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steffers53 Sep 23, 2006 6:15 AM

Hi there,

I bought a Xacti C5 camera last year and paid extra to get a 2gb memory card ( Pretec). I was led to believe I would be able to store something like 1000 photos, but in practice the camera fills up at 200 ( mind you i have also been saving video footage data too. ) I am due to go on holiday without a computer for five weeks to Vietnam, but would welcome ideas on how I could store more photos and video footage, without the use of a PC. Any ideas anyone? Sincere thanks from a non teccie.:?

blindsight Sep 24, 2006 11:05 AM

There are two ways to tackle the problem:

(1) buy more 1-2 GB SD cards - 1 GB cards sell as low as $20 and 2 GB as low as $40. Advantage: once stored on the card, you don't have to worry about losing the data until you download them to the computer. That is, provided you don't lose the cards.

(2) buy an external multimedia storage device - the usual "external USB hard drive" for computers do NOT work, you need to buy a special device which look like the usual external drive, but has the ability to recognize and receive the files (photos and video) on the digital camera. These are just two examples:

You can either buy one ready for use, with the hard drive installed - of course it is more expensive. An example:

You can also buy the shell of the storage device, and buy a 2.5" (laptop) hard drive separately - this is usually cheaper than ready-made drives and you may upgrade your HD (eg. from 20GB to 40GB) for the same amount of money of a ready-made device. An example:

These devices have internal battery and you can charge them (or use AC to run them) with the provided AC adaptor/ charger. Most fo them accept multiple flash card types including the most common SD card. These devices usually have two switch positions - one for downloading photos and videos to the computer (when it acts as a usual external hard drive), and one for receiving photos and videos from the camera. The device will copy (NOT move) all the files on the SD card, therefore in case there is an error in the transfer, the original files are still on the SD card. To re-use the card, simply erase the stuff on it (I suggest putting the card back into the camera and use "card format" function to do that, instead of using a computer to do it).

The price of ready-made devices go from $150 up. The price of the shell-only is about $50, plus 2.5" HD (eg. 40 GB for about $60). Installation of the HD into the shell is very easy - unscrew to open the case, then plug in one small (power) and one large flat (data) cable, all done!

Another good place to look for these storage devices, shell or ready-made, is here:

You can also find the ready-made devices in all online photo and video stores (like B&H in my example above) - usually in the "storage" or "accessories" section.

In fact I wrote something about external storage devices some time ago:

There have since been many more manufacturers of the ready-made and shell-only devices.

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