External hard drive vs flash memory

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by CaboSailor, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. CaboSailor

    CaboSailor TPF Noob!

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    Tomorrow I should be receiving my 14.6 mp DSLR and am contemplating how and where to store images. I see where I can get 500gb portable hard drives for my laptop but I was wondering if some folks use the flash memory sticks.

    I will be living on our sailboat so I need to consider space and environmental factors. Most of the photos will probably be stored as jpeg since I will only be using them for reference shots for drawings and paintings. The actual proportion of jpeg to raw will work themselves out as I get used to the gadget. I'm coming from a background of more than 40yrs with film. :gah:

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I can't imagine that memory sticks are a good idea...unless you are worried about having all of your images on one device that might fail....and even then, I'd probably recommend multiple hard drives.
     
  3. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    IMO, a flash drive is too small and easy to lose. An external drive takes up space (a bit) but is a more long term solution IMO. The flash drives would suffice if you wanted to keep them neatly organized, labeled, etc. Unfortunately unless you are thinking of dropping alot of cash on a solid state drive than both of these solutions are far from fool proof. Bottom line, any type of memory can fail and most likely will in the next 5-10 years. Archival gold DVD-r's are claiming to be good for 100 years. The discs are actually coated in 24k gold so they are SUPER expensive, but don't fall victim to Ionization. Like, 200 bucks for 50 discs expensive. My question is how did they test this 100 year gaurantee? lol, Im sure it has something to do with a pressure chamber or something but still, you never know..

    My 2 cents
     
  4. CaboSailor

    CaboSailor TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Adam,

    For some reason I hadn't even considered the DVD R/W drive on my laptop. I guess I've got the "I gotta spend more money" mindset. :mrgreen:

    Any drawbacks to just writing them to DVD vs external hard drive?

    Rich
     
  5. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    A normal rated DVD-r will corrode and fail just as fast if not faster than a harddrive/flash drive. I'd say buckle down and spend the one time fee on the 100 year gaurantee discs. The price tag is alot but considering 4.7gigs x 100, close to 500 gigs and you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. I also assume that most of these companies would have a recovery team backing up these 100 year claims.

    One more thing to take into account is that Apple/Pc test their super drives/dvd burners to an average user and I know I for one am not. I burn dvd-r's like its my job and I had my superdrive(dvd burner) completely fail a few months ago from heavy use.
     
  6. CaboSailor

    CaboSailor TPF Noob!

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    OK, so my standard dvd writer can write to these super-dvd's?

    Oh and by the way, they probably determined the 100 year life statistically. The same way that I and my colleagues determine things like 100 yr and 500 yr flooding events. Or at least that's how we did it when I was still working after all, most places don't have 100 years of data let alone 500.

    Rich
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A DVD is easier to damage or loose.

    Those are really the only drawbacks I can think of.


    Not counting stability over the years - I don't know enough about that to say one way or the other.
     
  8. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    They do environmental testing in a HAST chamber.

    They are pretty accurate when they do it.

    Look at a WD My Passport Essential External HD. A 500GB drive isn't much bigger than a small Paperback book. Typically around $120 or less.

    I used to work for the company that makes the suspension assembly for WD, Seagate, Toshiba and other HD Manufacturers. A lot of the contacts inside are all gold electroplated. Rather interesting to see how these things are designed and made. There are reasons I would recommend Western Digital over any other make.

    Cost wise, SSD's are a little more expensive than a HDD. To be truly safe, get th Archival DVD's, put a copy on your HD, the External Drive and then the DVD.

    SSD tend to be a little faster in performance, but don't get caught up in them. Any drive still needs to be maintained and defragged as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  9. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    Yeah the Write/Read properties are all the same its all in the 24k gold.
     
  10. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    do not use a flash memory stick or SSD. they are way too failure prone. especially flash sticks. in the event they do fail it will be more difficult if not impossible to recover data.

    the safest way is always store you original copy on your local hard drive and keep backups on an external.

    DVDs could work, but i know for me they just aren't durable enough. i scratch them, break them all the time. plus i'd always be worried they might get warped or fade on the shelf.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One question is whether you want/need to archive your images...keep them save and secure for years to come....or are you just concerned about electronic storage space?

    Any good archiving strategy will involve multiple copies on different media in different locations....so you would burn them to DVD and also keep them on at least one hard drive. And since you are on a sail boat, you might want to send copies back to land, or at least store them in a safe (preferably one that floats :lol: )

    If however, you will "only be using them for reference shots for drawings and paintings."...it may not be as important for you to create redundancy for your archive. In this case; space, cost and convenience may be the key factors. An external USB hard drive would probably fit the bill quite nicely.
     
  12. CaboSailor

    CaboSailor TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all,

    As Big Mike suggests, I think I'll take a multi-pronged approach. Reference photos do indeed go 'stale', they work best when they bring up the memory of the scene and its impressions and then allow me to see some details that can be used to enhance. For them, the least expensive memory will do. Since they are constantly being renewed one way or t'other they are not irreplaceable.

    Other shots, may be more deserving of archival treatment and the comments by everyone are both useful and thought provoking. Once again, I thank you all.

    Rich
     

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