos.

In an effort to keep viruses off my cards and devices during future travel, I thought an external card reader/storage device would be my only solution, but at a huge expense and bulk, I was recently recommended a rather simple solution: Just buy a good many compact flash cards and don't upload them until you're positive you're on a home secure server. I'd rather chance no backup then go through the loss of so many photos of mine. Viruses can sneak into the least likely places when abroad--they can attach to your copied DVDs, your external drives, and your camera memory cards themselves. I'd avoid using internet cafes and be just as careful when using a friend's computer. Good luck and be aware!

share|improve this answer
    
This is simple to do -- simply "Vaccinate" your media. Several tools can do this; the best I've used to date is Panda's USB Vaccine tool. (You can also use Flash_Disinfector written by a friend of mine, but it's less consumer-friendly than Panda's tool) –  Billy ONeal Jun 19 '11 at 23:43
    
Wow--fascinating. Does this really work without harm? There was such a variety of crazy viruses which no one in the U.S. has been able to identify, but something like this may very well prevent that from happening in the future. Has this been 100% effective for you? Forgive me, but I don't understand exactly how it works...does one load Panda onto a USB beforehand? Can it be loaded on to any memory device, such as the cards themselves--or a computer, to help prevent that system from getting an malware already present on a memory stick? Thank you! –  c3peat Jun 21 '11 at 4:06
    
@c3peat: This tool disables autorun both on the machine on which you run it, and creates a hard to delete folder called autorun.inf (which makes it hard for the flash infector on the other machine to create an autorun.inf needed for the virus to start itself automatically). It's not virus protection, it just stops the loading point that is inserting a card. If the virus copies itself to the card and you execute the code manually then you'll still be screwed :) (This provides no protection against other machines simply wiping the card...) –  Billy ONeal Jun 21 '11 at 4:18
    
I see...still, useful stuff, but in the case of viruses that name themselves like possible themes/folders on your own memory, it seems there is still no reliable protection. I think I'll still have to be extremely careful--not sure if investing in a photo reader/memory device is worth it after reading poor reviews (and knowing that in my instance, the device itself would have gotten infected as well). I think that personally I'll still have to invest in a lot of cards and never transfer until I'm in a completely reliable spot. Thank you for the help! –  c3peat Jun 21 '11 at 15:12
    
@c3peat: Just don't click on executables when they're on the card. Turn off "Hide file extensions for known file types" on your computer and make sure it's not a .exe, and you should be fine in that respect. –  Billy ONeal Jun 21 '11 at 15:17
show 2 more comments

I've been traveling with a backpack for quite a while and my Strategy was using a combination of local backup and online backup.

First of all, you have to keep in mind, that internet connections can be quite slow in many points in the world. Internet Cafes are not made for bulk up and downloading and the providers of those places know why.

But still, some countries have a higher broadband availability, some haven't. Consider that uploading might take lots of time. I spend many days in those places to upload, in fact wasting time.

Use some external software to upload and edit meta data software, as the web based uploaders are lame to use and are more likely to fail hence revoke all your changes. Especially metadatas will be lost like title, description, tags and so on.

A ok good tool for Flickr is the official uploadr But of course there is a whole bunch of them If you are on Windows and just want to synchronize your pictures with Flickr, have a look at Flickr Sync

A great option here is to have a look for hotels/hostels that offer free internet access. So you can upload while you spend your time doing more useful things.

Knowing that, you will come to a point where you can't upload as fast as you will make new pictures, hence we need a secondary backup strategy.

Use a locally available backup medium. I'd strongly suggest you using USB Sticks for this task rather than DVDs.

Look at the pro's and cons:

Pros:

  • Memory Sticks are smaller than DVDs. Yes they need less space. You need proper protection for the Disks if you travel with them.
  • They provide more space for storage. 16gb+
  • The are less likely to break. Store your DVD in your Backpack at the wrong place and you will have two half discs. Scratching is another issue.
  • Reusable. Once you have uploaded your pictures, you COULD delete them from your stick if you wanted to.
  • Memory Sticks are a workbench. You can store your unedited pictures and integrate them into your processing workflow, because you can store your edits on the sticks as you go. Therefore storing becomes an iterative process, rather than a one-off action. -> higher flexibility.
  • Each USB Stick is Waterproof :-)
  • Flexibility: If you are traveling with a netbook, you are most likely not to have a DVD Burner with you. USB is always available. You can have your USB Stick on your keyring and have your pictures with you wherever you go.

Cons:

  • Price. Yes they are more expensive. But if you are reusing them, they will last much longer, of course.
  • Carry them in bulky amounts and the Airport Security is your friend. Of course, if you have 20 USB Sticks with you, that might look suspicious, fair enough.
  • Vulnerable to Internet "STDs". The chances of catching a virus when using an USB sticks in internet cafes around the world is more dangerous than running naked through your local mens cruise club. Look for proper read/write protection before you plug your stick into an unknown socket. (See Star Wars Episode V: "R2D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer!" -C3P0)

One of the best software tools out there every traveler should have is the Portable Apps "Toucan"

That tool let you backup, synchronize and encrypt all your files in one solution. This tool will help you sorting out that data mess. But please keep in mind, that this tool is for advanced users, that are willing to think before they act, so it is not a one click solution. Being an portable app means, you don't need to install it. Therefore it can be run from any computer in the world, right off your USB Stick.

share|improve this answer
    
It's extremely simple to "Vaccinate" your media to prevent spread of flash-based viruses. Several tools can do this; the best I've used to date is Panda's USB Vaccine tool. (You can also use Flash_Disinfector written by a friend of mine, but it's less consumer-friendly than Panda's tool) These things work by stopping autorun from the flash card -- it creates a difficult to delete folder called autorun.inf on the card, so the infection can't create one. –  Billy ONeal Jun 19 '11 at 23:45
1  
Surely that is a good start and should protect you from some troubles, but please don't think that this is a swiss army knife that will provide unlimited protection. A good protection/usability ratio would be the use of a encrypted partition together with a gateway tool, that has exclusive writing permissions for that partition. This means no virus, unless written for your scenario, should be able to overwrite your data. –  Dr.Elch Jun 20 '11 at 2:56
    
@Dr.Elch: These tools disable autorun on the flash media. Therefore, unless you run some kind of program from the media, it is impossible for use of the media to transfer a virus, trojan, or worm to your computer. The code's gotta be running before something can happen. If you override this and run some sort of application on the card, all bets are off. Of course, pretty much any computer system should be running antivirus software, particularly given that very good A/V tools can be had for free. –  Billy ONeal Jun 20 '11 at 4:17
    
@Dr.Elch: Your proposed fix doesn't actually increase security. Even with whole disk (or in this case, card) encryption schemes, so long as your running the program on someone else's machine, it's possible for that program to be compromised -- sure, the program is encrypting the data on disk, but the data is certainly not encrypted inside the program's working set (as well it can't be -- somehow the data must be readable). Furthermore, whether the partition is encrypted or not, the foreign computer system can simply wipe the card. You must control the machine to enforce specific program write. –  Billy ONeal Jun 20 '11 at 4:21
1  
@Billy ONeal: I expect Internet Cafe computers to be already infected and therefore I have to expect them to be able to compromise my Stick. If you can disable autorun, my virus could enable it again. But that is not the real issue. Protection of your pictures is. The proper strategy works like this to protect an virus from wiping your stick: The virtual size of the stick gets reduced to a fraction of its physical size.this is where the de/encryption tool resides.The virus will think that this device is not bigger and could only wipe that part.The pictures are laying in a hidden part –  Dr.Elch Jun 20 '11 at 21:58
show 6 more comments

Along the lines of the netbook solution, I used my iPad last time I travelled. If you're already definitely taking a laptop, then forget it, but the iPad is a nice light travel computer — and if you already have one, it can actually be a very useful backup tool.

The Camera Connection Kit (works with iPads, but sadly not iPhones) allows you to import photos from most cameras (via USB) or directly from an SD card.

You're very limited by the space on your iPad, and unfortunately you can't write back out to an SD card for a more generic backup or giving you more space (unless you've hacked your iPad/iPhone), so you won't get 200 GB without transferring them OFF the iPad via the internet or a computer. It's essentially letting you duplicate photos on your memory cards before they're backed up by a more serious means.

Judging by your 200GB/year estimate, you'd get a "buffer" of about 3 weeks with a 16GB iPad, 6 weeks with 32GB and 12 weeks with a 64GB — this saves you having to get net access for a few weeks at a time, to send backups home, for example.

You can transfer directly to DropBox, FTP, WebDAV and a few other methods using apps like the DropBox app or GoodReader (supports heaps of protocols), or you might be planning on dumping memory cards to CD at a net cafe or the like once a month (at which point you could wipe the photos off the iPad).

Other advantages are that its a good way of showing photos to people along the way (either by keeping some favourites to show people you meet on the iPad itself, or using it to upload to flickr/etc for people back home). And there's a lot of utility in having a basic computer while travelling of course (e.g. taking a decent stash of books for reading in transit).

Compared to the netbook, it's more expensive for less space (you can probably get a netbook with a 250GB hdd for the same price), so it's really only useful if you're aiming to backup "off-site" anyway, and want something with perhaps a bit more utility than a netbook (a nice screen for photos without taking up much luggage space/weight).

And of course if you hack it, then you could use it to copy photos to SD cards to keep a copy or mail them home. Some people have reportedly got external hard drives working with hacked iPads and the Camera Connection Kit as well, using the USB charger to power the device if it has a double-USB plug adaptor.

share|improve this answer
2  
Or, you know, just buy more SD cards. They're certainly cheaper than iPads for the same storage. (And fit in your camera to boot!) –  Billy ONeal Jun 20 '11 at 4:25
    
The point is whether you want to have a computer or netbook or something with you as well. If you're going to have a basic computer, then why not use it as the backup. I think this idea is really only useful for those who already have an iPad, and perhaps don't realise it's a very easy + useful photo backup solution (albeit with space limited to the iPad's memory size). –  drfrogsplat Jun 20 '11 at 5:38
    
Plus, the iPad gives you immediate backup (in case you lose an SD card, accidentally wipe the wrong one, etc), while extra SD cards only give you more space. –  drfrogsplat Jun 20 '11 at 5:39
    
You can accidentally wipe the wrong pictures on an iPad. Backup systems for SD cards are cheap and readily available. I'm not saying the iPad is a bad solution, just that it's an insanely expensive solution for the storage that you get. I'd much rather copy my data onto two SD cards than once onto an iPad -- and you can certainly get a hell of a lot more than twice the storage for the price in cards. –  Billy ONeal Jun 20 '11 at 5:53
2  
I'm really saying this for people who already have an iPad, as many aren't aware that it can be used this way. It'd be silly to go out and buy a netbook to solve this problem if you already had an iPad. Of course its not worth getting an iPad just for this though! The added iPad utility (for me at least) is the screen size to volume/weight ratio — i.e. you get a decent 10" screen for seeing your photos (much better than a 3" camera LCD), without it taking up much precious luggage space/weight. –  drfrogsplat Jun 21 '11 at 1:30
show 3 more comments

Nathan Myhrvold writes in his Safari Tips about sharing back-up equipment with other photographers travelling with you as a cheap, relatively hassle-free way secured by having multiple separate copies.

In this setup, each photographer brings and carries a portable HDD for backups, where everyone makes a copy of their pictures, so even if one of the devices breaks or is stolen, there are still other copies left behind. You could also use non-photographing friends or family members travelling with you for a similar packing arrangement.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.