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How to Back-up digitals pictures in a foreigh country ?

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1. Posted by etiennecar (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Hi,

Plan to do a big trip (3-4 months) in central america this winter with my Canon 10D. I want to do back-up of my pictures along my way and to send Cds back home (Montreal, Canada) by airmail service to secur my pictures (we never know !!!) Would like to know the best way to do it... buy a laptop and burn Cds in my hotel room or just go into a Cyber-cafe who would allow me to burn on the spot my back-up files in a Cd.

Honestly, will hope not to carry a laptop for my trip... going lite as much that i can... want to know if there is any CD BURNER device that dont need a lapop. I know the Sony VRD-VC10 that does the DV-2-DVD without a computer... it come with a USB port, but i think is ONLY to plug it into a Pc. :-(

What you guys doing in this case ?

thanks,

Etienne

2. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Mee too. I'll spend 3 and a half months to England and I do not know what to do to back-up my photos. No laptop of course! Anyone there to advise us?

My friends said we should look for cyber café in each stop to burn our cds. That's all. :)

Lee

3. Posted by flim flam (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Neither!

The best way is to store them on the internet. One way to do it would be to register a Gmail account (which gives you 1Gb of storage), then email the photos to yourself from internet cafes.

You just go into the cafe, hook up your camera to the computer and download the necessary camera driver (99% of cafes won't mind you doing any of this) - then upload the pics onto the computer and send them to your Gmail account, where they'll be stored. It's by far the easiest way, and saves you carrying a laptop.

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 11y

Anyone who owns a semi-professional camera like a 10D is likely to shoot a gigabyte of pictures in about a week, even if not shooting in raw. *knows he himself did 3GB in two weeks last month, shooting in jpeg* Just the upload time of that makes the gmail suggestion not feasible. (Although this suggestion might be good for people with point 'n shoot cameras who only take a few quick shots every so often.)

I personally am traveling with laptop, and find this a very good solution (I bought the laptop to be 1) _light_weight, 2) have a dvd-burner and 3) have decent battery life).
Internet cafes make a decent alternative, although I don't know how many of them there are to be found in that part of the world.

No idea on the stand-alone burner front, but I remember reading about just a stand-alone harddisk (20B in size) that allowed for a camera (or just the memorycards?) to be plugged in and the pictures transferred to it. That might be something to look into. Or hell, bring a hard-disk based mp3 player like a rio karma or ipod, and use the computers at internet cafes not to burn cds, but to transfer pictures to this device. :)
Then again, having cd/dvds in the mail to home is quite good for not worrying about them anymore. I wouldn't want to imagine the pain if near the end of your trip your harddisk with x months of pictures was stolen...

On the gripping hand, for a 3-4 month trip, the laptop has the advantage that you can edit pictures while on the road (while still also burning the cds for backup). I know that if you let them gather up over that much time, it's really hard to work through them all after the fact.

5. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Thanks for the advices. How much time require to transfer the photos and upload onto the mail? One hour is enough? Can you pls explain in more detail? Does it depend on the spec of the camera or the PC? My digicam is Nikon Coolpix 7900.

Thanks again.

Lee

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 11y

Quoting cikusang

How much time require to transfer the photos and upload onto the mail? One hour is enough? Can you pls explain in more detail? Does it depend on the spec of the camera or the PC? My digicam is Nikon Coolpix 7900.

This is a 7 megapixel camera.
On the camera, you'll have the option to save images in a variety of formats - the largest being 3072 x 2304, using "fine" (not certain of the same, but it'll be something similar) compression/quality.
A single image taken like that will be roughly 3 megabyte large. (If you take an image of a tree with a lot of leaves, it'll be more; if you take an image of a clear blue sky, it'll be less.) Moving this over to a computer is a matter of seconds. The camera doesn't seem to have a hi-speed USB 2.0 connection, so say a rough 3 seconds per image, assuming USB 1.1 full-speed. (This still adds up quickly - 200 images will take you 10 minutes to transfer to the computer.)
Uploading a single image - well, it depends on the speed of the internet connection, and while most internet cafes have fairly decent connections, chances are that they'll have ADSL, where upload speed is far less than download speed. So the time it takes to upload a single 3MB image will be between 0.5 and 4 minutes. I think gmail places a limit of 10MB per email sent, so after uploading three images there, you also waste a few seconds sending the email to yourself and starting a new one.
All in all, for any but a trivial amount of images, that'll take far too long.

Of course, you can change the size/quality at which you take images. If you make the images 1600x1200, they'll suddenly be something like 600 kilobyte large, five times as small, and so everything will go five times faster.
But then the tradeoff is that images at this resolution aren't high enough quality anymore to be worth printing as actual photographs - and if you only want images of that quality, why did you bother getting a fairly good (that is, expensive) camera like that one?

Burning them onto cd depends mostly on the speed of the burning software (after having transferred the images) - but assume something like 10 minutes per cd, onto which you can burn about 220-250 high quality (3MB) images, or more if you go for lower quality. Although I expect the limiting factor to be the size of your memory card, not that of the cd.
People working at internet cafes can explain to you how exactly to do the transferring and burning (believe you me, they're getting the request several times a day) - if they don't just do it _for_ you.

7. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Have anyone ever hug you via net? I think I am the one to do so. Thanks, mate! You are so professional. It helps a lot. If you don't mind to take me as your student (free..hehehe), I'll call you my Shifu!

Best regards,
Lee

8. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

I would not do either - I would get two or three 1 gig memory cards... you can take a LOT of pictures with that.

If you run out of room delete the crappy ones.

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 11y

Quoting Brendan

I would get two or three 1 gig memory cards... you can take a LOT of pictures with that.

Not for 3+ months with a six or seven megapixel camera. Not if you want to take advantage of that quality, at least. And it's not all that easy judging quality on the tiny screen of the camera.
Plus there's the risk of theft (or just loss).

Of course, I'm speaking as someone who takes a lot of pictures. If you know that you will only very occasionally take out the camera for one or two snapshots, that's different. (But with these cameras??)

10. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

well for me, for three months 1000 pictures it enough, and unless you are making posters you don't need ALL of your pictures at 7 mega pixels.

If you are worried about loss or theft, buy extra cards and mail the cards home.