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Old May 12, 2004, 10:46 AM   #1
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I am not new to photography, but I have resisted going digital because I worry about things like media failure, backup, long-term storage of images and archival printing.

I just bought a Canon Powershot S1 and in 3 weeks we are going to Europe for 3 weeks. I have ordered a 1GB compact flash card but I know I'll take more pics in 3 weeks that the card will hold. I'm concerned about spending almost as much as the camera for a portable hard disk storage that I might never use again when we are in-country and will probably take a laptop. I do NOT want to deal with a laptop in Europe because it's hard enough to get a family of 4 travelling lightly and our laptops are really for work anyway.

I have looked at the Flashtrax, with it's sticker-shock price but it sounds like I can at least SEE that my images transferred okay and that would be reassuring. I'm also looking at the X Drive Pro, and I just found out about the Image Tank III. I read horrible reviews of the Image Tank G2 somewhere and people said it locked up and sometimes only a few of their hundreds of images could be read later.

I also have the dual voltage concern so I can charge my batteries in Europe. I am slightly concerned that I should have gotten 2 1GB cards instead of just 1.

What would be the best bullet-proof backup strategy for me?
I am a computer professional, so I know what it means when there is media or disk failure. I'm also taking my 35mm SLR, but it's huge and I think there are alot of places where the digital will be used more often because of it's smaller size.

I should also mention this camera has video capability (AVI) and can do 640x480 at 30 fps for up to 1GB. I don't plan on using it as a video camera but if the right situation came up???

I'm very concerned about deleting everything on a 1GB card and putting my faith into another device to hold my images. I'm sure you folks might have some great suggestions eventhough nothing (including film) is foolproof.

Should I consider tryiing to find a digital photo lab in Germany and asking them (if I cross the language barrier) to copy my compact flash to DVD?? Or can something go wrong there too?
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Old May 13, 2004, 4:06 AM   #2
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Heres a post I made somewhere else :

"I'm in a similar situation, looking for storage for a 4 week New Zealand holiday. Monolta A2 8mp camera eats ram...

Answers I've found - with my thoughts:

Take a lot of memory, ebay it when you get back. Depending on resale possibly the cheapest long term option with highest start up cost.

Take a laptop. I dont own one, dont want to buy one, dont want the risk and hastle of carting one round with me.

Get your mem cards burned onto CD where your holidaying. I looked at this in NZ and it IS an option. Most camera shops will do this at a cost ($25nz for 256mb+) I canculated at least 8 of those 'visits' would be needed so it doesnt in the end work out cheap.

Buy some sort of portable storage. Theres quite a few options here.

CD burner $150 (US price I think , I from UK). cheap media, but only 800mb each, can be used as USB cd-burner and card reader.

HDD storage. from $85 (no hdd) upwards, some with Leds, LCD's, full pic screens, TV out, MP3 playing etc. I'll probably go for this. Get a cheap xs drive II from here : http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=VP-2060 ($79) and get a 10-20gig HDD from ebay. HDD needs to be partitioned and formated then installed so not for a non tech type, pre-installed HDD versions are not a lot more.

Steve's has some reviews of these devices online."

Now I think I'm going for an xs drive pro because I can get one at a good price (£125 for 20gig) and it can double up as an mp3 jukebox (tho not a great one). If I dont use/like the mp3 I'll just ebay it when I come back.
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Old May 13, 2004, 5:31 AM   #3
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RobDickinson wrote:
Get your mem cards burned onto CD where your holidaying. I looked at this in NZ and it IS an option. Most camera shops will do this at a cost ($25nz for 256mb+) I canculated at least 8 of those 'visits' would be needed so it doesnt in the end work out cheap.
I've travelled extensively in New Zealand, because that is where I live and and I've found that Internet cafes can also often burn your memory card to CD (especially if it's something common like a CF card), and they do it for a lot cheaper than $25NZ. I now just use a of 2.0GB microdorive with my Fuji S7000. Much easier!
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Old May 13, 2004, 6:12 PM   #4
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hey, I had the same dilema and decided to go with the hitachi 4gb microdrive. I thought of portable storage but didn't want the bulk that came with it (plus charger), and my laptop is just too much weight to be carrying (I'm backpacking). along with the couple of 256 meg cards I have, it should be plenty. if not, there's plenty of places in europe that will burn your photos.

have a good trip!
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