Memory Card Management and Travel?

PJM

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In a few months I'm going to be off on a five day photography workshop and I'm looking for ideas and best practices for managing the large number of photos I expect to take. Until now the largest number of photos I've kept on a memory card is a couple of hundred. Usually I download them to my computer as soon as I take them and then delete them from the memory card.

My current plan is to take my iPad and an external storage device with me. At the end of each day I would download the day's photos to the iPad and transfer them to the external storage device. I would not in this case delete them from the memory card. In this way I would have the originals on the memory card and backups on the external storage device.

I've never kept this many photos on the memory card before. Are there any issues related to downloading from cards with lots of images on them? Is there anything else I'm not thinking of that I should be?
 
I just purchased a boatload of smaller cards (about thirty 16g). My cameras have dual slots, so the second slot was backup. So right off the bat, I'd have two copies. Once a card was somewhat full, I'd pull them out and replace them with empties. When I got a chance, I'd offload one of the full cards to an external drive. As I went, I'd be creating 3 copies of everything in case one ended up corrupted.

Once I got home, I'd just leave the cards alone and copy the external drive into my home system. After a couple hours, they'd be incorporated into my normal back-up routine. The only time I'll reformat the cards is when they all got filled up and I needed to.
 
There is no best practice, just what’s best for you and your intended workflow. Personally, I take several memory cards with me. For my cameras that‘s a half dozen 128GB CFX B, and a half dozen 64 GB SD XC II as I shoot raw (to the CFX B) + jpg (to the 64GB SD). I take a 15” MacBook Pro with Sony card reader along an external 2TB drive and a couple of 2TB USB mem sticks (don’t forget your lightening or USBC to USB adapters). Of course you can use an iPad instead of a MacBook. At night I back up the day’s photos to the external drive and the mem sticks, but do not delete photos off the mem cards until I have to if I need additional space. I might also process a couple of my best shots from the day on the MacBook, use my iPhone as a hotspot or a wireless connection to post to social media or send to friends. That assumes I am staying somewhere with power and either cell phone service or wireless in the evenings. I do something a little different if there is no power. I take an external USB battery pack, sometimes 2.
 
I just purchased a boatload of smaller cards (about thirty 16g). My cameras have dual slots, so the second slot was backup. So right off the bat, I'd have two copies. Once a card was somewhat full, I'd pull them out and replace them with empties. When I got a chance, I'd offload one of the full cards to an external drive. As I went, I'd be creating 3 copies of everything in case one ended up corrupted.

Once I got home, I'd just leave the cards alone and copy the external drive into my home system. After a couple hours, they'd be incorporated into my normal back-up routine. The only time I'll reformat the cards is when they all got filled up and I needed to.
Thanks. I've always used my second slot as overflow, but I barely ever put a dent in the first. Switching that to backup might be a good idea.
 
There is no best practice, just what’s best for you and your intended workflow. Personally, I take several memory cards with me. For my cameras that‘s a half dozen 128GB CFX B, and a half dozen 64 GB SD XC II as I shoot raw (to the CFX B) + jpg (to the 64GB SD). I take a 15” MacBook Pro with Sony card reader along an external 2TB drive and a couple of 2TB USB mem sticks (don’t forget your lightening or USBC to USB adapters). Of course you can use an iPad instead of a MacBook. At night I back up the day’s photos to the external drive and the mem sticks, but do not delete photos off the mem cards until I have to if I need additional space. I might also process a couple of my best shots from the day on the MacBook, use my iPhone as a hotspot or a wireless connection to post to social media or send to friends. That assumes I am staying somewhere with power and either cell phone service or wireless in the evenings. I do something a little different if there is no power. I take an external USB battery pack, sometimes 2.
Thanks. Yeah, I'm planning on taking extra cards and batteries with me. I've been toying with the idea of going to a MacBook. Backing up photos through the iPad is painful as you have to first import into their Photos app or Lightroom and then export to external storage.
 
I normally get enough cards to do a days worth of shooting out of a card, then back them up every evening and rotate the cards out once they are full.
 
I carry enough cards to last the trip.
I divided the trip into say 5 day blocks, then switch to a new card after that block. This way, a card has no more than 5 days of pics on it.

Since you have a 2nd card slot, I suggest using that to create a backup card.

I don't carry a computer or external SSD drive.
The drive I could manage, but a tablet or laptop is not in my normal packing for a trip, as everything expensive is ON ME, not left back in the hotel.
 
I use smaller capacity cards (32MB) and swap them out every few days. My camera has two card slots, so one is for RAW and one for JPEG. I carry enough cards to last the trip. I set up new folders on the cards daily, so a card will have two or three folders corresponding to days or locations. Each day's shots are backed up on a laptop and an external drive every night (RAW files only) with the folder structure intact. When I swap out a card I switch it to write protect and put it in a safe place.
 
I looked at my old vacation pics.
I "think" what I did was rotate between three cards. Each day using a different card.
Logic was, if I "lose" a card, I only lose one day in the rotation. Yes many one days, but not a block of days.
 
I carry a Windows tablet, same size as a 10” iPad. Has a standard USB port so I can transfer files directly from the camera. Helps to see them better on a 10” screen and if I have WiFi will upload to my OneDrive account. When I get home the files are already on 2 home computers and my work laptop.
 
I carry a Windows tablet, same size as a 10” iPad. Has a standard USB port so I can transfer files directly from the camera. Helps to see them better on a 10” screen and if I have WiFi will upload to my OneDrive account. When I get home the files are already on 2 home computers and my work laptop.
I was going to recommend a laptop or tablet to upload to the cloud as well.
 
Uploading a tons of raw files to the cloud can take a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time, especially when you're using someone else's innernet connections.
 
Uploading a tons of raw files to the cloud can take a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time, especially when you're using someone else's innernet connections.

You need a FAST connection.
With my 6MB/sec upload speed, when I upload to the school's shared drive and web site, it sometimes takes so long that I would go down and have dinner, and it is still uploading when I come back from dinner. Granted some of that delay is due to the processing on the other side. Google Drive can be fast one day, and painfully slow another day.
I edit EVERYTHING, to reduce the size of the image files, so the upload runs faster. And I severely cull the files I do upload. So rather than all 600+ that I shoot at a game, I only upload about 75-125.

I really would not want to upload all the files that I shoot on a vacation day.
I just did a quick check of a few days from my last vacation, frames per day varied between 300 - 600+.
If the upload failed part way, the next night you have the remainder of the failed upload + what you shot that day, to upload.
 
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I don't do anything with RAW files except keep them locally. I cull the ones I don't want so all I have are images I can use, even if I don't use them immediately. By the time I have a second copy of the RAW files and a backups of those on another disk, I have at least 3 of each RAW image I keep. But I never upload RAW anywhere, any time.

I've done race weekends at Sebring, air shows, shooting thousands of frames over the time of the event, and never had a space problem, and only one time I actually had to change the card during the day. My smallest cards are 64GB. Thinking back, I think the change was when I had 16GB cards... Itty-bitty ones. :chuncky:
 

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