What storage method for files on trip?
Old 03-18-2007   #1
boilerdoc2
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Question What storage method for files on trip?

I'm planning a trip to Europe this summer and need to travel light. Will be using the M8, M7, and Epson R-D1s. I'll need to somehow store the digital files somehow. I was thinking the Epson P5000 but the Epson website doesn't list the M8 DNG as supported. I really don't want to fool with a laptop. Who can help guide me in finding a compatible storage system? My wife says to use the portable DVD burner she has. Thanks in advance....
Steve
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Old 03-18-2007   #2
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I'm using an Apacer Share Steno with 80GB hard disk inside. I have to bring an external card reader but that's always useful for connecting to a pc (in a internet cafe) or laptop (at a friend's/ relative's house).
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Old 03-18-2007   #3
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All the Epson storage devices support the M8 DNG format. I have a P2000 which is a wonderful piece of equipment, with the BEST screen you could ever desire. Shutterflower, I cannot understand your short dismissive statement. Please qualify.
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Old 03-18-2007   #4
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I would stick with a laptop and DVD/CD burning like a Sony Vaio, MacBook, or older 12" PowerBook.

The disadvantage of those Personal Storage Devices (PSDs) is that now you have a single point of failure... bad, IMO.
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Old 03-18-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footnoteblog
I would stick with a laptop and DVD/CD burning like a Sony Vaio, MacBook, or older 12" PowerBook.

The disadvantage of those Personal Storage Devices (PSDs) is that now you have a single point of failure... bad, IMO.
Bad, yes. One thing to remember about the storage devices I've seen listed in this thread is that they're all magnetic. All it takes to lose everything you've put on magnetic storage is to lay the storage device down on something like a large speaker. The speaker's magnet can scramble your files beyond recovery. In addition, if the storage device gets physically damaged, you're out of luck.

A better solution IMO is something like the Apacer Disk Steno CP 300. It 's small, rechargeable battery-driven, and burns DVDs directly from your storage card in "track at a time" format, making them pretty bulletproof. When I'm on a shoot away from home, as soon as I get into my motel room I burn copies of my cards onto two different DVDs and take one outside and store it in the car. Then, if I'm carrying a laptop, I put the pictures on it, bring them up Bridge, and take a look, culling the obvious rejects. If I'm not carrying a laptop I shoot in RAW + JPEG so I can see what I've shot on the Apacer. All this may seem like overkill, but it's not overkill if you're serious about what you're doing.
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Old 03-18-2007   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footnoteblog
I would stick with a laptop and DVD/CD burning like a Sony Vaio, MacBook, or older 12" PowerBook.

The disadvantage of those Personal Storage Devices (PSDs) is that now you have a single point of failure... bad, IMO.
I agree. Single point of failure. Could be lost, stolen, HD failure... everything is gone. I'd go with a small laptop and burn backup cd/dvd's with them.

If you DO decide to get one of these portable HD devices, then I'd have plenty of 2 gb SD cards for the trip, ie, don't erase the cards if possible. The HD will just be your backup. 2gb SD cards are cheap now.
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Old 03-18-2007   #7
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What I would do if I had to use one of those portable HD units is travel with a stack of blank DVD's and try to burn DVD backups on borrowed computers (internet cafes, hotel business centers, or friends homes) if possible, during my trip. Most of these units are USB 2.0 plug and play, and on a Windows XP machine no drivers should be needed.
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Old 03-18-2007   #8
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Your best backup is a redundant system. Such as multiple hard drives, hard drives and optical media, hard drives and ipod backup. One option is to send home cd/dvd every few days or so and keep a set with you. When traveling things can get lost or stolen so if you really want all your photos safe make at least 2 copies.

I travel with a laptop and epson p2000 (I have to upgrade) and two 80 or 100 GB 2 1/2 inch hard drives.
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Old 03-18-2007   #9
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Keep it simple, 3 camera bodies I'd consider too much weight, certainly not travel light.

I'd take the M7 with a lot of films, 2 large plastic zip-lock bags will carry all films (without canisters). Your wife can take the M8 for instant feedbacks (that is assuming your wife knows less in photography than you, or switch the camera the other way around-

In any case, you don't want to check the pictures en-route. Among all the planning, reading travel guides, going out, moving around, you don't have time to edit the pictures. A HD without LCD screen will do just fine, I'd highly recommend NEXTO with a reliable 100GB hard drive, I never loss a single picture.

I will not travel with expensive equipment like laptop (except cameras) b/c it weights at least 3 pounds, and there is no need for instant editing, more worry about the security anywhere you go.

Have a pen and a well-binded small writing pad, writing on a piece of paper is better than boot up a computer in public places.

One last tip, please loss all electronics to the best extent you can because you will have to worry about juice up batteries on daily basis.

I am a hard-core backpacker. Redundant and backups are way over-rated b/c s*t happens, whether you have one backup system or multiple systems, all can be stolen, robbed, or other unpredictable situations. Keep it simple, if you like the destinations, you can always go back in the future.

Good travel...
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Old 03-19-2007   #10
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I typically follow a double backup approach:
- Epson 4000 which DOES save M8 JPG and DNG files although you can't view the raw files directly. Very reliable - I've had mine a couple of years and it's been through a lot of abuse and just keeps on going. I don't know where the Epson drive being unreliable thread came from as I've never heard that.
- Small MacBook - transfer images from Epson regularly but leave them on the P-4000 until I get home.

Remember to put the drives/cards/laptop in different parts of your luggage/possesions so that losing any one won't leave you without your precious images.

I probably should burn CD/DVD's along the way but ...
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Old 03-19-2007   #11
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Maybe this idea is a little simplistic but I've always used my Ipod photo. I keep 10 gigs of music on it and then I have 30 for photos, using an adapter I bought that sinks it from the camera with a usb cable. The new Ipods i think get up to 80 or a 100 gigs and you can keep your tunes for the plane. While I know it's not the newest coolest photo gear, it's small lightweight and pretty!
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Old 03-19-2007   #12
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Travelling light excludes a laptop with all its additional peripherals (changer and cables anyone?). The best way to travel light is to NOT shoot digital! Film can be bought nearly everywhere, and can easily be send home in registered mail. But if you must shoot digital (and I can imagine why), than hard disk based systems are in general more than adequate and waaaaaaay cheaper than a similarly sized iPod, a laptop or (heaven forbid) a redundant backup system. CDs/DVDs also aren't fool proof. They can get damaged by heat and cold (warping), they can snap and they may not have been burned properly. Plus it would mean you have to bring a DVD burner with peripherals and a stack of blank DVDs.

In short, no system is ideal when it comes to travelling light. Go with what you have (or care to afford before embarking on a trip). Just make sure you have all the cables, tested the equipment, and have a good time travelling.
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Travel Light
Old 03-19-2007   #13
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Travel Light

I travel with Laptop and card reader, 2 or 3 firewire/ 800/USB drives- fromFirelite or MiniXpress- that are bus powered and need no wall warts, and a stack of dvdís.
You didnít mention how many Gís of storage you might need and that would make a huge difference in what I was carrying. (Antarctica workshop was 110+GIG).
I copy the CF/SD cards onto the copmputer (donít use Lightrooms import to 2 places feature yet) and then drag the files onto the two firewire drives. Each night I back up the files from the computer to the DVDís.
On the way home 1 drive is on my person in a pocket, another drive is in the camera bag and the computer stays in the briefcase and the DVDs get checked in luggage or carryon stuff.
As far as the travel light part, I try and reduce the shoes, clothes, books, extras in those bags to let me accommodate the photo stuff. Micro fiber clothes roll up well, dont wrinkle and can be stashed in little clear 1qt/1gl baggies.
Having only one point of storage would bother me, especially being a HD.
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Old 03-19-2007   #14
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thanks for all the opinions. I definitely don't want to fool with a laptop mainly for security/theft worries. portable HD maybe. Burner seems like a pain with all the DVDs to loose. Extra SD cards sounds good as does the Wolverine HD for easy pocketable backup. Film for sure as I'll shoot a lot of that and have them scanned when back home.
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Old 03-19-2007   #15
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What I have to say is only relevant if you are going to shoot at the best quality JPEG setting your camera has. I just finished a month long trip overseas and bought plenty of SD cards as they are now cheap. I did not use them all and the ones that were used are now part of my back up system never to be used again. I downloaded them all to my PCs HD and copied them to an external HD also. The camera was a 10MP prosumer camera.

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Old 03-19-2007   #16
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If you have an Ipod Photo, that's the way to go. Small, simple and easy to use. I brought one with me on a recent trip to Europe and it was great.
The Ipod will store your DNG Raw files but it will not show it, however, if you shoot DNG+JPEG you will be able to see your photos as you travel, plus all your music and videos etc... I chose to go with the Ipod over the Epson, just because of the size.
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Old 03-19-2007   #17
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For me: Plenty of SD cards and a X-s drive portable HD/reader.
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Old 03-19-2007   #18
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The iPod method is supposedly slow. Worse, incredibly draining on the battery. I read 1GB takes about 30-60 mins and takes 2/3rd battery. Compare this with Hyperdrive or similar which is about 10 mins and 1/100th of the battery.
Heading on a several month trip soon for the first time digitally I'll be taking 5x2GB SD, a Hyperdrive SPACE (new version of what someone called a Sanho HD80 above), and burning some DVDs at internet cafes if I get the chance. If I was paranoid, I'd buy two Hyperdrives and have my other half carry one for redundancy but I'm not that paranoid. I might grab one of those ipod connectors for contingency. Aside, for ipod/mobile phone I'll be taking a Solio charger.
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Old 03-19-2007   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
The iPod method is supposedly slow. Worse, incredibly draining on the battery. I read 1GB takes about 30-60 mins and takes 2/3rd battery. Compare this with Hyperdrive or similar which is about 10 mins and 1/100th of the battery.
Heading on a several month trip soon for the first time digitally I'll be taking 5x2GB SD, a Hyperdrive SPACE (new version of what someone called a Sanho HD80 above), and burning some DVDs at internet cafes if I get the chance. If I was paranoid, I'd buy two Hyperdrives and have my other half carry one for redundancy but I'm not that paranoid. I might grab one of those ipod connectors for contingency. Aside, for ipod/mobile phone I'll be taking a Solio charger.
Yes, it is slow, but not that slow. I did a months trip, backing up my days work, 2 cards of 1GIG ea every night, it took about 15-20min each card. For both cards it used about 1/2 of my battery's juice. That's why I did it before I went to bed, so I could recharge the battery overnight.
I guess, like everything else, you have to sacrifice something to get what you want.
In this case, portability and the option to see my photos during the trip was more important and it worked fine.
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storage
Old 03-19-2007   #20
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storage

Take a laptop and do it right. Burn CDs or DVDs, and make a third copy on a portable hard drive like theSmartDisk Firelite: 100G and firewire transfer that is quick. Now you haave the photos on the laptop, the DVD, and the external hard drive and you can reformat your cards. DR
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Old 03-19-2007   #21
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And yet, a laptop is NOT travelling light! Odd as it may seem in this motorised world, some people prefer to walk and carry their stuff.
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Old 03-19-2007   #22
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Much depends on the innumerable factors (heat, altitude, power, rain, security, ...) which mount up. I'd have no problem taking a laptop to a nice hotel in Paris or Rome or London or Venice for a few weeks, but backpacking around Asia during summer, going on a junket to Antarctica, or heading to the wilds of Africa may call for different solutions.
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Old 03-19-2007   #23
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Yeah. Traveling light with digital equipment, you can scale equipment to fit your needs:

--One body, lots of cards.
--One or two bodies, two backup drives (Wolverine, et al)
--One or two bodies, small laptop with burner
--Two bodies or more, (usually med. format, and 35mm SLR) redundant zooms, 15" and 17" laptops, hard drives (this is what I used to lug, and my pro friends as well on commercial shoots).

There are pros and cons to each level; it's up to you to weigh those options and decide which are acceptable compromises -- are you getting paid?

The Macs are great because the chargers are generally small and inconsequential. Every other pro I know uses them from iBooks to the latest C2D MBPs. They all have DVD burners and quickly, simply plug into FireWire drives for a secondary backup since like, year 2000. You can even image your system quickly onto another external for secondary bootable drive, ever since, what, 1995 and OS 7?

Get another iGo or Kensington to charger your smaller peripherals like phones, iPods, most small point-and-shoots, video cameras, games, etc.

Unfortunately, you have to lug the ginormous Leica charger for the M8, or take ten batteries...

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Old 03-19-2007   #24
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How many photos do you plan on doing?
500, 1000, 2000, 4000 or 10000?

The most safe storage is to keep them on the SD cards until you're back home.
Now the cards are so cheap this is a economical soultion too. They don't have to be the fastest there is for asituation like this, just keep to know brands like Sundisk.

The battery charger for M8 is unproportionally large, but the batteries are small and lighter than many other.

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Old 03-20-2007   #25
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When travelling, I just burn two copies of my RAW files (to CD), and keep them in separate bags (one in the carryon). If someone has a laptop or I get computer time, I might put a third backup on my iPod.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boilerdoc2
My wife says to use the portable DVD burner she has.
Sounds like a plan if you want to have control over when and where to do the burning, otherwise any internet cafe will get the job done. You might want to bring a card reader or a SD usb stick (eg http://www.lexar.com/readers/trio.html), just in case.
Where in Europe are you going, btw?

/Jobo
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Old 03-30-2007   #26
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Marco,
I would be interested to know how you download the digital files from the SD card to your i-pod. I have an i-pod and have been unsuccessful so far
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Old 03-30-2007   #27
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Quote:
Yes, it is slow, but not that slow. I did a months trip, backing up my days work, 2 cards of 1GIG ea every night, it took about 15-20min each card.
Uh, that is pretty slow. I just got a Sanho Hyperdrive www.hyperdrive.com seems promising.
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Old 03-30-2007   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eon
The most safe storage is to keep them on the SD cards until you're back home.
/Erik
Not so. Keep in mind that the cards are magnetic storage. Optical storage is much, much safer.
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Old 03-30-2007   #29
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This is a really important question! I was on a two week trip to Hawaii and shot 1500 photos with both the M8 and the Hasselblad H3D. I ALWAYS store on two media. In this case I first dump ed everything into the Epson 4000 or 5000 (DNG only, I do not use JPGs on the M8) and I dont care about viewing) and then into the laptop. If I do not carry the laptop, I dump into the Epson 4000 and then the 5000 or Gigaview (I have that as well but the Epson has the more compatible card reader built in). If I only had one media archiver I would write-protect the card and not overwrite it. Never never use just one device for saving images. If you do, there is a law somewhere that says it will fail.

I will be traveling all over the West and then Europe the next few months. I do carry a laptop but also two Epsons.

BTW, the Epsons do show the M8 jpgs just fine.
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Old 04-01-2007   #30
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I've benena fan of Photo Storage Devices....until my Archos died last week. And I saw that Costco has Sandisk Extreme 2-gig cards for $35 each....
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Old 04-01-2007   #31
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with the price of SD cards falling quite quickly, the cheapest, easiest and lightest may well be to stock up on SD cards.

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Old 04-01-2007   #32
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Think I'll stock up on SD cards. That's the lightest way to go. Just have to make sure and not lose them, huh?
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Old 04-01-2007   #33
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Cards get lost. Still 6 cards and
2 Jobo Ones with 80 Gb (4 min per Gb) / or a Jobo one and Ipod (at nigh on the hotel room).
The Jobo on the backpack the Ipod with you on you jacket.
If they take the backpack you still got Ipod (and insurance), if "they" take you... you have more things to worry than the photos you have taken... I guess.
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Old 04-02-2007   #34
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Something to keep in mind: SD cards are more fragile than their compact flash counterparts. I've had non Lexar and non Sandisk SD cards "split" apart (this comes from repeated pressure of spring-loaded SD card slots and applying repeated pressure to the SD card's bottom edge, which is a seam joining its plastic faces and cheaper cards I have had eventually split), losing the write protect tab, rendering the card unwritable. Chintzy plastic. I've since then just bought Sandisk, but by design, they are thinner and more likely susceptible to case breaking than CF cards, which are very robust (mine which have been through the laundry and dryer more than a few times and were fine). Stock up on SD cards, but keep them safe too.
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Old 04-05-2007   #35
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I used to dump CF cards to an X-Drive as I had no other way to clear my expensive cards on long wilderness canoe trips. When electricity is available I always clear the cards to two separate hard drives. I now use the X-Drive simply as a redundant 60gig external drive because I need to "see" the pictures on a screen to confirm the transfer.

Thanks heavens memory prices have dropped as file size, RAW particularly, has swelled. I will never clear a CF or SD card until I've confirmed the transfer to two independent hard drives. Burning DVD's would be fine, but takes too long. I've had more bad results with burning disks, as well as when using the X-Drive as a card reader, than I ever have had using laptops.

In an ideal world I would return from a trip with pictures on two separate hard drives and on the original memory cards as well.
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Old 04-05-2007   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB

In an ideal world I would return from a trip with pictures on two separate hard drives and on the original memory cards as well.
I agree. I may do without the DVD backups of the HD and go this route too. Using borrowed computers, when I can. Thanks.

And don't keep it all in the same bag, in case of grab and run theft!
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Old 04-05-2007   #37
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I've used a couple of different storage devices, including the Epson 2000. A great screen, but poor battery life and quite slow, and not that cheap. The main reason to get it, or the 4000 is really the screen. And then, going from picture to picture is often quite slow. I gave up on it.

I got 2 'Nexto DI' units; you buy the shell and put whatever 2.5" drive in it you want. Firmware does the formatting and transfer, and a small screen keeps you informed as to the status and capacities available. When you get home you download to your computer via USB2 or Firewire; it can also act like an external hard drive. I put in Fujitsu MVH2100AT drives (relatively low power 100Gb units). They are about 3-4 times as fast as the Epson, and, with the extra battery pack they hold enough charge to download 100Gb of images. You really don't have to recharge them until they're full. No screen to view images, but 2 units complete with 100Gb drives and the extra battery cost less than one Epson 4000. Even with the extra battery packs, they're still smaller than the Epson 4000.

I downloaded images to both units on our recent 3 1/2 week trip, and then my wife kept one in her suitcase and I kept one in my suitcase. We shot over 80Gb of images, and it all worked wonderfully, and so fast that there was always time to download to both units.

I've travelled with different units, and also with laptop and external hard drives as duplicates, but unless you need the laptop for other things, these Nexto units have been by far the least hassle.

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