Reliable Storage Media Options
My camera manual advises that an SD card should not be considered a reliable means of storing photographs and that back ups should be made.
I cannot remember the exact wording, but it is fairly vague, along the lines of, "to a computer". I wouldn't consider the computers internal HDD a back up media due to the risks involved in everyday use.
I should be able to pick up an external HDD in the summer, but don't envisage doing so before then, so would like to know my best option for reliable storage in the interim.
Do USB "flash drives" and CF cards have the same limitations as SD cards?
Is optical media considered more reliable and does the exact type/brand make a difference?
Many thanks for any thoughts on the above.
Welcome to the forum!
Do you edit your photos at all? If so you must copy them to your computer. Anyway, I say use the internal hard drive for now and to be safe, also copy them to a USB flash drive if you have one. However, that can fill up pretty quick depending on the photos you take. SD cards can break in half easily, I have done it. In general having one copy of anything important, no matter what it is stored on, is a bad idea.
Myself, I have them on my computer, then I back them up to a NAS (Network attached storage) which is an external hard drive (two actually, mirrored for safety) that I connect to over the network. It is seen as just another hard drive. I also use another external USB hard drive to make a second copy. You can never have to many backups.
Then there is my father in law. He has had a digital camera for about 8 years now. He takes photos, never makes any adjustments and then takes them and gets them printed. When the card fills up, he deletes the old ones. I do not think his memory card has been formatted since it was new. Very risky. His computer has a built in card reader and I have set it up to copy over the contents of the card when plugged in, but he never does. We have told him that those are the same as negatives and his answer was "I used to lose them too, so it does not matter". You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.
I don't think SD cards are particularly flakey, it's just that they are a bit flimsy and can be easily broken. CF cards are much tougher, but of course much bigger. I'm fortunate in that I have CF and SD cards in my camera, saving the images to both to give me back-up within the camera.
As my Canadian pal (who still won't tell me his name!) says, you can't have too many back-ups. I use a RAID array in my PC and regularly back these up to a wireless HDD (in the attic) and about once a month download the lot to DVD-RWs. Finally, any of my pictures that I think are quite good (Yes, both of them!) I send to on-line storage.
It is not hard to figure out. Don. Oreo was a cat I had at one time, used his name the first time I logged on anywhere that needed an alias. That was 1991. Oreo finally passed away two years ago. He was old and living with my mom.
Another option, depending upon the speed of your Internet access, would be to use one of the Cloud storage services.
I myself use the free version of Dropbox for various files, and find it very useful. I don't use it for photos as, like Don, I use a NAS device for local back-ups and I also have USB hard drives for portability.
So, if you include the albums I synch with Picasa, I currently have a minimum of four copies of all my photos - you can never have too many copies I say. :D
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