Bob Fowler from the Richmond Hills Camera Club

Bob Fowler
Richmond Hill Camera Club

I recently did some travelling in the U.S. with the intent of taking lots of images with my digital camera. I also wanted to back up those images as I traveled to ensure that nothing was lost during the trip due to card memory failure, theft, etc.

One solution to backing up which many photographers use is to bring along a laptop/ultrabook computer and periodically backup the memory cards to that device. I used a similar method that is much cheaper, requires less luggage space, and is only marginally less convenient. I brought along a portable, slim, external hard drive; usb cable (the one used for your printer); usb hub; and tiny sd card reader. Together they take a mere few inches of room and a matter of ounces of weight in a carry-on bag. Depending on the choices of brand, hd size, etc. the items can be bought for about $100. In fact you probably have most of these items already. In my case it was more like $130 worth of gear since I had a 2 Terrabyte portable hard drive, plus the other items.

The inconvenience involved in this scheme is that one must have access to a computer with usb ports in order to use the gear. Luckily every hotel/motel we encountered had an easily accessed desktop computer in their lobby open to free use by any guest.   Pretty much every desktop computer today has usb ports both back and front. With the hub I had, I only needed one free usb port – never a problem. The hub provided 4 free ports. I needed 2.

That minor inconvenience factor itself will soon be eliminated by new gear. The Western Digital “My Passport Wireless” has just become available in Canada. It has an SD slot in the side for direct access by your camera’s memory card. Furthermore it establishes its own wireless network, so that your mobile devices can use/control its content directly. Each evening you could upload your card’s images and view them immediately on your mobile device (IOS, Android phone or tablet – up to 8 devices simultaneously). This is a more expensive (about an extra $100) option than the one I used on this recent trip, but that extra degree of control may well be worth it. If your only need for your laptop while travelling is for image backup, you can now skip that device and have equal or better backup storage options.

Here is info re. the new WD Passport Wireless:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1330