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Storing all of those photos.

Now that you have your camera and are ready for that cruise vacation, how do you best protect your photos - both during your vacation and during long term storage. Fortunately there are several methods to do this, and depends on your budget, skill level, and number of photos you have. At any rate, you always want to make multiple copies of your photos whenever you can.

During your cruise vacation, consider:

  • Use several memory cards, and change them out daily. If one fails, all your photos are not lost.
  • Buy good memory cards. SanDisk for instance, have cards that are actually waterproof.
  • Consider offloading your photos to a laptop or USB Hard Drive on a daily basis.
  • Consider a dedicated photo storage unit.

At home, long term storage should consist of:

  • Copy to DVD-ROM, if the number of photos you have make this practical.
  • Copy to USB Hard Drive, or multiple drives.
  • Setup a Network Attached Storage unit for storing photos.
  • Consider a USB Hard Drive stored at a different location - a relative's house for instance.
  • On line storage - if the number of photos you have make this practical.

Regardless of what strategy you use, never use the memory card for long-term storage, or for storing your only copy of a photo. They can become lost or easily corrupted. Use memory cards as "working copies" only.

 

Transcend Military Drop Tested 1 TB USB 3.0 M3 External Hard Drive

Transcend 1 TB USB3.0 External Hard Drive

Specifications
Size: 500,750Gb, 1,2Tb
USB: 3.0
ShockProof: Yes - Military grade
Certification: MIL-STD-810F 516.5
Supported OS: Window, Mac, Linux
Media: 2.5" SATA hard drive
Street Price: depends on capacity


Alternatives

If you wish to use a USB Hard Drive while you are on the cruise, the drives listed above are all ruggedized, and ruggedized to military specifications, and in some cases certified to Mil-Std-810B - for drop test. While these drives are a bit more expensive than the run-of-the-mill USB hard drives, they are not that much more expensive. The few dollars more that you spend for a ruddedized drive will offer piece-of-mind your photos will be safe.

These hard drives all require taking a netbook or laptop with you so that you can transfer your camera's memory card to the hard drive (for this reason, the travel suitability score is 4 out of 5). I do this very thing, and use an inexpensive Acer Aspire netbook - and transfer my memory cards to the hard drive daily. I also leave the photos on the memory card so that I have at least two copies. I do not erase the memory cards until I return home and make yet another copy of them.

But what if you don't have a laptop, or wish to carry one on a cruise. what options do you have then?

RAVPower SD Card Reader, Wireless Bridge, USB Port,
External Battery Pack Travel Charger.

RAVPower SD Card Fub

Specifications
HotSpot: WiFi
Charger: Yes
Supported Media: SDHC,SDXC
Stoarge Media:USB HDD & Stick
Street Price: $40


Alternatives

These devices provide their own WiFi hotspot as well as USB and SD Card connectivity, which essentially allows you to connect everything togther (hard drive, memory card, iOS or Android device). It can be a bit clunky though as you have to interconnect a bunch of stuff laying out on a table top, or similar.

But what if you wanted an all-in-one approach?

Stand Alone Photo Storage Vault

Epson P-3000 40GB Storage Drive

Specifications
Size: 40Gb
Storage: Yes
Viewer: Yes
Supported Media: SD, CF
Power: Wall transformer
Photo Format: JPG, RAW
Street Price: $380


Alternatives

While storage vaults are an attractive non-computer alternative, you pay a hefty premium for this convenience. And depending on the particular model, they may include a photo viewer as well. And while some of these units can even display RAW files, expect some degree of incompatibiilty as RAW formats tend to change with the introduction of new cameras. As well, the storage capacity of some may be limited.

There are less expensive storage units available, but some of them have limited battery life, and can be slow when it comes to data transfer from the memory card.

Regardless of which method you use, always use multiple memory cards so you don't have to delete the photos from them. That way, you will have at least two copies of each photo.