The Best Portable Storage for Digital Photography

Written by nikki walters
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The Best Portable Storage for Digital Photography
Portable photo storage is a must for every photographer's camera bag. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Backing up your photos to a portable storage device is one of the most responsible things you can do as a photographer. Doing so will allow you to breathe a sigh of relief if you ever experience a computer crash, natural disaster, theft or accidental deletion. Additionally, some portable photo storage devices allow you to download the photos right from your camera to the device, so if you forget to bring extra memory cards, you won't be forced to delete photos before you have a chance to evaluate them or have to pack up earlier then you intended.

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External Hard Drive

An external hard drive is one of the largest capacity options for digital photo storage. Download the photos from your camera to the computer and then add the photos to the external hard drive connected to the computer by a USB cord. You can then unplug the external hard drive and take it with you. External hard drives come in a variety of storage capacities; the larger the capacity, the more expensive the external hard drive will be. For more portability capability, look for one that runs on battery as well as an AC adaptor in case you are in a situation where using power is not an option.

Multimedia Storage Unit

These handheld devices allow photographers to back up photos and even view them on an LCD screen in full colour (depending on the model). Plug in your SD media card or compact flash card to store your RAW or JPEG photos in the large hard drive capacities that are available with many of these devices. The Epson P-3000 has a 40, 80 or 160 GB storage capacity and 4-inch LCD screen, which is larger than the LCD screen on most cameras.

Flash Drives

If you are looking for pocket-sized portable photo storage, consider a flash drive. A USB OTG (on the go) is designed to plug into your camera so you can download the photos straight from the memory card to the flash drive. You can then plug the flash drive into your computer to download the photos. Flash drives come in a range of storage space capabilities, some holding up to 8 GB.

CDs and DVDs

One of the most widely-used portable photo storage devices are CDs or DVDs. However, standard recordable CDs don't have the most reliable storing abilities because the silver reflective layer on the CD is easily tarnished by elements such as light, heat, humidity and rough-handling. A better option is to invest in archival quality media. The difference is in the 24-karat gold reflective layer that does not tarnish. Other additional protective features include a scratch-resistant layer and a phthalocyanine dye for durability.

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