Backing up your photos

wd-my-password-studio

I happen to be an IT professional and a photographer so here go some suggestion about making sure you never suffer from data loss because I’ve been there and is not that pleasant.

If you really want to backup, you should keep the good ones, the ones you work in PP and erase all the out of focus shots and the blurred ones because its pointless. Also keep the RAW images and delete the JPG (if you shoot RAW + JPG) because you can always obtain the jpg out of the NEF file, to me keep unusable pictures "just because" is like keeping trash next to my food, because means you will eat the space in your hard drive faster than if you wouldn’t be lazy and check the entire folder and erase all the bad ones, of course is easier just backup all of them but trust me with time it will come to get you! And if you do it after each event it wont take that much time and at the same time you will be sure that you are using your space in the optimal way.

Optical media should be used only as a second or third backup media due to its degradation. Use a RAID 5 configuration and you will be sure that you are almost bulletproof. I do use Verbatim DVD-R 4.7 GB 50 Pack backups of extremely important pictures and keep them in a cool and dark place as "just in case" backup but the problem is that after 2 or 3 years i have to re-copy them because you never know when they are going to fail.

These days a Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB hard drive just cost around 100 dollars so is not that hard to buy more space but as i mentioned before you will do yourself a favor if you erase the bad pictures from the beginning because at the end of the year you could be saving 30% or more of space.

Totally avoid DROBOS because they tend to fail without warning and after I suggested a client to buy a DroboPro as their main backup the honeymoon ended after 3 months when all the sudden the info got corrupted and we had to invest an obscene amount of money to recover the information and DROBO just said it was our fault. And the network capabilities cost you an extra fee due to the need of more hardware, which to me seems pointless in a device like this offering backup for this price and not include a network plug on it. It’s well know that even the best backup solution will eventually fail though.

Strongly suggest Seagate BlackArmor 4 TB NAS 440 because it has the capability of RAID5 and comes with plenty USB ports and 2 gigabit Ethernet connections, and if you plug another BlackArmor to the gigabit port you can clone one to another without much pain. Plus the cool feature that you can change the fan since it has a service door without the risk of voiding any warranty.

To those whom don’t know about RAID 5, it uses 3 or more drives and its fail proof if one drive crashes because can be recovered from the rest of the disks, plus improves read/write speeds since you are using all the disks at once.

No matter how you do backup your stuff, make sure you do keep them in a well structured way so it’s easy to find it! because you may know now where the picture is but in a couple of years is going to be hard to find if you just throw the folder in the hard drive
I suggest to use a year/month/event structure making sure you put the date in the name of the event, that way if you use the search tool you can use the date or the name of the event to find the pictures very easy.

But besides pictures today most of our digital devices can capture either  HD or Full HD video, which adds the need to also back them up somewhere and the file size will seriously eat your free space, making the need for bigger storage even more imperative.

If you just want buy something you plug and just works for you here are a couple of solutions to consider.

 

WD My Passport Studio:

wd-my-password-studio-back

The new WD Passport Studio it has a completely new design featuring metal casing and scratchproof surface that WD claims was inspired by the current family of MackBook Pro and also has two firewire 800 ports and one USB 2.0, they also claim the reason they didn’t include any USB 3.0 is because Apple wont support the port and use their Thunderbolt instead but this should still a pretty good backup solution for those users on the go that want to carry a lot of data with them in a compact form. The lack of USB 3.0 is going to annoy some power users but for the average guy wanting to store the pictures while you travel or maybe just move around large collections of Full HD video this is going to be more than enough.

 

Clickfree C6:

clickfree-c6

This is the magic solution for those people that just want to have a reliable backup solution for their data but without the hassle taking care of the actual backup. The name Clickfree really means you wont have to worry again about the backup. As long as you keep it connected to your computer the included software will do the rest. Comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB so there is a size for everybody. But Clickfree only works on Windows which makes it a bit exclusive leaving the Apple crowd incapable of using the features and also doesn’t have eSATA or Firewire but there isn’t such a thing as a perfect device. Its features still outshine the shortcomings for a perfect backup solution for the lazy ones that just want to be safe.

 

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex:

seagate-freeagent-goflex

Seagate FreeAgent series is actually my favorite of them all because offers an incredible portability and you can purchase special adapters for the ports you are going to use and even without any interface you can use the the docking station so really is real flexible. Works on PC and Mac without to be reformatted making it great for those multi platform environments. And same with the others comes in different sizes and even colors.

 

wow i wrote a lot already, hope you guys find this helpful.
maka

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